Liver Cleansing - General
The liver is the father of all organs being the largest organ and having more jobs to do in the body than all other organs apart from the brain. It is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm and on top of the stomach, right kidney and intestines. It usually weighs about 3 pounds and is responsible for processes which deal with substances that enter the body and substances that are filtered, stored and excreted.
The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile, which helps to break down fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption.
All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down the nutrients and drugs in the blood, into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body.
The liver's highly specialized tissues regulate a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions.
When the liver has broken down harmful substances, they are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and leave the body in the faeces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys and leave the body in the form of urine.
The bile produced in the liver is collected in bile canaliculi, which merge to form bile ducts. The intrahepatic ducts eventually drain into the right and left hepatic ducts, which merge to form the common hepatic duct. The cystic duct from the gallbladder joins with the common hepatic duct to form the common bile duct. Bile either drains directly into the duodenum via the common bile duct, or is temporarily stored in the gallbladder via the cystic duct. The common bile duct and the pancreatic duct enter the second part of the duodenum together at the ampulla of vater.
Every month the liver replaces itself using the food ingested. If it is not provided with the correct nutrients or overworked by consuming too many toxins and chemicals including drugs and alcohol it will begin to malfunction. This can cause raised cholesterol levels, poor skin, nails and hair due to toxin build up and digestion problems. It is vital to look at the patient’s diet when any of these symptoms appear as it is more often than not the cause. If left unchecked nutritional imbalance and over toxicity can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis and jaundice and malfunctions of the following processes:
More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver including the following:
- Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
- Absorption of vitamin K
- Production of certain proteins for blood plasma
- Production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a polypeptide protein hormone
- Production of thrombopoietin is a glycoprotein hormone that regulates the production of platelets by the bone marrow
- Hormone production
- Synthesis of glucose from certain amino acids, lactate or glycerol
- Conversion of glycogen into glucose
- Formation of glycogen from glucose (this glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy)
- Production of triglycerides (fats)
- Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
- Collecting LDL cholesterol from the blood and storing ready for excretion
Symptoms of Liver Damage
- Pale stools
- Dark urine occurs when bilirubin mixes with urine
- Jaundice (yellow skin and/or whites of the eyes) This is where bilirubin deposits in skin, causing an intense itch. Itching is the most common complaint by people who have liver failure. Often this itch cannot be relieved by drugs.
- Swelling of the abdomen, ankles and feet occurs because the liver fails to make albumin.
- Excessive fatigue occurs from a generalized loss of nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
- Bruising and easy bleeding are other features of liver disease. The liver makes substances which help prevent bleeding. When liver damage occurs, these substances are no longer present and severe bleeding can occur.
Shocking Statistics about the Liver
- More than 25 million people in the United States have gallstones.
- Gallstones are most common in overweight adults of 35 to 55 years of age and affect more women than men.
- Each year there are nearly a million new cases of gallstone disease and the most common treatment is surgical removal of the gallbladder.
- 80% of all cases of liver toxicity are caused by pharmacological drug reactions.
- More than 900 prescription drugs are known to cause injury to the liver.
- 6,000 - 10,000 liver transplants are performed yearly in the United States.
- Upwards of 29 million people have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- About 29,000 people in the U.S. die each year from liver cirrhosis.
- A poor diet is a major contributor to most liver problems and toxic buildup.
- 90% to 100% of heavy alcohol drinkers develop fatty liver disease
This is only a short list. We recommend everyone do at least 3 liver cleanse programs every year just to keep up with the toxins we are all exposed to every day! Essentially, if you are generally health a quarterly cleanse of all the organs is vital. HOWEVER, if you have chronic disease, you need to be guided by your DBM Physician as to how often you cleanse the liver and the method you use.
Support Liver Detoxification with Your Diet
Your liver plays a complex role in many critical functions in your body. A one-word summation of its task could be "detoxification." If there are nutritional deficiencies in your diet, your liver will have difficultly eliminating toxins, which will in turn increase the amount of toxins produced by your body.
Toxins and your liver
Toxins come from variety of sources. They come from the environment, the content of our bowels, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. If you are exposed to chemicals or cigarette smoke, it is your liver's job to clean up the toxins before they do damage.
The liver removes toxins in three ways:
- It filters the blood.
- It neutralizes toxins by excreting fat-soluble toxins with cholesterol through making bile.
