7 superfoods that help cleanse your liver

The liver is one of our most important organs. Unfortunately your liver gets treated like that waitress at a Denny's...

Over worked and usually under paid. Your liver has over 400 functions that it has to take on. Like playing a huge role in your digestion, metabolism, immunity, and keeping your colon healthy plus 396 other really important things...

And all it asks as payment is good fats and water, oh and less anger. But...

Like that jerk manager at Denny's we forget to support our liver so that it can happily take on it's tasks. Instead what do we do?

We stress out our liver by making it over work by trying to process too much sugars and other harmful substances. And you might be thinking, well I don't eat that much sugar so I should be ok...Uh, not really.

You see certain carbs such as breads (yes even whole wheat) convert into to sugars as soon as they touch your tongue. Plus the FDA has also made things worst since its has spent the last 50 years telling us fats are bad. When actually they are not.

Fats are what help your liver function at it's best. You can read what American science writer Gary Taubes has to say about it here.

Oh yeah and then there's anger. In Chinese Medicine which has been around for over 2,500 years. They have made the connection that anger greatly affects the function of the liver. They claim it makes it sluggish and less effective...

Some of you might also been thinking "liver cleansing"? Isn't that one of the main things the liver does. Cleanse our body?

Yes you are very wise and correct. But if we constantly bombard our liver with stress and make it work extra hard to process foods and substance then it becomes very difficult to do all its work properly. (think about that bitter waitress that never comes around to check in if you need anything after the food gets to your table)

This is where these potent superfoods come into play. They act as allies and support the liver to cleanse it self a lot easier. Now unless you ready to become a monk and denounce every that is delicious (sugars). Adding these potent superfoods might be your next best move.

But before I introduce these herbs that help your liver cleanse. I want to mention a few ways you can tell if your liver is sluggish.

I have to warn you these aren't going to be the sexiest questions you've ever heard but they are very important to know.

Ask your self this:
1. Do you have regular gas or bloating?
2. When you poop, is light or dark?
3. After eating sugar foods like ice creams and such do you get a belly ache?
4. Do hold on to a lot of anger? 

If you answered yes to most and have light poop. Then you my stinky friend need to give your liver some love 😉 But no worries I'm here to help.

First thing. Your diet needs to be on point. And by that I mean you need to be eating clean. Find out how to start here. 

Also here is a simple rule to know. When choosing certain foods. If its bitter or sour then it's good for you liver. (sour alcohol drinks don't count 😉

Once your in the process of changing your diet. Then you need to start adding some of these 7 potent healing superfoods into your daily routine.

7 Superfoods That Help Your Liver Cleanse

Turmeric 

turmeric liver cleanse

This is definitely one of my favorite superfoods to use. I use it in hot drinks, lemonades, stews, soups, and salads.

There have been numerous studies demonstrating turmeric's remarkable liver protective and regenerative properties. 

Turmeric is highly valuable for the influence it exerts on the digestive system and the liver. In both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is considered a digestive bitter.

It can be incorporated into foods,  to improve digestion and reduce gas and bloating. It is a cholagogue, stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder. This improves the body's ability to digest fats.

I wrote a whole post on 5 ways you can use turmeric if you are needing some guidance.

How to use: You can use as a powder in foods or drinks or in supplement form.

Chanca Piedra

chanca piedra liver cleanse

Chanca piedra translates into "stone breaker". And for good reasons.

For centuries indigenous people have used this herb for treatment and removal of gallstones and kidney stones.

Gallstones and kidney stones are a major health problem in the United States. In fact, 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from gallstones and medical doctors treat 600,000 each year for this condition.

With the introduction of Chanca Piedra, health care practitioners have acquired a powerful plant ally in helping their patients to maintain optimal kidney, gall bladder, liver, and bladder health.

This herb is great addition if you are planning on doing a kidney flush program or a liver cleanse program. As it helps soften up the stones prior to flushing them out.

This herb is not only a potent liver and kidney remedy but also has strong antioxidants as well as helping treat bacterial, viral infections, colds and flus.

How to use: You can use it in powder form adding it to a hot tea or drink. 

Dandelion Root

dandelion root liver cleanse

​This herb was first recorded in the writing Tang Materia Medica (659 B.C.E) and then later noted by Arab physicians in the 10th century. In the 13th century, it was mentioned in Welsh medicine and has been used through out the world ever since.

This herb is highly effective in strengthening and supporting the liver. It's benefits for your digestion are two fold as it contains inulin. This helps support healthy bacteria in the intestines and is also a bitter digestive tonic which tones the digestive system.

The tea has a roasted herbal taste to it. Native americans prized this plant as a gastrointestinal aid and cleansing alternative.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine its considered to clear heat from the liver and has a beneficial effect on the stomach and lungs. It can uplift the mood and promote lactation.

How to use: Drink as tea. 

