I’m a big fan of yearly liver cleanses for myself and I also highly recommend them to my students and clients.
The liver is one heck of a hardworking organ and it needs your support to function optimally!
Your liver stores blood, creates proteins and fats for hormone production, releases glucose when needed, produces bile, detoxifies the blood and so much more.
It’s a really good idea to give your liver a gentle cleanse every once in while to support your health and vitality.
Think of it like this… when you take your car in for a yearly tune-up, it just makes it run better. So, let’s tune up your liver.
My favorite time of the year to do a liver cleanse is in the spring, but you can certainly do it at any time of the year.
I like the spring season for a tune up because it follows the cycles and seasons. During the colder winter months we generally eat more fat and protein to keep the body insulated and warm.
But, come the warmer weather, this is the perfect time to clear out any excess gunk that may be clogging up your engine.
If you’re thinking or feeling that your liver could use a cleanse, you’re probably right. I want you to trust your gut on this (pun intended here).
Below are some symptoms to let you know it’s time for a cleanse:
- Achy and uncomfortable feeling under the right rib cage
- Stiff joints upon waking
- Seasonal allergies
- Pain in the right shoulder blade and under the scapula
- Inability to digest food (or becoming allergic to everything)
- Feeling sluggish after a fatty meal
- Trouble getting out of bed in the morning
- Easily irritated and angered
Those are the basic symptoms, and you can find a longer list of potential symptoms here: Should I do a cleanse?
There are many types of liver cleanses that you can do. Below are the most popular:
- Liver/gallbladder flush
- Juice cleanse
Some of the above, like fasting and flushing, may be too hard on the body for most folks. That’s why I only recommend those extreme cleanses to people that have a physically strong body. Otherwise they may become depleted of energy, instead of feeling tuned up and refreshed.
This is one of the reasons why I suggest a “gentle” liver cleanse for most folks.
That means you don’t have to fast or abstain from food entirely, and you don’t have to eat apples all day long and then drink an unusually large dose of olive oil and lemon juice…
Nope, none of that.
Simply switch up your breakfast and eat a Cleansing Beet/Apple/Fennel salad for 3-4 weeks.
Here’s how it works:
Beets – a traditional blood building food that contains betaine. This amino acid is a methyl donor that improves liver function and detoxification.
Apples – specifically green (Granny Smith) or unripe apples, contain high concentrations of malic acid. It gives the apple its notoriously sour flavor. Malic acid can dissolve both kidney and gall stones.
Lemons – contain d-limonene. “Being a solvent of cholesterol, d-limonene has been used clinically to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones. Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux.
Fennel – this highly aromatic vegetable has been used for centuries to ease digestive distress. Fennel binds lipid (fat) substances in the intestines so that the body absorbs fewer triglycerides. It improves cellular metabolism, is a natural diuretic, and detoxifier.
Now, please keep in mind that you can’t eat this salad for breakfast every day and then eat a cheeseburger and French fries for lunch. That’s not the way it works. Overall, you would eat less fried fatty foods, little to no sugar, and less heavy meats. You would include into your diet more veggies, fruits, and fish.
There you go, a gentle liver cleanse to help your body purr like a well-tuned car.
Check out my FREE Food as Medicine Guide and email series.
Your body will love you for it!
 A Curious History of Vegetables by Wolf D. Storl, North Atlantic Books 2016, pgs 128-135
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.