- It breaks down toxins with enzymes in a two-step process usually referred to as phase I and phase II detoxification.
Nutritional Recommendations For Liver Support:
- A good diet helps your liver detoxify
- To support proper liver function, it is important to eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of vegetables, which provide a wide range of essential nutrients. Your liver needs these nutrients to perform its duties.
- Ensure that these specific dietary changes are made to aid the liver in the detoxification process.
- Eating a high-fibre diet. Fibre binds to the bile in the large intestines, which helps to transport it out of the body. This is one of the ways the body eliminates fat-soluble toxins from the body.
- Eat a varied diet: Eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, including foods high in antioxidants (vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E) and high in B vitamins, calcium, and trace minerals to protect the liver from damage and help it do its job.
- Ensure good supply of B-vitamins. Make sure to get enough choline, betaine, methionine, vitamin B6, Folate and vitamin B12. These special nutritional factors are needed to promote liver decongestion, improve liver function and metabolize fat.
- Recommend a medically supervised fast to aid in detoxification. A full fast can quickly increase elimination of waste and enhance the body's healing processes. Fasting is not right for everyone, however; the doctor should establish current state of health – before recommending such a fast, hence our recommendation that one does a Therapeutic Intermittent Fast daily.
- Interim fasting however (abstaining from food intake for 18 hours), is recommended, again, be guided by your DBM Physician.
Important nutrients for the liver
A diet high in fibre includes a wide variety of plant-based foods. The best way to increase fibre is to eat more vegetables, beans and fruit. Foods that contain vitamins C and vitamin E are important as antioxidants to protect and treat a damaged liver. B vitamins are often depleted when the liver is overworked from alcohol consumption or toxic exposure. Methionine and cysteine are sulphur-containing proteins that are known to protect the liver and aid in converting fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble substances that can be eliminated through the urine. Choline is needed to metabolize fats in the body.
Foods That Contain These Vitamins Include:
- Vitamin C. Rose hips, kale, parsley, collard greens, mustard greens, cauliflower, red cabbage, strawberries, papaya, spinach, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, asparagus, mangos, peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin E. Almonds, filberts, sunflower seeds, avocados, asparagus, walnuts, tomatoes, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.
- B-complex. Nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, buckwheat, wild rice, and brown rice.
- Methionine and cysteine. Egg yolks, red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, whole grains and beans.
- Choline. egg yolks, nutritional yeast, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, lentils, chick peas and brown rice
- Check with your DBM Physician if eggs are permitted on your program
The Liver Cleanse
A liver cleanse is an all-natural procedure designed to detoxify, flush and purge the liver of fatty deposits, built up toxins, and accumulated stones. Most liver cleanse programs also include a gallbladder cleanse which helps purge the gallbladder of gallstones. Liver stones are formed when excess cholesterol crystallizes into small pebble size stones. Recently, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany discovered that heredity may also be a contributor to the condition. The scientists believe they have isolated a gene within the body that greatly increases a person's chances of forming liver and/or gallstones.
A liver cleanse usually involves eating a healthy organic diet, performing coffee enemas and drinking IMMUNOClean™ to support and stimulate the liver and to soften any stones which may need to be removed.
General Information - Liver Cleanse
- Begin with a juice fast for at least six days.
- Fresh juices of beetroot, papaya and lemon should be taken during this period.
- Try steaming a wide selection of the vegetables listed with the herbs and spices listed and a tablespoon or two of bottled or filtered water then place in a blender for a deliciously healthy potage soup and eat a small bowl before each meal. Add goat yogurt to make the soup ‘creamy’ - but please first check with your DBM Physician of goats yogurt is permitted on your program.
- Similarly blend a wide selection of the vegetables and fruits together with nutmeg, cinnamon and honey to provide a tasty nutritious 'smoothie'.
- Drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of clean spring water to and avoid the chorine and fluoride chemicals added to tap water which can add to the workload of the liver.
- See the chart - Nutrients That Support The Liver
Other things to consider:
- Vegetables – a selection of at least 4 per day, meaning all colours have been eaten at least once a fortnight – alfalfa, artichoke, asparagus, aubergines, beetroot, carrots, cauliflower, chicory, chili, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, peas, radishes, tomato, turnips, Swedes and watercress.
- Algae - such as chlorella and spirulina, contain many important nutrients and minerals often lacking in land-based crops. Take one tablespoon of one of them per day.
