The liver is the filter for everything in the body. Nearly everything that is ingested by the body is at least partially filtered by the liver. The liver cleans the blood that comes from nearly every area of the body, both good and bad. This can include nutrients from food, and also toxins.
The filter works hard remove or repackage what’s found in the blood to either be used by the body, or to be filtered out through the kidneys or digestive tract.
When all goes well, the liver is happy and healthy. However, when the liver encounters toxins that are particularly harmful, these can leave their mark, potentially impeding the function of the liver, and even putting the body at a heightened risk of disease.
The liver is usually able to regenerate in healthy individuals. However, the liver can be scarred from chronic mistreatment – often from routine binge drinking, narcotics, and pharmaceuticals.
In moderate cases like these, the liver can benefit from a little help from you. In serious cases, you should definitely get the help of a doctor, because liver damage can be fatal. But if you just need a little boost after a night of drinking, or peace of mind when taking over-the-counter pain medication during the flu, here are some herbal remedies that can help your liver bounce back.
- Artichoke Leaves – Very high in antioxidants, dried artichoke leaf powder, found in Artichoke from Oregeon’s Wild Harvest may work as an effective liver restorative bitter. Artichoke is in the same herbal family as milk thistle, another worthy member of this list. Artichoke leaves contain chemicals that stimulate the flow of bile. We’ve already learned that bile is what carries dangerous toxins away from your liver. Basically, artichoke leaves may help the liver do its job more effectively, at a time when it is at its most vulnerable because of substances it has encountered. Artichoke leaves are affordable, easily tolerated by most people, and just the thing for this task.
- Milk Thistle Seed – Milk thistle seed is a common weed in the United States, growing tall and vibrant in natural fields throughout much of the country. Because these plants grow so tall and prolifically, milk thistle seed is easy to acquire, and is therefore cheap. Milk thistle seed has much the same effect as artichoke (its cousin), and are often included together in liver health formulations. You can get high quality Milk Thistle Seed from Gaia Herbs.
- Combination Herbal Therapies – Why rely on a single liver health herb, when many different herbs can attack the same problem from different angles, while still being easily tolerated by the body? Ultra Liver Support by Douglas Laboratories is a combination of cruciferous vegetables like wasabi and broccoli, along with enzymes that have a proven liver-detoxifying effect. This small cluster of collaborating substances can do much to ameliorate routine liver problems resulting from diet, medication, or illness.
Of course, it’s important to seek medical help if you have serious liver problems. You should also tell your doctor about any liver supplements you are taking in addition to liver medications that may be prescribed to you, as these may have overlapping effects and contraindications. However, if you simply want to give your liver a bit of a boost during a trying time, or have reason to believe that you may need general help because of your unique physiology, give these liver health supplements a try.