- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Liver Detox and Cleanse - Natural Options
A liver cleanse is not something to take on lightly or without research. It should be done in stages. Most naturopaths recommend that before the liver is cleansed a person should do a colon cleanse first and then a kidney cleanse. Why is this?
When you go through a liver cleanse the various toxins that have been stored in the liver are dumped in to the body. The colon and the kidneys must then eliminate these toxins rapidly, or as rapidly as possible. If these organs are not at peak function they will not be able to rid the body of toxins quickly and effectively and that could lead to more problems.
Once you have done that then it is time to go on to the liver cleanse.
The Function of the Liver
With in the human body is an organ that is incredible in the amount of work it does daily.The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and the heaviest weighing in at over 3 lbs. It is a smooth, cone shaped organ that is protected by the rib cage on the upper right of the abdomen. It carries out over five hundred different processes every day involved with filtering and regulating the various chemicals in the body. Some of it's many duties are:
- Aids in digestion
- distributes nutrients in the food you eat
- removes toxins from the blood
- stores glucose
- filters chemicals
- helps to get rid of old blood cells
- maintains the blood sugar level
- and many more things
Most amazing of all is that it regenerates itself! Your liver can continue to keep functioning even after losing up to ninety percent (90%) of it's cells.
Because it does so much when it is not functioning properly the whole body can run amok. With as many environmental pollutants as humans are exposed to in modern society the liver is often worked beyond it's ability to cope and over time it ceases to do it's job effectively. As the liver functions less effectively the body begins to have illnesses and begins to break down. Some of the health problems associated with a toxic liver are:
- acid reflux
- high cholesterol
- Skin disorders
- Dark circles under the eyes
Luckily the liver is resilient and these illnesses and trends toward illnesses can be reversed.
Dr Sandra Cabot : Liver Health Part 1
Dr Sandra Cabot: The Liver Part 2
Liver Detox: Method 1- Fasting
For three days before you start the cleanse fast, drinking nothing but apple juice and pure water. If you must eat then use only raw vegetables and fruits, no sugars proteins or fats and definitely no processed foods. You must drink one quart, at least, of unfiltered, pure apple juice a day.
When you begin the cleanse mix:
1/4 c fresh squeezed organic lemon juice mixed with 1/2 c fresh squeezed organic grapefruit juice
4 Tbs Epsom Salts
3/4 c organic, cold pressed, virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp vitamin C
Plan this for a time when you can be home for a couple of days.
Eat fresh fruit for breakfast, organic and raw. At lunch eat a salad or some fruit or a cereal but no milk or dairy products and no fats. Do not eat or drink after 2 p.m.
At 6 p.m. Mix the epsom salts with 3 cups of water. Drink 3/4 cup of the mixture.
At 8 p.m.Drink another 3/4 c of the mixture
Everything from now on must be exact timing wise. Pay attention.
9:45 Shake 3/4 c of olive oil mixed with 3/4 c of the lemon juice mixture set it by your bed.
Go to the bathroom.
10:00 Drink the mixture standing up. This is important. Now, lie down on your right side for at least an hour. You may then turn to your back and sleep for the night.
Drink 3/4 c of the epsom salt mixture after six a.m. and then the last 3/4 c two hours later.
You an expect loose stools and the release of gall stones with this method. Drink plenty of filtered water and break your fast (after the last epsom salts drink) with juice, followed by fruit, then raw vegetables.
Liver De-Tox Method 2: Diet
Five Day Liver Detox
This is a diet that you follow for five days, eating only certain foods and combinations of foods. There are several listed in the resources section. The foods and schedules vary so it is important to read them carefully and find which seems best suited to your lifestyle.
For example, one particular cleanse is raw vegetable smoothies for meals and lots of purified water.
Herbs For Liver Detox
There are many herbs that are recommended for detoxifying the liver.Most of these herbs can be found at any health food center or online.
- Turmeric- increases bile production and helps with the treatment of gall stones Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant.
- Milk Thistle- is a strong anti-toxin
- Yellow Dock-helps to dissolve fat in the liver and is an excellent anti-toxin
- Dandelion- immune system booster and anti-toxin
- Licorice Root- Helps neutralize the effects of powerful chemical toxins
These herbs can be used in various combinations to help detoxify the liver and keep it functioning properly.
