Tag Archives: liver detox

How’s Your Liver Doing? Holiday Recovery Tips

champagne-160867_640

After the festivities and often overindulgence, of the Holidays it’s common for many people  to find themselves suffering the after-effects.  After too much rich food, junk food and alcohol, combined with too little sleep and too much stress it can be hard to recover quickly.  Quite apart from the immediate discomforts of hangovers, other symptoms such as migraines, joint pain, bloating, and fatigue can appear and persist for some time.  Often it’s very difficult for your body to detox if it’s endured an onslaught in December. After too many the indulgences through the Holiday your liver may just need a little TLC.

Instead of treating each individual symptom it’s more efficient to target treatment towards supporting your liver. Taking steps early in the New Year will help reverse the problem so you can get back on track.

The state of your gut partly determines your vitality and overall health. It is directly tied in to your immune system and affects your mood and thinking ability.

Your gut forms part of your immune system and influences your vitality and overall health. It also affects your mood and thinking ability.

 

A Healthy Liver Is The Key to Health

 

The liver’s one of the most important organs in your body with many functions.  As part of the digestive system, it is the detoxification centre of the body.  Everything we ingest must be processed by the liver before it can be used in the body.  This includes not just the food we eat, but also any drugs, alcohol, and chemicals we come in contact with.

Your liver also helps clean metabolic waste out of the body.  It produces bile to digest fats and remove toxic bilrubin from the blood.

The liver plays a role in the immune system, blood clotting, regulating amino acids, storing iron and glucose, producing plasma proteins as well as toxin removal.

Without a liver we cannot survive, although we can manage with just a part of a liver. It certainly is aptly named as the “live-r”.

 

Natural Liver Support And Care

 

Taking time to attend to the needs of your liver over the Holiday period will help you fly through the New Year.  There are various natural ways to counteract the after effects of too much celebrating, too little sleep and too much stress and anxiety.

 

 

How to Recover From Too Much Celebration

 

Homeopathic Remedies For Hangover

On New Years day I always carry some Homeopathic Nux-vomica with me. It’s not for myself, but for anyone I encounter suffering a New Year hangover.

Nux-vomica is toxic in its crude state, but as a Homeopathic preparation it’s an excellent remedy for illness from overindulgence of rich food, alcohol or coffee. In fact it’s often called the “hangover remedy”.  Taken according to Homeopathic prescribing principles will bring a quick recovery.

nux vom

 

There are other Homeopathic remedies that are excellent for both supporting and cleansing the liver, providing speedy and sustained relief, protection and support.

However they should be selected individually according to the symptoms that are individually expressed by each person. If you find you are susceptible to liver stress consult a trained Homeopath to determine the remedy that’s best for you and your problem.

 

Herbs For Liver Support

 

Dandelion

Dandelion root provides a gentle cleanse for the liver.  It’s also great for any gallbladder problems as it increases bile production.  Often used as an appetite stimulant, it improves food metabolism by the liver and helps to remove toxins quickly and efficiently from the body.

Often found in herbal tincture mixes, dandelion root can be taken as capsules (500 to 2000mg daily) or as a ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’ drunk three times a day. Dandelion root even makes a decent latte!

including grasses and flower pollen

 

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum) seeds are a powerful liver cleanser.  Milk thistle was traditionally taken to help protect the liver and is used to relieve the symptoms of over-indulgence of food and drink by fighting oxidation and free radicals.

It’s also useful for rebuilding the liver after it has been damaged because it stimulates liver cell regeneration.  It also stimulates the secretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder.

Take it as a tablet before and after you head out for a night partying. Look for an extract containing about 140mg of silymarin. You can take it daily right through the Holiday period and for a while after as an excellent gentle support for your liver.

You will also find silymarin, the active ingredient of milk thistle, in artichoke leaf extract which is another great liver cleanser.

 

Burdock Root

Burdock root cleanses the liver and aids detoxification. Studies have shown that the powerful antioxidants in burdock help the liver to heal, and protect it from further damage.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is a fabulous herb for reducing inflammation.  The antioxidants in turmeric are known to be of great benefit in easing joint pain but also improve the health of the liver.

Adding the spice to your cooking is the easiest way to take it. You won’t get enough through your diet to reduce pain symptoms you are already experiencing, but it can act as a support to your body and liver.  Take it with black pepper for better absorption.

There are many great quality turmeric formulations now available in tablet or liquid form.

 

Green Tea And Pomegranate

 

Enjoy green tea which supports liver function as it is high in catechins.

Pomegranate, seeds or juice, contains the liver detox compound ellagic acid to help liver detoxification.

 chinese_tea

 

Food For Liver Support

 

Protect your liver from further overload stress. Eat organic, even if only some of your food as it keeps pesticides and chemicals out of your system.

Avoid foods stored in plastic as the toxins in the plastics can leach into your food.

Avoid GMO foods.

Steer clear of non-green personal care products and cleaning products – the toxins are absorbed through your skin.

