Hi friend! I hope your week is going splendidly. I just got home from a walk about town running errands and it hit me full force: Autumn is in the Air!
With the changing of the seasons often comes an influx of colds, flus, and fatigue.
Luckily for you there are a few super simple tweaks to your lifestyle that you can make that don’t involve a complete dietary make over, but can still provide a ton of support for your body’s natural capacity to function optimally. Today we’re going to look specifically at supporting our major detoxification (it also does hundreds of other super important jobs) organ THE LIVER!
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing the following lifestyle suggestions to support your body:
- Drink Liver Supporting Teas
- Eat Immune Boosting Foods
- Get Adequate Rest
- Move your Booty!
- Bonus: Heal Your Gut!
- Eat Liver Supportive Foods!
Today’s post focuses on the first item on the list: Drinking liver supporting teas.
The liver is your major organ of detoxification and as such it is tasked with breaking down and eliminating all the pesticides, xenoestrogens, pollution, and other toxins you come into contact with on a daily basis.
When your liver is overburdened or becomes congested you are more prone to sickness as your body tries to store or eliminate those toxins in other ways.
A great way to help your liver is to drink teas or take tinctures that offer liver supportive properties. My three top herbal helpers are:
o This herb is a great natural cholegogue, which means it stimulates the production of bile in the liver. Bile production is necessary for the digestion of fats and acts as a natural, non-habit forming laxative via its action on the liver.
o The liver packages toxins and cholesterol into bile, which is then used for digestion and eliminated from the body via your stool.
o It is also traditionally referred to as an alterative in herbal medicine.
o Alteratives are herbs that are known to gradually restore the proper function of the body and increase health and vitality via their actions on specific body systems. At one time they were referred to as “blood cleansers,” which makes dandelion an excellent addition to a detoxification program.
o Option: Including dandelion leaf either fresh or as tea, in your tea regimen is another great idea because of its action as a potassium-containing diuretic. Most diuretics can cause a sodium/potassium imbalance because when you use the washroom more, you eliminate more potassium in your urine. However, because dandelion leaf is one of the best natural sources of potassium you have a diuretic that keeps your body in balance, while preventing unnecessary water retention.
o It supports the kidneys and bladder, two other major organs of detoxification in the body.
o This herb has traditionally been used to treat skin conditions and has a similar function on the liver as dandelion re: bile production.
o It also stimulates the secretion of digestive juices via its bitter action.
o In addition to being considered a cholegogue and alterative, burdock is also considered a hepatic herb.
o Hepatics tone and strengthen the liver, which increases its function and helps keep it happy and healthy.
o This herb is often used to support the liver and has been shown in various scientific studies to help protect your major detoxifying organ from the effects of toxins, such as those found in OTC painkillers like Tylenol.
o One of the active ingredients is a flavonoid called silymarin.
o Milk thistle also promotes bile flow, helping with your digestion and elimination functions.
Some honourable liver-loving herbal mentions go to schizandra berry, fennel, and lemon.
Try drinking a glass of warm water with lemon every morning upon waking to stimulate your digestive juices and help support your liver’s detoxification processes.
You can easily find a tea that combines one or all three of the above herbs. You can buy these herbs loose or if you’re pressed for time, try picking up a pre-mixed blend from a brand such as Traditional Medicinals Lemon Detox or Reishi’s Ginseng Detox. Most health food stores should have a plethora of liver supporting teas, just make sure they don’t contain any artificial colours or flavours.
Well that’s all for today friend! The next article will take a look at some immune supporting foods you can incorporate into your diet to help ward of the nasty colds and flus that will be circulating all winter long. Have a wonderfully whimsical weekend!
Tricked ya! I’m actually going to write a Seasonal Support Part 1.a all about Liver Loving Foods, which you can read by clicking that link!