The liver is the largest solid organ in our bodies. It can be adversely affected by poor diet and lifestyle choices, alcohol consumption, acetaminophen, non-prescription pain killers, and the myriad of toxins in our environment.
It is responsible for filtering blood from toxins and converts waste products from metabolic functions into urea to be eliminated by urine. It creates bile to help digest fats and carbohydrates.
It also filters out toxins from the blood stream and synthesizes glutathione, the master antioxidant that also helps recycle other spent antioxidants. It also helps balance blood sugars and creates red blood cells.
As our liver goes, so goes our overall health. A poorly functioning liver can push one into diabetes. Acute liver dysfunction includes hepatitis A, B, and C, which are considered infectious, viral inflammations caused by interpersonal contact, sexual contact, or blood.
Not everyone agrees to the viral aspect of hepatitis, especially hepatitis C, but everyone agrees that inflammation is the issue. Cirrhosis of the liver is usually from too much alcohol consumption. But the latest large surge in liver disease comes from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Mainstream medicine is quick to jump on serious interventions, such as liver transplants, if they perceive too much damage for the liver to recover.
Fortunately, under the right conditions, the liver can remain very healthy or be healed regardless of the affliction because it can self-repair cell damage.
Herbs that will benefit the liver regardless of its condition
The more serious the liver problem is, the more of these herbs can be utilized. For maintaining liver health, one or two are worth considering.
Herbs (1) through (4) can be purchased in bulk to make your own tinctures or extracts. Here’s a DIY (do it yourself) recipe for any tincture or extract.
When using root chunks of any herb, don’t exceed the one-third point in a large jar with the alcohol-water solution. Use even less in smaller jars. Those little root chunks swell up more than leaves, powders, or seeds.
(1) Milk Thistle (silymarin): This is the most recommended herb of all for liver ailments and/or protecting a normal liver from daily toxins. Milk thistle is available in capsules or extracts, sometimes it’s called silymarin, which is the active ingredient that’s in the seeds.
Milk thistle is a flowering plant of the daisy family indigenous to Europe, North Africa, and the Mid-East. It has been clinically proven to improve liver function and repair liver damage. Standardized 80 percent silymarin is recommended in either pill or extract form with dosage amounts ranging from 100 to 1,000 mg.
It’s common for people with liver issues to take 300 mg three times daily. Whether the liver needs healing or protection, milk thistle can be used for as long as someone wants. It’s best to use milk thistle seeds for DIY tinctures.
(2) Dandelion: is another safe liver herb sometimes mixed with milk thistle in capsules, an excellent combination. Some prefer extracts or even teas made from dandelion. Those weird looking weeds with small yellow flowers that many complain about when they pop up in their lawns are dandelions.
In addition to being a good source of most major vitamins, the plant provides iron, potassium, and zinc. Its most cherished function is stimulating the production of bile and its flow between the gall bladder and liver to improve liver function and overall health.
Use bulk root chunks for DIY dandelion liver tinctures.
(3) Burdock root: also purchased as rough cut root chunks that can be easily made into teas. This is a favorite blood purifier among Ayurvedic medicine doctors.
It also stimulates bile flow while helping a weakened liver by purifying the blood and restoring damaged cells. Small burdock root chunks are ideal for DIY tinctures. Allow for swelling during the soaking process.
(4) Artichoke (cynarin): This herb also assists bile production and flow. It helps prevent gallstones and can also dramatically curb jaundice. Dried leaves or dried leaves and flower buds combined are used for tinctures. A DIY tincture can be made without concerns for root chunk swelling.
(5) Turmeric (curcumin): This is the most clinically tested and written about herb for any and all inflammation. Since most liver ailments are inflammatory, it’s wise to include it in a liver healing protocol.
Curcumin capsules are readily available. But to ensure maximum absorption, get those that include piperine, an active ingredient from black pepper that helps extract nutrients from foods considerably.
Some also suggest emptying the curcumin capsule contents into a little extra virgin olive oil and downing it. Traditionally, turmeric is mixed with a heated fat, such as gee, milk, or coconut oil to enhance the bio-availability of turmeric’s curcumin.
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