Find out why your liver is unhealthy, how to avoid the worst toxins, and what can give you a healthy liver again.
With spring just arrived for many of us, we’re approaching the perfect time to give our bodies one last chance to let go. If you take a look around in nature, you will see that as seasons change we are being given great insights. During the fall, leaves fall away and the entirety of nature seems to be “shedding” its unneeded baggage. In spring, rain and wind come to clear the land of old winter debris. This clearing makes room for new growth. Because many of have been out of sync with nature, we haven’t paid attention to the fact that our bodies are trying to do the same thing. We, too, are cleansing, just as nature is. Instead of wind, rain, and falling leaves, our bodies detox with movement, water, and various types of elimination. When we stop this natural process, however, our bodies become toxic and our livers overburdened.
Want to know how amazing your liver is? The liver is the main detox organ. And it works hard to not only process the food you eat, supplements you take, and liquids you drink but also the air you breathe, the things you put on your skin, and even the negative emotions you feel. That’s right! Anger, for example, is a negative primal emotion that injures the liver. These types of debilitating emotions leave us feeling drained and weighed down as we release excess stress-hormones that have to be filtered and processed by the liver to regain homeostasis in the body.
Over time, excess anger can lead to hormonal buildup in the liver, causing accelerated aging, digestive problems, and further mood imbalances. For those of you who have ever tried cleansing or any whole foods diet that promotes cleansing, you may notice quite the emotional rollercoaster in the beginning. This is signs of your liver trying to heal itself. Toxic emotions and other toxic particles stored in the liver are now trying to make a move. You can compare it to washing a dirty pan on Thanksgiving; after you’ve soaked it and begin to scrub, the water becomes very dirty and the whole situation is a mess. This grime leaving the pan and surfacing in the water is a great metaphor for what happens in the liver as it works to cleanse itself.
The liver is truly an amazing organ! Aside from filtering everything you eat and feel, the liver also stores vitamin B12 and iron, makes amino acids, kills bacteria and viruses, creates digestive fluids, stores immune cells, breaks down fats, and a hundred other things! We should really love our liver more because of all the hard work it does for us. And the more we love it, the more it will love us back with better moods, great digestion, and a glowing, radiant appearance!
How Toxins Build Up
As I mentioned before, the liver processes toxins from multiple sources. Toxins can build up both inside and outside your body. Examples of toxins accumulated from within would be poorly digested food, stress, negative emotions, and infections from bacteria, yeast, or fungus. These inner toxins are known as endogenous toxins. Outer toxins would include environmental ones: polluted air, chemicals, synthetic cosmetic products, carpet, and allergens. To best keep toxicity low, you want to promote ongoing cleansing with a healthy lifestyle. Deeper, seasonal cleanses can be appropriate and even highly recommended in our modern toxic world.
Signs of a Toxic Liver
If your living is becoming overburdened, it’s quite easy to tell. Nearly all disease begins in the digestive system, and the liver is one of the main organs of this incredible system. It’s usually safe to say that if you are experiencing any sort of ailment or unease in the body then your liver is taking on a heavy load. Because an unhealthy liver can cause about any problem, it’s hard to pinpoint which symptoms are specific to a liver, making caring for liver health daily particularly important. That being said, there are a few more liver-related cries for help:
- Skin (your outer-liver) Problems: acne, black heads (built up resentment), rashes, dull skin, dry skin, yellowing of skin (jaundice), etc.
- Poor Digestion: gas, bloating, constipation, indigestion, hemorrhoids
- Eye Problems: blurry vision, red/dry eyes
- Irritability and unstable anger
- Hair loss, especially at the back of the head, is an indicator of an unhealthy liver
- Thyroid problems
- Tired, run down, low energy
- Sinus, nose, body congestion
What are the Causes of an Unhealthy Liver?
- Processed foods, fast food, inorganic (conventional) foods, foods with chemicals and preservatives
- Pasteurized dairy, grain-fed animal products, and too many animal products
- Sugar (too much fructose)
- Starchy foods
- Medication/Prescription Drugs
- Low fiber diet
- Negative emotions: anger, fear
- Toxic tap water
- Lack of sleep
Caring for Your Liver
To care for the liver is to live naturally! Cleansing the body naturally with real, organic foods, moderate exercise, and an overall nourishing life is the holistic approach that must be taken to honor your liver. If you’re new to a lot of this information, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but let that pass too! This is the day to start anew. With a few simple recommendations, we can implement step-by-step the journey to a happy and healthy liver, and therefore a younger, happier, and healthier you! Here are some of the best tips for keeping your living vibrant:
- Colonics and enemas: You can do your own research here, however, colonic therapy has been proven one of the most time-tested and efficient ways to help kick-start the cleansing process! Disclaimer: This is not something to depend on to condone slip ups, but to be used therapeutically in addition to a holistically healthy lifestyle.
- Drink plenty of clean, warm lemon water: Room temperature water is easiest for the body to digest and assimilate. Strive for 1 liter each morning and incorporate more throughout the day.
- Get adequate rest: About 8.5 hours each night is best and follows the model of nature! That means bed by 10:30pm and up with the sun if, of course, your schedule allows. If it doesn’t, just be sure to get that 8.5 hours at the time that works best for you.
- Choose physical activity that is right for your body: Depending on how healthy you are, including your weight, size, and age, your workouts may differ. I would suggest for anyone trying to cleanse the liver to choose an energy building work like slow-flow yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong. Too much exercise will rob the body of needed energy to cleanse.
- Eat plenty of fresh, raw vegetables: A plant-based diet is healthiest for the liver! Choosing 80% of your diet to be non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, broccoli) are especially cleansing for the liver. The rest of the 20% of your diet can go to healthy fats like stone-pressed olive (especially cleansing for liver) and coconut oil, or sprouted, gluten-free grains. However, if you’re trying to really clean the liver, I would skip the grains for the time being.
- Fermented Raw Foods: Probiotics clean the intestines, liver, and kidneys! I would opt for raw cultured vegetables made with a starter culture to ensure healthy proliferation of good bacteria. Also, raw coconut kefir is fantastic for cleaning the liver!
- Support the liver with herbs: Schisandraberry, licorice root, milk thistle, asparagus root, artichoke, turmeric, and astragalus, just to name a few, support detoxification of the liver in multiple phases.
- Practice gratitude: Nothing heals like love. It is my honest experience that all ailments come from a lack of love. I’m not talking about romantic love here (though that can be helpful). I’m talking about real, deep love; the type of love that fills your heart with so much appreciation for life you can hardly contain your joy. Gratitude works like magic to shift your focus from not enough to more than enough. Keep a journal and write ten things daily you are completely, unquestionably grateful for and why!
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