9 Incredible Liver Cleansing Herbs and Supplements You Should Be Eating
- We need to support our body's natural detox functions.
- There are herbs and spices that help our body to detox.
- Supplements can also be used to help your body detox.
Toxins are everywhere these days, but there is no need to worry because you can find a liver detox home remedy that is simple and safe. Our bodies do naturally detox on their own but our unhealthy lifestyles and even certain illnesses can cause our bodies to stop working as well as they should which hampers the natural detoxification process.
There are also just so many toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis that it can be hard for our bodies to get rid of them all quickly enough. This is why we need to help our liver out. In this article, I will tell you about 9 liver cleansing herbs and supplements that you can use. You may even already have them in your kitchen.
Signs That You May Need To DetoxThere are many signs that you may need to detox, but here are some of the lesser known signs:
- Congested sinuses
- Post nasal drip
- Dark marks on your skin
- Bad body odor/Bad breath
- Trouble losing weight
Liver Cleansing Herbs And Spices
These herbs and spices can be used daily in small doses to maintain the ability to detox effectively and the health of especially your liver and kidneys, but you may also need to use bigger doses for a few weeks to get rid of bigger toxic loads. Bigger doses can be used anything from a week to around six weeks.
Your liver uses bile to digest your Fat. The compromised liver has a hard time digesting the food or if your gallbladder is removed. Dandelion is beneficial for the production of bile and supports the liver. Generally, people without gallbladder should always take external Bile Salt called Ox Bile with Betaine HCL and lipase for the rest of their lives and I can promise you will see an extra 10 years of better healthy life.
Dandelion also acts as a diuretic which helps your kidneys to eliminate waste and toxins without removing electrolytes which other diuretics often do. Dandelion is high in vitamins and minerals too. You can find it as a tincture and dry, which you can use to make tea. You can also add it to your meals, though it has a bitter taste.
- Tea: 2 teaspoons (or 9-12 g) of dandelion per cup three times a day.
- Tincture: 100-150 drops three times a day.
Avoid dandelion if you have a ragweed allergy or have allergic reactions to daisies, marigold or chrysanthemums.
Curcumin is what gives turmeric its yellow color and many health benefits. When it comes to detoxification, curcumin helps the cells that remove toxins in the liver to stay healthy. It also helps the gallbladder to produce bile. Turmeric contains vitamin C which is also important for detoxing. Turmeric can be used to cook with as a spice and you can make tea from it. You can also find it in capsule form and as a fluid extract.
- Dry: 400-600 mg three times a day.
- Liquid extract: 30-90 drops per day.
3. Ground Ivy for people eating Sea Food and Rice
Ground ivy helps your body to get rid of heavy metals often found in rice and fish. The sources of heavy metals are also the Amalgam feelings in your teeth, or vaccination, chemotherapy etc. It also has diuretic properties. You can find it as a tea, powder form, or you can find it as a tincture.
- Dry: 1 teaspoon per day.
- Tincture: 1-4 ml three times a day
Avoid ground ivy if you have epilepsy.
This is another herb that's great for helping the body to get rid of heavy metals. It also has antimicrobial properties. The seeds, known as coriander, also have benefits. They specifically help for infections like UTI. You can eat the leaves in your food to help your body out or get a tincture that you can rub onto your wrists or used to make tea.
This is my number one herb in all foods I prepare. Try this adding on your food specially Asian and you will be amazed by the taste of the food.
- Pesto: 2 teaspoons of cilantro pesto per day for three months for detox.
- Leaves: 1/4 cup of leaves per day during detox.
- Tincture: 2-10 drops two to three times a day.
During the beginning phase of the detox, cilantro should be given 1 week on, 2–3 weeks off if you are doing a 3 month cleanse. Use it in conjunction with chlorella.
5. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle helps to keep your liver healthy and assists it in getting rid of waste and toxins and helps to prevent the depletion of glutathione which is an antioxidant that is very important in the detox process. It also helps with bile production. Milk thistle is available in many forms including capsules, powders, tinctures, teas, and as an extract. It has very few side effects.
For detox: 150 mg three times a day.
Maintenance: 50-150 mg per day.
Avoid milk thistle if you have a ragweed allergy or if you have a health condition fueled by estrogen (e.g. cancer of the reproductive organs or estrogen dominance).
Neem cleanses the blood and supports the liver in detoxing. It also has a diuretic effect and is antimicrobial. You can chew the leaves, or you can find the seeds, capsules, or oil and make a tea out of them. It's quite bitter so not everyone will enjoy the taste.
The correct dose depends on your age and current health status. It's best to consult a medical expert or a qualified herbalist first. Never take large doses for long periods of time as it can harm the kidneys and liver.
