Unless you have a disease specifically concerning the liver, you rarely think much about it. But if you have a compromised liver, or suffer from cirrhosis or hepatitis or several other such conditions, it can take priority in your lifestyle accommodations. When you do stop to think about it, you realize you can’t live without it. It is, by far, the most significant cleansing organ in the body!
While it normally weighs only three to four pounds it is a very complex organ. It has a double circulation system. That means it receives blood from both the veins and the arteries. The main artery carries in plenty of oxygen from the lungs and the main vein comes directly from the small intestine full of nutrients. The liver performs over 500 functions. It serves as a digestive aid, it detoxifies food impurities, and it inspects nutrients before allowing them into the bloodstream. Further, it has the ability to be its own metabolic chemical plant to make new compounds you must have to live.
Of all the organs you have in your body it is often the most abused and yet has the greatest capacity for regeneration if it gets the proper supplements and care. I read a report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center that states “The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace lost or injured tissue (regenerate). [A] donor’s liver will soon grow back to normal size after surgery. The part that you receive as a new liver will also grow to normal size in a few weeks.”
The liver also manufactures cholesterol and bile, stores glucose fuel, and can suffer from a number of diseases. We have a number of studies that show that the typical American diet can produce liver damage, digestive problems, low energy, allergies, and even depression. One study even showed that a low-grade fever at night could indicate liver problems.
So, it only makes sense that when we are considering a cleansing regimen for the body, we should include at least one liver cleanse each year. And there are a number of them. We carry at least a half-dozen of them at The Health Patch, by almost as many different companies. I have also used a simple, popular “mini-cleanse” for the liver which can be accomplished over a 30-day period by the consumption once a day of two (2) tablespoons of olive oil mixed with two (2) tablespoons of lemon juice and four (4) ounces of apple juice. This can be both refreshing and cleansing.
We’ll cover the specific functions of herbs that help clean and heal the liver, foods that support it and other supplements we use for liver health in another blog in a couple of weeks. But a simple list of many of them include: alfalfa, milk thistle, red yeast rice extract, barberry, black radish, burdock, dandelion, fennel, horsetail, Irish moss, red clover, rose hips, suma, thyme, and wild Oregon grape.
Overeating is probably the most common cause of liver malfunction. It creates excess work for the liver, resulting in liver fatigue. Since the liver must detoxify all of the various chemicals present in our food supply today, it is easily overworked and may not be able to keep up, leaving harmful substances in the body.
Stress is also a major contributor to a fatigued liver. Deliver your liver from stress by ensuring it has the proper nutrients and is sparred undue excesses of known toxins. You only get one. Keep it healthy.
- Randy Lee, BSE, MS, ND, is Owner of The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 73130. Call us at (405) 736-1030, and visit our website at www.thehealthpatch.com.