If you are like most people, your liver could use a good cleanse!
Are you overweight, with a diet high in saturated fats?
Do you eat lots of processed foods or drink alcohol?
These common behaviors are all cause for a cleanse. But they’re not the only signs that you may need to take better care of your liver. According to Nourish Holistic Nutrition, along with the heart, the liver is one of the “hardest working” organs in your body — and here are 10 reasons your liver might need a cleanse:
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain or discomfort around your liver
- A pot belly or excessive abdominal fat
- Trouble digesting fatty foods
- Your gallbladder was removed
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Dark spots on your skin
- Overheating or excessive perspiration
- Itchy, blotchy skin
- Unexplained weight gain
Located on the upper right side of your abdomen (below the diaphragm and right of the stomach), your liver plays a key role in detoxification and digestion.
According to Wikipedia, duties of the liver include:
- Protein synthesis
- Production of biochemicals
- Glycogen storage
- Decomposition of red blood cells
- Hormone production
With so much at stake should your liver become damaged, why not cleanse your liver regularly to help keep the vital organ functioning at normal levels? These benefits show why you need a liver cleanse right now. A cleanse will:
- Provide nutritional support to the liver and gallbladder
- Promote cleansing and detoxification mediated by the liver
- Support digestive function
- Support the hepatic system
Cleansing your liver can be as simple as taking three tablets a day, one with each meal. But before we discuss the powerful ingredients in those tablets, let’s examine the liver in closer detail.
The liver is reddish in color and shaped like a wedge. It weighs more than three pounds and is the heaviest organ in the human body. The liver is a complex organ that supports almost every other part of the body, but the gross anatomy of the organ consists of about three important parts:
The liver is made up of four lobes. The left and right lobes of the liver are divided by the falciform ligament. The right lobe is much larger than the left and two more lobes are located between the left and right lobes, one in front of the other.
The liver consists of two key surfaces: the diaphragmatic surface and the visceral surfaces. The diaphragmatic surface covers the left and right lobes and helps the liver fit next to the diaphragm. A membrane on the diaphragmatic surface limits friction between the liver and other organs.
The visceral surface (or inferior surface) is an uneven surface near where the gallbladder is attached.
Several organs and structures adjacent to the liver rely on different impressions on the surface of the liver.
Now that you are familiar with the gross anatomy of your liver, it’s time to take a look at some natural ingredients that keep the liver clean and functioning properly. There are several ways to conduct a liver cleanse. No matter how you do it, remember that the most important thing is limiting your exposure to the dangerous toxins in your food and the environment.
Types of Liver Cleanses
There are liquid cleanses and liver cleanses that use tablets. Let’s examine the ingredients in the Liver Cleanse Formula from Nature’s Sunshine Products to see just what makes these powerful tablets tick!
Red Beet Root
Red beet root will help you feel nourished when you are fasting or feeling weak. Traditionally used to support the liver, the benefits of consuming red beet root include:
- Providing vital nutrients
- Supporting the glandular system
Red beet root helps replenish nutrients the body needs during periods of weakness.
Not only does dandelion support the liver, it also helps the kidneys, stomach and blood. It also supports glands responsible for maintaining already balanced blood sugar levels.
The benefits of dandelion root include:
- Supporting digestion and nourishing the liver
- Providing urinary system support
Some herbalists say the dandelion is the most nutritious plant on Earth.
Parsley is more than just a pretty green garnish. Parsley helps strengthen and tone urinary tissues. It can promote urine flow but not electrolyte loss.
The health benefits of parsley include:
- Supporting the kidneys
- Nourishing and supporting the urinary system
The horsetail plant is known for containing more silica than any other known herb. And silica is key in the building and normal repair of healthy connective tissue. Horsetail also contains large amounts of beneficial flavonoids, quercetin, sterols and saponins.
The health benefits of horsetail include:
- Supporting the structural system, including the skin and connective tissue
- Providing nutritional support for the urinary and respiratory tracts
- Strengthening hair and nails
With active principles that include anthraquinones, yellow dock is known for its mild colon-stimulating activity.
The health benefits of yellow dock include:
- Supporting liver function
- Supporting the urinary and intestinal systems
- Promoting proper elimination and colon health
This root is known primarily for supporting the female reproductive system.
The health benefits of black cohosh include:
- Supporting the female glandular system
- Supporting reproductive health
- Promoting balanced hormone levels
- Calming premenstrual and menstrual symptoms
- Easing common symptoms of menopause
Flavonoids in birch leaves exert antioxidant effects, which support the liver.
The health benefits of birch leaves include:
- Supporting the urinary tract
- Supporting the treatment of arthritis and achy joints
Blessed thistle supports digestion by stimulating secretion of gastric juices and saliva, and stimulating the flow of bile.
