Before learning about how to detox your liver naturally, it’s important to know how essential it is. While this is common knowledge today due to the advancements of science, even ancient humans were aware of the liver.
The Greeks talked about the regenerative abilities of the liver in Prometheus, the famous Greek myth. In the story, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus to gift it to humans. Zeus then punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and ordering an eagle to pick at his liver each day.
Each night, his liver would grow back to be devoured the following day again. This myth illustrates the importance of the liver by showing that having it destroyed would be an ultimate form of punishment. The liver is often referred to in both old and new medical literature as an influence over the mind, emotions, and moods. In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is even considered to be of higher importance than the heart.
What Does the Liver Do?
Your health and personal well-being depend on how well your body can remove and purging toxins. With the amount of exposure we have to toxins in products, processed foods, and the environment, caring for your liver is essential. Plus, having a low-functioning liver lowers your quality of life drastically by lowering your energy levels. Before learning how to detox your liver naturally, you should understand why this organ is so essential.
One way that your body gets rid of toxins is with the liver, one of your body’s hardest working organs. Your liver is always working to produce bile for digestion, detoxify your blood, store vitamins, and break down hormones. When your liver is functioning at a subpar level, you can’t digest your food (especially fats) correctly. Let’s look closer at what your liver does for you.
Essential liver functions
Some essential liver functions include processing the nutrients your intestines absorb, so the process is more efficient, and destroying old red blood cells. Other essential functions include balancing sugar, fat, and protein. This balancing is done by regulating blood composition and producing chemicals for proper blood clotting. The liver also helps break down medications and alcohol, produces essential cholesterol and proteins, stores minerals, and removes toxins from the blood.
Liver damage risk factors
For your liver to function correctly, and for the rest of you to feel healthy and balanced, it has to be in good condition. The first thing that comes to many people’s minds when they think of liver issues is alcohol-related damage, such as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a dire health issue, but alcohol abuse is only one activity that can lead to it.
There are many other potentially harmful factors of our modern lifestyle that can cause harm. Liver damage risk factors include eating uncooked shellfish and chronic malnutrition. Other factors include chronic hepatitis B, and certain medications, which we will discuss later.
Cirrhosis develops when the healthy cells in your liver turn into scar tissue. As this substance grows, your liver cannot work properly. If this is left unchecked, liver failure is a real risk.
What Is Liver Detoxing?
When you encourage your liver to flush itself out, this helps it excrete more efficiently to get rid of old bile stuck inside. You can aid this delicate excretory process with mineral salts, oils, supplements, foods, and plants. We will discuss specific foods and plants you can use for this purpose later. The liver flushing process can eliminate accumulated toxins and cholesterol.
Whenever you consider a liver detox, please consult your doctor to make sure you're healthy enough to do it on your own.
The Benefits of Learning How to Detox Your Liver
Many people live without ever considering a liver cleanse, but if you’re concerned about your health, it’s worth thinking about. You should especially consider a liver detox if you’re suffering from any of the telltale signs of an unhealthy liver, which we’ll discuss in the next section. A liver detox will not only help your liver but the other organs in your body as a consequence. Here are some of the benefits you can gain from detoxing your liver:
Some harmless byproducts made by the liver are nutrients that are useful to your body. Whether from a buildup of toxins or liver stones, these nutrients can’t make it to your bloodstream. Once this occurs, your energy levels in daily life will drop. Cleansing your liver can give you more energy, because you’ll have the nutrients you need to function at full capacity.
Cleansing your liver can potentially help you lose weight. Your liver is responsible for producing bile, which your digestive system requires to break down fat. Due to this function, detoxing your liver can help your body melt off some pounds with more effective digestion. So don’t just think about eating fewer calories -- remember your liver if you want to slim down.
Since your liver is responsible for reducing toxins in the body, it logically follows that a healthy liver aids your immune system. Detoxing your liver helps boost your immunity and can help you get sick less often.
Keep in mind that when you cleanse your liver, you’re helping it get back to peak efficiency. When you reduce the toxic buildup in this essential organ, your skin will look healthier and brighter as a result.
Whole body health
The liver connects with the health of your entire body. It removes toxins, converting them to harmless byproducts. A small amount of toxins are normal in the liver. When there are too many toxins in your liver, though, that’s when the problems start. And you’ll need to detox your liver to get your body working the right way again.
Signs of Liver Congestion
Your liver can take a lifetime of abuse and usually continue ticking. Or at least that was the common belief until recently. But now, health concerns related to liver toxins have become much more common. Gallbladder disease, which is directly related to toxic buildup in the liver, has gone up 20 percent in the past 30 years.
Under eye circles
If you have dark circles under your eyes that aren’t related to genetics or simply being tired, you might have a less-than-healthy liver. Dark under eye circles can point to chronic liver disease. In a large number of people, this is a visible sign to watch out for as it can signal liver inflammation.
You might be surprised by this next point and wonder how menopause symptoms could be related to your liver. But surprisingly, your liver plays a large role in how well you handle menopause. Since it helps regulate your hormones, a subpar liver can worsen anything hormonal like PMS or menopause. Taking care of your liver can ease your symptoms a lot. Many holistic health experts recommend you learn how to detox your liver after reaching peri-menopause.
Once your hormones have fulfilled their job, they go back to your liver, where they’re “deactivated” and won’t have an effect anymore. If your liver is struggling, this process might not be done thoroughly enough, which can cause dips or spikes in your hormone levels. You might notice mood changes and other symptoms until you learn how to detox your liver.
