The liver plays an important part in detoxifying the body of harmful substances by using enzymes to react with toxins chemically. It makes blood clotting proteins, helps metabolize nutrients, and helps regulate cholesterol in the body by producing and transporting cholesterol to be used in the cells as well as removing excess cholesterol from the body.
When the liver becomes “congested” with too many toxins from pesticides, household cleaners, antibiotics, medications, poor quality food, stress, alcohol, lack of sleep, GMO’s, and other chemicals it decreases the ability of the liver to detoxify and mobilize cholesterol.
By decreasing the toxic stress on the liver, it will be able to work more efficiently at getting rid of excess cholesterol and toxins. Switching to baking soda and vinegar as your go-to for household cleaning is a good start.
- Eating fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts help to detox the liver and eliminate toxins. “Green” foods are especially important as they supply Vitamin K (which is important for arterial and bone health) and increase detoxing enzymes in the liver. Eating at least 1 cup cooked greens or cruciferous vegetables (including beet greens, chard, kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) and including some raw leafy greens, help to detox the liver and eliminate toxins. They also help decrease plaque in the arteries.
- Some other ways to help the liver release toxins include increasing your fiber, using infrared or dry heat saunas, finding ways to relieve stress, and exercising at an appropriate level.
- Applying castor oil packs for 30 minutes to 1 hour with a hot pack and/or soaking in a hot bath with 1 cup baking soda or 2-3 cups apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes a couple of times a week are ways that may help the liver and body become more alkaline so they release the toxins from the body.
Signs of a congested liver
- high cholesterol
- insomnia or waking between 1 and 3 a.m.
- night sweats
- skin issues (acne, rashes, eczema, itchiness, etc.)
- PMS or heavy periods
- hormone imbalances
- unstable blood sugar
- bad breath or body odor
- unusual sweating
- anger and, or irritability
- gallbladder problems
- loss of appetite or nausea (I see this a lot with clients that don’t have an appetite in the morning.)
- difficulty with air travel or flying
- react to or cannot handle strong odors or smells