Liver Cleansing Supplements
Probiotics help to make sure you have enough good bacteria in your gut which helps to get rid of toxins. They are helpful in getting rid of heavy metals as well as BPA (a harmful chemical in plastics) and pesticides. There are many reasons that your gut flora can change and cause your digestive system to become ineffective at removing toxins properly including antibiotics, unhealthy diets, stress, and alcohol.
Different Strains Help For Different Toxins:
- Lactobacillus bacteria: Helps to get rid of heavy metals, heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA) which are carcinogenic compounds formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures and BPA.
- Bifidobacterium breve: Gets rid of BPA
- Bifidobacterium bifidum: Gets rid of chemicals (perchlorate) that we get from the air due to airplanes and fireworks.
Probiotics In Fermented Foods:
The dosage of the supplement will vary according to your needs. Following the dosage instructions on the label is a good starting point.
Chlorella is derived from algae. It helps to remove heavy metals from the body and can also act as a binder the same way activated charcoal does. It also helps to remove pesticides and mold from your body as well. It does all this without binding to the minerals in your body that are important for your health, unlike charcoal. You can find it in supplement form as a powder or even as tablets. It's a great addition to your smoothies in powdered form.
Caution When Using Chlorella:
- It can raise iron levels too high, particularly in men and postmenopausal women so do not take large doses for long periods of time.
- Do not use chlorella if you are allergic to iodine.
- Start at a low dose and increase it slowly.
Powder: 1/2 - 3 tsp per day
Tablets: 3-6 tablets per day (split dose).
Only use broken wall chlorella supplements to be sure that it's absorbed properly. The powder is preferable to tablets because tablets contain fillers and binders that are not the best for your health. Read about the common side effects of the most popular supplements on the market here.
3. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is made out of burnt coconut shells, wood, olive pips or peat. In a medical setting activated charcoal is used to treat medication and iron overdose as well as alcohol or cyanide poisoning. This requires large doses and should only be used under medical supervision. Activated charcoal removes toxins by absorbing them and then being excreted when you defecate.
It's safe to use in lower doses and is available as a supplement in capsule or powder form though it's best not to use it for long periods of time. It's very beneficial to take after exercising or after being in a sauna to absorb and remove any toxins left behind.
- Digestive cleanse: 10 g between each meal (around 90 mins prior) for 2 days.
- General cleanse: 1-2 g per day for one to two weeks between meals as it can prevent absorption of nutrients from food if taken too close to meals.
Never use the charcoal you use to light your barbeque, it's not the same thing and can be toxic. Avoid activated charcoal if you have digestive problems such as ulcers or an intestinal blockage.
4. NAC, ALA, or Glutathione
Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant that is produced by the liver which also plays a key role in detoxing the body. It helps in particular for the effects of drugs and alcohol, some medications and even those toxins that have a carcinogenic effect. It's made up of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. The problem is that the body relies heavily on glutathione and it can be depleted quicker than the body can make if the body is exposed to lots of toxins constantly.
Taking a supplement that either helps the body to create glutathione or taking a glutathione supplement directly. Make very sure when buying glutathione that it's liposomal so that it's able to withstand your stomach acid. NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is what is responsible for making Glutathione. ALA (alpha lipoic acid) recycles used glutathione so that it can be used again by the body and boosts the level of glutathione in your cells.
Boosting Glutathione Naturally
- Whey protein
- Raw milk
- Raw egg whites
- A wide variety of colorful vegetables
- Foods high in sulfur (e.g. broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, eggs, and grass-fed meat)
- Cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, turnips, and bok choy)
Dosage For The Supplements:
- Glutathione: 250 - 600 mg
- NAC: 200 - 1200 mg per day
- ALA: 300-1800 mg
Precautions When Taking Herbs And Supplements
- Always speak to your doctor first if you are on any medication including contraceptives before trying herbs or supplements as they can interfere with the effects or absorption of medication and other supplements.
- Not all herbs and supplements are suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Speak to your doctor first before using any supplements and herbs medicinally.
- Check with the pediatrician or herbalist before using supplements or herbs medicinally for children.
- Start with a low dose and work up to the higher dose slowly to minimize the side effects of detoxing.
- Herbs are natural but can be powerful. Stick to the correct doses.
- Our bodies can't always get rid of toxins on their own because of illness, unhealthy lifestyles, and because there are so many toxins all around us.
- Signs that you need a detox include acne, dark marks, trouble losing weight, and bad body odor.
- Dandelion, turmeric, ground ivy, cilantro, milk thistle, and neem are herbs and spices that help our bodies to detox effectively.
- Supplements that help the detox process are probiotics, activated charcoal, and chlorella.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should always speak to their doctor before using herbs and supplements medicinally.
- Speak to your doctor if you are on any medication before using any herbs and supplements.