Ahhh, your liver. This crucial organ often gets the run-around in January as people proudly declare: Time for a Detox! Your liver is so important – it is in charge of removing toxins from the body, producing bile and performing essential metabolic functions.
An overworked liver can represent a heavy burden – both physically and emotionally. In some Eastern approaches, the liver is responsible for the regulation of “qi”, also known as chi or prana. This vital life-force energy is responsible for giving you that “spark” of life or excitement. In some streams of thought, the liver is also responsible for housing your very soul, that which gives you consciousness. As you can imagine, that is an enormous responsibility!
A weakened liver can manifest in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
- Emotions: Anger, irritability, resentment, a sensation of “flying off the handles” or hard to control anger
- Great distension
- Headache pain
- Eye Issues
- Menstrual issues
- Ashen Complexion
And much, much more.
As parts of the body all lend their value to our overall health, liver dysfunction can showcase in a variety of different ways and methods. What we don’t want to do is really stress or burden the liver with some of these harmful and sudden detoxification programs. This process can often de-harmonize the body as it enters a state of shock and releases a myriad of toxins into the bloodstream that are unable to be regulated. You’ll feel bad. Your liver will feel bad. I tend to be an advocate of the middle-ground. We want to detoxify and strengthen the liver in a kind and mindful way.
The basics of liver detox are simple and as follows: your liver works to filter toxins out of the blood, including pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, ammonia and chemicals. These toxins are then dumped into your upper GI tract as part of a bile mixture used for digestion. This can reintroduce toxins back into your body, which are readily reabsorbed through the intestinal walls. What does this mean for you? You will not feel good. Your body is programmed to detox itself automatically, so the best we can do to support it is to eat a nutrition packed, whole-foods based diet.
Try incorporating the followings things:
- Turmeric: This pungent spice can decongest the liver, clear excess heat from the body and improve the flow of qi and blood. Add a dash of turmeric to any rice or soup dish, make a curry or utilize it in a delicious turmeric latte.
- Lemon Water: it’s so cliche, but yet this combination has a diuretic effect, which helps flush toxins gently from the body.
- Dandelion root: A cleansing, detoxifying herb that cools the blood and nourishes the liver. Ideal to drink in the spring – the natural season associated with the growth of dandelions.
- Try acupressure or acupuncture
- Try to stay calm, especially in the springtime! The excitement of a new season can make you feel like you want to get up and go, but this can have detrimental effects. It’s even more crucial to stay grounded in the springtime.
- Avoid alcohol, fried, fatty, smoked and salted food. Consider eating a calming and moderate diet.
- Exercise regularly. Toxins come out when you sweat!
Don’t get pulled into the epic test of willpower that January often brings. We can feel like we really need to change ourselves for the better right now. Change and supporting our body is best achieved through mindful steps. Be a liver-lover this 2020.
As your Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant at Naturmend, I am committed to creating healthy communities. I believe in honouring the unique biochemical individuality of each person who walks through my door and in the amazing benefits of a whole food diet. A healthy body and balanced mind are the cornerstones of a happy existence.