At approximately 8” wide, 6.5” long and 4.5” thick, the liver is the largest solid organ in the human body. The average liver weighs 3.5 pounds. If the weight of your liver is more than 10% fat, you have what is called a “fatty liver.” Approximately 10-25% of Americans have fatty livers.
The liver’s job
The liver performs over 500 different chemical functions in the human body, such as providing immunity against infection, regulating blood clotting, producing and excreting bile, metabolizing fats, proteins and carbohydrates, activating enzymes, storing glycogen, vitamins and minerals, and excreting cholesterol and hormones. The liver is responsible for the detoxification and purification of the blood, filtering over a liter of blood each minute!
Symptoms of a sluggish liver
You might have a sluggish liver if you experience the following:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic constipation
- Diarrhea and light colored stools
- Easy bruising
- Anxiety and depression
- Mental confusion
- Hormone imbalance
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Impaired libido
- Food allergies and chemical sensitivities
- Sinus problems
How to support your liver
Provide your liver with adequate support by eating healthy and organic, with 30-40% of your diet consisting of raw fruits and vegetables. Limit protein, dairy, sugar and carbohydrate consumption. Avoid processed foods, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, acetaminophen, antibiotics, antacids and environmental toxins. Consume essential fatty acids in the form of cold pressed olive oil, avocados, fish, and raw nuts and seeds. Drink plenty of water.
First aid Foods
- Vitamin K: found in green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.
- Arginine: found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), carob, oats, walnuts, wheatgerm and seeds. Arginine helps the liver to detoxify ammonia, which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism.
- Antioxidants: Found in fresh raw juices such as carrot, celery, beet, dandelion, apple, pear and green drinks like wheatgrass and barley-grass. It is also found in fresh fruits, especially citrus and kiwi.
- Selenium: Found in brazil nuts, kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheatgerm, whole grains, garlic and onions.
- Methionine: Found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat. Methionine is essential for detoxification.
- Essential fatty acids: Found in seafood, cod liver oil and fish oil, avacado, raw nuts and seeds (and cold pressed seed oils), legumes, whole grains, wheatgerm, green vegetables such as spinach, green peas, green beans, and eggplant.
- Natural sulphur compounds: Found in free range eggs, garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help people get and stay healthy. Here are the top herbs that provide support for the liver and help with the detoxification process:
- Milk thistle seed
- Wildcrafted Chanca Piedra
- Fringetree bark
- Dandelion root and leaf
- Nettles root and leaf
- Turmeric root
- Marshmallow root and leaf
- Yellow Dock root
- Barberry root bark
- Blue Flag
Because essential oils are plant concentrates, still containing all of the plant’s nutrients, molecules, trace minerals, enzymes, hormones, vitamins and more, they can be even more effective than herbs for wellness and detoxification. Some of the most effective for liver health and detoxification are:
- German chamomile
- Celery seed