Do I need a Liver Detox?
I get asked regularly if someone’s liver needs support.
It’s that typical dinner party question for a naturopath and unfortunately it’s not that simple an answer!
Naturopaths look at the body holistically and do not look at single organs separately. We assess someone’s vitality, we use iridology to understand someone’s constitution and we spend a lot of time asking detailed questions about your health overall and more specifically by body system to understand what it is driving disharmony in the body.
That's not to say I never support someone's liver, I do indeed but am usually supporting other detoxification organs at the same time or working on the digestive system additionally.
However this does not answer the question does it?
Does my liver need support?
Some signs that your liver may need some support include:
- not feeling hungry especially in the mornings
- feeling sluggish
- headaches particularly upon waking
- high cholesterol
- an inability to digest fats in the diet
- sensitive to smells such as cleaning products or perfume
- regular consumption of alcohol or caffeine
- elevated liver enzymes on a blood test
- a diagnosis of non-alcohol fatty liver disease
- taking pharmaceutical medication regularly for long periods of time
So if you feel like your liver needs some support, what should you do?
How do you give support to your liver?
I am not a big fan of intense detoxing, so my version of detox is mild and plays a supportive role to prevent any side effects of headaches or feeling ordinary.
- start by reducing and if possible eliminating caffeine and alcohol
- increase your vegetable content in particular your leafy green veggies
- reduce and eliminate processed foods, gluten and dairy and any other foods of known intolerance
- squeeze 1/2 a lemon into warm water and consume first thing in the morning
- consume water or herbal tea as your liquids and ensure you are consuming 2L of water daily
- reduce consumption of foods from cans or plastic - try and consume food in it’s whole form
- ensure regular exercise but reduce intensity - yoga, tai chi or walking are particularly good during these times
How long should you do a clearance for?
This is again dependent on your severity of symptoms, your experience with liver support previously and also your objectives and how you feel whilst undergoing a liver clearance
If in doubt, start small, it can be as simple as 3 days or can go up to a month.
If you are progressing alone, please listen to your body and if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, please contact a health practitioner.
I strongly believe that any individual organ support should be supported with a health practitioner as they can give you individualised support.
In addition, there are many herbs and supplementation that can support a liver clearance/detoxification so please be in touch if you feel you need an individualised approach.