Are You Ready To Spring Clean Your Liver?
It’s Spring and Time to Detox ! The Ancient Chinese saw their physical and psychological health reflected in the changing rhythms of nature. According to the Chinese system the flow of seasons correspond to five basic elements – Water, Wood, Earth, Fire and Metal. Each element connects with body organs and meridians. During Spring (March-May in Chinese Philosophy, March 21st –June 21st Western) our bodies are rebuilding and cleansing. The first part of spring relates to the element of Wood and the associated organs are the liver and gallbladder. So now is the time to
a) Cleanse toxins from body and mind, b)Spring Clean Your Liver, c) Prepare for Pregnancy via a detox in preparation for conception.
So are you ready to Spring Clean Your Liver?
What does the liver do?
The most simplistic form of explaining the liver is to say that it is the power house of your physical body. It plays an active role in the process of digestion – including regulating bile production, emulsifing fat, producing digestive enzymes which help break down food, absorb and storing vitamins, minerals and hormones. It helps to regulate blood glucose levels as well as supporting intestinal bacteria. The liver produces vital components of blood plasma involved in formation of blood, clots and helps to maintain a balanced isotonic environment at cellular level. It plays an active role in immune health – Kupffer cells capture and digest bacteria, fungi, parasites, worn-out blood cells, and cellular debris. It plays a role in metabolism –The liver is responsible for metabolizing carbohydrate, lipids, and proteins. Fatty acids in the blood pass through the liver and are metabolized to produce energy. Hepatocytes within the liver produce lipids like cholesterol, phospholipids, and lipoproteins that are used by other cells throughout the body. Dietary proteins are broken down into amino acids before they can be used excreted or used as an energy source. It support detoxification – monitoring the contents of the blood and removes potentially toxic substances whilst liver enzymes metabolize many toxins such as alcohol and drugs. And in order to keep hormone levels within homeostatic limits, the liver also metabolizes and removes from circulation hormones produced by the body’s own glands. It acts as a storage vessel – storing many essential nutrients, vitamins A,D,E,K and B12, iron, copper. It also stores emotions – are you angry or bitter about something?
How do you know if you are toxic? Symptoms include tight muscles, joint stiffness, joint pain and feeling “rigid” in mind rather than flexible, light and joyful. You may have developed food sensitivities, abdominal fat, feel regularly bloated, heavy, bitter and resentful or suffer with hormonal dysfunction and stress related health issues.
Why are you toxic? This is multi-factorial and we consider environment, emotional and physical. The air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink create challenges which affect our health. The problem is not exposure to a small amount of one type of chemical for example a pesticide on a vegetable, but the constant exposure to various chemicals, parabens, synthetic hormones and toxins that accumulate in our systems over years. Through scientific research we understand that these chemicals and toxins not only disrupt our systems but also inhibit our organ function, blocking detox pathways, limiting nutrient absorption and reducing our body’s ability to revitalise and repair which can lead to hormone disruption and disease. For instance, Xeno-estrogens, which mimic the effects of oestrogen, are abundant in pesticides, plastics and car fumes, as well as hormones found in non-organic poultry. These xeno-oestrogens affect men and women – often symptomised by a reduced ability to lose weight and gain “fat around the middle” and other hormonal health issues. So, we have established that the liver would benefit from a spring clean and detoxification! Spend some time supporting your liver through gently detoxification to maintain general health to the liver.
Consider Nutritional Therapy or Asyra Health Screening or functional liver tests to assess current state of well being.
If you are interested in this you may also be interested in attending Nutrition Natters – naturopathic talks. My first talk is related to Creation Fertility on April 22nd and is Let’s Talk About Fertility!
Diet is primarily vegetarian, using whole, organic produce to ease the workload of the liver. Eat as much uncooked natural food as possible and keep your food as simple as possible. Concentrate on including these foods to spring clean your liver.
Fresh fish – preferably responsibly sourced cockles, dab, dover sole, gurnard, hake, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mussels, oysters, red mullet, salmon, shrimp, whitebait, winkles, Turmeric, cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, Ginger, Beetroot, artichokes, dandelion leaves, sprouting seeds and micro leaves, lettuce. Many first green plants of spring are bitter herbs. This season dandelion leaves, sorrel, nettles, yellow dock, red beet and watercress are wonderful tonics for the liver, bringing renewed strength and vitality to the body. Other seasonal foods include asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, cauliflower, kale, leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, salsify, spinach, spring onions, swede, wild nettles, bananas, blood oranges, kiwi fruit , lemons , pineapple rhubarb, some grass fed meat such as lamb. Include pulses, beans, peas and lentilsb Brown rice, whole-grain unrefined cereals -such as quinoa or millet. Include coconut Milk, coconut oil and butter and nut milks, almonds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds – soaked before eating to aid digeston, drink Herb teas, Rooibosch and maté teas, fresh filtered water but restrict all forms of alcohol, caffeine, recreational drugs and tobacco plus ready made convenience meals!
Exercise: It is important to exercise daily – either 10,000 steps using a pedometer or yoga, Pilates, or any form of exercise that brings you happiness. Why not consider a Weekend Wellness Breaks in Dorset walking and eating healthy food?
Reflexology supports general wellbeing and works not only on the physical but mental and emotional. A course of reflexology whilst caring for your liver may well help detoxification and balance whilst offering deep relaxation.
Castor Oil Packs, Ginger Packs, Far Infrared Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Cold and Hot Showers, Skin Brushing, Enemas.
So what is Far infrared? Rays of the invisible spectrum of sunlight discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1800. Far Infrared energy is safe and absorbed very easily by the human body. It helps with most aspects of bodily growth, development and stimulates healing. By simply lying in the Far Infrared the rays penetrate – releasing toxins and rejuvenating at cellular level whilst you relax.
So Why use a Castor Oil Pack? Well, castor oil has been used for thousands of years to support a wide variety of health conditions. Castor seeds contain very high concentrations of a special fatty acid called ricinoleic acid which is thought to underlie its healing properties and is effect on the gastrointestinal and lymphatic system.
Lymphatic drainage, reflexology, far infrared therapy and skin brushing plus Castor Oil Packs and Ginger Compresses are all offered in clinic but if you prefer to do this yourself then see Free Support.
Disclaimer : This hand out is purely written as support and it is recommended that you visit a qualified Nutritional Therapist or Registered Naturopath to seek individual assessment and care.