Tennee | May 5, 2016
As our seasons change from winter to spring, so do the internal mechanisms of our body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as spring brings cleansing rain to encourage new blossoms and green grown to occur, inside the body, the liver becomes more active and needs extra support and nourishment as well.
This makes spring an excellent time to “clean house” and give your liver some added support. I am personally taking this time to pay attention and support my liver and I can honestly tell you that the benefits are enormous! It clears the eyes, the skin and my body simply feels more resilient.
Why do we need to support and clean our liver?
The liver is one of our primary detoxification organs, responsible for over 500 jobs, but more specifically, it works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, produce lymph fluid, break down hormones, store essential vitamins and minerals and produce bile needed to digest fat. / Source: NCBI
Just as your car needs periodic oil changes to keep it running smoothly, our bodies “filters” such as the liver and kidneys, need to periodically be cleaned through detoxification methods in order to keep up with the day to day onslaught of toxin exposures brought about by both the external environment as well as our internal environment.
Factors that contribute to a sluggish liver aka reasons to “change the oil”.
- environmental toxin exposure
- diets high in sugar
- hydrogenated fats
- alcohol consumption
- oral contraceptives and antibiotics
- high levels of stress
- restless sleep patterns
- chronic infections
5 easy ways to support and clean your liver this spring
1. NOURISH with Castor oil packs on the liver
Castor oil is traditionally used to decongest the liver. Ricinoleic acid, the main component of castor oil produces significant anti-inflammatory effects on the liver as well as the lymphatic system. Castor oil is also extremely effective for pain relief. The use of castor oil packs placed over the liver promotes healthy lymphocyte production and flow, which ultimately keeps each cell of the body properly cleansed of waste material.
To use castor oil packs: Simply apply castor oil under the right rib cage on the skin, cover the skin with either wool or organic cotton cloth and apply a hot water bottle on top of the cloth. (Castor oil is sticky and can stain clothing, so wear an old shirt or something you wont mind staining).
2. SWEAT IT OUT
I have said it many times... infrared saunas have an amazing capacity to detoxify.
Infrared saunas are able to rerouting toxins circulating in your blood, (waiting for the liver or kidneys to process them) where they are excreted out through your sweat pores or sebaceous glands. Infrared saunas detoxify at many levels. Specifically, the effect of infrared saunas can lift the body burden off the liver and can be especially helpful when undergoing an elimination organ cleanse, (i.e. liver and kidneys).
3. SUPPORTIVE HERBS
There are many, but these are a few of my favorites...
This regenerative and cleansing herb is native to the Mediterranean and has been in use for thousands of years to support various aspects of liver function. With active ingredients of silymarin and silybin, these antioxidants have been found to protect the liver from toxins, especially alcohol. Silymarin has been found to increase glutathione which is crucial for liver detoxification, and it also has been shown to help regenerate liver cells. Milk thistle is famous for acting as a “toxin blockage agent” by inhibiting the binding of toxins to liver cell membrane receptors. This herb can help expedite the healing process of your liver and is recommended when undertaking a liver cleanse /liver tune up/ and is often used to support a chronic bacterial elimination protocol.
(I personally recommend starting slowly with milk thistle and working with a health care practitioner as this is a powerful herb and depending on your level of toxicity can be quite fierce).
This medicinal plant is usually thought of as a common weed, however it is actually a potent liver cleanser that has been used and celebrated by herbalists throughout the ages.
Dandelion root works by stimulating bile flow from the liver, and is often used for estrogen dominance, acne, fatty liver and cirrhosis. It is also well known as a blood and digestive tonic.
Dandelion greens can be harvested and added to salads or cooked to minimize their somewhat bitter flavor.
The dandelion root, stems and flowers can also be easily made into a healthy tea.
Turmeric is one of the most health enhancing spices researched to date.
Numerous studies have linked it to effectively combating liver cancer and improving liver fibroids.
Turmeric can also uniquely assist 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.
Curcumin is the active constituent of turmeric and can be taken in supplement form if you don’t consume turmeric.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a Chinese “meridian clock” is used to show the times of the day when each organ system is most active. The “liver time” is between 1-3 am.
This means that our bodies are going to be ramping up elimination and detoxification during this time. So it is crucial to support your liver during this time and get to bed ideally before 10 pm. There is a saying “one hour before midnight is worth two after”. This is especially true when liver cleansing.
If you get to bed by 10 pm, it will allow your body to follow its natural circadian rhythm and will support you as your body has the quality sleep it needs to regenerate and replenish.
Considering the fact that water makes up between 60-70% of the human body, it is critical to stay hydrated while cleaning and supporting your liver and kidneys. In order to properly excrete waste, the body needs water as a catalyst to clean house. Proper hydration keeps the blood fluid so that toxic material can be delivered to the lymph and liver. Depending on the health of your water source, it is important to get your water checked and if you are not drinking spring water, add a filtration method. Adding lemon to your water will also enhance your bodies enzyme function and stimulate the liver.
I highly recommend starting your day with a mug of warm lemon water to help your liver and kidneys do their jobs properly.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”.
May your reality be radiant!
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