Itching or rashes
If your liver health is suffering, you might notice itchy skin or rashes in small areas on your body like your leg or arm. You might also notice them on your entire body. The symptom of itchy skin can happen without any other skin changes and is a sign of internal imbalance. Liver disease is only one of the internal balances that itchy skin can signal. But leukemia, lymphoma, cancer, thyroid problems, and kidney issues are also underlying problems that can have this symptom.
Lack of concentration
Are you having a hard time focusing on work lately? Your trouble concentrating might not just be because of Facebook but could mean that your liver health is suffering. Two significant functions of your liver are energizing the body and detoxifying it. When your blood has too many toxins in it from a poorly functioning liver, it can impact your brain health. Combine this with a slowed metabolism, and you may experience fatigue. This fatigue can start to manifest as forgetfulness or more serious issues like a coma. Once you learn how to detox your liver, you may find yourself with more energy.
What to Consider with a Liver Detox
When you learn how to detox your liver and clean it out, the organ is gently encouraged to get better at its function of excreting bile. When it eliminates old bile stuck in your bile ducts, it helps your gallbladder clean itself out. There are a lot of factors that impact how well your liver will function. Let’s look at a few of the most common factors below.
Your lifestyle affects everything in your life in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regularly exercising will have a strong positive impact on your liver function. You’ll also be able to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your chances of getting liver disease.
Drinking to excess is never a good idea, and there are many reasons for that. But drinking beyond moderate amounts is especially damaging for your liver. Regular overindulgence can cause damage to your liver cells, eventually causing scarring and swelling. This scarring and swelling may then lead to cirrhosis if left unchecked.
Certain medicines can have a harmful impact on your liver. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is one of these medicines, and you might be taking it more than you think. It’s in hundreds of pain medicines and even cold medicines. Make sure you always read the labels on the medications you take and stick to the recommended safe dosage.
How to Detox Your Liver Naturally With Herbs
Humans have known that herbs can help your liver recover from toxins for thousands of years. This recovery process includes toxins from the environment and stress. In our modern world, these herbs are more necessary than ever to help us stay healthy in a world full of pollutants. And it's important to know how to detox your liver.
Since herbs that help with liver detox are often bitter-tasting, some people try to avoid them in their diet, but if you do, you may want to reconsider. Below are some of the best herbs to add to your diet for a healthy liver.
Bhumyamalaki is a liver-supportive herb that is very revered in Ayurvedic medicine.
This herb may support the healthy function of your liver cells and enhance liver cell recovery. It’s especially helpful in healing damage from alcohol.
Turmeric is a healthy root that helps with the health of not just your liver, but also your brain, digestion, and skin. This root boosts your body’s natural levels of antioxidants.
This extra boost can help your brain and liver recover from damage. As you learn how to detox your liver naturally, don’t forget this essential ingredient.
Barberry is a type of vitamin C-rich, bitter berry that people have been using for centuries to support healthy levels of blood sugar. It also helps with increasing bile flow and protecting the liver from toxins.
Barberry has a property called berberine that protects the liver and reduces stress from environmental toxins and short-term alcohol exposure.
How to Detox Your Liver with Healthy Foods
In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices and taking herbs to cleanse your liver, you can add some foods to your diet to help with detoxing. When you ask yourself how to detox your liver, consider adding some of these foods to your diet.
Certain vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli can help your liver produce enzymes that detoxify the organ.
Also, they’re full of sulfur compounds, which can support general liver health. These vegetables can also neutralize liver-damaging heavy metals and help your bloodstream clear out toxins.
Garlic has a mineral that can help detoxify your liver called selenium. It can also activate enzymes in your liver to help your body get rid of dangerous toxins.
If you live in a polluted city or indulge in alcohol regularly, it won’t hurt to add some garlic to your diet.
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits can all help your liver clean itself out.
The good news is that you only need to add a little citrus to your diet to help your liver flush out toxins and pollutants.
Green tea is known to be a very healthy drink. It’s full of plant-based antioxidants that can support a healthy liver.
Try to drink organic green tea to avoid unnecessary pesticides, which can be damaging for your body.
Walnuts are full of arginine, an amino acid that can help your liver detoxify from ammonia.
These delicious nuts also have plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful for cleaning your liver out. Not to mention, they’re delicious!
Beets help increase oxygen levels by providing a blood cleansing effect and can help your body excrete wastes faster.
Also, beets can boost enzymatic activity and stimulate bile flow. This vegetable is full of vitamin C and fiber, which help clean out your digestive system.
Apples are full of pectin, which can help your body release toxins and cleanse its digestive tract.
When you have fewer toxins in this part of your body, your liver can flush out toxins more successfully. When your liver can do this, your entire system will function better.
If you love coffee like so many other people, you’ll be glad to know that it can help support a healthy liver. One study showed that drinking two cups of coffee per day can reduce your chance of getting cirrhosis by up to 44 percent! Drinking four cups per day can lower your risk to 65 percent. And drinking moderate amounts of coffee on a regular basis can slow down Hepatitis B and C, along with Fibrosis.
You can improve your digestive health, overall, by eating a balanced diet. Don’t ignore this crucial aspect of caring for yourself.
Ready for a Clean Liver and Healthy Body?
Now that you know how to detox your liver, you're ready to go. (As long as you have your doctor's a-okay.) Everyone wants to be healthy, which means making sure you have healthy organs. Your liver supports the health of other organs and your body overall.
As mentioned, liver disease is a big problem in the world today. You only get one liver, and though it's good at regenerating itself, it’s necessary to give your liver a break every once in a while. Take control of your health by using cleansing herbs and healthy foods to take care of your liver.