The health benefits of blessed thistle include:
- Supporting the female reproductive system
- Helping improve digestion while supporting liver function
- Supporting the glandular system
Researchers believe that angelic root protects liver cells from oxidative damage.
Other health benefits of angelic root include:
- Supporting healthy digestion
If your nerves are frazzled or you have trouble sleeping, chamomile may be for you. The nighttime herb has flavonoids, coumarin and volatile oil.
Health benefits of chamomile include:
- Providing nervous system support
- Promoting restful sleep
Gentian plants are known primarily for their antioxidant properties.
According to The Baseline of Health Foundation, gentian plants have been used for:
- Treating wounds
- Treating anorexia
- Treating flatulence
- Treating heartburn
- Treating nausea
- Treating an irritated gallbladder
- Treating an irritated liver
- Supporting the cardiovascular system
- Supporting a healthy metabolism
For years, people have used the goldenrod plant to support their livers.
According to The Baseline of Health Foundation, goldenrod has been used for:
- Dental infections
- Fungal infections
- Type 2 diabetes
- Skin infections
- Enlargement of the liver
- Internal bleeding
When cleansing with Nature’s Sunshine you take one tablet of the Liver Cleanse Formula three times a day. But that’s not the only way to conduct a cleanse.
Let’s look step-by-step at some other ways people have cleansed their livers. Thanks to wikiHow for publishing these fantastic methods!
Grapefruit and Epsom salt
What you need:
- Epsom salts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- One large grapefruit
1. Prepare for the cleanse
Drink lots of apple juice and eat as many apples as possible in the days before your liver cleanse. On the day before the cleanse, drink eight ounces of apple juice every two or three hours.
Eat a light, fat-free breakfast on the morning of the liver cleanse.
2. Consume salt mixture
At 2 p.m. on the day of the cleanse, mix four tablespoons of epsom salts with three cups of water. Refrigerate the mixture until about 6 p.m. Do not eat anything after 2 p.m.
Drink three-quarters cup of the salt mixture at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., drink another three-quarters cup.
3. Consume grapefruit mixture
Juice the grapefruit at about 9:45 p.m., and pour a half to three-quarters cup of juice into a jar. Add a half cup of virgin olive oil and shake vigorously.
After drinking the mixture, lie down immediately on your right side, with your right knee tucked toward your chest.
Finish the liver cleanse the next day by drinking three-quarters cup of the salt mixture right when you wake up, and the final portion of the salt mixture two hours later. Start drinking fruit juice about two hours later, and have some healthy solid food about two hours after that.
What you need:
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Ground ginger
- Two to three oranges
- Two to three lemons
- Several packets of stevia
1. Watch what you eat
To avoid feeling sluggish on the day of the cleanse, be careful what you eat in the seven days prior. Eat lots of vegetables, citrus fruits, foods that are high in sulfur and foods that are good for the liver like asparagus, beets and celery.
2. Prepare cranberry mix
Prepare the cranberry mix on the morning of your cleanse by diluting the cranberry juice to a quarter of its original strength using filtered water. Put 72 ounces of the cranberry water in a saucepan and bring it to a low boil over medium heat.
Add a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the boiling cranberry water. Let the cranberry water simmer for about 20 minutes before taking it off the heat to let it cool. When the mixture is cool, add juice from the squeezed oranges and lemons and use stevia to sweeten the mix if necessary.
3. Drink cranberry mix
Consume the cranberry water throughout the day of your cleanse, one eight-ounce glass at a time.
On the day of your cleanse, drink 72 ounces each of the cranberry mix and filtered water.
4. Recover from the cleanse
For three days after the cleanse, maintain the same diet you adhered to in the run-up to the detox. Also, consume healthy bacteria like raw sauerkraut or plain yogurt.
Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse
What you need:
- Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1. Consume apple cider vinegar every day
One of the best ways to consume the vinegar is to drink two or three tablespoons with an eight-ounce glass of water before each meal.
2. Add more apple cider vinegar to your diet
It’s easy to make tea and salad dressing rich in apple cider vinegar, according to wikiHow.
Tea: Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with hot water and add honey to sweeten
Salad dressing: Mix apple cider vinegar with flaxseed oil and honey
Caring for your liver doesn’t always mean dedicating a day to a full-blown liver cleanse (even though regular cleansing is very healthy).
You can take care of your liver every day just by eating the right foods (and knowing what to avoid). According to the Global Healing Center, here are some foods that support a healthy liver:
- Leafy, green vegetables
- Olive oil
- Green tea
Have you ever had a liver cleanse?
How do you keep your liver going strong?