It is the role of the liver to break down food and convert it into energy.
When the liver functions normally, carbohydrates present in food are converted into glucose, which is stored in the form of glycogen. And this makes it one of the most important organs in the body. However, at times, the liver may not function optimally due to various reasons and this may indicate more serious problems with the body.
The primary reason why your liver might not be functioning properly is the accumulation of toxins, and when that happens, cleansing it is the only option. But for many people, finding the best ways of detoxing their liver might be a little tricky.
That’s where this guide can come in handy. It contains some of the most effective methods of detoxing your liver, and that too, completely naturally. So, without further ado, dive in!
Functioning Of The Liver
Despite being the main detoxifying organ of the body, the liver is among those organs that are hardly paid any attention to. It is only when a problem occurs with this organ that we start paying attention to its role in maintaining proper health and wellbeing.
The primary function of the liver is to filter the blood and remove any toxic substances after breaking them down to prevent them from harming the body. All food items you consume get filtered through the liver, making it an important part of the digestion process and metabolism.
After filtering the toxins from the ingested food items, the liver turns the toxins into water-soluble compounds that are completely harmless and can be safely excreted through bile or urine. As for the useful nutrients, they are utilized by the liver to promote better health and body function.
However, when you pay little attention to your health and have a lax attitude towards maintaining body fitness, it leads to a buildup of toxic compounds in the body. These generally enter the body through unhealthy foods and can reach different organs, fatty tissues, blood, and even the skin. They can also cause inflammation, which is responsible for several diseases. Plus, you may start seeing symptoms that indicate poor liver function.
What Is Liver Disease?
An unhealthy liver can lead to several types of liver diseases, such as liver infections, scarring, inflammation, gallstones, and others. However, the problem with most of these diseases is that the symptoms do not become noticeable until they’re in the advanced stages. Such symptoms normally include bleeding, nausea, jaundice, weakness, excessive fatigue, and others.
And people who have a family history of liver disease or consume too much alcohol regularly face the biggest risk. Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent poor liver function that lead to liver disease, of which the most important are bringing changes to your diet and lifestyle.
However, to bring about some changes, taking timely action is crucial and can help prevent the occurrence of various liver diseases. Alternatively, in cases where the damage has already been done, changing your lifestyle can help prevent the situation from worsening.
What Can Affect Liver Function?
While the liver is generally very effective in detoxifying itself, certain medical conditions and health issues can affect its normal functioning. In some cases, they may even cause permanent damage to the liver.
One of these conditions is cirrhosis,  which causes nodules to form inside the liver, while another is fibrosis,  which is the buildup of hard scar tissue. When such conditions occur, the pathways inside the liver get blocked, trapping various substances, both good and bad, inside. These may include vitamins, minerals, glycogen, etc. that are needed by other parts and organs of the body to function normally.
Similarly, harmful substances can accumulate within the liver and obstruct its functioning, ultimately leading to its failure. This can also be fatal if a healthy liver is not transplanted well in time.
Understanding What Toxins Are
The word “toxins” refers to several substances that are generally harmful to human health and can affect its proper functioning. Some common toxins include pesticides, additives, and preservatives in food, chemical fertilizers, or genetically engineered foods. They also include the sticky waste by-product of digestion that occurs in the digestive tract when the digestive system becomes weak.
Other than that, toxins can include lead,  arsenic,  asbestos,  chemicals in detergents, heavy metals, and synthetics in alcohol or drugs. These can also enter the body through food and other means, such as breathing in polluted air or drinking polluted water. When toxins accumulate in the liver, they can lead to problems with other organs as well.
For instance, a high level of toxicity in the liver can cause cerebral edema, which is a condition in which too much fluid accumulates in the brain. It leads to mental seizures, disorientation, and confusion.
Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Liver
If your liver is not functioning optimally, you may notice certain signs and symptoms that can indicate toxicity, such as:
- Bad breath
- Food cravings
- Muscle and joint problems
- Emotional issues like anger and irritability
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Sleep problems
Most diseases that occur in the human body start from the liver when it fails to function properly. However, following a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee that there will be no toxin buildup in the liver. That’s where a liver detox can help you out by helping remove the toxins from the body and allowing the liver to rejuvenate and restore its normal function.
A liver cleanse does not require more than 10 to 14 days and can offer several other benefits besides improving liver health.
Benefits Of Liver Detoxification
Here are some of the most common advantages that a liver cleanse offers:
- Reduction in weight
- Increased energy levels
- Relief from allergies
- Improved digestion
- Better concentration and greater clarity
- Reduced muscle and joint pain
- Improved sleep
- Better skin
12 Simple Ways To Detox The Liver
These methods are easy to follow and require a minimal investment of time and energy but offer impressive results for improving the liver and overall health. But to get maximum benefits from them, it is recommended to follow them regularly for a reasonable period.
