Liver detox is a big trend right now. But is it worth the hype? And if so, how do you do it the right way? You might be wondering why we need to help our livers to detox, weren’t they designed to do all this themselves? The answer to that question is yes - they were. Our livers are amazing detoxifiers, but the problem is that they are being asked to take on much more than they were designed to handle.
We live in an incredibly toxic world full of chemicals in the air, in our food, in our water, which all impacts liver function. We’re essentially asking one liver to do the job of ten! Unfortunately, we only get one. This “backlog” of toxins can create liver congestion and lead to a whole host of different symptoms depending on what else is going on in the body.
Let’s start by looking at some common symptoms of liver congestion that might warrant detox strategies.
Because the body is an interconnected web of complex systems, your symptoms might look different than someone else's, depending on what you have going on. Some of the more common symptoms that you are in need of liver detox are:
High cholesterol levels
Signs of NAFLD
Consistently waking up at night between 2-3 am
Step One: Stop Putting Toxins In
The good news is, you can detox your liver naturally at home using some of these easy, natural remedies.
The very first thing you need to do is stop putting more toxins in and on your body. There are toxins in your shampoo, body lotion, lipstick and so much more. When you are putting toxins onto (and therefore into, via skin absorption) your body every single day, you’ll always have a backlog for the liver to deal with. So step number one is to stop putting them in the body. This gives the liver a chance to begin processing the old toxins first.
There are also a lot of toxins in home cleaning products. So many that studies show that housewives and housecleaners are at a higher risk of cancer than any other profession and researchers believe the link between the two is cleaning products.
If you would like to learn more about avoiding chemicals in your personal products, or how to switch over your home cleaning supplies to non-toxic products, I have some great videos on my Youtube channel! I included a couple for you, below.
One final way to stop putting toxins in your body is to switch over to organic foods. A solution so obvious it almost sounds too good to be true, it will greatly reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides like Monsanto’s glyphosate (“Round-Up”). Organic can be pricier, but I personally think it’s worth it when it comes to your health (not to mention voting with your dollars). If organic foods are hard to find in your area and you need to buy conventional, make sure you check the EWG.org website for their most current list of the clean fifteen and dirty dozen.
The Clean Fifteen are fifteen types of produce that contain lower levels of chemicals and therefore are safer to eat conventional than some others may be.
The Dirty Dozen, however, are foods that are heavily contaminated and should be avoided if not purchasing organic. Because of the added cost of buying organic, I filmed a video on multiple ways you can save money on organic produce, which you can watch here:
There’s also a very common everyday product you may be using that’s damaging to your liver: Tylenol. Studies show repeated Tylenol use is damaging to the liver. One of the main problems Tylenol presents for the liver is depleted glutathione. Glutathione is a major detoxifier in the body and every time you take Tylenol it reduces your glutathione level, thereby reducing the body’s ability to detoxify.
Okay! So now that you know you need to stop putting chemicals on your body and in your body, let's move on to repairing that liver.
Since we just learned about how Tylenol lowers glutathione, let’s talk about a few ways to increase glutathione in the name of liver health. One way is to drink high-quality coffee. I personally love Purity coffee because it’s tested for mold and mycotoxins, pesticides, and heavy metals and it’s organic! A good quality coffee like Purity is going to be high in antioxidants and will increase your glutathione levels as well. Click here to try my favorite Purity coffee for yourself!
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage have been shown to increase levels of detoxifying enzymes and protect the liver from damage. They also contain important cofactors like sulforaphane, that aid the liver in Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. Loading up on those cruciferous vegetables is not only nutritious, but it's another great way to love on your liver.
Castor oil packs are incredibly good for your liver. I recently created a video detailing step-by-step instructions on how to make your own castor oil packs, which you can watch below↓
It’s not nearly as hard as it sounds and it can have amazing results! I have a client that hadn’t slept well for years; when she came to work with me one of the first things I had her do was try castor oil packs. Within just a week she was sleeping through the night, every night (again, for the first time in years).
The herb, milk thistle, is another way you can love on your liver. Milk thistle (also known as silymarin) has been clinically proven to protect your liver and improve its function. One of the easiest ways to get milk thistle is in tea form. You can simply drink one cup of milk thistle tea each day and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier liver. Milk thistle is also readily available in supplement form which you can grab here: for 10% off this great supplement, click here.
Different probiotic strains “specialize” in different health benefits. A very specific probiotic strain blend, MegaSpore probiotic, created by Microbiome labs, has been shown in clinical trials to help protect and repair the liver. In the study, researchers actually compared milk thistle (which, as I previously mentioned, is a well-studied liver protectant) to MegaSpore and found the Megaspore probiotic to be equally effective. Megaspore protected the liver against toxic doses of Tylenol just as well as the milk thistle, and even lowered ALT and AST (two important liver enzyme markers). For a full rundown of the Megaspore study, check out this video below!
The last thing you can do to begin to heal your liver naturally at home is to lower your sugar intake. High sugar intake, especially from high fructose corn syrup, has been correlated to the development of NAFLD, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD impairs the functioning of your liver, so it’s important to avoid developing this disease. We all know sugar isn’t great for us, but now we have one more reason to stay away from sugar and processed foods.
Try not to overwhelm yourself by taking on all of these lifestyle changes at once. Start with those that feel the easiest and the best to you. Continue to incorporate more over time as you begin to feel comfortable with each addition to your liver loving routine!
If you need help with your liver or any other health goals, you can apply to work with me and my team, HERE.