”Many of us are in poor health and don’t even realize it. We often accept low energy, unwanted body fat, constipation, a weakened immune system, and an unhealthy physical appearance as “part of life”, claims Sue Ward, MS, CCN, nutritionist and health educator at Sanoviv Medical Institute.
“Detoxification is the process by which our bodies filter and remove harmful substances (toxins).
We must process internal toxins or those created by normal daily metabolism (digestion, energy production, hormone synthesis) and external toxins, such as those we take in from the world around us including heavy metals like lead or arsenic,”- she adds.
This process is vital for our optimal health, but even though we are constantly surrounded by juices, diet plans, teas, and other recipes to cleanse our body these days, we should not forget that our body has its own detox system, that eliminates all harmful compounds ingested or inhaled.
Namely, the main role of our liver is to transform all these toxins into less harmful, water-soluble substances and eliminate them from the body.
The liver cells generate free radicals in the first phase and make them water-soluble, in order to be excreted through the bile and urine. Here is why we need to consume an antioxidant-rich diet.
Moreover, these are the best herbs you can consume to support the healthy function of the liver:
The sulfur compounds in garlic stimulate the detoxifying liver enzymes, while the flavonoids prevent free radical damage.
Garlic effectively reduces alcohol-related liver damage as well. Crush a few garlic cloves and consume them raw or add them to your meals daily.
Studies have shown that a ginger extract has powerful antioxidant properties that lower the toxic build-up and prevent liver damage due to the use of certain medications.
Just add it to your recipes or drink a cup of ginger tea daily, and you will enjoy its health benefits.
3. Milk Thistle
It has been traditionally used as a natural remedy in the treatment of liver and gallbladder disease.
It is rich in a bioflavonoid (antioxidants) called silymarin, which prevents toxins from attaching to the liver cells, neutralizes free radicals, and regenerates the liver by stimulating the protein synthesis. You should take a cup of milk thistle tea daily.
It is commonly used in the Iranian traditional medicine to naturally treat chronic liver diseases.
This herb has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties that protect against fatty liver, alcoholic liver injury, and alcoholic hepatitis.
Take about 30 mg/mL or 500 mg of this herb in the form of capsules or powder daily.
The root and leaf of dandelion have been found to fight liver fibrosis or liver scarring, cirrhosis or liver failure. Use the dandelion roots and leaves in tinctures and teas.
Turmeric has powerful liver-friendly properties, and curcumin prevents the accumulation of fat in this organ and elevates the number of natural antioxidants involved in the detoxification process in the liver.
Make sure you add 1.5–3 g powdered turmeric root to your diet daily, but remember to combine it with black pepper.
A compound in this herb, berberine, prevents fatty liver disease by lowering the density of serum cholesterol and triglycerides in the liver and boosting the production of a receptor in the liver that bonds with cholesterol and fat and helps their elimination.
Consume barberries daily, or prepare tea by adding dried barberry powder to a cup of warm water.
8. Indian Gooseberry
The Indian gooseberry, or amla, is a powerful natural remedy in the treatment of enlarged liver. Its high vitamin C content prevents oxidative damage caused by alcohol exposure and liver problems like jaundice, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Add 1-3 g of gooseberry powder to your smoothies and take it in the morning.
9. Burdock Root
This beneficial plant treats liver damage, cleanses the liver, and reduces the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Add about 56g of the dried burdock root powder to 4 cups of water and sip the drink throughout the day.
This plant is popular in the Ayurveda, as it has strong liver-protective properties. It is especially effective after the exposure to toxins via alcohol, cigarette smoke, or certain medications, and prevents fatty liver and liver cirrhosis.
Mix the powder of this plant with honey and consume it three times daily.
Cumin prevents the development of liver cancer, and its strong antioxidant qualities improve the liver’s detoxification enzymes and fight free radical damage. Add it to curries, refreshing summer drinks, and stir-frys.
This herb has powerful medicinal properties that are beneficial in the case of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Add it to your tea, smoothies, desserts, and curries, and enjoy the remarkable flavor and countless health benefits.
This herb is also popular in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine, and effectively prevents liver damage.
Moreover, it treats mild liver cirrhosis and prevents non-alcoholic fatty liver disease since it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. You should take 10- 80 mg of the herb’s dried powder per kg of your bodyweight.
It boosts the function of the liver and cleanses the blood. It actually improves the capacity of liver and prevents a fatty liver.
Use its young leaves in salads or boil them and add them to various dishes. You can also take 6g of the dried herb per kg of your body weight.
Plants that belong to the Phyllanthus species, like Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus niuri, protect the liver and treat oxidative stress damage due to alcohol and exposure to rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Try to find a supplement blend of Phyllanthus amarus and niuri, and consume it regularly.
This plant has strong hepatoprotective qualities, regenerates the damaged liver tissues and prevents scarring of the liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, fight jaundice and hepatitis.
The recommended dosage is 400 mg per kg of body weight, added to 10–20 ml of aloe Vera or wheatgrass juice.
Furthermore, despite taking some of these beneficial herbs on a daily basis, you need to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle and make the needed dietary changes.
Here are some of the most important tips according to Ward that will help you support the natural detoxifying processes in the body and cleanse the body of the harmful toxins, in order to enhance overall health:
’ ’- Strive to eat a whole food diet. This means eating foods that are close to their natural state and avoiding highly processed food products that include additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Eating at least one whole food meal daily is a great start.
- Reduce personal exposure to toxins in your home environment and replace with non-toxic alternatives when possible. Household cleaners, insecticides, and mold are some examples potentially harmful household chemicals. Look to reduce your biggest sources of exposure.
- Increase your intake of foods that may help support liver health such as artichoke, avocado, dandelion greens, garlic, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lemons and limes, apples and mushrooms (shitake, reishi, maitake).
- Increase fiber in your diet by adding plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Drink plenty of water daily from a glass or stainless steel water bottle (avoid plastic).
- Nutritional supplementation may help support some of the liver’s functions.”