Before I explain some great ways to help you strengthen and detox your liver, let me persuade you that it’s worth it. Your liver, which is located on the right side of your abdomen, just below your lower ribs, weighs about 4lb and performs more than 500 functions every day to keep you as healthy as possible.
- Every day it makes a full quart of bile daily to break down fats. (Bile is a bit like a soap detergent to gets rid of grease).
- Every day your liver regulates your blood sugar preventing dangerous highs and lows.
- Every day it filters poisons out of your blood and allows nutrients to get to your cells. If it didn’t continually do this you would die within hours.
- It stores essential minerals and vitamins to keep your body healthy.
- It produces over 13,000 important hormones and chemicals essential in keeping you healthy.
As we age, the tubes and ducts leading to and from our liver become clogged with toxins, fats and other waste. As it struggles some of these toxins may become hard mineralised stones, so if you have gallstones you have a warning from your body that your liver is struggling.
If you have ever:
- Drank alcohol;
- Taken prescription or over the counter medication;
- Been around cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes or other environmental pollutions;
- Had chlorinated water or water with fluoride in;
- Used household chemicals (all are loaded with toxins your liver must neutralise and eliminate);
- Used chemical food additives, many of which cause abnormal cell growth;
- Eaten a lot of meat;
- Eaten food which may have pesticides or other chemical sprays on it;
then your liver is working overtime…. and I think that includes just about every one of us! Just by living in our modern world our liver gets abused every minute of the day and that can cause symptoms such as headaches, itchy skin, fatigue, irritable bowels, joint pain, indigestion, high blood pressure, allergies, congestion…. and the list goes on and on.
Let’s just take a quick look at the first symptom – headaches. As a homeopath, I see a lot of people with headaches, not all caused by liver problems of course, but if our livers are overworked, they may allow toxins to leak into our brains causing headaches, and then of course painkillers add further stress to our liver, and we begin a vicious cycle.
Next on our list we have skin problems. Our liver is kept busy detoxing hormones and chemicals for our body to eliminate. If it’s overworked or sluggish our body has to resort to its back up organ to help – and that’s the skin. When toxins are excreted out of our skin we get rashes, itching, psoriasis, rosacea …. all of these may be a warning sign that our liver is struggling.
The good news is that your liver will be able to do all the work it needs to if you empower it to do so, and there are many ways we can help our livers to do a better job – so here’s the good stuff:
- Drugs (where possible)
- Hydrogonated oils such as vegetable, corn or soya oils. They inflame the liver which prevents it from detoxing other things
- Food and skin care products with unpronounceable ingredients.
- DO HAVE
- Bone broth
- Vegetable juices, especially carrot juice – add a tiny bit of ‘good’ fat to help optimise the goodness. Good fats include olive, flax, coconut or palm oil and butter.
- Lots of multicolour vegetables – especially beets, radishes and watercress.
- Warm water with ½ lemon squeezed into it or a couple of drops of pure lemon essential oil
- SUPPLEMENTS WHICH HELP
- Milk thistle. Research has shown that an antioxidant found in milk thistle can help your liver replace dead or damage cells and effectively repair itself.
- Dandelion root, which is high in potassium and a natural diuretic.
- Burdock root which helps neutralise most poisons that enter the liver and so purifies the blood.
- Turmeric, not only assists in removing toxins but it stimulates bile production and reduces liver inflammation (especially good when combined with milk thistle).
- Artichoke, which also enhances bile secretion.
- Cayenne pepper
- Star Anise
- Apple cider vinegar
- ESSENTIAL OILS
- DO NOT use grapefruit essential oil during a liver detox as it slows it down.
If your oils are pure enough you can take a drop or two in water. If in doubt you can dilute them in oil and rub them on your abdomen or on your feet. Your liver reflex points are shown below:
- HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
The top two remedies for liver support are Chelidonium and Lycopodium. If you are taking either of these remedies without the supervision of a qualified homeopath, take a very low dose (less than 30C) daily for a couple of weeks and reassess.
If you would like further advice, or information about the oils and remedies I use please contact me or look at my website.