Ongoing Diet For Liver Detox
To keep the toxicity of the liver at a manageable level it is important to be aware of what you put into your body. Organic foods are an important part of a clean diet because they contain no harmful chemicals or growth hormones.
Lean protein from organic (and hormone free) poultry, beef and fish is a good place to start. At least 4 ounces a day will take care of your protein needs.
Excessive levels of carbohydrates can actually interfere with the liver's natural detoxification processes and only organic, whole grains should be eaten. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage are good for the liver and the body in general.
Of course, white flour, sugar, artificial sweeteners, additives and preservatives should all be guarded against.
Water should be purified and taken in large amounts to keep the body cleansed and hydrated.
ionSpa Detox Therapy
This is a unique, and somewhat new therapy. An ionSpa delivers an electrical current through the water and generates negatively charged hydrogen ions. To be negatively charged means that the hydrogen has an extra electron, and this renders it one of the most powerful antioxidants currently known.
The ions travel throughout the body, attaching themselves to toxic substances and neutralize the substances' charge. Then the particles are pulled from the skin or processed through the organs to cleanse the body. The water in the tub starts out clear but the toxins are soon drawn out via osmosis.
This process also raises the user's ph to a more alkaline state which is healthier for the human body.
Ion Detox Foot Bath
Reflexology and Other Ways to a Healthy Liver
1. Reflexology is a holistic approach to healing that uses pressure points in the feet and hands. By manipulating certain points on your hands and feet it is believed that the body can be relaxed, healed, and stimulated, reducing stress to other organs and limbs.
2. It is important to remember that stress is toxic to the body. reducing stress by prayer or meditation is helpful in keeping the liver as well as other organs in a healthy state.
3. Hydrotherapy is also a great way to detox. You can do the whole steam sauna thing and sweat it out, or you can do it easily at home by allowing a hot shower to run down your body followed by a cold shower, then be sure to rest.
4. Vitamin C and vitamin B are important to maintaining a healthy liver.
5. Raw, organic fruits and vegetables contain huge amounts of antioxidants. Make them a large part of your diet.
6. Ditch the drugs. Where ever you can deal with your medical problems so that you can get off medications and things like tylenol and advil! Chemicals and toxins!
7.2 quarts of pure water a day should be going through your body.
8.Cut your alcohol consumption. Booze is hard on the liver.
9. Research and read to keep up wit the latest information.
What To Expect
Many people think that because they are getting healthy they should immediately feel wonderful. This is not so.During a liver cleanse many toxins are being released in large amounts into your bloodstream. Your kidneys will filter it out but it can take time. Especially if you have followed an unhealthy, non-organic diets and been subjected to many hormones and harmful chemicals your body may feel sick.
For the first few days you could experience any or all of the following symptoms:
- Allergy / flu-like symptoms
- Arthritis like joint pain
- Yeast infection
- Swollen lymph nodes
These symptoms are normal and will pass in a few days as the body gets rid of the toxins. It is important during this time that you follow the cleansing plan and drink large amounts of pure water to help the body rid itself of the toxins. It is also important not to subject yourself to other toxins or ill people because your body will be working hard and your immune system may be compromised.
When Should You Not Detox?
There are certain conditions which make it unwise to follow a detoxification program. You should always do your research and check carefully with your health care provider before attempting a detox program.
Some of the reasons that detoxing can be dangerous are:
- Breast feeding
- Children or Teens should not detox because they are growing
- Getting over an illness
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Problems
- Chronic illness
You can also use prepared supplements to help with detoxing the liver. Several companies make herbal combinations that work to detoxify and subsequently strengthen the liver and surrounding organs. Usually it is best to take these supplements in conjunction with a dietary change, or after a more in depth liver cleanse, but read instructions carefully and always check with your health care provider.
Use a brand, like NOW, or Solaray that has been around for a long time. You may pay a little more but in the long run a company that has been serving the public for many years and has a good reputation is what you want.
A Life Style of Health
By doing a liver detox and then following a healthy eating plan for life which includes organic and hormone free foods, and by taking supplements that have been formulated to strengthen your organs, you can maintain an energetic and healthy life-style well in to your retirement years.
Modern man has come a long way from farming and his previous active lifestyle. The foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the activity that we indulge in are all far removed from our ancestors. Because of that we need to spend more time educating ourselves and helping our bodies be the best they can be.
Be sure to check with your health care provider before going on any detox program!