Your liver is your body’s primary organ of detoxification; when it’s not well, neither are you. The human liver filters drugs, nutrients and toxins from the body, produces bile to help digest fats, and removes toxic bilirubin from the blood.
Home remedies, foods and alternative treatments keep your liver happy and keep your body healthy.
Foods that strengthen the liver
· Organic foods supply nutrients without pesticides and chemicals
· Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage increase liver enzymes to flush carcinogens
· Beets and carrots promote increased liver function with beta-carotene
· Healthy fats such as olive, coconut and flax seed oils protect against gallstones
· Garlic and onions activate liver enzymes flushing toxins
· Dark chocolate — 85 percent cocoa or better — provides antioxidant protection against cirrhosis
· Drink half your weight in ounces daily in filtered, fluoride-free water
· Avocados and walnuts provide glutathione to cleanse toxins
· Apples are high in pectin removing toxins from the digestive tract, protecting the liver
· Two tablespoons of lemon juice daily with water alkalizes the blood and detoxifies
· Non-GMO lecithin supports the liver and gallbladder in fat digestion
· Leafy green vegetables stimulate the flow of bile
What damages the liver?
Some foods and additives flood the liver with chemicals, interfering with its ability to adequately clear the body of toxins.
· Genetically modified foods (GMOs)
· Trans fats and hydrogenated oils
· High fructose corn syrup
· Sodas loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners
· MSG, a food additive and flavor enhancer found in almost all processed foods
· Alcohol, especially if you have liver disease
· Processed and fast foods devoid of adequate nutrition
· Soy-based foods, unless fermented
· Medicines that can overload the liver causing long-term damage.
Lifestyle changes support the digestive system, helping to strengthen liver function and lessen the burden on detoxification.
· Regular exercise stimulates digestion
· Chew food well to release digestive enzymes
· Encourage sweating to remove toxins through the skin, relieving the liver
· Maintain intestinal health by avoiding toxin buildup in the bowel
· Avoid smoking cigarettes
· Use chemical-free, cleaning and personal care products
· Avoid chemical yard and bug sprays
Herbs, supplements and homeopathic remedies repair damage and maintain liver health. Consult a natural health practitioner for dosing guidelines.
· Milk thistle fights oxidation and free radicals, reversing cirrhosis
· Burdock root cleanses the liver and assists detoxification
· Green tea is high in catechins that support liver function
· Dandelion is a natural detox flush
· Turmeric reduces inflammation relieving symptoms of cirrhosis
· Cinnamon reduces blood levels of glucose and fructose slowing development of fatty liver disease
· Aloe vera is a digestive tonic and pain reliever
· Alpha Lipoic Acid possesses antioxidant properties; supporting healthy liver function
· Activated charcoal protects the liver by absorbing toxins
· Ayurveda suggests cleansing the liver with highly alkaline sugarcane or pomegranate juice
· Mix turmeric powder with milk and drink daily
· Chewing fennel seeds after meals aids digestion
· Avoid supplementing with iron unless under medical supervision
The juice of half a lemon in hot water first thing in the morning is a time-honoured way to start the day, and is an excellent wake up call for the liver. The sourness of lemons triggers nerve and hormone activation to the liver and digestive system. Very helpful for those who suffer from sluggish bowels.
The spice that colours curries yellow, and was also used to dye the robes of Hindu priests. Turmeric has impressive anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body, including the liver. Excellent for a liver virus or infection
Drinking sufficient fluids such as water, tea and herbal tea, improves the flow of nutrients to, and waste products from, the liver. Not drinking enough may increase the risk of gallstones, which is when bile becomes too concentrated in the gall bladder.