Love Your Liver
by Linden Wood and from Nature’s Field
The hepatic(liver) portal system includes the veins carrying blood from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract including the stomach, spleen, intestines, pancreas and gallbladder.
The blood from the GI tract enters the liver where nutrients are processed and stored, and where the blood is detoxified before returning into the blood stream.
The liver performs its role as food inspector, detoxifier, and gives it the wherewithal to be your own metabolic chemical plant. It makes new compounds which sustain your life, and that includes cholesterol! Without that, the glands could not make hormones, so we don’t want to judge cholesterol too harshly. It’s too much of the wrong kinds of cholesterol that create problems.
After the food has been inspected and detoxified, it is allowed to flow into the body for general circulation.
The liver is also a storage warehouse, collecting fats and a storage form
Between meals an intricate feedback system tells the liver to release more sugar. It does so both by converting glycogen and fat into glucose, the fuel of the body. All of these processes require plenty of good nutrition—vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes. So when you eat, remember your liver. Eating moderately from a good selection of wholesome foods will support your body’s needs, and you will have peace. Easy!
Considered the most complex, powerful, and useful organ of the body, your liver requires some tender maintenance and care in order to perform its many functions. These are just a few of its arduous duties:
— Resisting infection.
— Maintenance of many blood chemical levels.
— Cleansing of the blood (in concert with the kidneys).
— The manufacturing of new proteins.
— Optimal digestion.
— Iron storage from which new blood cells are made.
— Controlling blood fats, including cholesterol.
— Clotting will occur at the correct rate.
— Quick energy reserves.
Liver problems are common these days. Excess use of alcohol and drugs, combined with environmental poisons put considerable pressure on the liver, but this flexible organ can rapidly replenish itself with new tissue. If it has to, the liver can operate on 20% of its original mass.
Despite its ability to adapt under intense stress, and if coupled with a diet of devitalized foods, the liver simply cannot keep up.
Besides overloading the emergency cleansing and immune systems, the tension will cramp the digestive organs, resulting in incomplete digestion and assimilation of your food. Other problems include gas, more cramps, the fermentation and destruction of food the body sorely needs.
Internal bacteria love to eat such garbage, causing more minor disturbances. If this abuse does not stop, it commonly results in food sensitivities we call “allergies”. Normally, the liver has the job of sorting it all out before allergies get into the bloodstream. As you might guess, every one of your 100 trillion cells does not appreciate being poisoned. They will let you know by cutting down production of hormones, enzymes and energy. Next comes pain.
Signs of an Ailing Liver
As impurities are allowed into the bloodstream by an overworked liver, headaches are common.
Constipation is also a symptom and as a result, allows poisons to be reabsorbed into the blood.
Eventually, a “red nose” (ala alcoholics) may follow as a result of obstructed bile flow, and dark spots can appear on the face or back of the hands.
Bad breath or a bitter taste might be evident and the tongue is sometimes coated.
Gas often proceeds a meal, and more frequent urination gets a person up during the night. This may be because during the day the overworked liver under-stimulates the kidneys to function.
There may be sleeping difficulties, chills because the body’s temperature cannot be properly controlled, heartburn, overweight or underweight, appendicitis, and anal itching.
Parasites may grow uninhibited and abnormal bacteria will tend to be out of control in the bowel.
The skin can turn yellow along with the whites of the eyes, and the mind is often plagued with depression.
Liver and emotional state
The liver, being the seat of anger, needs to be detoxified and relieved of the anger stored in it. When the liver is overloaded, increased amounts of toxins circulate through the blood affecting most of our body systems. Our liver must transform the hormones released during emotional states, so they can be eliminated. When the liver is not functioning properly, emotional states that should come and go, stay around longer than necessary. When our environment is full of excess emotions, this puts a burden on the liver. Mood Elevator TCM: an excellent combination to consider for emotional problems linked to the liver.
