Your liver plays a central role in your overall health – from hormonal balance to blood sugar regulation to immunity and more. If that sounds pretty important… it’s because it is! Let’s dive into some cleansing and healing herbs that naturally support your liver function.
Why Your Liver Health is So Important
I could geek out on liver health for hours, but I’ll spare you. Here’s a quick rundown of how your liver affects the rest of your health:
- Your liver helps strengthen your immunity and fight infection.
- It’s a detoxifying organ – it helps to remove waste and toxins from the body.
- It also helps turn the food you eat into energy and nutrients, delivering nourishment to the entire body.
- The liver even helps regulate your blood sugar levels and various hormone levels.
- A distressed liver can cause skin issues, concentration problems, and trouble with bruising and blood clotting.
For more about how to support your liver function, read this article.
Herbs that Support + Strengthen Your Liver
Did you know the liver is actually the only organ that can regenerate itself? Chinese medicine says that when your liver is in harmony, it brings the whole body into harmony.
Some herbal supplements are known to be especially beneficial for natural liver support. These four herbs are some of the best liver-nourishing plants you can find:
#1 – Milk Thistle
This is the most well-known herb for liver repair. Milk thistle contains a potent compound called silymarin, which protects liver cells from damage by preventing toxin absorption and enhancing the actual regeneration of liver cells. (source)
Milk thistle is a part of most popular liver tonics, and it can also be ground fresh and sprinkled over food.
Typical dose: 300mg, 1-3 times daily (standardized to 60-80% silymarin)
#2 – Artichoke
Thought to have a protective effect on liver cells, artichoke is used in herbal medicine to nourish and restore liver health. It also supports bile production, which is important for digestion and assimilating valuable nutrients. Some clinical studies show artichoke can lower triglyceride levels, as well. (source)
Typical dose: 600mg, twice daily
#3 – Dandelion
This herb makes an ideal liver treatment because it is highly effective and generally very safe (it’s also super budget friendly). All parts of the flower can be useful, but dandelion root is the most popular liver remedy, while the leaves are known for promoting kidney health.
More research is needed, but traditionally dandelion has been used as a purifying tonic in the springtime, when the liver and other organs are sluggish after the winter. (source)
Dandelion can be a gentle diuretic, so please use with caution if you are not supposed to take diuretics.
Typical dose: 500mg, 1-3 times daily
#4 – Licorice Root
Herbal tonics with licorice are often used in Eastern medicine to aid in liver repair. Licorice root restores and promotes the liver’s natural ability to filter out toxins.
One study reported licorice increased the production of interferon, which may explain this herb’s unique ability to defend liver health from harmful toxins. (source)
Typical dose: 600mg, three times daily
Combine Herbs with Healthy Lifestyle Changes
These herbs are meant to nourish your liver’s natural ability to repair, cleanse, and balance the body. They work best when you maintain a lifestyle that also supports liver function, including:
- Avoid excess alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid tobacco usage
- Stay active (even walking helps!)
- Avoid excess sugars and processed foods
- Manage stress and prioritize healthy sleep patterns
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Elizabeth is the founder and creative director at The Nourished Life. Her mission is to help people find a more balanced (less stressful!) approach to living a happy, healthy life. Read more about Elizabeth here.