Livers are underrated. How many of
us honestly think a lot about our livers when making food and
lifestyle choices? While everyone agrees that we should whole-heartedly
pay attention to cardiovascular health, the liver is all but
Your Liver is in Charge—for
Better or Worse
The liver is the body’s largest internal organ, about
the size of a football, but it can also regenerate itself—if it
hasn’t been damaged beyond repair. Quite amazingly, when
a healthy person donates a part of his/her liver, both the
segment that was donated and the remaining section of the donor
liver will grow to normal size within weeks. This is not an
excuse to abuse your liver, but simply an example of how extraordinary
this organ really is! Here are a just a few of the many things
your liver does for you:
Converts everything you eat, breathe and absorb through
the skin into life-sustaining substances. You have a highly
sophisticated laboratory right in the middle of your body!
Stores and stockpiles glucose and other nutrients that
have been absorbed through the intestinal wall, releasing
them to your cells when necessary through the hepatic vein.
It’s easy to see why you feel tired with no energy
if your liver isn’t up to par.
Filters out toxins from your blood at the amazing rate
of a quart per minute. It sorts out the good from the bad,
keeping anything useful and tossing out the junk. As the
world becomes more and more toxic, a liver working at optimal
capacity plays a bigger role in health and well-being than
Makes bile to digest fat and prevent constipation. Your
life improves in lots of ways with a healthy liver!
Secretes hormones and enzymes for hundreds of physiological
functions, and maintains hormone balance. Did you know that
even good sex is possible thanks in part to your liver?
Because both the liver and the skin are the organs most involved
in toxin removal, many herbalists connect clear, luminous and
even-toned skin with healthy liver function, so anyone concerned
about their outward appearance should pay strict attention
to liver health, too. The following information will help you
build a plan to keep your liver in the best shape possible,
including help from influential friends in the powerful herbal
Milk Thistle—Nearly as Miraculous as the Organ It Protects
Milk thistle is a most remarkable herb that has been effectively
used for every liver concern for thousands of years, and it
is still #1 among natural health practitioners. Nobody’s
liver is 100% efficient; thus, everyone could benefit from
milk thistle, at least once in awhile. Below are four big ways
that milk thistle benefits your liver:
Stimulates production of new liver cells.
Increases the body’s production of glutathione,
a highly important antioxidant that detoxifies liver cells.
Binds to liver cells to protect them from toxins.
Helps the liver remove toxins from the body.
Here are four more supplements that support milk thistle and
greatly contribute to liver health:
Artichoke—Increases bile flow, which helps maintain
levels of cholesterol and triglycerides already in a healthy
Lecithin—The phosphatidylcholine content of lecithin
keeps dietary fats emulsified for easier processing by
Licorice—Used extensively in Japan for a variety
of liver concerns, and recent clinical trials support this
practice. Like artichoke, it stimulates the
flow of bile.
- Wasabi—The Japanese traditionally consume this rhizome
as a condiment with sushi, but they also use it to enhance
the liver’s detoxification process.
||“Taking wasabi in supplement form provides the highest concentration of active compounds available in Wasabia japonica rhizomes in their raw, dried state. Airtight, easy-to-swallow softgels protect the myrosinase enzyme from being denatured...This allows the isothiocyanates to be activated in an environment where they will be best utilized and help detoxify
|Nick Bruns, Ph.D., is an expert on nutritional immunology and a leading researcher on Wasabia japonica.
Cleansing is Good for the Soul—And Your Liver
The liver functions more efficiently if it is periodically
cleansed of toxins from an outside source since this process
significantly eases the burden placed on it.Remember
that when the liver works well, everything improves
in your body. If you’re able to go on a 3 or 7 day cleanse,
it will be well worth the effort. But incorporating even a
few simple practices into your daily activities will still
be highly beneficial. Here’s what you can do every day:
Start the day with a cup of hot distilled water mixed with
the juice of one organic lemon and a little bit of real maple
syrup or honey if you prefer.
An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, and two
are even better. Apples contain d-glucaric acid and many
other phytochemicals that cleanse the liver of fats, plus
significant amounts of potassium, an important electrolyte
Drink milk thistle tea for your mid-afternoon break.
If you're engaged in physically intense activities (strength
and cardiovascular training) or heavy metabolic processes
(high-protein dieting, exposure to toxins), you'll find that
chlorella tablets offer tremendous support. The chlorophyll
content effectively cleanses the liver and blood of toxins
and metabolic impurities like excess uric acid. Chlorella
also helps remove heavy metals from the body.
Drink 8 glasses of distilled or bottled water every day
to encourage maximum flushing of liver tissues.
Take a very warm bath with seaweed or the essential oils
of juniper, cypress, and lemon in the morning or evening.
Relax in the treated water for 30 to 45 minutes, filling
the tub when necessary to keep the water at the right temperature.
Get at least 8 hours of sound sleep, as this is the time
the liver performs much of its important work.
Four Vital Ways to Gain Liver Health
Cut down on the consumption of fatty, fried foods. You
can practically hear your liver groan each time a potato
chip enters your mouth.
Limit intake of alcohol, or better yet, abstain from it
entirely. It’s lethal to your liver.
Restrict your exposure to toxic chemicals whenever possible.
There are appealing and natural alternatives to most household
Stop smoking! Cigarettes are a direct assault on the liver
with nothing positive to offer healthwise.
Accomplish these goals, and your appreciative liver will surprise
you with better health than you ever imagined!