As we complete the first week of December, parties and social events are becoming more likely as Christmas nears… It is all good fun and absolutely part of the spirit of the season, but it can take its toll on us if we are not just a little bit careful.

So what better time to take an overview look of liver function and those supplements that help to support its optimum function.

Support your liver

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There is actually a great deal that helps to support liver function from the easily sourced to the more unusual.

Traditional herbal remedies include: turmeric, artichoke, gotu kola, milk thistle, dandelion, milk thistle, sarsaparilla and kudzu.

No doubt some of these names will mean something to you whilst others might be presenting themselves to you for the first time. Let’s take a closer look at that list…

Gotu kola

This is a native plant to India, Australia, China, Indonesia, Madagascar and the South Pacific.

This plant is also know asThe Fountain of Youth because of its perceived life lengthening properties. And much of this is likely to be based on the story of Chinese herbalist Li-Ching Yun who, legend has it, reached the grand old age of 256!

A key ingredient in ayurvedic medicine Goto kola is used to relieve anxiety and depression, promote calmness, boost adrenal function, relieve pain cleanse blood and increase energy levels.

Patients with liver cirrhosis have been observed to benefit from taking this supplement. It can be taken in capsule form – 2-4 per day.

Sarsaparilla

A climbing vine. There are a lot of hormone substance contained in it and it is predominantly used as a blood purifier and diuretic and helps to reduce the workload of the liver.

It should be noted that it can cause indigestion in some people and when taken in excess can lead to impaired kidney function.

Kudzu

Another Indian vine.

Extracts are used to reduce the desire for alcohol and to treat hangovers.

Therefore this very obviously makes it a great candidate for top liver supporting supplements!

Turmeric

foods good for liver_2A spicy root that is a frequent ingredient in Asian cookery.

It is another ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicine that is used to tackle liver problems including bloating and jaundice.

It contains curcumin which is antioxidant that boosts liver function by increasing antioxidant enzymes in the liver and it also plays a role in all-important liver regeneration and helps to lower cholesterol levels.

In fact turmeric’s anti-inflammatory performance is actually better than that of hydrocortisone and the antioxidant capabilities are more than vitamin E. It is certainly worth getting a bit more turmeric in your life!

Milk Thistle

Native to Mediterranean Europe, it contains antioxidants known as silymarin of which the most significant is silibinin.

In days gone by the purple flower heads were boiled and eaten like artichokes as a tonic and a means to protect the liver.

It is no longer necessary to ingest it this way!

Study after study has shown that silymarin can protect live cells from the ravages of excess alcohol.

It does so by maintaining levels of antioxidant glutathione and inhibiting the effects of free radicals. It also encourages liver regeneration after damaging effects of toxins.

Dandelion

Found all over the world and known for it golden yellow colour.

Its root is often used for its cleansing action and is a popular feature of detox programme.

By stimulating the flow of bile it aids the detoxification of the liver.

Dandelion also contains minerals including potassium which helps in the riddance of excess sodium.

Globe artichoke

The leaves contain compounds like cynarin which has great liver regenerating effects and can also help relieve symptoms of nausea, bloating and indigestion.

A study showed that artichoke extracts increased bile production by 127% in 30 minutes and 150% after 60 minutes!

So there is a bit of information that I hope helps you keep a healthy liver even during this time of parties and plenty!

Connect with Expert Ina Gutowska

* Reference
The Total Detox Plan by Dr. Sarah Bewer

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