Liver Cleanse and Detox

As mentioned in my previous posts about colon and kidney cleanses/detoxes, performing a cleanse or detox is a way to clean out the debris in your body and revitalize your systems and organs. Toxic waste from heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals in our food and environment can have your body working at sub-optimal levels and cause some serious health conditions. Cleansing and detoxing will allow your immune system to take a break, flush the toxins out and get your organs and systems working as they should. The third cleanse that I will focus on in this series is a liver cleanse. If you plan to do a series of cleanses, start with the colon, then kidneys and next move onto the liver.

Function of the Liver

I consider the liver to be the most important organ in the body. The liver is involved in every metabolic process in the body, processing nutrients as you take them in. There is a direct route from the digestive organs into the liver called the portal vein. The liver filters and cleans the blood and breaks down toxic substances including medications, heavy metals and chemicals. It stores sugar as triglycerides to create energy. The gallbladder stores bile that is produced by the liver. An unhealthy liver can lead to problems with the gallbladder.

Signs and Symptoms that you Need a Liver Cleanse

If you are experiencing any of the below, it would be helpful to do a cleanse:

  • Storing fat, especially around the mid-section; chest distended/breasts enlarged

  • Flagging energy/fatigue

  • Goiter/enlarged thyroid

  • Skin conditions: acne, eczema, psoriasis

  • Visual abnormalities: cataracts, glaucoma, inflamed/red/dry eyes

  • Allergies

  • Menstrual changes

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • High blood pressure

  • Colitis/enteritis

  • Insomnia

Goal of the Liver Cleanse

When doing a liver cleanse, the goal is to reduce toxic burden and provide the liver with the essentials needed to cleanse the blood. The cleanse may result in increased energy and increased fat burning.  

Things to Eliminate from your Diet

While performing the cleanse work to avoid late meals and make your final meal of the day a small one. Reduce snacking and try to eat less. Eliminate highly processed foods, hydrogenated and saturated fats, refined sugars, mammal meat, processed meat (bacon, lunch meat), alcohol, cheese, eggs, excess nuts, hot peppers, crab and buckwheat for the length of the cleanse.

Things to Add to your Diet

Be mindful to add many of the following to your diet:

  • General: cruciferous and root vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, organic food, fermented food, sprouted grains, beans and seeds

  • Fruits: apple, avocado, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, coconut, grapefruit, huckleberry, lemon, lime, peach, plum, raspberry, red grape, strawberry

  • Vegetables/herbs: alfalfa, asparagus, artichoke, basil, bay leaf, beet, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, burdock, cabbage,  carrot, cauliflower, celery, collard green, cucumber,  daikon, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, kuzu, lettuce (romaine), marjoram, mint (peppermint), mung bean sprouts, mushroom, mustard green, onion, parsley, red skinned potato, rhubarb, rosemary, sage, seaweed, sweet potato, taro, turnip, watercress, wild yam

  • Grains: amaranth, barley, brown rice, millet, oat, rye, wheat

  • Legumes: beans, lentils, mung bean, quinoa, soybean (black), tempeh, tofu

  • Nuts/seeds: black sesame seed, chestnut, pine nut, walnut

  • Other/spices: anise, black pepper, blackstrap molasses, cardamom, coffee, cumin, extra virgin olive oil, fenugreek, tea (green), turmeric/ curcumin, vinegar (apple cider, brown rice, rice wine)

Herbs and Supplemental Support

The below herbs and supplements may help cleanse your liver:

  • Alpha lipoic acid

  • Angelica root

  • Betaine

  • Black currant seeds

  • Borage

  • Borututu bark

  • Bupleurum

  • Burdock root

  • Chamomile flowers

  • Chanca Piedra

  • Chlorella

  • Dandelion root

  • Dang gui root

  • Evening primrose

  • Lemon balm

  • Licorice root

  • Lobelia

  • Magnesium

  • Milk thistle

  • N-acetyl cysteine

  • Nettle

  • Omega 3

  • Oregon grape root

  • Peony root

  • Prickly ash bark

  • Probiotic

  • Rehmannia root

  • Saw palmetto

  • Selenium

  • Skullcap

  • Spurilina

  • St. John’s Wort

  • Valerian

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

Lifestyle Support and Other Therapies

Other therapies that may help with a liver cleanse are:

  • Coffee enema

  • Epsom salt bath

Summary

The liver is a vital organ that filters blood, processes nutrients and breaks down toxic substances in the body. It is important when cleansing to avoid overeating and late meals so that the liver has ample time for regeneration through the sleep cycle. A liver cleanse/detox is a way to reset and get on track if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms listed above. I recommend following this cleanse/detox for five to seven days.