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4 Liver-Supporting Herbs

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4 Liver-Supporting Herbs

The liver has one of the most important jobs in the body, processing everything that enters it, including food and drinks, medications, skin care products, and even inhaled environmental toxins

The liver has one of the most important jobs in the body, processing everything that enters it, including food and drinks, medications, skin care products, and even inhaled environmental toxins. Its function is more important today than it’s ever been with pollution and processed food at an all-time high.

In addition to detoxifying the body, the liver is also responsible for regulating glucose, manufacturing proteins, regulating hormones and cholesterol, and producing bile for digestion. With all these important tasks, we can do our livers a favour by supplementing with the following detoxifying herbs.

Milk thistle

This flowering Mediterranean herb has been used as a medicine for centuries. It’s been recommended for a variety of liver conditions, including liver inflammation, cirrhosis, liver damage, and hepatitis.

Silymarin, the biologically active component of the plant, is thought to harness the herb’s medicinal properties. A 2010 study showed the hepatoprotective qualities of the extract, showing that it can help to protect the liver from the negative effects of cisplatin, an anticancer medication.

Dandelion

This common weed may be a pain in the backyard, but it’s actually a very powerful herb for liver health. Used for centuries in Native American and traditional Arabic medicine, dandelion is still used to this day for its liver-protecting properties.

In a recent study dandelion leaf water extract was tested against hepatitis in lab rats. It was shown to reduce hepatitis-induced enzyme activity, proving to be an effective force against oxidative stress and inflammation.

Artichoke

These prickly plants are part of the thistle family. The buds can be eaten when they reach a diametre of approximately eight to 15 cm. But artichokes’ redeeming qualities extend beyond the kitchen—they boast antioxidant properties, protecting the liver from oxidative damage.

In fact, a 2008 study showed that lab rats that were pretreated with artichoke leaf extract had better protection against liver injury and oxidative stress.

Curcumin

Along with being excellent in curries and other exotic dishes, turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from free-radical damage. In addition, curcumin stimulates the production of bile, helping the liver to eliminate toxins from the body.

Your liver is working overtime these days, so help it out with a few liver-protective herbs and ingredients, found easily at your local health food store.

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