 

Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell
Photo courtesy: Shawn Campbell

 

It’s vital to get straight back into healthy eating practices right after overindulging. Get rid of sugars, cut back on grains and try to eat lighter meals.

Your digestion works best in the morning so eat more earlier in the day and keep your evening meal small.

Certain foods benefit your liver. Onion and garlic activate the liver enzymes that flush out toxins. Beets and carrots, full of beta-carotene, promote increased liver function and make great additions to freshly squeezed juices.

Apples, avocados, walnuts and lemon juice all help flush toxins, although in different ways.

Water – water – water – and more water. Drink filtered, fluoride-free water to flush out the toxins from the liver.

A glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon or lime squeezed into it first thing in the morning, kickstarts your liver and the digestion process.

 

food for liver support
Lemons and limes are one of natures great gifts and including them in your morning routine has huge health benefits

 

While you’re actually experiencing digestive symptoms caused by overindulgence there are natural remedies that can help.

Activated charcoal absorbs toxins, helping to protect the liver.  Aloe vera is a digestive tonic which also relieves pain.  Both are easy to find in your health food store. Chewing fennel seeds after eating will help your digestion. Or you can take it as fennel seed tea after eating.

There seems to be some truth to the big ‘fry-up’ as a morning after cure. Although freshly squeezed fruit juice would probably be better.  You experience hangover symptoms partly because your blood sugar levels are out of balance.  By substituting fruit juice for coffee you speed up your body’s metabolism of the alcohol. Eating high protein foods like eggs helps the body produce serotonin and endorphins, the chemicals which help you feel good.

 

EFT For Liver Support

 

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping, is an effective method that combines ancient Chinese acupressure techniques with modern psychology. Incredibly simple at its basic level it can be done by anyone, anywhere in a couple of minutes.

Simply tapping with two fingers on the ribs on the right side of the body over the liver stimulates liver processes. Watch this short video for a demonstration. (Note that it’s posted backwards and shows her tapping the wrong side! It must be the RIGHT side)

Massaging your hands and feet daily stimulates a number of acupressure points that help keep your liver strong and healthy. According to EEM practitioner Rose Mattax the most effective point is in the “V” where the big toe meets the second toe on the top of the foot at the base of the metatarsal bridge. Massage this source point of Liver chi several times a day.

 

Natural Liver Support

 

Even when you feel terrible or lethargic after heavily overdoing it, keep moving. The twisting postures of yoga are particularly good and a great way to help digestion.

 

This is how I picture myself meditating...but it is far more likely I will be sitting in my car catching a few brief moments to centre my breathing before plunging back into the chaos of life

 

Elimination For Liver Support

 

Lastly sweating helps get the waste products out of your body once they have been processed by the liver. Exercise or saunas every day promotes the excretion of toxins through the skin and optimizes your detoxification systems. And don’t forget to balance out the fluid loss by drinking lots of water.

What are your natural secrets to overcome holiday overindulgence?

 

Revised January 2018

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

 

 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/039201_live_health_detox_home_remedies.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-herbs-to-cleanse-your-live.html

http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/the-best-herbs-for-liver-cleansing/

http://www.schwabepharma.co.uk/pages/common-ailments/over-indulgence/milk-thistle-as-a-hangover-cure.php

http://weeklycupofqi.com/2013/11/26/digestive-recovery-after-holiday-indulgences/

http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/top-6-natural-remedies-to-keep-your-liver-healthy/

 

 

 

Spring Is Here – Detox Time

Spring Cherry Blossoms

With the arrival of September comes the stirring of Spring down here in Oz. (For my Northern hemisphere followers there are also steps that you need to take to deal with the change from the warmth of Summer into the cool of Autumn and I will post some pointers for you next time).  Doors and windows are thrown open at the first hint of a warm day letting light and air pour through rooms that have been closed up throughout the dark depths of winter. Second-Hand Shops are flooded with donations as cupboards are cleaned out and goods are discarded. Intentions are set and with the new mindset changes begin to happen. Dogs get walked more frequently, meals start to include more fresh, raw produce, gym programs are set and personal trainers are hired, and many people undertake a detox program to rid themselves of the winter “blahs” and get their energy surging and their bodies trim for the seasons ahead.

Your body’s natural detox system is awesome when it is functioning at full power. But when something breaks down, the toxins are simply not eradicated and build up inside you, stressing every system in your body and leading to lots of health problems that can include bad skin, allergies or arthritis.

At work this week I have begun the Spring Detox Programs and now is the time to consider starting these in your life also. Toxic overloads build up over time and obviously cannot be dealt with by simply eating fruit over a weekend. Also,  doing only a juice fast or detox diet may cause more harm than good, as your metabolic processes will slow down dramatically, and this includes waste removal. The toxins within your body are stored in the fat cells. Increasing  exercise without making any other significant changes can release these toxins into your system as the fat breaks down, but not necessarily adequately flush them out of your body.

To detox properly you need to put a number of things into place and commit to making long-term changes rather than just a 2-day or even week long quick-fix.

