Ask the Naturopathic Doctor: How to Love Your Liver
by Dr. Juli Mazi, Naturopathic Doctor
Ask the Naturopathic Doctor: How to Love Your Liver - This day in age, the liver takes on quite the burden with all of the toxins from our environment to which we are involuntarily exposed, as well as those toxins we voluntarily introduce. Our livers work harder today than they have ever had to work in the history of mankind. That is why it’s a great idea to start giving your liver some tender loving care.
The liver is one of the vital organs, meaning the body cannot survive without it. The liver is the body’s filter. It filters the blood and helps the body to detoxify. Cholesterol and hormones are synthesized in the liver. So if there is liver congestion, there may also be high cholesterol and hormone imbalance. The liver helps the body process medications, as well as poisons. It also plays a role in metabolism and the storage of cellular energy. Proteins are synthesized in the liver, including factors for blood clotting and fluid balance. The liver also produces bile, which helps in the digestion of fats and oils. It aids in immune function as well by producing much of the body’s lymphatic fluid. Responsible for many different functions, the liver deserves some love.
In fact, the liver is pretty close to the heart. It lives in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen beneath the rib cage. One way to support the liver is by applying Castor Oil topically to the liver. This can be done with a Castor Oil Pack, or simply by applying the oil right over the liver. It’s best to do this at night before bedtime and a heat pack can help drive the oil in. This treatment is most effective when performed multiple nights in a row. Castor oil supports efficient detoxification in the liver, and stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid. It enhances immunity and decreases inflammation in the body.
Other ways to give your liver some loving include vitamins, minerals, and herbs:
Vitamin C: 1,000 mg/day, Antioxidant properties that are protective to the liver and prevent fatty deposits and cirrhosis.
Vitamin E: 400 IU/day, Liver protective antioxidant which reduces inflammation and risk of liver cancer.
Zinc: 30 mg/day, Reduces oxidative damage to the liver and assists in liver repair processes.
Selenium: 200 mcg/day, Synergistic with Vitamin E, protective to the liver.
Magnesium: 400 mg/day, Crucial to one of the major detox pathways in the liver.
B1: 3-8 g/day.
B2: 300-500 mg/day.
B3: 1500 mg/day.
B5: 500-900 mg/day.
B6: 300-400 mg/day.
B12: 3,000-5,000 mcg/day, Especially protective to livers exposed to alcohol.
Folic Acid: 800 mcg per day, Helps to prevent viral and alcoholic damage to the liver.
Amino Acids that love the liver include:
Methionine and Cysteine—protect liver tissue from damage by harmful toxins.
Carnitine—contributes to more effective metabolism of fats.
Choline—important in cholesterol synthesis.
Inositol—aids in healthy bile flow.
Herbs and Spices:
Artichoke Leaf—supports cholesterol and bile metabolism, and helps improve liver function.
Ginger—tonifies the liver, decreases cholesterol and increases bile flow. Eat the root, use the spice, or use a tincture or capsule.
Turmeric—antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps detoxify the liver. Eat the root, use the spice, or use a tincture or capsule.
Dandelion Root—liver tonifying, and protective. Drink as a tea, or use a tincture or capsule.
Milk Thistle—This one is the Don Juan of liver lovers. Cures your hangover faster, and even regenerates diseased liver tissue! The most powerful liver herb we know. Grind and sprinkle the seeds over your food, or use a tincture or capsule form.
Remember, your liver works around the clock, (and works even harder during holiday splurges) to protect you from toxins; it helps your immunity, digestion, blood clotting, detoxification and hormone production. Supporting your liver so it works more efficiently will bring you more energy, stamina and vitality. Give your liver some loving today.
Dr. Juli Mazi earned her doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine, with her Masters and Bachelor’s in Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Resolution. Dr. Mazi is a primary care doctor who specializes in detoxification, weight loss, hormone balancing, digestive disorders, mental/emotional health, adjunctive cancer care, and autoimmune diseases. Her areas of expertise include: herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, IV therapy, and hydrotherapy. Dr. Mazi practices at the Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center. Call for a free 15 minute consultation (831) 477-1377.