Livers and Detoxing - Healthy Detoxing advice Post Lockdown
The Lockdown is finally over and many of us feeling a fair bit frumpy and lethargic. This is incredibly common in the clinic at the moment as we are all more than a little shell-shocked at the way this year has been. Consequently, many of us have imbibed too much of the things we could do which was eat and drink more than we should. This can have you feeling grumpy, bloated and overweight, lethargic and sluggish. Now as we enter the so-called ‘silly season’ on top of release vibes we may need a quick cleansing re-boot our bodies and minds. Stress plays a big role in the health of our Liver as well. Frustration, anxiety, depression and loneliness can all depress liver function and even cause angry outbursts. All good signs that you need a good healthy detox regime. A detox in their various forms a simple way to clear our bodies of perceived toxins.
The Liver is the ‘General of the Army’ in Chinese medicine if the general is not sound in mind and strength, no-body can function well. This is because the Liver is the body’s detox organ. It percolates the blood constantly breaking down each chemical if comes into contact with to protect our bodies from toxic overload. Where do these ‘toxins’ come from? Many come from outside the body such as drugs we take for a headache such as paracetamol, chemical residues and additives in our foods, the stimulants we use such as coffee, air pollution etc. The Liver must chemically dismantle each one so that it can be secreted safely through urine or sweat. But these ‘toxins’ also come from within such as the hormones our bodies use to regulate our monthly cycles (if you’re female), our sleep/wake cycles and responses to life such as adrenalin.
Problems can occur in the body when for reasons mentioned above, our Liver becomes overloaded and simply cannot keep up with the rate of dismantling as fast as needs require so the body must find other ways of coping. Sometimes our skin that is used to clear out the excess hence rashes or pimples, or our digestion of disturbed with bloating or heartburn etc, or our moods are affected as the hormones that normally would be broken down, stay in the blood circulation in excess quantities causing familiar PMT symptoms or grumpiness.
So if you’re feeling a little in need of a post lock-down cleanse, there are many herbal formulas that, properly prescribed, give liver function a boost. Most detox kits focus on liver herbs and can be helpful, however always ask a health practitioner that knows your physiology before taking any weight loss or liver cleansing programme. Vital Greens and Green Superfood powders are available over the counter at the clinic and can be used as a meal replacement or a morning boost and are very good for a detox and re-energise.
Never detox if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or chronically ill, are under 16, or have a heart, liver or kidney condition without consulting your health professional. There are gentle ways to cleanse! The best and cheapest is to start each day with a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon, cut down on non prescription drugs including painkillers. Eat simple…fresh fruit vegies, especially leafy greens such as rocket, beetroot leaves, fresh grated beetroot, avocado and fish and drink mostly water and herbal teas for a week and see how you feel. No junk foods, wheat, processed meats, sticky cheese such as tasty, blue cheese etc (feta, ricotta and cottage cheese is fine), and less caffeine (green tea is good) and you’ll be surprised how just giving the ‘General’ a break can put the spring back in your step and a smile on your dial.
Until next time
Dr Angela Palmer
B.App.Sc Human Biology
B.App.Sc Chinese Medicine