Most folks, when they start a health and wellness regimen, begin with some type of detox protocol.
But, what they don’t realize is that there are many other bodily functions that need to be supported as they go through the process of detoxification. And, if the detoxification pathways are not functioning well, it could make any underlying conditions even worse as toxins back up into the system. Eek!
To keep this toxic disaster from happening inside your body, it’s essential to get to know your organ systems a little bit better. So let’s get started!
The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body and performs multiple critical functions to keep the body pure of toxins and harmful substances. The liver is a hardworking organ and some of its priorities include:
- Bile production, which helps break down fats and absorption of nutrients in the small intestine
- Produces cholesterol and proteins to help carry fats throughout the body
- Stores glycogen and releases glucose as needed
- Storage of blood and iron
- Breaks down insulin, estrogen and other hormones
- Conversion of ammonia to urea (urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine)
- Clears the blood of drugs and other harmful substances
- Produces immune factors and removes bacteria from the bloodstream
After the liver breaks down harmful substances, they are excreted into the bile or the blood: bile by-products enter the intestine and leave the body through the feces, and blood by-products are filtered by the kidneys and leave the body via the urine.
Here’s where some of the “detox” trouble arises. If the digestive system is sluggish, toxins can be reabsorbed back into the body and the blood via the intestines. If the kidney/bladder system is deficient (weak), it can get overloaded with toxic residue and this can lead to bladder and kidney infections, as well as a lack of will on the emotional level. The kidneys energetically house our will and if that system becomes overburdened, you will NOT have the desire or the will to do anything.
With that being said, before you start any type of detox protocol, it’s best to ensure your liver, intestines and kidney/bladder are working well.
One of the ways to help your digestive system function better is to eat fiber rich foods (whole foods), and chew them well. Digestion begins in the mouth, not in the stomach. You can read more about that here: Take Human Bites!
You can also use bitter herbs to stimulate the production/release of bile to help you digest food better. Also known as bitters, these herbs have been used for centuries to help the digestive system function optimally.
Once you get your digestive system functioning better, it’s time to move a little further down into the body to ensure the kidneys are up to task… meaning they are happy, healthy and filled with essence (energy), rather than with bacteria and stones. I usually suggest clients do a kidney cleanse/support before embarking on a liver detox protocol.
Depending on their personal condition, I suggest purchasing the herbs below as tinctures, and following the instructions on the bottle. The suggested use usually indicates 15-30 drops 1-3x per day.
Or you can simply and easily get most of those herbs in one handy-dandy formula called Urinary System Support.
Three weeks or twenty-one days is generally sufficient for supporting the health of the kidneys and bladder with this particular herbal protocol. BUT, besides adding these highly effective plant medicines into their diet, my clients know they need to eat well and exercise. And, cannot keep drinking soda, eating sugary crap and excessive amounts of poor quality proteins, and expect that the functioning of their organs is going to improve.
After getting their digestive system functioning better and completing the kidney cleanse/support protocol, I feel confident having them do a simple “liver cleanse.”
Liver cleansing is not as complicated as it seems.
One of the BEST ways to support the health of the liver has traditionally been through fasting. Many cultures around the world have fasted at specific times of the year to help support proper functioning of the liver, which is also known as the creative channel in the body and mind.
Here’s essential information you need to know about fasting.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.