More About Your Liver... surprising results
Possibly one of the biggest contributing factors towards liver stress for many people, is the practice of eating fruit for breakfast. One study, involving two hundred hypoglycemic adults found that when these people ate protein for breakfast they did not suffer from wide blood sugar swings during the day. Meat source protein gave the best results. The people in this study were watched closely throughout the day, blood was drawn periodically, their bosses rated them for productivity, they rated themselves for energy levels and mood swings, and their spouses rated their moods and energy at the end of the day. When fruit or simple carbohydrates were eaten for breakfast the results were the poorest.
Even if protein was eaten for lunch, after a fruit breakfast, the dramatic blood sugar swings continued throughout the day. Only when a meat source of protein was eaten for the first meal of the day did the blood sugar stay stable all day long. Also, energy and productivity were rated the highest, as well as moods and attitudes.
Liver Balance tcm is such a combination. It was known as Tiao He, and is included
in a new cleansing program called by that name. It has traditionally been
used to treat depression, nervous and muscular tension, gallstones, hepatitis,
hypoglycemia, anemia, gastric ulcers, inflammatory skin conditions,
migraines and PMS. All of these problems are related to liver
Liver Cleanse is an American combination emphasizing the benefits of dandelion and parsley herbs. Early settlers of America brought the dandelion from the old world as a medicine, and it is an immensely valuable plant. Together with parsley and 10 other herbs, this combination is also good for gallbladder function, muscle spasms, some pain relief and is both mildly laxative and diuretic. It has also been used for kidney stones, diabetes, lumbago, and female problems.
LIV-J is a relatively new combination that includes the famous liver herb "barberry". Caution is advised in cases of impaired kidney function or inflammation of the female reproductive organs. Horseradish is one remarkable constituent that increases the action of the other 6 herbs in this formula. It is commonly used with Vitamin A & D, Vitamin B Complex, and Vitamins E and C.
Milk Thistle Combination has a powerful protective effect on the liver. In fact, its constituents have been found to protect the liver from chemical poisoning and the free radicals that result from environmental pollutants. Combines outstanding liver support herbs, vitamins and minerals.
Misc. Liver Supplements for special needs
There are people with special needs that must be met if the liver is to properly heal. They should consider the following:
Blood Stimulator TCM is used mostly for its blood-cleansing effect, but since the liver is involved in this function, this particular combination applies. Dong Quai in this combination helps the liver regulate glycogen (sugar needed for energy) release when blood-sugar is low, and is good for indigestion and lowering cholesterol.
Vitamin A has a protective quality, and those deficient in it tend to show signs of liver damage.
Vitamin B Complex is needed in large amounts in order for the liver to perform its more than 500 functions.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant helping to control tissue destruction, and also helps neutralize and eliminate liver toxins.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that brings oxygen into the liver, and also helps to prevent scarring (the basis of cirrhosis).
Chlorophyll helps to “sweeten” and clean the liver and blood.
L-Carnitine has been used effectively in the treatment of several fatty liver disorders.
Lecithin helps the liver dissolve accumulated fats within itself or in the bloodstream, helping prevent or replace scar tissue. In fact, the liver makes lecithin for the body. Supplementing this function with more lecithin may lessen liver stress.
Helpful Liver Habits
• Drink room temperature water with fresh squeezed lemon first thing in the morning (with your probiotics if need be).Hydration of 2L (6-8 glasses) of good water per day is sufficient for most people (Celtic or Evian are good - check the water pH... ideal between 7.0 and 7.5) . Remember that other fluids such as juice or tea do not replace drinking plain water.
• Add bitter greens such as dandelion and radicchio to your salads. Burdock and artichoke are also especially beneficial for the liver.
• Chlorophyll and other green drinks may be used regularly for extra support.
• Free-range eggs. Best when prepared with an intact runny or very soft yolk.
• Unprocessed foods including raw nuts and seeds (soaked overnight).
• Unrefined cold-pressed oils like olive or grapeseed for salad dressings and coconut for cooking. Trans fats should be avoided.
• Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake.
• Regular exercise at least 2-3 times per week. Start with brisk walks if you do not usually exercise.
With continuous attacks upon the liver from chemicals, pathogens, parasites, and unpleasant emotional situations, learning about the liver and how to take care of it has to be one of the greatest topics in the field of health. Your liver is where you live.
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