In the spring more energy flows through the liver system according to Chinese Medicine. That means this is a great time to refocus on supporting and strengthening this vital detox system.
The liver is responsible for processing hormones, alcohol, certain chemicals and medications, caffeine, fructose and more. In the process, it uses specific vitamins and minerals to convert harmful substances into (water soluble) forms that can be more easily cleared from the body.
High cholesterol, skin conditions, constipation, premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, chemical sensitivity, fatigue and many other health concerns are associated with suboptimal liver health.
Fortunately, the liver has a HUGE capacity to heal. Avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, hormones, chemicals, fructose etc. is essential to lessening the burden on your liver. Adding foods such as burdock (gobo), beets, carrots, artichoke, lemon/lime juice, milk thistle seeds, dandelion root and fresh rosemary help to heal damaged liver cells and stimulate bile flow. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and the minerals in green vegetables are also required for the liver to detoxify foods safely and effectively. Additionally, adequate hydration is essential to ensure the processed substances are flushed from the body.
A nice adjunct to any detoxification program, castor oil packs over the abdomen help to soothe an inflamed digestive system. For those with liver conditions, additional herbs or nutrients may be necessary.
The liver is only one of the major detox organs in the body. To learn about all the detox organs and about detox-promoting foods and tips, join us at Steveston Community Centre for the Healthy Detox-Food Based workshop on Saturday, April 12th!
Dr. Carin Matsushita, ND, RAc
Naturopathic Physician & Registered Acupuncturist