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How To Detox The Liver Planning Your Cleanse

how to detox the liver

When you know how to detox the liver, you have a chance to change your life for the better. It's not that difficult and doesn't even require some complex formulation of herbs from someone claiming you should buy their product or suffer death.

Your Liver

how to cleanse the liverYou probably don’t think that much about your liver. Most of us don’t. Except maybe when contemplating that third shot of tequila. (Hopefully, you’ve outgrown this phase) but its health is essential to your general health and weight.

The liver is the second largest organ in your body, and it is also the most over-worked. Consider your liver the housekeeper of your body.

In simple terms, it’s like the equivalent of an oil filter in your car – it’s your body’s natural filtration process. Everything you ingest gets filtered through your liver. The liver uses the nutrients (good stuff) to optimize your health and get rid of toxins (bad stuff) that cause symptoms. When you live a not-so-heathy lifestyle, toxic compounds start building up, and they begin to find their way into your organs, skin fatty tissues and blood – And that’s when you will begin to notice symptoms. This is what triggers inflammation which is at the root of most diseases. 

What Exactly are Toxins?

Toxins can refer to a few things. The word can apply to environmental toxins like pesticides, chemical fertilizers in food, preservatives or additives in food, or genetically engineered foods. It what's in good foodcan also refer to a sticky waste by-product of digestion that builds up in the digestive tract when your digestion is weak or overloaded with the wrong foods. Toxins can also refer to arsenic, lead, asbestos, heavy metals, chemicals in detergents and household cleaners, poisons, air and water pollution and chemicals and synthetics in clothing and recreational drugs.

Some common symptoms of a toxic liver are:

  • Bad breath
  • Allergies
  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention/bloating
  • Food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heartburn
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Skin problems
  • Fatigue
  • Anger, irritability and other emotional issues

There is rarely a disease in the body that does not start in the liver. To have a clean liver is like having a clean start in life.

Even if you follow a healthy diet most of the time, it may not be enough to rid your liver of toxic buildup. A liver cleansing diet takes it a step further by helping eliminate the stored toxins, therefore, allowing your liver to reboot and rejuvenate. If you can commit 10-14 days to following these simple habits you can expect to see some amazing results. There are many benefits of a liver cleanse.

Results may include:
  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Allergy relief
  • Better digestion and elimination
  • Improved concentration and mental clarity
  • Less joint and muscle pain
  • Less fluid retention
  • Increased sense of peace and relaxation
  • Improved sleep
  • Glowing skin
  • Brighter eyes

Cleansing your liver doesn’t have to be difficult or grueling – using a whole foods approach, some common sense and a commitment to good habits will do the trick.

How to Detox the Liver – 11 Simple Habits to Start

Let’s look at 10 simple habits you can take right away to detox the liver so you can look and feel your best. Each of the following is equally important.

1. Morning Lemon Water

Drink warm lemon water first thing every morning to kick start your metabolism, flush your digestive system and alkalize your body.

2. Daily Milk Thistle / Peppermint tea

Each morning you will make one mason jar of Milk Thistle tea. You are going to be like the hip herbalists and carry your beverage around in a mason jar and drink it all day. One mason jar of tea is your daily dose. Milk Thistle contains Silymarin and studies show it supports the walls of the liver cells, preventing toxins from penetrating them. It also stimulates the regeneration of these cells, so it repairs the liver. The peppermint increases the effectiveness of milk thistle and improves its taste.

Making the tea:

1 Tbs of milk thistle seeds 1 Tbs of peppermint leaves Add 3 cups of water Steep for 20 minutes and strain

3. Water

Besides the morning lemon water and Milk Thistle seed tea, drink water throughout the day. Sipping plain hot water every 10-15 minutes can help to flush and rehydrate your body deeply. If you have a personal thermos, this is ideal. Just get used to carrying these items with you on days when you leave the house. Make it a habit.

4. Get 8 hours of sleep

Know how to get a good night of sleep! It is extremely important to be sleeping by 11 pm each night. Your liver does it’s cleaning between 10 pm and 2 pm each night. If you are still awake, (and god forbid drinking beer and eating pizza), it cannot properly do its cleaning job.

5. Avoid eating deep-fried anything – Eat Alive Food 

Learn how to plan a healthy diet. A poor diet causes an accumulation of fat in the liver. – It can only take so much of this. When the liver is fat, it cannot function and gets one step closer to being damaged.

6. Say “NO” to processed foods

Anything in a package or a jar is usually processed food. Processed foods are typically high in sugars, low in fiber and whole grains, processed with sodium and high in fat or include trans fat and lots of saturated fat. Also, any foods that contain chemicals and/or additives are considered toxins to the liver.

Here are some common processed foods:

Salad dressing, breakfast cereal, canned soup, pasta sauce, ketchup, flavored yogurt, granola & energy bars, chips, and crackers. Avoid anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Make it a habit to read labels.

7. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables are liver-friendly and will not only help you in the cleansing process, but your lungs, heart and other organs will reap the benefits as well.

8.Vitamin C

Take vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to heal the liver and also neutralize the toxins released by the liver. I recommend Life Extension Vitamin C with Dihydroquercetin 1000 mg.

9. Let go of anger

Anger is a heated emotion that is very much related and harmful to your liver. You may not have anger issues, but if you do managing your emotions in a healthy way is vital to the health of your liver.

