Liver: General Understanding and Maintenance

 This is our most complex organ and handles almost everything that enters the body. It has thousands of functions, including the removal of toxins from the bloodstream. Harmful substances are neutralized and passed from the liver to the intestines in bile. The liver also produces a supply of long-term energy for the body, by converting the energy from food into the metabolic nutrients that are needed for cells to function efficiently.

Optimum health depends on the efficient functioning of the liver. If the liver becomes overloaded with toxins, they are stored there and in fat cells throughout the body.

Signs that may indicate an unhappy liver range from headaches, cellulite, irritable bowel syndrome, poor digestion, bloating, depression and mood changes to the more serious problems of diabetes, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

As the liver is connected with many other functions of the body, any dysfunction or disease will affect the liver and reflect in its activity. Similarly, a state of minor liver dysfunction may manifest itself as a symptom elsewhere in the body far from the actual liver itself. Skin disorders are a good example of this. The liver can be helped by the use of hepatics.

Hepatics are herbal remedies which in a wide range of ways aid the work of the liver. They tone, strengthen and in some cases increase the flow of bile. In a broad holistic approach to health they are of great importance because of the fundamental role of the liver in the working of the body.

Nature is rich in hepatics. It only makes sense that nature provides so many when their vital health-enhancing properties are taken into account. Two main hepatic herbs are: Dandelion and Milk Thistle.

The body benefits from regular service – just as a car does- to ensure it runs efficiently and has sufficient energy to fight toxins. If you think of your liver as a filter or converter in a car then you can see why the liver needs to be cleansed.

There are a number of simple common steps that help improve the overall functioning of your liver.

Drink plenty of water – at the very least eight glasses a day.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, in particular apples, garlic, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, asparagus, ginger, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa, and bitter leaves, such as dandelion, as well as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Avoid processed, fried, salty and sugary foods, as well as foods you may be allergic to.

Try to eat mainly organic foods.

Cut down on alcohol and caffeine.

Exercise regularly.

Take liver-boosting supplements. They can help to neutralize free radicals that damage cells. Try an antioxidant supplement containing betacarotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium.

Drink Herbal Tea: Very cleansing and supportive!

Dandelion: Eat the leaf in salads but make the root into a tea. Put 2-3 teaspoons of the root into one cup of water. Bring to a boil and turn it down to a gentle simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Milk Thistle: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoon bruised seeds (bruise the seeds with mortar and pestle or the like) and let it infuse for 10-15 minutes.

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