WELLNESS--Our liver really takes a hit. It processes everything that goes into our body from food, medication, and alcohol, to portions of our personal care products. Our liver acts as a filter to remove toxins and chemicals while gently cleansing our blood.
Often many of us take for granted just how hard our liver works to keep us healthy. Especially in this day and age where we are being bombarded by harmful toxins from our environment, genetically modified and fast foods, hydrogenated oils, nitrates, trans fats, sugar, and so much more…it may just be time to consider giving our liver a helping hand.
Signs of liver toxicity can be numerous and may include skin rashes, fatigue, headache, poor digestion, dizziness, and even jaundice but often signs and symptoms go unnoticed.
A liver cleanse can be done seasonally or on a daily basis in a more gentle way. By using certain herbs, foods, vitamins, and lifestyle practices, we can ensure that our liver is operating at it’s optimal.
Here are some important things that you can incorporate today:
Milk Thistle - Possibly the most documented liver supportive herb is milk thistle. The active ingredient Sylmarin has been shown to offer extra help to the liver in the act of detoxifying heavy metals, alcohol, and other toxins and chemicals.
Dandelion - Once considered an annoying weed, Dandelion has potent liver cleansing qualities. This along with other bitter herbs such as arugula, radicchio, kale, mustard greens, and watercress promote enzyme production and bile flow.
Turmeric - One of my favorite herbs and spices is Turmeric because of it’s numerous healing properties. Turmeric with its active ingredient Curcumin, is a liver cleansing powerhouse. It’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects, which have a positive impact on your overall body and health.
Wheatgrass - 2 ounces of pure, organic wheatgrass offers as many vitamins and minerals as 4 pounds of green vegetables! This superfood brings oxygen to your blood while helping with the detox and cleansing process. A little goes a long way and regular consumption of wheatgrass offers long-term benefits to the liver.
Beets - Beets are known to have wonderful liver-supporting qualities. Beets improve liver function largely by thinning the bile, allowing it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine.
Lemon - The most simple yet powerful liver tonic is room temperature filtered water with freshly squeezed lemon. The vitamins help to loosen toxins and the citric acid in lemons maximizes enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification. Lemons although seemingly acidic to taste, tend to alkaline your body when ingested.
Coffee Enema - While the idea of doing regular enemas may not sound ideal, the detox that it offers will benefit you. Regular 15-minute organic coffee enemas will assist the release of buildup and help your liver and gallbladder to create more bile.
Dry Brushing - Dry brushing our skin helps to open up the pores and assists the liver and kidneys in detoxifying. First used by the Scandinavians and the Russians, brushing your skin with a soft-bristled brush with a long handle on dry skin for anywhere from 5-15 minutes regularly, is said to have dramatic detoxifying effects on the body.
Sauna - Once again, the Scandinavian people have it right! The regular use of a wood-burning or infrared sauna will assist the body in sweating out toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other unwanted buildup, which in turn lightens the load on our liver.
There are a few intense detox programs such as the 10-Day Transformation that I run with my clients and there are also more gentle ones that you can step into gradually. Make sure to take additional fiber along with your liver cleansing products to remove any excess waste from your colon. Rice bran solubles, psyllium husk, and raw, fibrous vegetables work well.
Keep in mind that with any detox, you may experience some negative side effects such as gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramping and more. This is normal depending upon the intensity of your detox program and the level of toxicity in your body but they should dissipate in time.
In today’s world, no matter which type you choose, it is a great idea to focus on this important organ and give it all the assistance it needs to continue working at it’s optimal.
- It is always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a vitamin or herb regimen especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you take medications.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)