Love Your Liver

Your liver works hard to detox­ify your body, so give it some love with these five nat­u­ral cleans­ing sup­ple­ments

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Kim Erick­son Kim Erick­son is a cer­ti­fied nu­tri­tion and well­ness coach, and a board-cer­ti­fied holis­tic health prac­ti­tioner.

Your liver works hard to detox­ify your body, so give it some love with these five nat­u­ral cleans­ing sup­ple­ments.

The liver. It’s not some­thing that most of us rou­tinely think about. But the liver is the largest in­ter­nal or­gan in the body. Its best-known role is that of garbage col­lec­tor—in a world filled with tox­ins, it’s the liver’s job to break down the con­tam­i­nants that come our way and get them ready to be es­corted from the body. Ideally, the liver could process all of the tox­ins we en­counter, but due to the sheer vol­ume of in­dus­trial chem­i­cals and pol­lu­tants that we are ex­posed to to­day, the liver’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to detox­ify can have trou­ble keep­ing up. The fol­low­ing herbs and nu­tri­ents can not only help op­ti­mize over­all liver func­tion, but also specif­i­cally sup­port the or­gan’s detox­i­fi­ca­tion mech­a­nisms.

AMLA FRUIT EX­TRACT is one of the most im­por­tant foods in Ayurvedic medicine, largely be­cause of its an­tiox­i­dant and anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties. Sci­en­tific stud­ies show that amla ef­fec­tively pre­vents the toxic ef­fects of many in­dus­trial chem­i­cals, heavy me­tals, and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs. Amla is also one of the rich­est nat­u­ral sources of vi­ta­min C.

L-GLUTATHIONE is the most pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant made by the body, and the high­est lev­els are found in the liver. Of­ten called “The Mas­ter An­tiox­i­dant,” glutathione is made up of three amino acids—cys­teine, glycine, and glu­tamine. Along with quench­ing free rad­i­cals in the liver, glutathione plays a crit­i­cal role in Phase II detox­i­fi­ca­tion, a key part of the body’s two-step detox­i­fi­ca­tion process.

MILK THIS­TLE

EX­TRACT is per­haps the best-known herb for liver sup­port. Milk this­tle’s most ac­tive com­pound is sily­marin, a polyphe­nol with pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant ac­tiv­ity that scav­enges dam­ag­ing free rad­i­cals. What’s more, milk this­tle boosts the ac­tiv­ity of the body’s own an­tiox­i­dants such as glutathione. Stud­ies sug­gest that milk this­tle also in­hibits in­flam­ma­tion, stim­u­lates new liver cell pro­duc­tion, and pre­vents glutathione de­ple­tion. Ar­ti­choke, which is re­lated to the milk this­tle plant, is an­other liver-pro­tec­tive herb.

BURDOCK ROOT is an­other liver-spe­cific herb. Rich in iron, cal­cium, and vi­ta­min C, burdock stim­u­lates bile flow and pro­tects and toni­fies the liver. A study in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Chi­nese Medicine found that burdock de­fends against the toxic ef­fects of ac­etaminophen and the in­dus­trial com­pound car­bon tetra­chlo­ride. Tai­wanese re­searchers found that burdock root also helps guard the liver from chronic al­co­hol con­sump­tion.

CHLORELLA is a sin­gle-celled, fresh­wa­ter alga that has sur­vived on the earth for more than 2 bil­lion years. The se­cret to its longevity is chlorella’s fi­brous outer wall. Hid­den within that wall—which is in­di­gestible to hu­mans—are pow­er­ful detox­i­fi­ca­tion prop­er­ties. For­tu­nately, sci­en­tists have found that break­ing the wall re­leases chlorella’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to bind tox­ins and heavy me­tals through a process known as chela­tion. Chlorella also boasts a wealth of nu­tri­ents, in­clud­ing B vitamins, vitamins C and K, min­er­als, es­sen­tial fatty acids, and fiber.

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