Liver detox – is it really necessary? Your body is after all perfectly capable of cleansing itself. But today’s world is full of toxins, and your waste-removing organs – liver, kidneys and skin – become overworked. They may need a helping hand…

How do you know if your waste-removal system, especially your liver, needs a detox?

One of your biggest organs, your liver processes nutrients absorbed by the intestines, storing and supplying them to the cells when needed. The liver also regulates hormones and plays a vital role in detoxifying your body, converting or excreting toxic substances to keep you healthy.
But when your liver is faced with pollution, pesticides, food additives, fluoridated water, chemicals in skincare products and a host of other hidden poisons every day, it becomes overwhelmed. Could it be time for a liver detox?

The liver’s SOS signals that indicate you might need a liver detox

  1. Bloating, cramps in the lower abdomen, excess gas.
  2. Changes in the skin. Do you have a yellowish tinge, dark or dry, itchy patches of skin? They could be telltale signs of liver problems.
  3. Check the toilet bowl. If your urine becomes dark or your stools pale you should head off to your healthcare practitioner.
  4. Constant fatigue. Chronic tiredness is often an early sign of that you need a liver detox as your body is working harder to try to remove excess waste from your system.
  5. Memory loss, confusion, mood swings and depression. Not only related to ageing, these symptoms can occur if your liver isn’t able to filter blood normally. The toxins that remain can make their way to your brain, making you feel confused and miserable.
  6. Weight gain. Unable to shake off those extra kilos? A compromised liver can’t process fats properly, causing a build-up of fat, especially around the abdomen.
  7. Raised cholesterol levels. Unregulated fat levels affect your cholesterol. The result? Your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides climb, and your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol drops, putting you at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  8. The liver converts nutrients from your food into substances that your body can use. An overworked liver simply can’t make the nutrients bio-available. So if you’re eating healthily but a blood check shows that you’re lacking iron, magnesium or vitamin D, get your liver assessed.
  9. Having trouble digesting fatty foods and alcohol? The liver produces bile, which helps digestion. You’ll know you have a shortage of bile when, after consuming fatty foods and beer or two, you experience constipation, diarrhoea, acid reflux or heartburn.
  10. The liver keeps blood sugar levels steady. When there’s a problem, your blood glucose levels will rise abnormally after you’ve eaten, and then ‘crash’ a few hours later, leaving you irritable, tired and confused.
  11. The liver also regulates the sex hormones. Liver fatigue can lead to oestrogen and testosterone imbalances. Your libido will plummet and your PMS symptoms will increase. Definitely a reason for a liver detox!
  12. Constant colds and flu are also a sign of a malfunctioning liver – the organ plays a major role in fighting bacteria and viruses.
  13. Excessive sweating. Suffering with sweatiness and body odour? A liver detox may help.

How to detox your liver

Principally diet-related, this liver detox programme will help ward off potential problems

  1. Eat more: Fresh organic fruits, potassium-rich foods (beans, dark leafy greens, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yoghurt, fish, avocado, mushrooms and banana); whole grains such as oats, wholegrain bread and brown rice; nuts and seeds; naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut, raw apple cider vinegar and other probiotic foods; coconut and olive oil; and water, green tea, rooibos and other herbal teas.
  2. Avoid: Processed foods, added sugars, fizzy drinks, sweets, white bread, pasta, pastries, trans fats, cooking oils such as corn and sunflower, alcohol and genetically modified foods.
  3. Detox your home: Throw out or use fewer plastic containers; replace chemical-laden household cleaners with natural ones; scented candles and air fresheners contain toxic chemicals – make your home smell fresh with natural products (we’ll be posting a great home-scent solution this week, along with a list of the best plants to purify the air); use organic deodorants.
  4. Take herbal remedies, with care. Flora Force Liver FlushTM detoxifies the liver and digestion, helping the body to clear waste and relieving sluggishness, bloating and atonic constipation. It’s an excellent blood tonic. Find out more and order yours from Faithful To Nature.
    Milk thistle supports liver function and helps repair damaged liver tissue. Find out more at Faithful To Nature. (Not for people with diabetes or certain cancers)
    Turmeric also supports healthy liver tissue and metabolism – useful for a liver detox. Read more and order it from Faithful To Nature.

CAUTION

Consult your health practitioner before taking any herbal supplements.
As always, we recommend that you consult your healthcare practitioner before embarking on any course of natural remedies.
Avoid using milk thistle or milk thistle containing products if you suffer from diabetes or certain types of cancers.

We wish you and your liver good health!

Acknowledgements & Photo credits

Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.

References

  1. Axe, J. Six-step liver cleanse. https://draxe.com/liver-cleanse/
  2. Leonard, J. 2015, October. 15 Signs your liver needs a detox and how to do it. Natural Living Ideas. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/15-signs-your-liver-needs-a-detox-how-to-do-it/

Photo credits

  1. Image courtesy of Maklay62 / Pixabay.com