1. Drinking Lemon Juice Every Morning
Drinking warm lemon water every morning is an excellent way to boost your metabolism and improve liver health. It also helps in weight loss by getting rid of body fat and flushing the digestive system, efficiently promoting toxin elimination and alkalizing the body. The reason why lemon juice is such an excellent option for liver detoxes is that it can protect against alcohol-induced liver damage.
Studies  have shown that lemon water may even reverse the effects of excessive alcohol consumption by boosting the production of enzymes that improve digestion.
2. Taking Peppermint Tea Or Milk Thistle
This method will require some preparation as you will need to make one mason jar of milk thistle tea each day. It has Silymarin,  which is known to strengthen the walls of liver cells, preventing toxins from getting through them. Plus, milk thistle helps regenerate the cells,to keep your liver healthy and improve the overall body health. Additionally, peppermint helps improve its taste and makes it more effective.
- One tablespoon of milk thistle seeds
- One tablespoon of peppermint leaves
- Three cups of water
To prepare the peppermint tea, add all the ingredients to a vessel and let them simmer for 20 minutes. Then, strain the mix using a fine mesh strainer and add flavorings like peppermint or honey before drinking it. While there is no standard dosage for milk thistle tea, taking it in moderation is safe and can provide remarkable results.
3. Increasing Water Intake
Another way of improving your liver health is to increase your daily water intake, which can help flush toxins from the body and keep it hydrated. To get the best results, drink plain, hot water every ten to fifteen minutes, and if you have a thermos, it makes it easier to keep hot water ready and available.
You can decide on fixed intervals for increasing the water intake, such as on waking up in the morning, in between meals, and early evening. Aim for at least four liters of water each day but avoid carbonated water or water in plastic beverage containers. Also, when leaving the house, make sure to take a bottle of water with you to prevent any breaks in the regime.
4. Getting Proper Sleep
According to several studies , the human body requires at least seven hours of sleep. Ideally, you should try going to sleep by 11pm and waking up early in the morning. During this time, blood circulation concentrates in the liver as it conducts its cleaning process.
If you are awake at that time, this process gets impeded, and the toxins remain in the system. And as the toxins start accumulating in the system, they result in various symptoms such as reduced immunity, weight gain, premature graying of hair strands, etc.
5. Avoid Consuming Deep-Fried Food
A poor diet can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease  since excess fat gets stored in the liver cells, which is why planning a proper diet is very important. Regular consumption of deep-fried foods can cause long-term damage to the liver and ultimately lead to its failure. Such foods are rich in saturated fats and can cause liver scarring, also called cirrhosis.
Instead go for foods rich in nutrients, as a healthy diet helps reduce fat deposit in the liver. Besides, nutrient-dense foods provide it with the essential vitamins and minerals required for optimal functioning.
6. Eliminate Processed Foods From Your Diet
Processed foods include all items that come in packages or jars, which are usually high in sugar while being low in whole grains and fiber. Additionally, such foods are processed with sodium and may include saturated fat or trans fat. Foods that contain additives or chemicals are also considered toxins and may be harmful to the body. These include salad dressing, ketchup, chips and crackers, flavored yogurt, etc.
Another aspect you should be aware of regarding processed foods like pasta, sodas, and snacks is that they are generally very rich in refined carbohydrates. When the body gets too much of these carbs, it stores them in fat cells, which can reach the liver and cause liver disease.
7. Consume Green Vegetables And Fresh Fruits
You must already be aware that fresh vegetables and fruits are great for health, as they support liver health. Consuming fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables also benefits the heart, lungs, and other organs by providing essential proteins to the body. Green leafy vegetables are especially beneficial for this purpose as they are rich in fiber but low in calories.
Additionally, they are very rich in antioxidants, which are required to eliminate free radicals that can cause liver disease. Fresh green vegetables also contain glutathione,  which triggers the toxin cleansing enzymes of the liver.
8. Taking Vitamin C
While eating almost any fruit is good for your health, citrus fruits are especially beneficial. They contain Vitamin C, which helps promote liver health while neutralizing the toxins released by it and also boosts better gut health. Citrus fruits can turn harmful toxins into water-soluble materials and reduce inflammation with the help of their antioxidants properties.
Additionally, research suggests  that Vitamin C may help reduce oxidative stress and can be used to treat fatty liver disease. Besides fruits, vitamin C is present in vegetables like brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, so these can be included in your diet.
9. Better Anger Management
People generally associate anger with high blood pressure, but they don’t know it can also affect the liver.
