The doctor has been taught to be interested not in health but in disease. What the public should be taught is that health is the cure for disease. – Ashley Montagu
The liver is the largest organ in our bodies and is responsible for helping you maintain optimal health. It makes and regulates the secretion of bile to aid digestion and neutralizes and removes toxic compounds from our bodies. It is extremely important to keep our liver healthy and running efficiently if we want to feel our best. This month in the WON Scoop I will go over several herbs that are known for keeping your liver running in top condition.
Milk Thistle: Milk thistle is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years to support the liver. It works as a detoxifier by drawing toxins out of the body that can cause a range of symptoms and diseases. It contains the flavonoid silymarin, which is thought to be responsible for many of its beneficial effects. Silymarin protects the liver and has antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It acts as a “toxin blockade agent” by inhibiting the binding of toxins to liver cell membrane receptors. Silymarin is an anti-fibrotic, which means it prevents tissue from scarring. It is used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis, and toxin induced liver diseases. Milk thistle is shown to decrease, or even reverse, damage to the liver that’s been caused by prescription medications, antibiotics, pollution, heavy metals and so on. You can find Milk thistle in our bulk section, in a tincture, in capsules, in teas, and in blends.
Dandelion Root: Most people do all they can to get rid of the yellow weeds that pop up in their yards every spring not knowing how healthy they are. Dandelions are a potassium rich herb and actually have a number of powerful health benefits including the ability to cleanse the liver. The role of our liver is to produce bile, which helps enzymes in the body break down fats into fatty acids, and to filter and detoxify our blood. The liver also breaks down and stores glucose, and regulates our internal functions. When your liver is sluggish you can experience a number of symptoms including: headaches, bad breath, fatigue, indigestion, bloating, irritability, sugar cravings, skin problems and excess weight. The vitamins and nutrients present in dandelions help cleanse the liver and keep it working properly. Dandelion is known for inducing the flow of bile from the liver. Dandelion functions as a natural diuretic, and helps the body release excess water caused by liver dysfunctions such as cirrhosis of the liver. You can find Dandelion in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture, in teas, and in blends.
Yellow Dock Root: Yellow dock root has high iron content and is a digestive tonic, acting specifically on the liver and gall bladder to inspire function and balance. Yellow dock has a cleansing action and supports the liver, allowing it to capably process out excess amounts of hormones. When the toxic load of the body is extreme due to drug and alcohol abuse, or chemotherapy, yellow dock assists detoxification and heals the body through increased nutrient absorption. In cases of hepatitis, yellow dock root helps to maintain the integrity of the liver, improve function and bring elevated enzyme levels back down to normal. It also helps boost a stressed immune system when lymphatic inflammation and liver deficiency are present. You can find yellow dock root in our bulk section, in capsules and in a tincture.
'Peppermint: Peppermint is one of nature's little gifts. It has the most amazing scent, taste and aroma, a true treat! Peppermint supports liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. By increasing the amount of bile flow, peppermint leaf positively supports digestion by breaking down fats and reducing bad cholesterol. Decreased cholesterol levels reduce the workload required from the liver. If your liver is sluggish, peppermint may provide a boost. You can find peppermint in our bulk section, in teas, in a capsule, in a tincture, and peppermint oil in a capsule and in our essential oils.
Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the most valuable plant based medicines in existence. Research has connected turmeric to a variety of wonderful benefits, including and especially the promotion of liver health. Curcumin is the compound found in turmeric that fights inflammation. Numerous studies have linked curcumin to combating liver cancer and improving liver fibroids. Turmeric removes cholesterol from the liver, which can save you from fatty liver disease. Curcumin communicates with liver cells to produce more LDL receptors, which means more cholesterol is cleared from our body. Turmeric assists the enzymes that are responsible for flushing out known dietary carcinogens. The result is enhanced protection against liver damage, and even regeneration of affected liver cells. You can find turmeric in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and as a powder.
Artichoke: Artichokes are high in silymarin and cynarin, which are antioxidants known as phytonutrients. These phytonutrients aid in liver problems and help to regernerate liver cells. Artichokes are a natural diuretic and choleretic, stimulating bile production, which flushes toxins out of the body. Artichokes improve gallbladder function and aid in more efficient breakdown of foods for improved digestion. One of the major benefits of artichokes to your liver is that they are a natural defense against hepatoxicity (toxicity of the liver). They guard your liver cells from damage caused by outside pollutants, carcinogens and toxins, such as alcohol, acetaminophen, processed food, and other pollutants. Artichoke can be found in our bulk section, in a tincture and in blends.
Burdock: Burdock root is a liver cleansing agent. It is useful with skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. These conditions often manifest when the liver is overloaded from a diet high in fat and protein. Burdock aids the liver in metabolizing nutrients and encourages the removal of waste products protecting the liver from toxicity. Burdock stimulates bile and helps purify the blood. You can find Burdock in our bulk section, in the Essiac tea blend in our bulk section, in capsules, in a tincture and in blends.
WON Staff Member