December 10, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team
Liver is an important organ of the body which aids in digestion, stores nutrients and detoxifies our body by eliminating harmful substances. Liver also acts as an important warrior of our immune system as it identifies harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins that enter our body, captures them and throws them out of the body. A healthy liver is essential for overall health and well being.
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Excess alcohol, excessive consumption of junk food, processed and stale food, aerated drinks, irregular meal timings, poor sleep, increased stress levels and even some medications can damage the liver. This can result in frequent illnesses, poor quality of life, and even death.
With the increasing burden of liver diseases across the globe, we must make healthy lifestyle modifications and seek herbal support to keep our liver strong and safe.
Many herbs are beneficial for maintaining liver health and preventing and curing liver diseases. Let’s look at the most beneficial herbs for liver health.
Milk thistle always tops the list of herbs for liver health. It has long been used in herbal medicine to cleanse and protect the liver and has been the subject of many research studies.
Milk thistle is believed to contain powerful antioxidants and plant compounds, especially silymarin, that help detox your liver and entire body. It also has a protective effect, calming inflammation and slowing the progression of liver disease.
To consume milk thistle, you can either take it in extract form, or use the seeds to make a tea.
Turmeric has gained a lot of popularity due to its anti-inflammatory effects. It helps stimulate bile production. Which supports both your liver and digestion. Researchers believe that the active ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, may help with liver health.
You can also think of green tea as an herb. It has many health-boosting properties and is rich in powerful antioxidants. Studies have shown that green tea may be helpful for those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is able to reduce certain markers of damage associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and reduced fatty changes in the liver.
Other research shows that simply drinking green tea can help protect your liver and reduce your risk of liver disease.
Garlic contains compounds that naturally increase glutathione levels. Glutathione is an important antioxidant for detox in your body. Raw garlic is known to be especially powerful for the liver.
Licorice supplements may benefit those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and protect against alcohol-related liver damage. It's important to note that certain people may be more sensitive to licorice supplements, as well as that they can lead to adverse side effects.
Ginger root is known for relieving indigestion and nausea. It's also good for your liver. Studies have shown that it contains plant compounds that help to protect your liver (and body) from inflammation and cellular damage.
Burdock root is another commonly used herb in herbal medicine for detox and liver cleansing. It is considered a blood purifier and a liver cleanser and helps with lymphatic congestion by stimulating lymphatic drainage. It can help with a full body detox and relieve skin problems that are associated with poor liver function or toxins in the body. Burdock root also has a cooling effect.
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that's most used for improved energy and recovery from stress. However, it also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect your liver from damage and may help liver cells to regenerate.
Yellow dock is another bitter root that stimulates bile production and encourages your liver (and the rest of your body) to get rid of toxins. It also helps with digestion, particularly when taken as a digestive bitter 20 to 30 minutes before a meal.
As always when taking herbs, remember that each one has its specific effects, so be sure to do your research before trying a specific herb. All herbs on this list are "safe" but may interact with medications, etc.
Also, liver damage and disease can be very serious, so be sure to consult with a healthcare professional as needed.
And finally, be aware that your diet and lifestyle play a big role in how healthy your liver is. Simply taking herbs will not fix your liver, and they will have the greatest effect when combined with other healthy practices.
Herbs are great support for keeping your liver functioning optimally. They promote cleansing, stimulate bile production, and have a protective effect that helps shield your liver from damage.