The liver is a vital organ located in the upper right part of the abdomen.
It performs more than 200 functions in our body, 3 of which are essential:
- Storage of vitamins and sugar reserves (regulation of the glucose cycle in the body)
- Enzymatic: along with the pancreas, it is the organ that produces the greatest quantity of enzymes
- Filtering and purifying the blood
The liver is therefore a central organ in our body. It purifies 1 litre of blood per minute, so it is on this organ that we must rely to eliminate a good number of toxic substances from our body. Whether these are exogenous (drugs, alcohol, steroid hormones, etc.) or endogenous (bilirubin, etc.), they are found in large quantities in our body.
When there is too much waste, the liver becomes exhausted and can no longer do its metabolic work. It is therefore necessary to help it to do its work so that it does not become more tired and thus avoid more serious consequences.
How can this be done?
A little help from food! Certain fruits and vegetables have the advantage of supporting the liver in its filtering work and helping to eliminate bile from the gallbladder.
The fruits are :
The vegetables are :
You can add foods such as almonds, garlic, olive oil and turmeric. You can therefore help your liver on a daily basis by putting these foods on your plate as often as possible. Of course, you should avoid combining them with foods that are harmful to your body, such as all refined and processed foods. In addition, if you eat very little animal food and keep your meals light, you will support your liver on a daily basis.
Do I need a cure?
Normally, the liver regenerates spontaneously, but modern food, drugs, environmental pollutants, etc., make it more fragile, and even if you are not one of those people who overdo it, it will be necessary to do a cure at least once a year. On the other hand, for some people a cure per season will be necessary! This will be the case for smokers, heavy eaters and drinkers for example.
Symptoms can alert us and let us know that our liver is not in great shape. Respiratory pathologies, for example, are a sign that the liver, weakened, has had to hand over to the lungs to filter the blood. The ground then becomes favourable to microbes and other viruses...
Hemorrhoids are also a sign of a congested liver. Indeed, the hemorrhoidal vein is a branch of the portal vein which connects the liver to the intestines. The portal vein will swell as a result of liver congestion and thus lead to haemorrhoids.
The ideal season to drain the liver is spring. Indeed, during the winter, we eat more, we move less and therefore we accumulate toxins which must be eliminated! At the beginning of spring, we do the big cleanse to avoid secondary pathologies associated with the liver, which could manifest themselves throughout the year.
We think of skin problems (acne, oozing eczema...), respiratory problems (bronchitis, sinusitis...), intestinal problems (bloating, constipation...), tendonitis, cramps, migraines, chronic fatigue and so on!
Which plants can I use to drain my liver?
Many plants act on the liver, either by stimulating the secretion of bile, or by encouraging its elimination. And sometimes even both! These are generally bitter plants. And yes, I know that this does not make everyone happy...
In herbal teas or extracts, the most interesting are artichoke, black radish and dandelion. You can also prefer or add rosemary or boldo as a supplement. (Be careful if you have a bile duct obstruction, rosemary alone is not contraindicated).
It is advisable to take them either in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening at bedtime (only if the evening meal is already far away).
In gemmotherapy, you can use juniper and rosemary in gradual doses and over a period of 3 weeks to 2 months. The young shoots of rosemary and juniper are both liver drainers. The first protects and the second regenerates.
Dandelion (taraxacum officinalis) stimulates bile secretion and cleanses the blood. It wakes up bodies that have become sluggish during the winter. It is the root that acts on the liver. It contains, in addition to bitter principles, inulin and complex sugars which act on the intestinal flora by encouraging the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Artichoke leaves (cynara scolymus) increase the volume of bile and facilitate digestion. Artichoke is most effective as a liquid extract. It is not the leaves that are eaten that contain the active substance, cynarine, but those that grow along the stem.
Black radish (raphanus sativus niger) is more laxative than artichoke. It is anti-inflammatory and drains the skin. It cleanses and tones the liver. It also has interesting anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties at intestinal level.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) contains choline which regulates lipids in the liver, helps to evacuate bile and facilitates digestion. It is also antispasmodic. It is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
These plants can be taken together to act on all the organs of elimination. In priority the liver, secondarily the kidneys but also intestines, lungs and skin.
A simple solution, the hot water bottle
The cold prevents the liver from working... It needs a temperature of at least 30° and maximum 41°, otherwise the blood circulation will decrease and the filtering will be less efficient.
The hot water bottle accelerates the functioning of the liver and therefore allows drainage. It is very simple. You place the kettle on the liver for 30 minutes
after meals! There is a more unpleasant remedy.
Regeneration of the liver
If your liver has been heavily poisoned by medication (chemotherapy, antibiotics...) or hepatitis, it is essential to regenerate it. Desmodium and milk thistle are the best hepato-protective and regenerative plants you can find. The essential oil of Greenland Labrador tea will also help you regenerate your liver.
Bonus: Before/after the holidays
The liver does not like frustration! So don't deprive yourself of food pleasures during the Christmas holidays. If you're worried that overindulgence will make you tired or sick, follow these tips from the beginning of December:
In this way you will strengthen your body and prepare your liver to better metabolise the excesses of late December.
Gentian, which is a good help to unclog the liver and facilitate digestion, is the plant to use as an herbal tea after the heavy meals of the last week of December. It is also a good mental tonic and will allow you to start the year with a high morale.
At the beginning of January, do not weaken your liver with a detoxifying cure that is too aggressive, continue to make rosemary and gentian teas, do not overload your diet and wait for spring. You can also add hydrolats to your water daily. Lovage and genevrier for example. When you have recovered your energy, you can start a 21-day treatment with the plants mentioned above.
So, during the festive season, take advantage of and help your liver throughout the year by making these 3 resolutions: