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Natural Ways to Support the Liver

The liver is an incredibly organ that is vital to our overall health. As we have previously discussed, it is responsible for over 500 functions in the body. More information about the importance of the liver can be found here. The following list provides some easy ways to support the liver. It’s important to note that you don’t have to implement every suggestion; just try adding one or two at a time based on your needs. 

13 Ways to Naturally Support the Liver

1. Mineral balancing

Mineral balancing via hair mineral analysis is an important part of healing holistically. For those who have worked with me, you know that mineral balancing, gut healing, and liver support are the foundations in my wellness protocols. All three play an important role for optimal health. Remember, holistic health is about treating the body as a whole. If you haven’t had the chance to try hair mineral analysis, and would like more information, please check out the HTMA section of my website – or send me an email to discuss further.

2. BioRay Liver Life

I absolutely love the Bioray products, especially the Liver Life. They are staples in my personal wellness plans! According to their website, BioRay Liver Life “naturally strengthens the liver’s structure and function, improves the body’s ability to filter toxins, drain acidic waste and decrease ammonia. Liver Life opens up the detox pathways in the liver and supports kidney function.”

Live Life benefits include:

  • Improves detox, nutrient absorption and food tolerance
  • Increases metabolism and energy levels
  • Balances healthy body weight
  • Restores healthy pH balance
  • Promotes restful sleep and balanced hormones
  • Reduces skin irritations, head pain and sensory issues
  • Reduces histamine response
  • Provides support for kidneys, liver, adrenals and lymph system

In just two weeks at the full dose, this product is said to help heal 50% of the liver. And, after 3 months at the full dose, Liver Life is said to help heal the liver entirely. Of course individual results vary based on food & lifestyle, but it is such a wonderful product. It is on the pricier side, so please take your diet & lifestyle into consideration for optimal benefits. As a special thanks to my clients & readers, I’m happy to offer 10% off your purchase using my coupon code CHLOE at either the BioRay site or the Perfect Supplements site.

3. Beef liver

It’s funny to say, but one of the most nutritious foods we can eat for our livers is liver! Beef liver is a super-food filled with vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folate, and minerals like zinc, chromium, copper and iron. It also supports the immune system, boosts energy, balances hormones, improves digestion, and speeds up the metabolism. Plus, one of the best sources of bio-available copper is beef liver!

But let’s be real here, I don’t know many people who want to prepare and eat liver on a weekly basis…I know I certainly don’t! Luckily, there is a supplement made from grass fed cows with no artificial ingredients, fillers, and crap – just pure non-GMO desiccated beef liver. Again, the brand I personally use & trust is Perfect Supplement {Don’t forget to use the coupon code CHLOE for additional savings at check out}. They have both the powder and the capsules available; however, I recommend the capsules as they are the easiest since they are tasteless.

4. Sunflower Lecithin

Sunflower lecithin is also great to support the liver. It is rich in essential fatty acids and phosphatidyl choline, a B complex vitamin which is vital for fat metabolism and liver health. Sunflower lecithin helps to stimulate bile flow, which helps flush fat out of the liver. Given it’s a powder, it can easily be added to smoothies for an extra nutritious punch.

Now Foods has a reputable Sunflower Lecithin powder I use & recommend – available from Amazon.ca

5. Collagen, Gelatin & Bone Broth

Collagen, gelatin and bone broth all contain important proteins needed to help maintain a healthy liver. Additionally, they have vital amino acids that can further help to maintain the liver. For example, glycine helps during the detoxification process protecting liver cells and tissue, while arginine reduces ammonia in the body via the liver.

I’ve outlined the importance of collagen – including where it can be purchased, in a previous blog post, which can be viewed here. All my clients have raved about collagen seeing benefits with the skin, nails, hair quality, better digestion, improved mobility, and more energy.

6. Digestive Bitters

Digestive bitters are excellent for stimulating digestion. However, the body also has bitter receptors in the liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, and gall bladder thereby helping with digestion, absorption, and excretion. It also promotes bile production in the liver, which is necessary to digest fat & oils.

In my wellness protocols, I regularly suggest the inclusion of digestive bitters before 2 out of 3 meals per day. I personally find taking it 10 minutes before a meal to be most effective, but of course, like all supplements, results vary by person. If something I have eaten isn’t sitting well with me, I find the bitters helps tremendously. Brands I recommend include St Francis Canadian Bitters or HerbPharm Better Bitters – both can be found on Amazon.ca.

7. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is an anti-inflammatory used to detox the body. It is great to help rebuild liver cells, while helping the body dispose of toxins processed through the liver. More specifically, silymarin, which is derived from the milk thistle plant, has been used in traditional medicine as a natural remedy for diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease.

Not only is milk thistle great for the liver, it’s also said to have the following benefits: lowers cholesterol, protects against cancer, prevents gallstones, balances blood sugar, and reduces signs of ageing.

