The liver is the organ whose primary function is to cleanse the body, by removing toxins, and to support better digestion. Your liver is the initial gateway in your body for processing drugs, alcohol, foods, fats, pesticides, chemicals, GMOs and whatever else goes into your body through your nose and mouth. The liver takes on a huge job to detox your body and keep you healthy after being used and abused daily. A liver cleanse may be useful for some people; however, in certain cases it can be harmful, and should be supervised by a healthcare practitioner. You can provide more gentle support to help improve liver function with one or more of the following five herbs.
Milk thistle is probably the best known herb for the treatment of the liver, explains the LiverDisease.com website. Milk thistle has been used for centuries to support the liver and is recently been shown in studies to be effective in repairing damage from cirrhosis in alcoholics, improving their long term survival rate, explains the National Library of Medicine. It reverses poisoning from the Amanita mushroom according to Agency for Healthcare Research. Milk thistle enables the liver to deflect toxins, protects it from free radical damage, and helps it to regenerate new liver cells replacing those lost or damaged by disease. Due to problems with milk thistle not being easily dissolved in water, the best and easiest way to take it is in capsules or as a liquid extract mixed in food or juice. There is no standard recommended dosage and you should consult an herbalist or other knowledgeable practitioner for a dose that best fits your needs.
Dandelion increases the flow of bile and is helpful in improving both jaundice and hepatitis reports LiverDisease.com. Herbal practitioners have used dandelion for hundreds of years to help aid the detox process and increase liver function. Care should be taken when using dandelion regularly because of its high vitamin A content, which can produce toxicity. Dandelion has strong diuretic properties and will remove excess fluids and edema during the detox process. If you take a pharmaceutical diuretic, check first with a health care specialist before you start using dandelion on a regular basis.
Green tea has a high concentration of the compound catechin, which is reported to have antioxidant effects, supporting and strengthening liver function. High doses of green tea may cause side effects including anxiety, allergic skin reactions, fever and the break down of red blood cells.
Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric, with its active ingredient curcumin, is a well known treatment for liver disease in India, reports LiverDisease.com. Turmeric possesses numerous antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation and assist in removing toxins from liver and throughout the body.
Black pepper has been shown to lessen the destructive effects of various toxins on the liver. It also has the ability to defend the liver from the loss of antioxidants native to the liver, which act to protect it. MotherNature.com discusses that various peppers mixed with ginger improves the bowel’s ability to absorb other herbs, assisting the liver and promoting better detox.
LiverDisease.com: Other Herbs Used for Hepatitis and Liver Disease
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Effects on Liver Disease and Cirrhosis and Clinical Adverse Effects Summary
National Library of Medicine: Milk Thistle: Effects on Liver Disease
MotherNature.com: Liver Diseases
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