PART TWO: The Case for the Greatest Organ of All — Annual Liver Detox & Cleansing Tips
Delight is in the Details
Now that we have established that the Liver is indeed the finest organ of them all, we must understand why and how to keep it running as smooth as a Ferrari Enzo through the Italian Alps. I believe that is crucial to take care of your liver health throughout the year, being mindful of foods, herbs and supplements to incorporate to assist in its function-which I will list in more detail below. I also highly recommend incorporating a targeted liver cleanse once or twice a year.
Of the many things that I revere about Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s astute and profound observation of the rhythms within nature and the influence they have on our bodies. Within that framework, each organ or organ system is related in functionality to different seasons. The liver and gallbladder are at their peak energy during the Spring. Like the plants pushing through the hardened earth, sap rises up through the bark, the buds and leaves forming on the trees- new life bursts open. This powerful energy that is rising to the surface of the earth is mirrored within our bodies. It is the perfect time to roll out the red-carpet treatment for your liver system, giving it a 14-day boost to allow it to slough off the old, toxic load- and allow for new energy to support your life for the upcoming year.
A healthy liver will help you allow you to experience:
Increased energy and overall stamina
Mental clarity and focus
Decreased stomach issues including: acid reflux, bloating, and inconsistent bowel movements
Less muscle and tendon pain (clicking knees anyone? A common sign of inflammation)
Relief of itchy, red, puffy eyes
Emotional stability: less highs and lows- especially irritability, anger, and depression
Increased regularity in menstrual cycle
Basic Tools for Optimizing Liver Health
Things you get to Enjoy
** Please buy only organic fruit and vegetables for the cleanse process: herbicides and pesticides are a significant burden we are looking to undo that build up in our livers over time.***
Warm lemon water every morning: squeeze half a lemon in a glass of warm water and drink 20 min before eating.
Benefits: alkalizes the body (disease thrives in acidic blood), brightens the skin, loads of anti-inflammatory Vitamin C, boosts bile production (essential for liver health), stimulates enzymes crucial for liver detox, boosts hydration and balances electrolytes
Asparagus, and then some more asparagus
Asparagus has many health benefits but when it comes to liver health, it contains the highest amount of glutathione of any fruit or vegetables.
To optimize digestion and absorption steam and drizzle with cold-pressed olive oil, salt, and pepper
Spinach, kale, bok choy, watercress, arugula, artichoke
These bitter greens provide the nutrients and fiber that are crucial for a successful cleanse.
Sauté over low-heat in olive oil: during a cleanse (and generally most other times) don’t burden your stomach, pancreas, and intestines with uncooked ruffage. It requires more metabolic energy to break down plant cellulose in raw foods, and this energy is better utilized to support the liver during the cleanse process.
§ Side note: if you often feel fatigued, have loose stools, or feel foggy-brained after eating salads, smoothies and juices it’s a sign it’s too much for your body to digest raw.
Cook with warming spices that also promote detox: fresh ginger, cinnamon, garlic, mustard, horseradish,
Grass-fed and finished meats:
This crucial element to a nutritious cleanse- the omega-fatty acids in grass fed and finished meats are anti-inflammatory and stimulate the bile production that serves as dump trucks for our toxic loads.
If you are in Colorado I recommend www.parkerpastures.com: they are grass-fed and finished organic producers of beef and lamb that use regenerative grazing practices that heal the land as well as you! They are available for delivery in the front range through https://pastureprovisionsco.com/
If you cannot source this level of quality in your meats, it is better to avoid red meat during the cleanse. Corn-fed beef generates inflammation and saturated fats that slow liver function.
Yams: (I especially love Japanese yams) mineral-rich and packed with vitamins, these can be added to meals or served as the main feature.
Eggs and fish
Brassica family foods: cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, rutabagas, kohlrabi
Shitake mushrooms, onions, chives, beets, tangerines and oranges
Tea: peppermint and nettle tea
Things to Avoid
Sugar, alcohol, corn and soy products, dairy, processed foods
Grapefruit juice, charcoal-broiled meats, NSAIDS, acid-blockers
Revel in the Process…
During the first few days of a detox you may notice: increased fatigue, headaches, increased bowel movements, increased urination and mood swings. This is normal and it is a sign that your liver is moving out the junk. The liver not only stores chemical toxins but also houses your emotional baggage that has not been addressed.
Consider meditation and breath work to deepen the emotional release
Journaling can be a way to process some of this release
Drink more water: aim for clear yellow urine
Go to bed early: healing accelerates when we are asleep. Please make a minimum of 8 hours a night an unwavering priority
Acupuncture expedites the cleanse process and promotes healing and liver regeneration.
Rest, heal, revel
AdvaClear by Metagenics: Start with 1 capsule a day for the first 3 days, then increase to 2 daily with meals
Ultra Clear Plus PH by Metagenics: optional support to expedite detox process. Begin with 1 scoop daily with water until “toxic feeling” is gone then increase to 2 scoops 2x/day
Liver Tonic by Dragonherbs: 1-2 capsules daily