How To Perform A Gentle Liver Flush
The topic of cleansing and detoxification is a real hot potato.
Some people believe there’s no real science behind the idea, while others (including me!) are of the opinion that regular cleansing is one of the best things you can do to maintain optimum health.
Whatever your views, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that modern day living means we’re routinely exposed to toxic substances like air pollution, food additives, stimulants and chemical drugs. This isn’t a great recipe for vitality and health. For me it’s a no brainer: giving your body a helping hand to keep it free from these harmful toxins can only be beneficial.
Why Detoxing is Important
The naysayers would have us believe that detoxing is literally “a load of rubbish.”
“Our bodies detox all the time! This is a function our bodies are designed to do! Without the ability to eliminate waste, we would simply die!”
Of course this is 100% true.
However, there’s a catch. What if you’re functioning below par? The stresses and strains of modern day life often put pressure on the pathways of elimination, meaning that your body isn’t always in the best shape to do all of the jobs it need to do.
Processed food, stress at work and exposure to the soup of chemicals found across our cities and towns are just a few of the things your body has to deal with on a daily basis. It’s easy to see how your organs of elimination can quickly become overwhelmed and in need of a helping hand.
Feeling sluggish, heavy and toxic simply isn’t the way we were designed to feel! Performing a naturopathic cleanse can remedy that.
From personal experience I know that doing a mini detox from time to time increases my energy, makes me feel lighter and helps me get a better night’s sleep. Furthermore, I regularly see people in my clinic who use these cleansing techniques to dramatically improve their health. Skin complaints clear up, pounds are shed and even menstrual problems can be helped. Whatever the disbelievers say, the evidence speaks for itself. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Naturopathic cleansing brings about truly amazing results.
Is It Safe to Perform a Naturopathic Cleanse?
I’m often asked this question.
Naturopaths have been cleansing and detoxing since the year dot. The concept is nothing new. Taking a sauna is a cleansing process, so is having a massage or sweating it out on the sports field. Why would we do these things if they weren’t beneficial?
However, there are so many different types of detox programmes to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?
When it comes to detoxing, one size does not fit all. The length of time needed will vary from person to person. Factors such as age, your current state of health, and whether or not you’ve done this kind of thing before should all be taken into consideration.
Before you go ahead and try the methods described in this post, there are one or two fundamental points to note. Carrying out a liver flush may not be suitable for people who have gallstones or serious conditions such as hepatitis, and should never be performed by pregnant women. It’s also important to remember that the effectiveness of any allopathic drugs you may be taking can be impaired by performing a flush. This is because your medication will pass through your system much more quickly than it usually would. All this can have implications if you’re taking medicine for serious conditions. If you’re at all unsure, the general rule is to check with your GP before carrying out ANY naturopathic cleanse at home, and if possible, find a practitioner who is experienced in cleansing to work with you and supervise your program.
How to Do a Basic Naturopathic Cleanse
The following procedure is often called a master cleanse. If you’re new to detoxing, I suggest you have a go at this one first. The cleanse needs to be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. It’s important to avoid eating for at least half an hour afterwards to give the liquid time to pass through your system.
Try this as part of your regular morning routine for a week. You’re guaranteed to notice a difference!
You will need:
- One lemon
- One lime
- Half a pint of spring water (only use tap water if you have a water filter)
- Cayenne tincture (made from fresh chilli peppers) or fresh cayenne / chilli powder. If you’re using powder, be sure to buy a new pack. Don’t be tempted to use up that ancient jar you’ve had at the back of your cupboard. It will have little to no effect.
- Maple syrup or local organic honey to sweeten (optional)
Note: Cayenne has many healing benefits that make it the perfect herb of choice when you’re doing a cleanse. It improves digestion, helps combat wind and indigestion, clears out toxins, speeds up metabolism and helps your liver to metabolise fats and cholesterol.
Put the whole lemon and lime through a juicer. Using the whole fruit (including the skin and the pith) is particularly beneficial as some people can experience an acidic stomach and this helps to counteract any discomfort. If citrus fruit is a problem for you, substitute the juice for apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a juicer, or this isn’t an issue, simply squeeze out the juice by hand and use that instead.
Next, add the juice to water, and then add 10 drops of cayenne tincture or a small pinch of cayenne powder and sweeten with the honey or syrup.
How to Do a Liver Flush
If you’d like to go one step further, this short naturopathic liver cleanse will give this hard working organ a well-earned break. It shouldn’t be performed for more than 2 days in a row without the supervision of a qualified practitioner, and as I mentioned already, should never be performed if you’re pregnant. For best results, try the master cleanse for two days before completing the flush.
Why Should You Clean Your Liver?
Apart from the skin, the liver is the next largest organ of detoxification in the body. Its main job is to process toxic substances and turn them into harmless waste products. However, it also has a number of other vitally important functions such as:
- Producing bile (which is needed for proper digestion)
- Storing vitamins, minerals and sugars (needed for energy)
- Maintaining hormone balance
- Metabolising fats
Your liver does an amazing job, but modern day living means that it can really be put through its paces. Just think about how much your liver has to deal with on a daily basis. Throw in alcohol, cigarette smoke, chemical drugs, and a poor diet and it’s easy to see how it can quickly become sluggish and over taxed.
A poorly functioning liver can result in a whole host of health problems from acne and yeast infections to weight gain and anxiety. (Fact: Performing a short liver cleanse is very beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome who find it hard to lose weight.) On the plus side, performing a liver flush can give you younger looking skin, boost your energy and lift your mood.
Give it a go and see for yourself!
You will need:
- 1 lemon or 1 lime
- Half a pint of fresh pressed, organic apple juice
- 1 tablespoon of cold pressed, virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- A small piece of fresh ginger root
- Some herbal detox tea (Pukka Detox is perfect for this and can easily be picked up in most supermarkets or health shops.) Alternatively look for products that contain herbs like fennel, nettle, dandelion, licorice, cinnamon and cardamom.)
As with the master cleanse, the liver flush should be performed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Put the lemon through your juicer, or squeeze out the juice by hand
- Crush the garlic and finely chop or grate the ginger
- Place all of the ingredients (minus the detox tea!) into a blender and liquidize
- Drink the whole thing down in one go!
- Next prepare your herbal tea. Over the next two hours, sip at least 2 mugs, more if you can face it. Don’t eat anything during that time. This is to allow the liquid to pass through the digestive system and liver unimpeded.
- After 2 hours, eat a light meal such as soup or stew. You may find that once you sit down to eat, you’ll want to have a bowel movement so be ready!
- Most people find that they’ll have a bowel movement consisting mostly of water. However, don’t worry if this doesn’t happen. Your bowel may be slightly dehydrated and it can sometimes take a little bit longer to work its way through. This is fine. Everything will happen in its own good time!
Before you have your bowel movement you may feel tired. This is completely normal, and a sign that the flush is working. For this reason it’s best to do the cleanse on a day where you’re able to rest. The tired feeling usually passes after you move your bowel. You’ll feel noticeably lighter and have much more energy.
Are you interested in taking things a step further? My 10 day home detox kit comes with everything you need to undertake a gentle yet powerful naturopathic cleanse in the comfort of your own home. Complete with supplements, shopping lists, a herbal consultation, and your own personal cheerleader (me!) the programme is designed to ensure you’re nurtured and supported the whole way through.
More information about the 10 day detox programme can be found by clicking here:
If you have any questions at all about detoxing or herbs for liver health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, Drop me a line at hello@the freelancenaturopath.com and I’ll do my very best to help.