Your liver is one of your best friends. It makes many of the things our bodies need and converts the things that we don’t into safe byproducts. But with new, modern, processed foods and supplements, we put our livers through a lot. As toxins build up in our livers, serious health complications can arise, and our quality of life can get shot. To protect you from this, let’s learn about your liver, what it does, why it’s in danger and how you can detox your good friend with a liver flush.
Your Digestive System’s Biggest Helper: The Liver
The liver does all sorts of things for your digestive health and therefore your overall health. It breaks down toxic metabolites into digestible molecules, creates bile which aids in the breakdown of fats, regulates glycogen storage, breaks down red blood cells, produces vital hormones and more. We wouldn’t get very far without it.
Beneath the liver lies the gallbladder. This is where your bile is stored. The gallbladder concentrates the bile before releasing it into the small intestine where it goes on to break down fats into usable components.
Together, these two organs do a lot of heavy lifting in regards to balancing your body’s systems. Many of the bad things you consume, like alcohol and other toxins, get filtered out in the liver but remain there for a time or permanently. If your liver gets clogged with toxins and can’t do its jobs, your body cannot function properly and you are at risk of life-threatening liver diseases.
The Dangers of Chemical Buildup in the Liver
A lot of things can cause damage or toxin buildup in your liver. Here are a few of the most common:
- Excess Medication: Drugs like acetaminophen and other medications travel to your liver to be processed. Overdosing on these medicines, even seemingly harmless ones like Tylenol can scar your liver.
- Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol is more or less a fun poison that you voluntarily ingest. It’s up to your liver to stop the alcohol from flooding your system and killing you, and working overtime every day or every week will take a toll.
- Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: There are dozens of toxic substances out there that can accumulate in your liver and cause damage. Artificial ones are found in pesticides, paint and aerosols. Natural ones like those in poisonous mushrooms or heavy metals occur in nature and find their way into our food.
- Excess Fats: Obesity can cause fat buildup in your liver that can be just as dangerous as toxins. When ducts get clogged with fats, your liver can’t deliver the hormones, bile and other key substances to where they need to go.
Liver Diseases and Disorders
If you are exposed to one or more of these risk factors, you may end up with one or more of these liver complications later down the line.
- Cancer: Toxins in your liver damage your cells and DNA, which can lead to cancerous growths. Your gallbladder bile ducts are also susceptible to cancer.
- Cirrhosis: Scarring of the liver can occur due to many reasons, and not just from alcohol abuse. As your liver takes damage and ceases to function, you could be in for a lengthy laundry list of possible unpleasant symptoms.
- Fatty Liver Disease: Fat accumulating in the liver has a similar effect as Cirrhosis and indeed can lead to it eventually.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take just one toxin or fat building up in your liver to do this damage. Many smaller amounts of different harmful substances can work in tandem to affect your liver and gallbladder health.
How to Tell If You Are Suffering From Chemical Buildup in the Liver
Since your liver regulates so many different systems and performs many functions, symptoms of a less than optimal liver are many and varied. Some of the most common are:
- Chronic fatigue and exhaustion
- Loss of appetite and reduction of metabolism
- Loss of libido (sex drive)
- Yellowish skin or whites of the eyes (aka jaundice)
- Chronic Nausea
- Testicular atrophy and breast enlargement in men
- Skin that bleeds or bruises easily
- Spider Web-like veins on the skin
- Itchy skin
Unfortunately, symptoms often don’t become severe until it is too late. So if you experience any of them, even slightly, it may be time to take action to prevent permanent damage.
Detoxing Your Liver and Gallbladder
To clear out harmful substances in your liver and gall bladder, you may want to try a liver and gallbladder flush. However, there has been a lot of talk over recent years about “juice cleanses” and “full flushes” of the liver to remove gallstones. By and large, these methods have been demonstrated to be ineffective, and there is no solid evidence that they do anything positive for you. The “gallstones” these cleanses claimed to expel were actually creations of the concoctions that people drank.
Don’t worry, though; there are many safe, natural, effective and easy ways to detoxify your liver without having to result to health fad snake oils. Doin one or more of these methods will put you on the path to a healthier liver and gallbladder.
Raw Vegetable Juice
Eating vegetables isn’t easy for everyone. If it were, we’d all be healthy and fit. But a good alternative to constantly chowing down on veggies is drinking raw vegetable juice. For best results, you’ll want to juice the vegetables yourself instead of buying pre-made store-bought juices. Fresh is always better.
For the best liver flush, tomatoes and beets have the helpful substances lycopene, betaine and a wealth of vitamins. These kickstart your liver’s natural functions and helps it break down and expel those harmful chemicals. Cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are also highly beneficial to your liver’s health.
If you’re not a fan of those vegetables’ tastes, then good news! Simply adding more vegetables that you like is not going to reduce the effectiveness of the other ones in the juice. Carrots, ginger, and even fruit can make the taste better and add to the nutritional benefits. There are countless vegetable juice liver flush recipes out there, find your favorite and get drinking. Make sure you are getting at least 4-5 servings a day of raw vegetables.
Switching to a Liver Cleanse Diet
Changing your eating habits will also help you flush your liver and gallbladder of excess toxins. To achieve this, you need to increase your intake of potassium and soluble fiber. Foods high in these nutrients include:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, apricots and strawberries
- Vegetables: broccoli, beet greens, sweet potatoes and spinach
- Legumes: soybeans and chickpeas
The potassium will help with your blood flow and get things moving in your liver, while the fiber will trap and help break down toxins.
Supplements and Extracts
To go the extra mile to flush your liver, there are a variety of supplements you can take on top of your improved diet. These usually come in capsule form and can be used daily. As with all supplements, however, do your research and consult a doctor to determine if you should take a particular supplement and how much is safe for your unique physiology.
These plants have a wealth of vitamins and nutrients in them that promote liver health and toxin cleansing. Their benefits are concentrated into capsule form for easy, daily ingestion.
- Milk Thistle: One of the most popular detoxifying herbs, milk thistle extract is taken for liver damage and liver disease. Taking it preventatively can reduce your risk of toxin-induced damage.
- Turmeric: Also known as “Indian Saffron,” Turmeric has long been a mainstay in traditional medicines and is now being more widely accepted in modern medical treatments. Among its many benefits are liver health and the dissolution of gallstones.
- Dandelion Root: It may be a pesky weed, but dandelions and their roots are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is linked to overall digestive health which can decrease inflammation and take stress off of your liver.
Liver and Liver Extracts
It may seem odd, but the livers of other animals are a great source of the helpful substances your human liver needs. There’s a reason our parents have been trying to get us to eat it. Animal livers, particularly cow and chicken livers, are high in vitamins, iron, and folic acid. Liver is high in B vitamins in particular, which can help your metabolism and increase energy.
To get the benefits, you can simply eat liver; it’s available at supermarkets everywhere and is a delicacy in many countries. If you aren’t a fan or just want some variety in your protein, liver extract supplements are available. These pills or capsules contain the beneficial nutrients found in liver in an easy to swallow form.
Cleanse Your Friend
Your liver spends its entire existence helping you, so take some time and give it a hand with a liver flush. Keeping it cleansed of harmful chemicals, toxins and fats will keep it in top working order. Meaning you won’t have to suffer the debilitating and possibly fatal effects of a damaged liver. It’s time to take action and clean out this most vital of organ.