Anger produces an excessive amount of bile, which can cause acidity in the stomach and lead to other problems such as fatigue and headaches. And being the second largest organ in the human body, its excess bile secretion can affect the other organs as well.
Hence, proper anger management can go a long way in ensuring that your liver remains in good health and can function properly. Some methods by which you can manage anger include physical exercise, yoga, and meditation, identifying possible solutions to the problem, etc.
You can also seek professional help to figure out the best practices that suit your body.
10. Avoid Alcohol Consumption
The most well-known health issue that results from excessive alcohol consumption is liver damage. When you drink alcohol, it alters the chemicals that break down and eliminate scar tissue, leading to its buildup in the liver. As the scar tissue builds up, it replaces the normal healthy liver cells and can cause the liver to fail, and this is called alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This disease does not cause any symptoms, and its severity depends upon how much alcohol you consume regularly. Since there is no specific treatment, the only way to control it is to stop drinking immediately. Once you stop drinking, liver fat starts decreasing, leading to lower levels of inflammation and scarring.
11. Incorporate Physical Activity In Your Regular Routine
All medical experts agree that physical activity is essential for maintaining good health. Moving your body offers several benefits, such as helping lose weight, improving brain health, strengthening bones and muscles, and more. It also keeps the lymphatic system more efficient in flushing waste from the body, thereby preventing the accumulation of toxins.
What’s more, exercise increases fatty acid oxidation and can help control nonalcoholic fatty liver disease symptoms by reducing fat in the liver. It can also decrease liver inflammation and improve blood flow, helping it perform its essential functions more effectively.
12. Opting For Organic Food
Organic food includes food that is produced without using artificial fertilizers and synthetic chemicals. It may include fruits and vegetables that are grown using natural growing techniques, which can reduce the toxin levels in the body.
Since organic food items do not contain heavy metals and chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, they also reduce the chance of exposure to dangerous poisons.
Similarly, organic meats and milk have a higher concentration of healthy fats than regular ones. These fats can help replace harmful fats in the liver that may accumulate due to excessive consumption of alcohol or deep-fried food and snacks.
Flushing Your Liver Using Health Drinks
Flushing your liver is a cleansing technique that has been used for centuries to remove toxins from the liver. While several options can be used for this purpose, green tea is commonly preferred due to its easy availability.
Besides being rich in several nutrients, green tea has a large number of antioxidants that help in liver and body detox. It also helps in weight loss, improves digestion, and provides various skin-related benefits.
Another excellent beverage that can be used for liver detox is ginger and lemon drink. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help cleanse the body while also accelerating the process of weight loss. Additionally, it helps boost the metabolism, relieves bloating, and prevents disease.
You can also try an oatmeal drink, which offers several benefits for the liver. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, oats are among the most nutritious natural foods that can be used for cleansing the liver. They can help flush out toxins from the liver very effectively and help reduce liver fat.
Then there is turmeric, another plant that has been used for several centuries to promote better health. Turmeric is also rich in antioxidants and can protect the liver from damage by toxins. Consuming turmeric in the form of a drink can be especially beneficial for people who take strong drugs to deal with various health conditions.
Do Dietary Supplements Work For Liver Detoxification?
As mentioned above, the liver performs several functions such as cleaning the blood, aiding digestion, producing hormones, and synthesizing proteins. However, many people turn to supplements that are supposed to detox and rejuvenate it in case of any abnormalities.
And studies  have shown that such supplements may often cause more harm than good.
For instance, dietary supplements can cause liver injuries, leading to reduced blood clotting, abdominal swelling, jaundice, or other such problems. In severe cases, people may need to undergo a liver transplant to restore normal liver function.
That is why we recommend natural methods if you want to cleanse your liver since they are completely safe and can be adjusted to meet different requirements.
The Best Way To Detox The Liver Naturally
Contrary to public perception, liver cleanses are not very difficult to undertake and only require dedication. Adopt a well-balanced diet, consume nutrient-rich foods and reduce alcohol intake to reduce the risk factors. You can also eat organic foods that can help boost the production and functioning of liver enzymes and ensure their optimal functioning.
All of the methods mentioned above only use natural methods and require items that are usually available in most homes. And we’ve already explained why it is best to avoid depending on supplements for liver cleansing, and you should avoid taking medications for the same.
You should know that there is no magic pill that can instantly restore liver function to its normal level. For that, it is essential to adhere to a strict regime by avoiding the consumption of harmful substances like alcohol and fried food.
And this will have to be supplemented with adequate sleep and exercise to get the desired results. Ultimately, a liver detox requires a complete change in your lifestyle and requires proper commitment. Doing so will help improve the health and functioning of the liver and even benefit other organs, leading to better overall health.