Now more than ever people suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (it increased by 400% since 1970). Although I am far from putting diagnosis there, poor lifestyle choices have something to do with that. Not only that but also the overuse of different drugs available over the counter may contribute to poor performance of our digestive system.
Liver is one of our main and the biggest organs but quite often neglected. It weights from 1.2kg to 1.5kg and is responsible for many digestive functions such as carbohydrates and fat metabolism but also acts as a storage for glycogen (glucose), fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K as well as iron , copper and some water soluble vitamins such as Vit B12. I am particularly fascinated but it’s ability of converting fat into energy. Every 1 g of fat provides 9 kcl which is more than carbs and protein. However, it is not a most convenient way for the body to get the energy especially for the brain which is glucose dependent. In high fat diets such as Keto, this is what happens. Most energy comes from fat but not without cost . (I will write about this separately).
When we age, liver mass decreases and is accompanied by a variable decline in its reserve capacity which can impair metabolism, including breakdown of drugs; this in turn may lead to toxicity which affects the bran functions.
Natural remedies to support healthy liver
1) One of the best thing you can do is drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins. Liver detoxifies a lot of drugs alcohol etc so water will help the detoxification process hugely.
2) Dandelion root is regarded as one of the finest liver remedies as both food and medicine. It can improve the liver’s ability to clear toxins which is its main function. It helps to increase the bile flow which is needed to digest the fats. Dandelion also promotes weight loss, possess diuretic activity and improves blood sugar control.
Things to try: dandelion root tea as well as powder capsules. I use the content from the capsules in my morning smoothies. I have one from Nature’s Way or try CytoProtect Liver from Cytoplan. You may also try the digestive bitters before your meals. This is a blend of different herbs including dandelion in a tincture – I have Maria Treben.
3) Now we are in winter, juice fasting may not be the thing for you. However, you can use broths or home cooked veggie stocks to cleanse and help the liver. Try my gut healing broth – perfect for this occasion.
4) If you are up for it try one day juice fasting Program especially if you have not tried one before but be aware that not all medical conditions allow that eg. you should not do it , if you are diabetic, pregnant. You can download my detox guide with recipes and one day juice fasting from my website
Essential Oils for Liver
Try detoxification blend from Doterra – Zendocrine – oil and soft gels which include proprietary blend of oils and enzymes to support cleansing and filtering functions for the body.
Oils and blends: Geranium , Copaiba, Turmeric, Lemon and grapefruit.
Foods/drinks to include in everyday menu (we aim for spleen friendly diet with slow cooked food – vegetable soups and stews are perfect):
Juicing – green with ginger, you can also add clove of garlic – more recipes in my guide
Smoothies – try fennel, spinach, green apple, half-banana
Stocks and broths – drink or cook soups – try miso broth
Raw salad bowls – try grated carrots and beetroots with cucumber and apple with Tahini dressing and roasted pumpkin seeds
How to Detox Safely
The best way is to be guided by specialist. I do those detoxes on a regular basis and I have required knowledge to guide individuals and groups. I studied detoxification as part of my nutritional Chef studies by lecturers who run cleanses on regular basis.
One thing is to understand way you want to do it, what you want to achieve and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions which would prohibit the detox or cleanse, one of them is Diabetes and pregnancy .
Detoxification is the time for you. You should give yourself time to focus on your health and sleep. You may be actually quite tired and also have a headache especially if you drink coffee on regular basis. Drinking water is really important. Additionally, you cannot start detoxification if your waste elimination is not good nor regular.
How you break the cleanse is also critical. I guide my participants to introduce food group by food group and observe the reactions of their bodies to that particular food group. Some people decided to stay off caffeine, gluten etc because they feel better and have more energy.
Right detoxification can do a lot of good for you.
My advice doesn’t not replace professional medical advice and you shoud always ask your GP for individual advice especially if you have any existing conditions. One size does not fits all, if your digestion is slow (eg. waste elimination is not regular) than raw food may not be for you as it takes a lot of energy for the body to digest it. Nor you should start any detoxification Programs.