You get up in the morning greeted by a piercing pain in your liver and a splitting pain in your head (hangover). If you’ve been on a Let-It-Pour mission during the festive season, this could be your wake-up call for a liver cleanse. Your liver and alcohol are never a good mix!
Ayurveda and Your Liver
According to Ayurveda, the liver is governed by Pitta dosha (the elements of Fire and Water) which manifests as heat and sharpness. Hence, a liver inflammation could be the result of alcohol that heats the body and is the source of sharp pain.
This vital organ of our body is also the seat of the digestive fire. When in imbalance, it can lead to inflammation in our skin and emotional disturbances like angry outbursts. A sign that toxins have built up in the liver could be recurring allergies, heartburn, high cholesterol, chronic constipation, hypoglycemia and sluggishness. If you don’t love your liver over a long period of time, serious liver diseases like jaundice, hepatitis and cirrhosis could develop.
Healthy Liver Tips
As we stated earlier that liver diseases are caused by heat, seek to clear and cool it through lifestyle changes and foods good for liver repair.
- LIVItUp: We highly recommend LIVItUp! – a natural hangover shield that doubles up as a long term liver protector. Pop 2 capsules of this product before your first drink for a fresh morning and protected liver.
- Carb up: A diet that's high in carbs, proteins and fats before you booze as it will help your liver metabolize alcohol better.
- Rest up: Sleep can boost your immunity levels and better prepare your body for a night of heavy drinking.
- Skip the bubbly: The bubbles in champagne can accelerate the rate of absorption and get you high faster.
- Get H2O: Staying hydrated can help so space your drinks out with ample water to replace your electrolytes and nutrients (and bid adieu to headaches due to dehydration).
- Kick the butt: Studies show that smoking raises the probability and severity of a hangover so stay away from ciggies while drinking.
Heal it with herbs
Pitta-pacifying herbs can bring down inflammation and unclog liver congestion. If you have a sluggish liver, nourish it with healing herbs like bitters. A bitter formula strengthens digestion and supports detoxification. Liver cleanser herbs include turmeric, neem, guduchi, kalmegh (Green chiretta), barberry and dandelion which will tide you through a liver crisis. Consume these herbs in your cooking or as teas to detoxify the liver.
Apart from bitters, purgatives can help flush out toxins. The classic Ayurvedic bowel tonic triphala is best taken before bedtime. What’s great about this is that triphala can be taken long-term without side effects and has many other health benefits.
Liver-cleansing with food
If you want to give your liver a break from its round-the-clock duty (and you thought your day job was tough!), eat a plant-based diet. Care for and cleanse your liver by eliminating or reducing animal products, much the same way you would alcohol, refined sugar, excess caffeine and processed foods. The 3 Bs – beets, broccoli and bitter gourd are the best detox foods for your liver. Other liver-loving foods include sweet fruits like apples, garlic, onions, lentils, sweet potatoes, leafy greens and lemons.
Give it a break
Our bodies are incredible in their ability to self-heal (with a little nudge from us). If you reduce the burden you put on your liver, it will use that time to work towards decongesting itself. To give your liver some time to play catch up, simply go on a fast for 2-3 days. Fasting means you send your liver off on a vacation, without having to process food and determine what is nutrition and what is toxin.
During your liver detox, you can nourish your body with nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable juices every three hours to fuel your body. Never starve yourself during a fast; just a gentle detox is all your system needs to hit the reset button.
Live for your liver
How we live has a huge impact on our liver. Here are some suggestions to keep your liver lookin’ good:
- Try to cut out chemical contaminants completely. This includes cosmetics and cleaning agents that seep through your skin and into your liver.
- Relax, deep breathe, meditate and wind down as stress aggravates liver problems.
- Find a healthy outlet for your intensity like art, bird watching, singing or dancing.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get your zzz's and make sure to go to bed before 10:00 p.m.