- Garlic - Also consume three or four chopped garlic cloves per day. Let them and other allicin-producing plants, such as chives, leeks, onions and spring onions, stand for ten minutes to allow for the process, that produces allicin in these plants when they are damaged, to take place. Allicin has many powerful properties that benefit the health.
- Fibre and Whole grains (at least 1 every day). Amaranth, barley, brown, rice, buckwheat, oats, millet, quinoa.
- Fruit - (a selection of at least 3 colours per day meaning all colours have been eaten at least once a fortnight) - Apricots, ash gourd, lemon, limes, melon, mangos, oranges, papaya, peaches, soursop, tangerines and watermelon.
- Juices – only pure home-made unsweetened, additive-free juices to be drunk, as often as possible. Include aloe vera, apple, barley (simmer and consume the juice), blueberry, beetroot, burdock, carrot, citrus fruits, cranberry, dandelion, lemon, lime, mango, mosambi, nasturtium, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, tomatoes and watermelon
- Seeds - as snacks or added to meals daily – flax, hemp, nasturtium, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon seeds. Hempseeds provide the correct balance of omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 )anti-inflammatory) fatty acids and should be consumed daily. A handful of pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled on any dish or in salads daily and add many important nutrients. Note: Seeds are rich in oils so should be limited whilst recovering from any gallbladder or liver disorders.
- Nuts - as snacks or added to meals daily. Best consumed with dry fruits that are organic, sun-dried, UN-sugared and UN-sulphurated to obtain the correct balance of vitamin C and E. Brazil nuts (2 per week unless excessive sweating, through exercise or fever, has taken place, then eat 2 per day, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts (5 per day). NOTE: Nuts are rich in oils so should be limited whilst recovering from any gall bladder or liver disorders.
- Sprouts - such as: alfalfa, almond, amaranth, barley, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, chickpea, hazelnut, fenugreek, flaxseeds, kamut, leek, lemon grass, lentil, lettuce, milk thistle, mizuna, mung beans, mustard seeds, oats, onion, pea, radish, rice, rocket, rye, quinoa, sesame, spinach, spring onions, sunflower, turnip and watercress.
- Common Herbs (nutritious herbs to be used as often as possible daily) such as: Basil, bay leaf, burdock root, cardamom, coriander, cloves, dill, fennel, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, saffron, sage, tarragon and thyme.
- Spices (nutritious spices to be used as often as possible daily. Can be added to teas also). such as: Cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves (three ground), cumin, coriander, ginger, Himalayan pink salt crystals, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns (all colours), sea salt (pure unrefined) and turmeric. A ¼ teaspoon of turmeric should be consumed daily due to its powerful compounds that can prevent many ailments. Sprinkle on to egg, and vegetable dishes or on brown rice and other grains.
- Oils (cold-pressed only and used to cook with or dress vegetables and salads, especially with foods that contain fat-soluble nutrients, such as carotene, to enable absorption) such as: coconut oil, flaxseed, olive, sesame and rice bran oils. NOTE: Keep oils to an absolute minimum when suffering with any gallbladder or liver disorder.
Derivatives (to be consumed and used as desired on a daily basis)
- Aloe vera juice, star anise seed tea, apple cider vinegar, barley grass juice, bergamot tea, black strap molasses, brewer's yeast, chamomile tea, green tea, honey, peppermint tea, pine needle tea.
- Barley grass is one of the rare plants to contain vitamin B12 - according to research it contains 80 micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams of dried barley plant juice - so is a useful addition to the diet of those that do not eat meat and fish intake which should be the case when recovering from gall bladder or liver disorders.
- At least one (and ideally many more) natural foods and derivatives should be consumed each day from each of the categories above.
- Pick one of the six colours of fruit and vegetables to consume daily. Yellow/orange, white, red, green, black/blue/purple and cream/brown. (See Eat From The Rainbow – Nutrition) Nature has kindly colour coded natural food for us and each colour provides specific nutrients and minerals in the right balances which are required daily.
- At least one iron-rich green leafy vegetable or herb should be consumed daily.
- If appetite does not allow enough consumption, juice them or make teas by steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and drink immediately to gain the nutrients without the bulk. Teas can be gently reheated and honey and lemon added to make them more palatable and to add additional beneficial nutrients. NOTE Non-heme iron is found in tea and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. However, tea and green leafy vegetables also contain oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme iron eat a couple of strawberries, a kiwi fruit or some orange, tangerine or mango at the same time.