Pau D' Arco

liver cleansing benefits of pau d arco tea

​This mighty herb comes from the inner bark of the taheebo tree. Most commonly found in Central and South America. It has been used as traditional medicine for over 1,500 years. 

Pau d'arco contains chemical compounds called naphthoquinones, specifically lapachol and beta-lapachone. Which have antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. They also contain significant amounts of the antioxidant quercetin.

Adding this as a tea or tincture a few times a week highly is recommended.

Many people have also had great success battling candida using this herb in their protocol. 

I personally take this herb a couple times a month as a parasite prevention. If you ever gotten the stomach flu this herb helps with that as well.

People who are taking blood thinners should consult their health care provider. And this herb should be avoided during pregnancy.

How to use: Powder form in a hot teas or other drink, tincture or capsules.

Graviola

liver cleanse benefits of graviola

​This healing plant also has a long history in traditional medicine. From the Caribbean down to South America in Peru.  It is also know as soursop, guanabana and cherimoya.

In Peru, graviola leaves are brewed to discharge mucus and soothe inflamed mucous membranes. To the east, in the Amazon region, the bark, leaves and roots are used by diabetics to stabilize blood sugar. The leaf tea is taken as a heart tonic in Guyana, a liver remedy in Brazil, and a treatment for asthma, coughs and flu in the West Indies.

Recent studies have shown it has great cancer treatment potential.

This herb should also be avoided during pregnancy.

How to use: Powder form add to drink (juice or smoothie). 

Lemons

liver cleanse lemonade

Yes this common fruit  can help make a profound impact on your health.

The natural acids occurring in lemons helps break down foods in your stomach. While at the same time activating the enzymes in your liver and help with the release of bile which the further helps food breakdown in your large intestine.  

The phytonutrients in lemons have powerful antioxidants properties that help protect your liver.

The vitamin C in lemons also helps repair cell tissue in your liver.

Adding half a juice of lemon to your morning glass of water is a great to also stimulate your liver to help get thing moving. If you know what I mean. (going #2)

How to use: In water, hot teas, salads, or lemonades.


Ku Ding 

ku ding

I spent 3 years intensely training with a group of Shaolin monks in Oakland, CA. During that time we got very close and they shared many traditions with me. 

Some that I still hold very found memories of. One of them was tea ceremonies.

After we trained we drank tea. At night we gathered at their house we drank tea. Morning we trained with no food just tea in our belly...

One day I noticed that the older monk Shi Yan Yao always carried a container with him. So I asked what's in it. He had a big smile and said Tea! Do you want some?

Sure I said, took the cup and sipped...While he eagerly looked at me. (these monks tended to be quit the tricksters)

When that tea first touched my tongue it tasted like warm battery acid. Seriously. Probably the most bitter thing I have ever tasted in my life.

But I still drank all up. He was in shock. He said most of the other monks hate that tea. Yet I barely re-acted except for raises my brows...

But I forgot to mention I have  a high tolerance for bitter and sour foods. I guess I'm either a bit of a masochist or I just know those foods are good for my liver..

As a kid (and still) I use to eat whole lemons like apples, yup.

But back to this tea. Ku Ding. So I started to ask Yan Yao why did he drink this tea all day? And he said it's to have a strong liver and to dispel heat from your body. Doing a lot of kung fu our bodies become very hot so this helps cool it down.

I asked  an Acupuncturist friend of mine and he said the same thing it helps your liver cleanse and also reduces inflammation (heat).  And it also promotes blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and lowers blood lipids, including cholesterol. It has the reputation of preventing deterioration of the heart and brain function and maintaining proper body weight.

The only places I have been able to find this tea is at Asian markets or China towns. They usually call it bitter tea. 

Like I mentioned yes it's bitter, but actually the more you drink it the less bitter it becomes.

How to use: As a hot  tea, steep for 3 minutes. The longer it steeps the more bitter it tastes.

Conclusion

The health of your liver is extremely important if you want every other organ to function in your body most effectively. 

Adding these 7 superfoods will greatly improve your liver cleansing abilities. I suggest starting with at least 3 of the 7 superfoods mentioned. After a while you can incorporate the others. 

As a good rule of thumb when taking herbs or any supplement it's to take them either for 5 days straight then take 2 days off. Or take them for 4 weeks straight then take one week off.

Best of luck loving up your liver. Please let me know what you think of these superfoods. And what are some herbs you use to help keep your liver healthy?

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  • Graviola
  • Moringa
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Burdock
  • Dandelion Root
  • Milk Thistle Seed
  • Chanca Piedra
  • Quassia
  • Boldo

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About the author

Sebstian Muenda

I have dedicated the last 16 years of my life to health, fitness, and spirituality. I have taught classes, have a private practice and have opened up past businesses to support the community in reaching their highest potential within health, fitness, and spirituality.

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