Why you should love your liver!
You probably only think about your liver when you’ve had too much alcohol. However, the liver is an amazing organ which performs over 500 functions in our bodies!
The liver is our 2nd biggest organ and it’s the only one that can regenerate itself completely. It plays a major role in detoxing the body of medication, alcohol, excess hormones and endocrine disruptors. It helps to make hormones including cholesterol. It produces bile to digest fats and makes most proteins that are needed by the body. It stores and releases glucose, as well as converting excess glucose into starch for storage. It regulates blood clotting and produces red blood cells. The liver stores minerals and vitamins. It also converts harmful ammonia into harmless urea to be excreted via the kidneys. Lastly it helps to fight infection by removing bacteria from the blood.
In terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the liver energy regulates reproduction and the menstrual cycle. It manifests in the health of our nails (e.g. split easily/ ridged) and our eyes. If you have chronic bloodshot, painful or burning eyes, your liver energy may well be unbalanced. The organ clock hours associated with the liver are 1-3am. Again, if you are consistently waking during these hours, it can indicate that your liver needs some TLC.
The emotion associated with the liver is anger and assertiveness. Phrases such as ‘to give someone a dirty look’ or ‘to give her the evil eye’ or even ‘green-eyed monster’ all exhibit this emotion. The liver (yin) organ is paired with the gallbladder (yang) organ. The liver helps us to formulate a plan of action. The gallbladder helps us to make decisions so the plan will be executed.
So how do you take care of your liver? Here are my 5 top tips:
1. Eat more liver-friendly foods:
These foods are good for your liver: Coffee, oats, green tea, garlic, berries, grapes, grapefruit, oily fish, nuts, avocados, bananas, barley, olive oil, beetroot, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, figs, kale, lemons, papaya, and watermelon.
2. Drink more water!
Not a big surprise I’m sure, but this helps all of our organs to function better and flushes the whole system of toxins.
3. Drink less alcohol and other toxins.
Alcohol is not the only toxin to the liver. Food additives such as nitrates and MSG in processed food add to the burden on the liver. Anything you use on your skin such as makeup or skincare also needs to be as natural as possible. Endocrine disruptors are in the air we breathe, the cooking pans we use and even in our sanitary protection! Look carefully at the products you are using and touching on a day-to-day basis. Do you really need to have artificial scents in your car?
4. Celery juice!
This is definitely an acquired taste! You also need quite a few bunches of celery to make the 250ml daily amount. It is very good for your liver, but not particularly tasty. Give it a go and let me know what happens.
5. Herbs to consider.
Herbs such as milk thistle (carduus mar) and dandelion (taraxacum off) are very soothing to the liver. Email me directly for advice about these in a herbal tincture, but you can eat dandelion leaves as part of a salad. They have a strong diuretic effect too!
Homeopathic remedies can help support the liver to detox, strengthen it or even help with the anger at PMT time. Email me to find out more.