How You Can Protect Your Liver During the Cleanse Process
1. Eat organic foods as much as possible
Your diet represents one of the biggest potential burdens on your liver, as many foods are contaminated with pesticides, growth hormones and chemical additives. By eating organic you are opting for the purest food possible, which means you’re saving your liver from a slew of toxins. By definition, organic foods must be free from genetically modified organisms, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones and other drugs.
2. Limit fructose, fried foods and processed foods containing trans-fats and/or hydrogenated oils
Two more dietary burdens to your liver are hidden in many processed foods on your supermarket shelves: trans-fats and fructose. Trans-fats are common in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts and are also found in biscuits, crackers and many other processed foods. If the ingredient list contains “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil, it will contain some amount of trans-fat. Fructose is also found in numerous processed foods as well as in cold drinks and fruit juice. According to one study in the journal Hepatology, a diet high in fructose and trans-fats leads to obesity and fatty liver.
3. Increase fruits, vegetables and other liver health boosting foods in your diet
On the flipside, you can also use your diet strategically to support your liver health by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are naturally detoxifying. Specifically, sulphur-rich foods, such as onions, garlic and all the veggies in the cruciferous family (broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) are known to help your liver detoxify environmental toxins, including prescription drugs and pesticides. Vegetables are also an excellent source of fibre, which helps toxins to move through your digestive tract, reducing stress on your liver. Turmeric, cinnamon and liquorice are also known to support healthy liver function.
4. Use natural household products
The more chemicals you are exposed to, the harder your liver has to work to keep you healthy. You can reduce stress on your liver health by choosing natural cleaning products for your home and natural personal care products for your body. Be sure your drinking water is free from contaminants and consider using an air purifier in your home, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. You’ll also want to avoid spraying pesticides in or around your home.
6. Detoxify your body regularly
Your liver health (along with your kidneys, blood, bowel, lymphatic system and skin) helps your body process and eliminate chemicals in your sweat, urine and faeces. Detoxing can help to support and enhance this natural process.
7. Be careful with medications and/or supplements
Taking medications in improper doses, for too long, or mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or other drugs, can harm your liver health. This INCLUDES taking huge amounts of unnecessary supplements. Remember, EVERYTHING you consume is filtered by the liver eventually. Don't overburden the liver.
Exercise is one straightforward way to lower your risk of fatty liver health disease, not only by helping you to maintain a healthy body weight (obesity increases your risk of fatty liver disease) but also by leading to liver health improvements independent of weight loss. One study published in Hepatology found that staying active for at least 150 minutes a week improved liver enzymes and other indices of liver health function.
9. Avoid Smoking
Smoking may harm your liver’s ability to effectively process and remove toxins from your body. It can also make alcohol-induced liver health disease worse.
10. Include liver health supportive foods in your daily diet
Select from the list of “Supportive Foods” and add them to salads, juices and other recipes. Remember to try to eat a raw to cooked food ratio of 80% raw to 20% cooked to bring your liver back to health. Curcumin and Green Tea, plus MSM powder will help enhance the body's natural defence systems and supports the liver's primary detoxification pathways. Including foods rich in Alpha Lipoic Acid which is a wonderful anti-oxidant supports liver function. You will find ALA in foods such as broccoli, spinach, Brussel sprouts, peas and tomatoes.
COFFEE ENEMAS – THE MOST VITAL PART OF THE LIVER CLEANSE
To stimulate bile flow and to detox the body, we recommend that recommend that all patients do a maintenance course of enemas every quarter, to stem the toxic build-up. To read more on coffee enemas follow the link and here is some additional information as well on coffee enemas.
Health Benefits of Doing a Liver Cleanse
- Improved digestion and elimination of toxins
- Helps the liver can break down fats more efficiently
- Balanced lipid profiles
- Increase in energy and vitality
- Feeling lighter and healthier
- Mood support
- Decreased bloating and gas
- Improved memory and cognition
- Reduced cravings for sugar and fatty foods
- May help remove liver and gallbladder stones which clog the liver
- Removal of toxic fatty deposits and smaller particles of buildup
DBM Protocols - Adjunct Therapy - Additional Support During Cleanse for Liver:
- Liver Cleansing Tea #1 - Sage and Fennel
- Liver Cleansing Tea #2 – Turmeric
- Liver Cleansing Tea #3 – Orange Peel and Cardamom