A few years back there was a bit of uproar about the word ‘detox’ and the promises that a ‘detox’ (usually something that comes around in January after much ‘tox’) can bring to the body.

The uproar was mainly due to the fact that the body is constantly detoxifying and that we can’t make it detoxify just by having a few green juices.

However, I think it’s still relevant in improving our health even if it’s better to use different terminology.

The liver is our main detoxification organ. Everything we consume goes to the liver after digestion before going to the rest of the body. The liver is the largest internal organ and we can’t live without it. It also produces bile which means we can digest fats. It also breaks down and removes excess oestrogen from the body. Much of the conversion of thyroid hormone (to the active form our cells can use) happens in the liver. And it has many, many more important functions.

If the liver is overburdened in its detoxification work then these other functions are compromised. For example, we struggle to digest fats which means we miss out on the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), or we become oestrogen-dominant which can be both dangerous and cause lots of uncomfortable symptoms. If thyroid hormone conversion is impaired, almost everything is affected.

Is my liver overburdened?

These are a few symptoms that could suggest your liver could do with some support.

  • fatigue 
  • brain fog
  • headaches
  • chronic joint or muscle pain
  • digestion issues including gas, heartburn, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, and abdominal pain
  • insomnia
  • autoimmune diseases
  • hormonal imbalances / PMS / menopausal symptoms
  • acne / rashes
  • anxiety or depression
  • allergies and intolerances
  • inflammation
  • chemical sensitivities
  • chronic bad breath
  • weight gain
  • candida
  • recurrent infections
  • muscle aches

So how can I help my liver out?

  1. Watch your alcohol intake. The liver has to prioritise removing alcohol from the body over its other functions. Have 2 consecutive alcohol free days a week at least.
  2. Drink enough water – 2 litres for a woman, 2.5 for a man.
  3. Eat brightly coloured organic fruit and veg.
  4. Eat healthy fats
  5. Keep regular. Toxins recirculate if stools are sitting in the colon.
  6. Use natural cleaning and cosmetic products so your liver doesn’t have to deal with the many toxins in regular products.
  7. Give your liver a break from the foods and drinks that it needs to work hard to deal with. Eat pure liver loving foods and drinks for a period of time so it can catch up on its jobs and this will allow for faster clearance of toxins.