Good examples of liver herbs:
- Milk Thistle (protects liver cells from damage, increases repair & regeneration of liver cells)
- Dandelion (mild laxative, diuretic, increases appetite, increases bile production & secretion)
- Artichoke (protects liver cells, increases appetite, increases bile producion, a general liver tonic)
- Turmeric (improves detox role of the liver, increases bile production)
The diet plays an important part in the health of the liver and in generally keeping the system relatively free from toxins or chemical overload. Many people have periodically tried fruit-only, vegetable-only, water-only fasts. Any kind of fast can be good in the short-term. This encourages the release of toxins from the cells into the bloodstream. Symptoms such as headache, lethargy, skin break-outs are all an indications of toxins being released into the blood. Sensible and continual fasting until it is completed will have enormous benfits such as increased vitality, a sense of rejuvenation, a healthy skin and improved functinoning of vital organs. However, doing a fast badly can produce severe adverse symptoms which are more unpleasant than they need to be. Always seek advice from a nutritionist or a herbalist before embarking on any fast and never adopt fasting as a habitual way of life or a long-term dietary measure.
Foods that are good for the liver:
- Vegetables (brassicas eg. cabbage, brocolli, artichoke, beetroot, watercress, alfalfa sprouts, herbs & spices eg. garlic, fennel, parsley, onions)
- Fruits (apples, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, pears, apricots, avocado, pineapple, papaya, watermelon)
Other examples of herbs include Chinese herbs such as shizandra and bupleurum which work by neutralising liver toxins. People who want a detox usually gain benefit from taking these herbs as well as others such as ginger, burdock, licorice and turmeric, quite often as supplements.
For more information and advice on how to improve liver health, contact your local herbalist (NIMH) or a nutritionist (BANT) - see useful links on the homepage for their contact details. Practitioners will be able to advise on suitability for fasts, supplementation and your general state of health regarding liver functioning.