10. Don’t drink alcohol

Your liver has to process them as toxins. Take a break from the behaviors you know are asking the liver to work.

11. Move your body 45 Minutes a day, every day

Your body requires you to move to keep everything functioning properly. Your lymphatic system works much better at flushing waste when you move your muscles.

12. Eat organic whenever you can

Eating organic helps to reduce your body’s toxic burden. Pesticides and herbicides are toxic and expose you to dangerous poisons. Eating organic can reduce pesticide buildup.

Take the Next Step...

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How to detox the liver

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About the author

Jackie Parker

19 Comments

  • Great article!Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all of the harmful chemical products in your life with organic ones. It’s completely changed my life and how I feel every day 🙂

  • I couldn’t agree more! My friend was overweight and an alcoholic, she the ended up quitting alcohol and was unfortunately forced into a complete liver detox, as her health was deteriorating. She managed to get a grasp on her habits and her eating and she has been clean and sober now for over 10 years and she regularly does liver detox’s just to help her liver recuperate from all the years of abuse. She swears by her organic lifestyle and her lemon water in the morning, so she definitely implements some of these methods. Great article.

  • I really enjoyed this post and especially liked the diagram. I like the way you’ve set it out and the 11 habits are easy to read – and hopefully easy to implement!

    I didn’t know the liver did its cleansing between 10pm and 2am? So if you always went to bed in the early hours I guess this really exacerbates any problems?

    Thanks for the useful info 🙂
    Louise

    • Hello Louise, Yes, the liver is active between 10pm – 2 am and if you’re still up and awake during those hours, it never gets to it’s job and could create health problems.

  • Thanks Jackie,
    This is a great list of healthy habits. I particularly like the let anger go habit. I don’t think a lot of people put enough emphasis on how our emotions can effect our physical body.
    When you say 45 mins of moving, does it matter what type of movement? Should it be vigorous exercise?

    • Hi Chris! Thanks for connecting and commenting. No, the exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous. It can be walking, lifting weights, or more stretching type like yoga. Every body has different needs depending on their body type. I try to mix it up. Two days a week, walking… two days a week weight-lifting… yoga on the weekend. The important things is to find something you like and do it often for life.

  • These are very helpful indeed. I used to be a big drinker back in my 20s and my doctor recommended me to do a liver detox after I got diagnosed with a fatty liver. At first, you really wouldn’t notice the symptoms until the time you feel like you’re already too tired first thing in the morning and can’t seem to lose weight no matter what. We may not realize it but the liver does have a huge job in the entirety of our system and all we have to do is to take really good care of it.

  • hey Jackie!
    Nice article out there. Never thought of doing liver detox but after reading your article I’ll be definitely doing it asap.
    About Daily Milk Thistle / Peppermint tea, is it okay to have green tea instead?
    and instead of consuming vitamin c tablets, are there any foods that contain high vitamin c content?

    • Hi Edgar,

      Green tea has it’s own health benefits, but Milk Thistle/Peppermint tea is specific to cleansing the liver because of the Silymarin in Milk Thistle. Yes, there are lots of foods high in vitamin C like oranges, red peppers, kale, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, etc., I suggest 1000 mg/day. If you think you can get this from these foods, great! If not, I suggest you supplement. Thanks for connecting!

  • Hello Jackie,

    I was surprised to see that I could check off almost everything in the list of symptoms of a toxic liver!!!!

    I am a diabetic and visit my doctor every 3 months. Every 3 months I have blood panels taken and one of the things that get checked is my kidneys, but never the liver (to my knowledge anyway). Next time I see my doctor I am going to ask why there is no check for the status of my liver functions.

    Your 12 steps looked pretty good to me and I am going to try to put them in effect. But, I think it was in step 6 where you listed several foods to stay away from (Salad dressing, breakfast cereal, canned soup, pasta sauce, ketchup, flavored yogurt, granola & energy bars, chips, and crackers). That is going to be extremely difficult to do because except for the granola and energy bars, I use all of these foods!!! Are you saying not to eat these foods at all or just not as often? Are there any replacements for them that you can recommend?

    This is really good information and I’ve never given any thought to how the foods I eat can affect my liver. Thanks for much for this. I put this article in my favorites so I can refer back to it.

    As a diabetic I find it difficult to loose weight, can you recommend anything that would help with that and would be appropriate to do with this problem My A1C is good at 5.2.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Verna

    • Hello Verna,

      Yes, I’m saying that if you want to cleanse your liver, you must stop eating processed foods. If your diet is mostly processed foods, that explains why you relate to the symptoms of a toxic liver. Please download my Complete 10 Day Superfood Liver Detox Program (opt-in required) in sidebar above. Thank you so much for connecting and please let me know if I can help or answer any questions.

  • health tips

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  • Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him.

  • Most liver problems are due to excessive alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, the arteries of alcoholics are relatively ok because the liver sucks up glucose to metabolize the alcohol. The byproduct is fat that is deposited in the liver. That’s why alcoholic get fatty liver disease.

    Your recommendation on fruits may not apply to everyone, however, because there is a rare fructose intolerance that also causes fatty liver disease. It’s a small segment of the population.

    What kind of fruit would you prefer targetting on a liver cleanse? I’m guessing take away the sweet ones?

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