The human body contains an amazing network of systems and organs, each of which has a unique function. Everything in the body is linked and that’s how we stay alive, but our health can decline if organs or systems are not functioning properly. All of the body’s systems need to work efficiently to ensure the natural elimination of toxins. Given that the average person’s toxin exposure has exponentially increased, it is integral for the body’s detoxification systems to be operating at peak efficiency.
What Does The Liver Do?
According to ancient Chinese medicine, a physician who can harmonize the liver has the knowledge to treat one hundred diseases. As one of the hardest working organs in the body, the liver converts nutrients from the foods we eat for the body to use. When the body metabolizes fat, protein, and carbohydrates, the liver helps to stabilize blood glucose levels in order to avoid blood sugar imbalances or metabolic problems. It also helps to filter out toxins from the environment and the foods we eat, working to clear the blood of impurities. Additionally, it helps to store blood, regulate blood supply, and break down damaged blood cells for elimination.
This is all to say that the body’s ability to naturally detox is greatly affected if the liver isn’t functioning properly. When the body is flooded with toxins, one can experience chronic inflammation that further impairs the liver’s ability to do its job. To avoid toxic build-up in the body, it is recommended to limit your exposure to toxins (from the environment and food) and support liver health. Use the following herbs to promote a healthier liver.
Licorice root has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries to aid with healthy liver function. According to a small study, consuming licorice root helps to increase the body’s production of interferon, which is a protein that is released to combat viruses. Licorice root also promotes the liver’s ability to naturally eliminate toxins.
While these are not considered herbs, sulfuric vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms contain glutathione. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that helps to destroy free radicals in the body. Adding these vegetables to your diet can activate phase one and two of liver detoxification. Eat your greens like your mother told you!
Probably the most well-known herb for supporting the liver, milk thistle is rich in silymarin, which is a compound that protects liver cells from damage. Silymarin does this by repairing liver cells that have been damaged by toxin absorption. Milk thistle has also been used as a natural remedy for hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease.
B vitamins are essential to fuel methylation, the body’s biochemical “superhighway” that is responsible its detoxing abilities. Dandelions are rich in B vitamins, so it is beneficial for the liver to drink a cup of dandelion tea. While all parts of the dandelion plant can promote liver health, it is the dandelion root that is best. Note that dandelion can be a soft diuretic, so be careful not to take too much.