The liver is arguably the most important organ in the body. Taking on the responsibility of well over 1,000 different bodily functions, this organ certainly has its work cut out for it. The liver is known as the “master chemist” in the body since it is in charge of converting many different compounds, proteins, and hormones into other forms that are more usable for the body. The liver is necessary for hormone production and balance, proper bile flow and digestive function, blood pressure regulation, filtering out toxins and chemicals, and so much more.
With the typical lifestyle filled with nutrient deficient foods, chemicals in the products that we use, and high levels of stress; the liver is constantly in a state of working overtime. Over time, toxins tend to build up and accumulate in the liver, leading to imbalances. When the liver is stressed and in need of some support, it can appear in a variety of different ways. The most noticeable symptoms appear on the skin. This can look like a yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, or other skin complaints such as hives, rashes, or eczema to name a few. It is possible that the body will respond by giving the host a number of digestive complaints such as nausea, pain in the upper right abdomen, or general abdominal discomfort. The signs of a liver imbalance may be most apparent in some as mood swings, outbursts of anger, sleepiness, or a dazed or clouded head.
The busy lifestyle with processed or sugar rich foods is very damaging to the liver. These foods are very difficult to break down properly and are deficient in many of the nutrients needed for optimal bodily functions. These foods and toxins build up over time, leading to liver stress and a less than optimal state for the body to work with.
Thankfully there are many different herbs and supplements that can be used, along with a liver friendly diet that is free from or low in alcohol, processed or fried foods, dairy, and sugar; to help get the liver back on track. One popular option to help with liver function is to add ½ of a fresh squeezed organic lemon into a glass of water, and drink it down first thing in the morning. Although it is an acidic fruit, lemon is very alkalizing to the body and can help purge the liver of toxins. Dandelion is another famous liver remedy that provides a great balance of nutrients to support the “master chemist”. Burdock is often used when liver stress is appearing as issues on the skin. The Liver Balance blend by Nature’s Sunshine has proven to be a great support for chronically stressed livers. One of the most popular herbs for the liver is Milk Thistle, which is the trophorestorative herb for the liver, meaning that it helps to restore long term damages that have been done to the liver. There are many different options when it comes to working with the liver and providing the proper support that it needs. The most significant success with liver cleansing is by doing a juice fast using fresh, organic ingredients for several days.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is the most active during the Springtime as the weather is changing from the cold of Winter into the warmth and new growth of Spring. During this transition of seasons, it is believed to be the best time to give your liver the support that it desires, either through a cleanse or nutrient-dense herbs to help support its functions. Always be sure to check with your local Naturopathic Doctor or other natural health professional to determine if cleansing the liver at this time is the correct option for you, and what direction is best for your body.