The liver is responsible for:
- breaking down and detoxifying plastics, medications, and various chemicals that we’re exposed to daily
- controlling metabolic processes
- production of cholesterol (which then produces all sex hormones)
- aiding in vitamin absorption
- bile production
- glutathione synthesis
Needless to say that the liver is incredibly important to our health and luckily, supporting it can be quite simple. It can quickly get overloaded, however, and start to perform sub-optimally.
Toxin overload. The liver is an excellent detoxifier until it reaches a point where the incoming toxins are coming in at such a rapid pace that it can’t keep up. Dirty water, air pollution, chemicals in every personal product, food additives, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), herbicides + pesticides on our food, poor diet, chronic stress, and more keep our liver very occupied, and the bucket of toxins becomes so full that the liver begins to function sub-optimally.
Heavy metals. An accumulation of metals in our body, particularly mercury can lead to a stagnant liver. Mercury can also cause fibrosis in the liver, where the vascular network inside the liver is interrupted and stops working.
Sugar. Processed sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have been shown to cause non-fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In the body, HFCS is registered as fructose, and because the liver processes fructose, it creates a huge burden on the liver to filter it. HFCS has also been found to be produced with mercury-containing agents, making it a double-whammy.
Alcohol. This is more commonly known as alcoholic fatty liver disease and is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.
Stealth pathogens. Mold can overburden the liver very quickly due to how much damage mycotoxins can cause to the liver and kidneys. Parasitic infection in the liver such as liver flukes, or parasites in the liver and bile ducts can also cause liver disease and aid in sub-optimal function.
Recent estimates show that approximately 25% of the US population has NAFLD. A stagnant liver may appear in many different ways:
- Hormonal imbalances (including period issues in women)
- Poor digestion
- Hives or itchy skin
- A lot of pent up frustration or anger
- Inability to tolerate alcohol + caffeine
- Disturbed sleep
- Nausea + vomiting
- Waking up between 1-3am, per Traditional Chinese Medicine
If you're experiencing any of the above, here's a few ways to support your liver:
Enemas. Distilled water + coffee enemas help to support the body's detoxification process, thus taking some load off of the liver. Coffee enemas can also rid the body of liver flukes + parasites and aid in glutathione production.
Castor Oil Packs. Essential fatty acids in the castor oil help to encourage particle movement in the liver and aids in the detoxification process. Castor oil packs are non-invasive and are done by putting an oil-soaked flannel over the liver area.
Herbs. Botanicals such as dandelion root, milk thistle, ginger, turmeric, parsley, and licorice all help to support healthy liver function. Liver Ease tea is an excellent way to support liver detox and function.
Vegetables. Root vegetables like dandelion root, burdock root, beets, artichokes contain compounds that reduce stress on the liver.
Digestive bitters. Bitters help to stimulate bile production, absorb nutrients, reduce acid reflux.
Do you have any stagnant liver symptoms? If so, you’re not alone! It’s quite common, yet not much of our western culture emphasizes healthy habits to maintain drainage pathways.
Share in the comments below if you’ve ever dealt with any of these symptoms and what you’d like to try to support your liver!
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