The largest gland, one of the hardest working organs, executing over 500 critical functions like metabolism, immune system and digestive system, is the major organ for detoxification.
Detox is a real, vital series of processes that keep your body healthy and free of disease through the removal of toxins. The liver filters every single quart of blood to protect your body from the damage that toxins can do to you. Liver is also responsible for filtering and processing all of your hormones. If your liver is not functioning properly it can lead to hormonal imbalances such as excess estrogens, faulty insulin production and more.
Toxins are substances that can cause harm to the body tissues, like heavy metals, free radicals and metabolic end products. They can enter your body through food, air and water, as well as being produced within your body through chemical processes. In order to protect you from toxicity and cellular damage, the liver works in two phases to help clean your blood of toxins.
Liver Detoxification is done in two phases. In phase one, the liver will take a toxin and convert it into a less harmful toxin through either oxidation, reduction or hydrolysis. This process does create other toxic byproducts that need to be neutralized through the ingestion of anti-oxidants. In phase two, the liver attaches a buffer molecule to the toxin which makes it less toxic still. The toxin is then processed so that it becomes water-soluble and can now easily excrete it through the urine.
Why Detox Your Liver?
If you are eating a lot of processed foods like fried foods or lots of non organic animal foods, your liver will be working over time. That is because these foods all need to be processed by the liver and they are hard to break down and digest. They also produce lots of toxic byproducts when being digested.
Processed fats can over tax the liver, processed carbohydrate foods like white breads, white pastas, sugary drinks and candies all demand extra effort from your liver to keep your blood sugar levels stable as well as to remove the toxic substances these foods contain. Eating a processed carbohydrate rich diet will mean your liver is working over time.
Alcohol and drugs are some of the hardest for the liver to filter. Consuming too many of these substances over a period of time can lead to liver damage, and even fatty liver or cirrhosis of the liver. These substances can actually inhibit the proper functioning of your liver, making them extra toxic.
If you are living in a city and are exposed to car exhaust, air conditioner, cleaning products, second-hand smoke (or first hand smoke), and other industrial byproducts your liver may need a boost. All of the toxins you breathe in through your lungs must run through your liver to be processed. This means that toxic air can lead to an over loaded liver.
For the liver to perform optimally, you need to be getting enough sleep. The liver is most active between the hours of 1 and 3 am. If you are consistently not getting to bed early enough so that you are in a deep sleep by the time the liver kicks in it is possible that it is not getting the time and space it needs to do its job properly. Adequate rest is essential for a healthy, optimally functioning liver.
Recipes for Liver Detox
Beet Juice: Ingredients are 1 beet, 1 carrot, 1 lemon, peeled and 1 handful parsley. Run all ingredients through a juicer and drink up.
Deep Green Juice: Ingredients are 1/2 cucumber, 2 cups kale, 1 lime peeled, 1 cup swiss chard, and 1/2 lemon peeled. Run all ingredients through a juicer and drink up.
Green Smoothie: Ingredients are 2 oranges peeled, 1/2 rib celery, 1 lemon peeled, 1/2 cup dandelion greens (or other bitter green), and 1/2 cup parsley. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Potassium Broth: Ingredients are 4 large organic potatoes (with skin), 4 large organic carrots (with skin), 2 sticks organic celery, 3 whole organic beets sliced plus greens, 2 peeled and sliced organic onions, and 50 cloves of garlic. Simmer for 40-60 minutes in a covered pot using clean filtered water. Strain out the vegetables, cool and drink the broth. Refrigerate leftover broth in glass containers for use over the next couple of days.
Morning Flush Drink: Ingredients are whole organic oranges, 5 lemons, 1 bottle of extra virgin olive oil, 1 big organic ginger root (about 5 inches worth), and 4 organic garlic bulbs. Right after waking up, drink 8 oz of pure water to flush your digestive tract. An hour later, in a blender, mix up 8oz of any fresh squeezed citrus, one lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1" piece of ginger and 4-8 ounces of pure water. Add your garlic and ginger to the blender first. Then add only a little bit of the orange juice. This will allow you to totally liquify the garlic and ginger before you add the rest of the oil and orange juice and water.
Detox Tea: The tea helps with the flushing process itself, but also helps minimize any discomfort or nausea. The key herb in the tea is dandelion root, one of the strongest herbal lipotropics known. That is to say, it flushes fat deposits from the liver. Other herbs that you will find in the tea include things like ginger, clove, cinnamon, burdock root, and horsetail. Incidentally, some of the other herbs used in the tea (such as uva ursi, parsley root, and juniper berries) are also extremely beneficial not only to the liver but also to the kidneys.