Please talk to your Doctor before starting milk thistle as it can interact with certain medications. If you want to add this to your wellness routine, these brands are recommended: Organika, Jarrow & Vorst.

8. Dandelion Root

Dandelion is extremely beneficial to cleanse the body, as well as supporting the liver. Instead of thinking of it as a pesky weed, think of it as a miraculous gift that regenerates the body from the inside out.

My go to for dandelion root is one of my favorite nightly rituals. I steep a dandelion root tea bag for 10 to 15 minutes, then add a tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses and a splash of nut milk. I drink one almost every evening after dinner, but before bed. It increases that all important bile, while boosting liver support overnight.

My favorite brand of dandelion root tea is from Traditional Medicines – found here on Amazon.ca or at your local grocery stores.

9. Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial. They can help boost the immune system, help stimulate the lymphatic system, help with muscular pain, and help boost liver function. 

When starting out with castor oil, I recommend just rubbing a small amount over your liver or desired area you wish to heal. Then, add an old clothe over top, and sit quietly for 10 minutes – then rinse off. Some people enjoy applying a hot water bottle or heating pad. 

Once you are used to the castor oil, you can soak a piece of flannel in the castor oil – and then apply to your liver area. Put an old clothe over top, and heating pad if desired. Start with 10 to 15 minutes, and work your way up to an hour. You can keep the castor oil soaked flannel in a sealed container for up to a month, adding more oil when necessary. Once a month, I recommend cleaning the flannel with hot water and baking soda. 

For best results, please use 4 days in a row per week. People typically see best results the more consistent they are with use. Castor oil packs can be used over the liver, the adrenals, the kidneys, the thyroid, and even the digestive track to help with constipation. Please choose hexane free castor oil, such as these from Heritage Store or Now Foods.

10. Herbal Infusions

Herbal infusions like nettles, red raspberry leaf and oatstraw are extremely nutrient dense so they boost our overall health – including liver, lymphatic system, adrenal and kidney health. More information about herbal infusions can be found here on a previous blog post here. I typically drink anywhere from 1 to 4 cups per day. For extra support, I like to add the BioRay Liver Life to my herbal infusions; drinking with a purpose!

11. Eat Clean

We all know it’s important to eat a clean diet for optimal health. To support the liver, it’s important to eat a varied diet rich in leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, anti-oxidant fruits, sour foods, fresh herbs, local raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil / MCT oil.

Please limit and/or avoid harmful foods including alcohol, caffeine, sugary foods, processed foods, refined grains, and non-organic fruits & veggies.

12. Stress Management

As a holistic nutritionist and health coach, it’s important to look at the mind, body and spirit as a whole. Yes eating right & exercise is one part of the equation, but another part includes stress management, creating boundaries, and practicing forgiveness. 

Anger is an emotion most associated with the liver. If you are often irritable, get angry easily, have trouble unwinding from the day’s activities, have trouble reasoning or going with the flow and letting things go, you could be experiencing liver problems. If you experience these emotions regularly, it can impair liver function. It’s important to remain calm & practice forgiveness for optimal liver health.

Additionally, if you wake up regularly between 1 to 3 am, your liver may be trying to tell you something so it’s important to listen to your body. 

13. Gentle Exercise & Movement.

Seeing as the liver stores and processes blood, it’s essential to keep circulation flowing. If we are too sedentary, we become more susceptible to dis-ease. During exercise and movement, the heart pumps more blood and stimulates the liver. Therefore, blood, oxygen and nutrients are able to flow freely nourishing the body. 

I recommend yoga, pilates, Zumba, walks in nature, stretching, and weight lifting. If you are suffering from adrenal issues, please avoid intense cardio work outs. It’s especially important to listen to your body when exercising; if you feel faint, hydrate and rest. 

Conclusion

The liver really doesn’t receive much love or attention on a daily basis, so our goal is to gently support it. Considering the liver does so much for us, we should provide it with a little TLC in return. Without our liver, we just wouldn’t be able to survive. So let’s remember to love our livers 💖

As with all my recommendations, it is important to start low and slow. Everybody is different so what works for one person, may not work for another. Please note, I do not recommend specific liver cleanses or detox products as these can be too abrasive, unless under the care of a health professional.

 

 

Sources:

Perfect Supplements “Perfect Desiccated Beef Liver Overview” http://www.perfect-supplements.com/perfect-desiccated-liver/ 
Sassy Holistics “Liver Support vs Liver Detox” by Kristin Merizalde https://www.sassyholistics.com/2017/07/15/liver-support-vs-liver-detox/
Dr Axe. “Milk Thistle Benefits” https://draxe.com/milk-thistle-benefits/
Green Talk. “Digestive Bitters: Need A Tummy Tune Up?” https://www.green-talk.com/digestive-bitters/ 
Dr. Mercola. “Castor Oil” https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/28/castor-oil-to-treat-health-conditions.aspx

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