Before you begin a liver detox or liver cleanse for weight control, it’s important that you understand the function of this organ. You might be surprised to find out that liver cleansing is not solely geared toward losing weight! In fact, it is a natural weight loss treatment that has been used for thousands of years. Cleansing and detoxifying the liver is also beneficial for a number of other conditions, including acne, high blood pressure, indigestion, colds, flu, and more.
Liver detoxification or liver cleanse can sound like they only work for weight loss, which they do to a certain extent. However, if you’ve struggled with excess bloating or weight management, the idea of detoxing and cleansing might sound quite good as well! Before doing a full detoxification, however, let’s go over just what a liver detox actually does, exactly what liver detoxifiers do, and whether or not they’ll really help you with your weight gain or loss. First, we’ll look at liver detoxification. Then we’ll move on to the various phases of this treatment.
There are three primary methods of liver detoxifying, which include dietary, medicinal, and anti-inflammatory foods. Dietary detoxifying involves removing certain toxins from the body via food choices. This process is sometimes referred to as the “antirheumatic” method of detoxifying, because it clears the body of toxins that could potentially be inflamed and put under stress. These antirheumatic foods are generally fruits and vegetables, but may also include fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, dairy products, and gluten.
Medicinal or herbal detoxification occurs by removing toxins from the liver through the administration of medications. This is often done by taking prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or herbal remedies. Some herbs and medications, such as black cohosh, can act in synergy when taken with other herbs and can be even more effective. Herbal remedies are also used in conjunction with OTC medicines to maximize the effects of the medication and to treat specific toxin problems.
Finally, an anti-inflammatory food method is known as liver cleansing. It’s a slower, more drawn out process, but is also more complete than dietary liver detoxification. The first step in an anti-inflammatory food program is to limit or eliminate consumption of foods and beverages that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Detoxifying the liver is also essential to reducing inflammation and the buildup of toxins and waste in the cells.
There are many different supplements and herbal formulas available for liver detoxification, depending upon the cause of toxicity. Common supplements for liver detox are milk thistle, which boost liver health and help prevent toxin buildup; dandelion, which help prevent toxin buildup and are beneficial in removing toxins that accumulate in the liver; and alfalfa, a powerful liver protector that protects against the accumulation of toxins within the liver. One of the most potent supplements for preventing toxins is pyrithione. Pyrithione is made in the lab from raw potato slices and has been shown to quickly break down toxins that have accumulated in the liver. Studies have shown that pyrithione is as effective as Vitamin C in preventing damage to the liver caused by alcohol.
Supplements for liver detoxification are available both over the counter and with a prescription. Many of these supplements are the combination of several of these different nutrients. Some supplements use just one nutrient, but many contain all of the above ingredients in a concentrated formula that is used as a pill.
Although alcohol abuse doesn’t necessarily cause a liver detox, it can lead to complications and is part of the reason people seek treatment. When a person’s liver becomes overburdened with toxins, it can become inflamed and unable to eliminate the toxins effectively. As these accumulated poisons accumulate and begin to harm the liver, it can actually deteriorate. It is at this point that liver detox becomes necessary to restore the liver to optimal functioning and remove any accumulated toxins.