PART ONE: The Case for the Greatest Organ of All — Happy liver, Happy Life

I have a new goal in life that need to share with you: it is to give the Liver as much street-cred and hype as the brain, gut, and heart. I think we as a society have played favorites long enough, leaving this complex and profound organ behind the curtain thanklessly working away trying to clean up after your bad choices. But enough is enough and I am ready to make my case for why this organ should be given its prime-time in the limelight. Not only do I feel obliged to bring it in the spotlight, I would like to guide you through how to properly give it the deluxe cleanse and detox treatment to boost its function and take an actual load off. 

Let’s begin with that fact that this crucial organ carries out 500 different jobs within your body. All of which are essential to your existence. A few of these include:

  • Filtering the Blood: This is perhaps the most widely known function of the liver. It removes and breaks down alcohol, drugs, as well as hormones such as estrogen, aldosterone, and more. 

  • Bile production: Bile helps the small intestine break down and absorb fats, proteins, some vitamins, and cholesterol. (Hint: a stressed liver can contribute to increased cholesterol). Bile is also crucial for Vitamin K production that clots your blood to stop bleeding.

  • Metabolizes carbohydrates: Carbs are stored the liver in the form of glycogen, so when energy is needed the liver is there to answer the call with a rush of sugar (as glycogen) to the bloodstream.  

  • Stores vitamins and minerals: No trip to the vitamin store necessary as the liver stores many essential vitamins such as: B12, Vitamin E, D, A , K without charging sales tax for use. 

  • Breakdown and absorption of bilirubin: Bilirubin is formed from the breakdown of red blood cells. The iron released during the breakdown of the hemoglobin is then stored in the liver and the bone marrow which will be used in the production of new red blood cells. 

  • Immunity: The liver also contains specific immune system cells called Kupffer cells. These cells destroy disease causing pathogens that come from the gut to the liver, thus protecting the rest of the body from infection. 

  • Regulation of Blood Pressure: The hormone that constricts blood vessels to increase blood pressure, angiotensinogen is synthesized in the liver. 

Are we getting the point yet? 

After all those jobs and more it also stands alone in being able to regenerate itself! As long as a minimum of 25% of the liver tissue remains and is functioning it can regrow to its original size in as few as 8-15 days ! (Newman, 2018). A patient came to see me with a recent liver biopsy revealing necrotic (dead) tissue. Within six months using acupuncture and herbs all liver functions tests came back normal.  Score 1 for Super-Organ!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine each organ is associated with an emotion. The liver is said to be the origin of anger. Outbursts of anger and irritability can be a symptom of an unbalanced liver; and outbursts of anger can also injure the liver. There is Chinese proverb that states, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” In other words,  the imbalance caused in your liver by anger harms your body.

 With seemingly so much anger and frustration imbedded in our society these days, it begs the question if our livers are congested and imbalanced creating all this anger? (High fructose-corn syrup is murder to the liver) Or is all the anger and frustration creating imbalances within our liver? Either way, it’s time to focus in on giving this organ all of what it needs to function, and extra tools to detox and heal from daily demands on this often stressful, complex yet beautiful planet. 

 

…. Part Two: My Annual Liver Detox and Cleansing tips…..coming soon!

 

Reference: Newman, T. (2018, March 02). The liver: Structure, function, and disease. Retrieved April 10, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305075.php

Bryn Freeman