The word “detox” gets thrown around a whole lot, but how many people really know what it means, or how to do it effectively? In short, detoxification is the process of aiding the removal of toxicants (organic and inorganic substances that damage the body’s organs) from the body. You might wonder why this is necessary. After all, isn’t the body designed to do this on its own?
While your body does have incredible detoxification machinery, the toxic load of our environment is at unprecedented levels that our bodies are not designed to handle. With nearly one billion pounds of pesticides sprayed in America alone every year (even if you eat only organic, it’s impossible to escape pesticide runoff from water), not to mention the preservatives, hormones, and other toxic additives in our food, we are bombarded with artificial toxicants that our bodies are not designed to handle. In combination with household chemicals, toxic additives in skincare and toiletries, and building materials (like paint), the toxicant load from food can leave our bodies overloaded. So, what are we to do? We help our detoxification organs along (ultimately we can’t detox ourselves—we do things that boost our detox organs’ activity or reduce their load periodically to help them catch up).
This post is all about the one organ that’s the star player when it comes to detoxification: your liver! This bad boy is constantly cleaning your blood, helping digest your food, making proteins and enzymes, and so much more! In Ayurveda, the liver is also believed to hold a number of emotions, including courage, power, resentment, and envy (and a healthy liver holds positive emotions). You could not live without your liver—and keeping it healthy is a wise choice. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the top herbs that keep your liver in top shape!
Milk thistle is a flowering herb that contains a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant called Silymarin that helps promote liver cell repair. It is especially powerful for helping to heal livers that are damaged by industrial toxicants—so if you work with strong chemicals, try taking milk thistle! It is also a powerful herb to help heal the liver from excessive alcohol consumption. In fact, it may even help extend life expectancy in such people.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic root that has been shown to help restore liver enzymes and bile acids (which are necessary for digestion and elimination) in intoxicated livers. This herb is a powerful antioxidant and can also help to restore a fatty liver to it healthy state. Ashwagandha may also protect the liver from heavy metal damage.
Dandelion root is one of the most powerful and easily accessible herbs to help heal and clean the liver. It helps to boost liver activity and purge the liver and gallbladder of bile, which also helps to purge toxins from the body. Dandelion root also helps with fat metabolism and helps to heal a fatty liver. It also helps to aid in problems created by a sluggish or overloaded liver, such as acne.
Ginger is an extremely potent, anti-inflammatory herb that is high in antioxidants and helps to heal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the most common chronic liver diseases in the world. It helps the liver metabolize fat and also helps it to flush excess bile. Ginger also restores healthy levels of liver enzymes.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory herb traditionally used in Indian cooking. While it is best known for helping relieve inflammatory pain and protect the brain and nervous system, turmeric also helps to attenuate liver diseases caused by alcohol and over-supplementation of iron. It has also been shown to reverse cirrhosis to some extent. Take turmeric along with black pepper to receive maximum benefit.
Yellow Dock Root
Yellow dock root is one of the longest-used herbs in herbalism to clean the liver. It helps to stimulate liver function and boost the liver’s cleaning of the blood. Yellow dock aids in elimination and helps with skin diseases caused by a toxic liver, such as eczema.
Schizandra berry contains compounds called lignans that help to regenerate the liver tissues. It has also been shown to help heal livers damaged by hepatitis. Schizandra helps the liver to produce enzymes and boost its production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.
Artichoke leaf is a powerful herb for healing fatty liver. It helps reduce liver cholesterol levels and boost fat digestion. It has been shown to increase blood flow through the liver and boost liver enzyme production. It stimulates bile flow and elimination of toxins. In addition, it helps with heartburn, low stomach acid, and improves symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
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