Periodically giving your liver detox can revitalize its ability to function optimally and have a knock-on effect on your health. The word liver ‘detox’ is of course a shortened version of ‘detoxification’; not something we should be doing every month or year, but a process which occurs in everyone of your cells, tissues and organs every fraction of a second, every day. It is like breathing as long as you are taking in air, water, food and every aspect of your environment, you will need to clear out the bi-products, just like running a car. So a regular liver ‘detox’ is not a ‘sticking plaster’ approach, it is an addition, not a replacement for learning to make permanent changes and develop new habits for life.
always advisable to consult a practitioner for any form of detox as not everyone
is of a fit state to start moving toxins from their body tissues into their
liver. If not done at the right pace for you, your liver can become overburdened your phase 2 detoxification pathway will not be able to cope and you may feel a whole lot worse than when you started. This ‘healing crisis’ used to be considered a necessary part of getting to full health, but we now know that it is more important to pull back if you are feeling over toxic and allow the liver to deal with toxins. It can be a good idea to make the changes to diet and then, when you feel more ‘clean’ you can set to your more stringent ‘detox’. By then, hopefully your liver function will have improved and your system will respond more positively.
always likely to feel somewhat ‘groggy’ during a cleanse, often seeing an amplification or revisiting of past or present symptoms headaches, fatigue, irritability, nausea, bloating, wind or skin break-outs are a few examples but these should soon pass, especially with liver support supplements such as milk thistle. This can often simply be due to the elimination of foods or drinks to which you have a dependence or intolerance, usually sugar, caffeine, wheat or dairy. If you suspect any of these to have an adverse effect on your health or mood, it is more prudent to slowly remove these from the diet one at a time before ding a full detox. You may otherwise find the shock to the system a little over intense and your liver may not thank you for it.
any cleansing programme at the weekend, so if you have any adverse effects
you can simply lie around, rather than having to work and further stress
your body and liver by being moody with colleagues! Also actively relax,
in other words engage in activities designed to relax your whole body and
nervous system, rather than just watching TV see the chapter on stress for some ideas. Exercise is a key part in liver detoxification, specifically strong calves and thighs with good upper body posture. This combination ensures strong circulation around the liver and a full oxygen and nutrient supply to keep it happy.
definitely not start on a detox regime if you are in any way constipated.
Constipation means not having a bowel movement at least daily and for some,
once a day still leaves them technically constipated i.e. not fully evacuating
all the waste products that they should. If you suffer from constipation,
then faecal matter tends to sit in the transverse colon where stools begin
to form. This is located across the abdomen under the ribs and if you suffer
from pain or bloating here, you may well be holding onto matter in this area.
If the stool does not get pushed down into the descending colon (down left
side of the abdomen) and ejected, then water will be absorbed back into the
body from the stool and it gets dry and hard, a sure sign. Along with the
water toxins, hormones and cholesterol on their way to evacuation are also
reabsorbed and re-circulated around the body, adding to the body load.
you increase your detoxification capacity with a ‘detox’, you begin to move toxins from body tissues and cells towards the bowel. Remember that these are the more toxic, broken down versions that the liver has already detoxified at least once before. If you are constipated you could just be adding more toxic toxins to your bloodstream and feel an awful lot worse, not to mention doing some damage.
constipation can occur from avoiding bowel movements, so ensure that you
enjoy a relaxing time on the throne and exercise to stimulate peristalsis,
the movement of muscles in the gut. Relaxation techniques are good for releasing
any tension that leads to muscle seizure in the colon. The actions mentioned
in the foods section for relieving constipation should be tried first and
slow re-hydration (first with half apple juice and water) prioritized. The
detox below may in fact help bowel motion, but it is safest to be sure that
it does not just cause further toxicity and add to the problems that can
raise cholesterol in the first place.
below can be modified for your tastes and lifestyle or carried out as a ‘regime’. You may find that some aspects can be incorporated into your daily life to support your liver and cholesterol regulation further.
each morning with a liver flush this can follow a small glass of warm water
just to wake up the body and breakfast should be about 20 minutes after:
of one grapefruit
of one lemon with the rind
- 2 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil
- 1 crushed
- 1 inch
ginger root, grated
- 1/8 1˛2
teaspoon cayenne pepper
at least 2 liters of water a day filtered or bottled, but
choose ‘mineral’ not
spring water, which needs no regulation. Dandelion coffee has fantastic
cholesterol regulating properties and herb teas help to alkalize the
body, encouraging it to function most efficiently. See those mentioned in the
kidney cleanse below.
half a pint of fruit or vegetable juice carrot, apple
and ginger is a particularly good choice for liver health and
parsley and celery can be added for extra detoxification. Add
of flax oil to stop the sudden release of sugars from these
plants that have had
for at least 20 minutes each day for good circulation, oxygenation and detoxification.
Exercising in greenery
helps to bring down
stress hormones, so a brisk walk in the country can be the
especially if you
start the programme at the weekend.
those that are best for your liver:
plant foods, including vegetables best choices for
your liver function:
- Grains brown rice, corn, millet,
quinoa twice a day maximum, preferably
not with dinner
- Fish salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring not
more than once a day, buy fresh and wild where possible
- Oils use
extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for cooking and cold
pressed seed oils
and seeds one handful a day of organic raw, unsalted
nuts and seeds should be included. Choose from almonds,
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds
foods: pasta, noodles; white, brown, whole meal and wholegrain bread and
buns, wheat based crackers, water biscuits,
biscuits, wheat germ, bran, pancakes (unless you use buckwheat flour).
Wheat is in
even cornflakes check labels, white and whole meal flour,
semolina, couscous, battered foods, breaded foods, MSG,
food starch, wheat
starch, some mustards
(read the label), biscuits and cookies, cakes, scones,
pastries, some chocolate and some malt drinks (check
and dairy products (including sheep and goat); cheese, milk and yoghurt,
a little butter is ok
and trans fats (check labels)
- artificial sweeteners, food additives and preservatives
and bananas only once every 2 days each alternate
Specifically if you tend to accumulate gallstones and to ‘detox’;
reduce nuts, onions, oranges, lentils (use the pulses listed
sugars, pork, poultry, corn, eggs and alcohol, which can
all be gallstone-forming. Lifestyle
Consider the following
daily, can be done yourself or ask a very close friend to help out! You could
indulge in at least one professional
or reflexology session.
brushing twice daily
exercises and relaxation exercises
least 10 minutes a day. Learn these from
a yoga class, buy a book
or CD or ask someone who practices already.
magnesium baths every other day by adding half to one
cup of Epsom
salts to very hot water. These are
magnesium sulphate and lying in
this hot bath for at least 20 minutes
allows you to absorb the magnesium, which is very calming
article is taken from a new book by Charlotte Watts, Wellhouse Publishing