Your liver is on the right side of your body and just behind the lower ribs. You only have 1. And it is reportedly responsible for and/or a part of over 500 different functions in the body. So, basically, what does the liver do?
- It metabolizes carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins into biologically useful materials.
- It can remove hormones produced by the body’s own glands when balancing the levels in the body.
- It regulates the composition of blood; the amounts of glucose, protein, and fat that enter the bloodstream.
- It removes worn out red blood cells, ammonia, and toxins from the blood.
- It processes nutrients absorbed by the intestines from digestion and converts them to be usable by the body. The liver also stores nutrients; vitamin A, D, E, K, B12 and minerals iron, and copper.
- It produces cholesterol and important proteins needed by the body.
- It produces clotting factors to help blood clot.
- It breaks down/metabolizes alcohol, drugs, and toxic substances before they can reach the rest of the body.
- It strengthens the immune system. Special cells capture and digest the bacteria, fungi, parasites, worn-out blood cells, and cellular debris. Because of the large volume of blood passing through the liver, it can clean large volumes of blood very quickly.
In fact, the liver is so dynamic that it can regrow very quickly to the original size and repair itself. Hence the reason why they can perform surgery and take out a portion of the liver and the person can continue living. Several liver conditions are commonly talked about; Hepatitis A, B, and C – resulting from viruses, heavy drinking of alcohol, allergic reactions, or obesity. There is Cirrhosis of the liver where scarring occurs. Ascites; a condition where the liver leaks fluid into the belly as a result of cirrhosis. And, liver cancer.
With all that it does for us, it is obvious that we want to take care of our liver. We can do this several ways:
- Herbal Additives that detox the liver, cleanse the liver and glands, and nourish the gastro-intestinal tract. A great combination of herbs for this is: Red Beet Root, Dandelion Root, Parsley leaf, Horsetail Stem, Yellow Dock Root, Black Cohosh, Birch Leaf, Blessed Thistle, Angelica Root, Chamomile Flowers, Gentian Root, and Goldenrod.
- Add great natural liver detoxifying foods:
- Dark leafy greens: spinach, kale, arugula, and collards
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potato
As you can see, food acts as our natural medicine once again. Think about adding these foods to your regular menu and you can’t go wrong.