The state of your health depends heavily on the state of your liver, making it all the more important to look after it. Please read on to find out how.
What Does Your Liver Do?
The liver is the biggest organ in the body and the most important outside the brain and heart. It is located to the right of the stomach, in the upper abdomen and below the diaphragm.
The liver performs a variety of tasks, including:
- Processing and eliminating toxins and drugs from the body.
- Producing bile that is used to break down fats.
- Fighting infection and disease.
- Storing vitamin B12, copper and Iron.
- Storing glycogen, the body’s glucose storage.
- Producing and regulating cholesterol.
- Cleansing the blood.
- Processing digested foods and their nutrients.
Taking Care of Your Liver the Natural Way
1. Cut the Booze
Alcohol is a toxic substance that the liver is responsible for metabolising. It may cause cellular malformations, scarring and inflammation, all of which inhibit liver function and cause potential liver disease at a later date.
2. Try Some Herbs
Herbs protect liver function by stimulating bile flow and help the organ to regenerate itself. Popular herbs for liver support include:
- Milk Thistle
- Dandelion root
3. Have a Caffeine Break
The liver processes caffeine like it does any other toxin. It is forced by caffeine to release glycogen stores into the blood, and slows the organs ability to cleanse the blood from other harmful toxins.
Ironically, coffee enemas have been proven beneficial in the liver detoxification process by relaxing the smooth muscles of the small intestine and anus, which causes a dilation of the bile ducts and blood vessels.
4. Think Green
Natural greens support the liver by:
- Balancing the body’s acidity levels.
- Strengthening the immune system.
- Reducing excess fat and fluid stores.
- Assisting toxin elimination.
Green foods rich in minerals include sea vegetables, barley grass, green vegetables, green salads, chlorophyll, spirulina and chlorella.
5. Get Some Zs
When you close your eyes to go to sleep at night, your brain releases a chemical called Melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle. Melatonin shares the body’s toxic load with the liver by helping to neutralise free radicals and by regenerating the body overall.
6. Flush Your Liver
Flushing your liver rids it of toxins, cholesterol build up and gallstones, and frees the way for bile flow. It involves drinking a mixture of olive oil, epsom salts and grapefruit juice before bed, which leads to an excavation on the toilet stool first thing in the morning.
7. Avoid Medications When Possible
Like other toxins, residues of drugs and medications can build up in the liver and cause toxicity. When possible, and with your doctor’s consent, give your liver a break and avoid pain killers, anti-inflammatories, HRT, antibiotics and the pill.
8. Go Organic
Try to buy organic fruit, vegetables and meat when possible. Non-organic products often contain toxic poisons, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics which may all build up and inhibit liver function.
9. Water Water Water
Drinking at least two litres of filtered water per day assists the liver (and kidneys) with toxin elimination. Small and frequent sips are best, and if you find it hard to get two litres in, herbal teas are considered ok to be counted as well. It is also recommended to avoid a lot of water 9especially cold water) with meals as it may dilute the gastric juices in the stomach, inhibiting digestion and increasing the livers workload.