Detox and Fly, Preparing for The Year Ahead – Part 4
This week’s article (the last on detoxification) looks at specific tools you can use to support the liver. The musician James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business, your liver is the hardest working organ in the body. The liver majors in detoxification but it also stores energy, makes some immune substances, helps maintain electrolyte balance, filters the blood, helps with the breakdown of fats and many other functions. As a testament to how hard it works it also generates the most heat of all the organs in the body.
The liver is one of the organs in the body that can sustain damage and regenerate itself if given the opportunity. Regeneration* can be assisted through diet and herbs, in this way they have an amphoteric effects on the liver – they specifically nourish the liver back to health. As a busy person I much prefer to use diet and herbs as I don’t always have the time or inclination to subject myself to a full liver and gall bladder cleanse,* I think you may find them useful too. My top 3 I use and recommend are
Lycium (Goji berries)
Licorice (Deglycyrrhizinated for those with blood pressure challenges)
There are others but I chose these 3 to start with as they are easy to get hold of and use. Goji berries travel well and half a handful a day is more than enough to benefit you. Schisandra berry tincture is also easy to use or if you get a good source you can boil your own berries into a tea and add some licorice. Licorice twigs or tea bags are a better choice over the confectionery. TOP TIP: Add all three items together to make a great tasting tea you can start the day with. One of the great things about this formula is that you can drink it as a tonic beverage and keep on getting adaptogenic* benefits from it.
Bitter herbs are very good for the liver on account of the fact that they tonify it. Some of the best are
I found it best to be at home when using Bitters as you never know how your body may react. The best way I know of taking them so far is through bitter tonics and digestives. Swedish bitter and aromatic bitters are good examples. TOP TIP : If you are not yet ready for some of these herbs the bitter principle in any plant food will provide some benefit. Aloe ferox a wild relation of aloe vera is a good example that may serve as a half way medium.
A more comprehensive list of liver protecting substances including some from the previous article is included for your benefit. Note they all offer antioxidant properties so they are grouped by other types
VITAMINS Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A
FLAVONOIDS Catechin, Quercetin, Rutin, Kaempferol, Luteolin
MINERALS Zinc, Selenium
AMINO ACIDS Methionine, Glutathione, Cysteine
On a final note I would always suggest caution when using herbs or supplements you are unfamiliar with. Do find out as much as you can before taking them especially if you are on any medication.If you intend to use them while travelling remember that altitude can increase or decrease your biochemical response to drugs supplements and substances ingested. Be safe and consult your primary or qualified healthcare practitioner if it gives you peace of mind. On that note if you need to find any of the items mentioned in this series of articles or would like the help of a qualified nutritional therapist do not hesitate to contact me for an informal chat.