[ The short video above is a visual of how our liver keeps us alive :) ]
Our liver, one of the biggest worker bees in our system! The liver is responsible for over 500 functions in our body! :0 The liver is the largest organ in our body [that's good because it has a BIG job! :() ], and is responsible for:
* cleansing our blood
* helps make digestion possible through production of a digestive liquid called Bile
* is our energy storage system by storing energy in the form of Glycogen.
* helps to make cholesterol [ the body needs some of it]
* helps with blood clotting
However in our modern society, our liver has taken a beating and many of us are feeling it's effects! Our liver is under constant attack from everything from our environment:
* pollutants in the water and air
* Toxins in our food (preservatives, additives artificial colors pesticides and flavors, even heavy metals and more :/
* The over consumption of sugars, alcohol, caffeine, prescription drugs, smoking
* Home and work exposure to toxins from carpeting, furniture and paint
* Household products
* Products used topically on the body ( This is why ingredients are so Important folks! )
This consistent barrage of the Large amount toxins in modern day living on our liver makes it vulnerable to numerous conditions and makes it difficult to keep up with performing its job detoxification.
[ Who feels like this at times? LOL ]
The end result is that we end up with a buildup of wastes and poisons that weaken our immune systems and effect our health system wide. The resulting effects can cause symptoms ranging from:
* Fatigue ( we wonder why we all feel so tired, well, besides because of our busy lives! LOL)
* Joint Pain
* Skin issues like rashes and bruising
* Digestive symptoms and Chronic bad breath
* Weight gain that's harder to lose
However, we can give our liver a helping hand through a few lifestyle changes, Yaaay! We can begin with nutritional support for our liver.
* Reducing the amount of sugar in our diet is Crucial
* Reduce alcohol amounts, the liver has to work extra hard to process alcohol
* Work to get our weight to a healthy level (it's a struggle isn't it?! :)
* Eat more fresh food such as veggies and fruits and small amounts of whole grains, seeds and nuts along with small amounts of healthy fats
* Reduce high fatty foods, fried foods
* Stay hydrated, every part of our body needs hydration
* Managing our stress load, yep it effects out liver too!
There are also certain foods and herbs that provide our liver with the help it needs, as well as aiding in optimizing the liver's ability to function and helps the liver to continue to detoxify.
Curry Leaves from the curry tree are a common seasoning in Indian cooking, but these flavorful leaves are also very high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to protect against many of the toxins we're exposed to.
This Ayurvedic staple has also been shown to protect against alcohol induced liver toxicity. These powerful leaves help to stop oxidative damage within the liver and that makes the a rock star for liver health! We purchase our curry leaves on Amazon, but they can be found in any Indian market as well.
We purchase our curry leaves on www.Amazon.com but they can be found in any Indian market as well. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on how we've incorporated these leaves into our meals. For now we crush them and add them to our green smoothies, ( a good way to get them in without much fuss) and toss them into roasted meat like chicken. We're still experimenting! LOL but we're looking forward to getting these little power leaves incorporated into our diet!
Milk Thistle, isn't it amazing how our Lord created these plants to assist in sustaining our good health! Amen! This lovely flowering plant has been used for decades to help support the liver function as well as for its detoxifying properties. The 'secret ingredient' in this plant is Silymarin, a polyphenol that has been extensively researched because of its powerful antioxidant property that has been shown to rid the liver of free radicals. If you live with Rag Weed or any such allergies you should check with your healthcare provider because milk thistle is in this family of plants and you could have a reaction.
[ Get your dance on with a healthy functioning liver! ]
Furthermore, the healing compounds in milk thistle promotes our body's own antioxidant production, inhibits inflammation and prevents damage to the liver itself while actually encouraging the growth of new liver cells! Now that's worth some happy dancing'!! Milk thistle boosts our body's own ability to detoxify from elements like drugs, chemicals and heavy metals!! When seeking out a milk thistle supplement look for one that contains the entire spectrum of Silymarin and Standardized Silybin. You should always check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Sesame Seed Extract, another powerbroker! A compound in the sesame seed called Sesamin contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities against toxins. This means it can help to keep our oxidative stress (toxic overload) under control. Sesame also helps to reduce liver enzymes which is a sign of damage to the liver. