05 Jan Supporting Your Liver During a Detox
This is the time of year that many of us will be considering a detox or cleanse; however while this process has so many great health benefits for our bodies in the long run, it can also put our most vital organs under extra strain. Your liver is your body’s multi-functional chemical processing plant and detox channel, with over 500 different functions to perform, and during the detoxing process, it’s essential to give this vital organ some added support. Toxins are “mobilised” during the detox process, meaning your liver actually has more nasties to cope with as your body tries to eliminate them all.
Let’s take a closer look at what this means, and at some easy, affordable ways you can support your liver with herbs and healthy foods.
What Happens When You Detox?
- Before stored toxins can be eliminated from your body, they are mobilised (released from your tissues and organs, back into your bloodstream).
- Toxins are typically mobilised during fasting, or when you’re eating a very limited diet as part of your cleanse (eg. a juice fast).
- Once the toxins are back in circulation, they are eliminated through various channels; namely your liver, kidneys, colon and pores of your skin.
- For a successful detox, it’s absolutely essential to make sure the mobilised toxins are safely eliminated from your system, and not simply redistributed into other tissues in your body. That’s why it’s so important to keep your detox channels strong and healthy.
Common Side Effects of Detoxing
- Headaches: Withdrawal from caffeine, processed sugars and other toxins can cause headaches. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and consider taking a liquid magnesium supplement, which helps to relax the muscles.
- Fatigue: You will feel more tired and irritable than normal for 2-3 days as you take in significantly fewer kilojoules. Make sure you get plenty of rest during the initial phase of your detox.
- Digestive changes: You may notice loose stools and more frequent bowel movements, as your body rids itself of excess liquid and expels toxins.
- Breakouts: Detoxing is a great way to clear up problem skin, but often your complexion will get better before it gets worse, as your body rids itself of all those mobilised toxins.
Of course, this information shouldn’t discourage you from attempting a cleanse or detox! It’s simply meant to highlight the importance of a) choosing the right cleanse to suit your needs, and b) making sure your body is able to cope with the process.
Please Note: If you have low blood sugar or blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes or any other pre-existing health condition, always speak to a trusted health care professional (your doctor, nutritionist or homeopath) before embarking on a detox.
Herbs that Help your Liver Function
- Milk thistle: Improves bile flow, promotes liver repair and stimulates new liver cell growth, protects against damage by toxins.
- Dandelion: Contains a beneficial liver tonic and diuretic known as choline.
- Turmeric: A liver protector that helps to regenerate liver cells and stimulate the enzymes that flush out carcinogens.
- Peppermint: Stimulates bile flow; helps to break down fats and lower bad cholesterol.
- Burdock: An effective blood tonic; helps the liver to metabolise nutrients, and also promotes the removal of waste products, especially uric acid A mild diuretic.
- Chicory root: Has a mild laxative effect, stimulates bile secretion and has detoxing properties.
Natural Liver Supplements
These supplements are made with a blend of liver-loving herbs, to help keep your hepatic system in tip-top shape.
Liver-Friendly Cleansing Special
This special offer is perfect for anybody looking to detox their system successfully while also keeping their liver strong and healthy.
Foods that Keep your Liver Strong
Eating these foods before and after a detox can really give your liver a boost.
- Leafy greens: Kale, spinach etc. are great sources of antioxidants, which assist your liver’s natural detoxing functions.
- Grapefruit: Gives your liver a vitamin C and antioxidant boost, plus it’s super-low in calories.
- Apples: The pectin in apples promotes a healthy intestinal environment and provides soluble fibre for healthy elimination; promoting detoxification through the bowels and reducing the burden on your liver.
- Green tea: A much healthier caffeine fix than that morning cup of coffee! Green tea is loaded with antioxidants known as catechins, which support the liver’s detoxing functions.
- Avocados: Avos are a great source of glutathione, a potent antioxidant that protects the body against disease and helps the liver to process and detox chemicals.