There are many ways that you can go about this.

First be honest about what you need to change. Do you smoke? Drink lots of coffee, or soft drinks, which also often contain caffeine, or worse, aspartame? Are you binge drinking, or drinking alcohol on most nights? Are you addicted to sugar or foods high in saturated fats? Are you too sedentary? Are you stressed? Even though you don’t take stress “into your body” it is still very toxic to all your body systems, particularly if it is ongoing.

So to create an effective detox you need to work with the natural body detoxifying processes. At the same time limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to so that you reduce the stress on your detox system, while also strengthening it at the same time.

 

Fresh, raw, organic vegetables
Fresh, raw, organic vegetables

The first line of defence against toxin overload is in limiting what you put into your mouth. This usually means giving up coffee, sugar, bread, milk alcohol and red meat, but if doing this stops you being able to detox in other ways then it won’t be all that good (although I always maintain even small steps are useful to a certain degree and sometimes the best way to get started). In spite of this, to effectively detox you do need to reduce the toxin intake from food. Eating only organic food is the best option but if it is not possible, at least try to always eat some selected organic foods. You also need to add foods to your diet that will stimulate the liver, bowel and kidneys so they work better, as well as foods that neutralize free radicals like berries, kidney beans, avocadoes, cherries, spinach, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green tea, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and kiwi fruits to name just a few .

Here are 5 Great Springtime Detox Diets you might like to try. There are lots of  “Top 10 Detox Food” lists around. This list suggests general food groups and this one specific food items, and both are great places to get ideas for changes you can make. But remember they are just a start and you should aim to expand on these lists.

Juicing is a another great way to get optimal health and well worth including in your nutrition plan. How often are you getting the 7-8 serves of fruit and vegetables you need every day, and do you know how big a serve actually is? Juicing offers a way to help you meet those requirements. You can add veges that you don’t normally eat and get a wider range of nutrients and also this means you are able to rotate your foods more. Here is a nice comparison of the different types of juicers available. Check it out before you get one. And then check out these good recipes to get you started. Celery, fennel and cucumbers are good veges to start with as they are easy to digest.  You can add lemon or lime, cranberries or blueberries, or fresh ginger to boost your health and get a great flavour burst. As you get the hang of it you can add superfoods to your juice like Spirulina (my own fave “multi-vitamin” superfood), chlorella, barley grass and maca powder. Use organic veges and fruit, especially if they are one of the ones included on the “Dirty Dozen©” list . Also, drink the juice straight away as it is very perishable. If you need to you can store it for a day in the fridge, in a container filled right to the top so there is no air to allow oxidation to occur. The only drawback about using lots of juices in your diet is that you lose the fibre that is in the fruit and vegetables when you juice them, and so you will need to be very conscious of maintaing a high level of foods with a high natural fibre level in the other foods in your diet.

While exercise is essential to a good detox, gyms are not always helpful or healthy. Their environment is one that for many people simply builds their stress levels and negates any health benefit they would otherwise gain. Running or walking in the open air, or swimming gives you the benefit of aerobic exercise away from the stressful environment.

Eastern exercise like yoga, t’ai chi and qi gong are wonderful ways to exercise as they offer you so much. You will gain all the benefits of other aerobic exercises as well as much, much more. Yoga for example, teaches you to breathe properly, it stretches your muscles which in turn releases toxins, it balances your inner body energy, or chi, it helps to reduce your stress and it stimulates your lymphatic system. It is also very calming for most people and leaves them feeling at peace as well as envigorated. There are many types of yoga and you are sure to find one that suits you.

Detoxing is not just about what goes on inside your body. It is also important to attend to your external body. You are going to like this! Massage, body-brushing and heat treatments are some great ways to stimulate detoxing from the outside.

About half a kilo of toxins leave your body each day, carried out through your skin in your sweat, but this can only happen if your pores are clean. Also, if you are you are using an anti-perspirant then you need to be aware that it will be blocking some of the major drainage pores of your body. The pores can also be blocked by a build-up of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin. Normally they are shed, but this doesn’t occur as well as you age. So, removing these cells is important to detox and body-brushing is a good way to do this. Here is how to do it. Body salt scrubs on dry skin will also help. I make a delicious one from Himalayan Salt and essential and vegetable oils.

Sauna and steam treatments are another way to remove toxins. By the way, when smokers leave a sauna they often leave a yellow tar residue which has oozed out of all their pores on the towels and a fine layer of black tar under the benches. Is that an incentive to stop smoking? I hope so.

Massage detoxes the body in two ways. Firstly, by reducing stress which if prolonged depresses your immunity and therefore your resistance to infections. Reducing stress  can also help reduce cravings. Secondly, it stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which feeds more nutrients into the cells and removes more waste from the cells. There are a few different types of massage, and while all will be beneficial manual lymph drainage is the most beneficial for detoxing.

 

So, armed with these few tips to get you off and running, start formulating your Spring Detox plan today so you can get it underway quickly and head out on the path towards a lighter brighter spring you.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.