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What self-care and wellness actions can you take to improve the health of your liver?
1. If you have liver problems,
chances are you need to cleanse your liver. You may smoke, live in a toxic environment, take drugs that can tax your liver,
eat wrong, and/or drink alcohol. To cleanse your liver, drink a flush drink for liver cleansing: juice of 1-2 grapefruit or
2 oranges, l clove of garlic and l tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of two fresh lemons. A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
is optional. Drink the mixture for breakfast. Follow with two glasses of warm water or herbal tea (dandelion leaf or root,
oatstraw, peppermint, yarrow, chickweed or red clover). Eat nothing solid until
2. Eat the following foods to
cleanse your liver: artichokes, watercress, fresh lemon juice, celery, and papaya
3. Take milk thistle (silymarin).
Alternative Medical Review summarized the use of milk thistle and its use in the treatment of hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis
and viral hepatitis.
4. Take SAMe for pain. This popular supplement works as well as ibuprofen and other pain killers, but has fewer
adverse effects, according to Clinician Reviews. It may also help relieve liver condition symptoms.
5. Avoid all meats. Eat only fish
and chicken. No sugar, alcohol, coffee or tea (except herbal), fried foods, processed foods or flours, salt, strong spices,
preservatives, additives or synthetic vitamins. Eat pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables to stimulate the healthy
function of your liver. Other cleansing foods include pineapple, celery, parsley, watercress
and fresh grapes. Eat a lot of steamed vegetable and tofu meals, concentrating on green vegetables. With lunch and dinner
have 2 tablespoons of grated beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon
of fresh lemon juice. Eat bland, avoiding onion, garlic (except in the liver flush drink), radishes and spices. Avocados are
6. For infectious hepatitis,
take 1,000 mg. of vitamin C every 2-4 hours with a full glass of water; and a calcium citrate-magnesium capsule; take a B
complex capsule, vitamin E, and lecithin (Vegetarian Times/Well-Being).
7. If you have cirrhosis, try
taking zinc as a supplement. In a study reported in the Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine, patients who were given zinc
considerably improved after 30 days.
8. Avoid taking acetaminophen
(Tylenol). A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found
that Tylenol was associated with liver toxicity. Use SAMe instead (see # 4 above).
To find supplements and herbs, click on this line.
For more ideas, consult the source of this article. This article is for information
purposes only. For treatment, consult your health care practitioner.
This article was excerpted from The American Holistic Nurses' Association Guide
to Common Chronic Conditions: Self-Care Actions that Complement Your Doctor's Advice, by Carolyn Chambers Clark, Hoboken,
NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2003.
Copyright 2006 Carolyn Chambers Clark
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