Feeling sluggish from all that Winter stodge? Want to feel & look your best when Spring finally arrives? Then now is a perfect time for a spring clean. Of your self. Otherwise known as a liver detox. Which basically means giving your liver a break from toxins for a time.
Every person’s health and well-being is dependent on how their body removes and purges toxins from the body. With all the environmental pollution, toxic body care products and processed foods, most people are in desperate need of a serious detox! A liver cleanse is a great way to do this.
One of the main ways that the body rids itself of toxins is through the liver. In fact, the liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. It works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, produce the bile needed to digest fat, break down hormones, and store essential vitamins, minerals and iron. And when the liver is not functioning optimally, we cannot digest our food properly, especially fats!
What are the toxins to avoid?
• Refined cane sugar
• Artificial Sweeteners
• Artificial additives & preservatives (check for numbers on food labels)
• Hydrogenated oils, often added to snack foods.
• Avoiding processed food altogether can be an easy way to avoid the above 4 items.
• Non-organic meats & diary which may contain hormones, pesticides & antibiotics in their feed.
• Any foods you know that you have a sensitivity to
What can I have plenty of?
• Vegetables, especially the leafy greens, carrots and sweet potatoes.
• Fruit, especially potassium-rich bananas
• Organic/ Biodynamic diary & meat
• Nuts & Seeds
• Beans & Legumes
• Blackstrap Molasses, Organic Raw Honey (small amounts) or similar natural sweetener
• Olive oil or coconut oil
• Fresh herbs & spices
How long should I do a Liver cleanse for?
Ideally for two weeks, but even one day will help. Simply do what you can.
What can also help? Even if I don’t want to make the above food mods?
• Increase your water intake to 2 litres per day
• Drink Liver Cleansing Herbal Tea’s such as Dandelion Root
• Take Herbal Medicine such as Milk Thistle or Turmeric. Click here for a Turmeric Elixir Recipe.
• Take Chinese Herbal Medicine, there are so many detox herbs!
• Have a Massage. Can you think of a more pleasant way to detox?
• Have some Acupuncture. Yes, acupuncture can cleanse your liver too.
• Drink Lemon juice in warm water: Simply add ¼tsp to 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice to a cup of warm water. Drink it first thing in the morning; on an empty stomach. This will gently stimulate your Liver and Gall Bladder, helping them to work better.
Note that this is general advice. Nothing is better than advice from a health professional who knows your unique situation. If in doubt, ask your health professional, not google.
What are the potential benefits?
• Weight loss
• Improved digestion
• Improved complexion
• Improved sleep
• Increased energy
• A better functioning Liver which can reverse disease
Need a vegetable juice recipe to get you started?
The week of your cleanse try this liver detox drink. This recipe will help support your body while cleansing:
Dilute cranberry juice with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part cranberry juice.
Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon into a tea infuser and let steep in simmering water for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Add the juice of 3 oranges and 3 lemons and stir. If the mixture is too tart, sweeten with your favorite all-natural sweetener.
Sip throughout the day.
You should consume a minimum of 2 litres of this mixture and 2 litres of water. After 1 day of the cranberry juice blend, reintroduce the foods you ate in preparation for the cleanse.
Click here for another Super Detox Recipe to help you.
Cleansing and detoxing the liver and colon helps to clear pesticides, medications and heavy metals out of your system, resulting in a healthy liver. To keep your liver healthy through the years, periodically do a liver cleanse (even 24-hr) and maintain a healthy diet void of processed foods, and high in vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Dr. Elaine Hickman
B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)
Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China. She has over 20 years experience in treating many health problems. Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable.
She runs a private practice in Ivanhoe and is the trusted family physician of many. Elaine is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She completed a Bachelor of Health Science – TCM, majoring in Acupuncture, and a hospital internship in China in 1998. Elaine is the Principal Practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine, managing a dedicated team of practitioners & staff, and supervises many TCM students in clinical training. Elaine’s passion for Chinese Medicine has her regularly furthering her education, Qi Gong training and sharing knowledge.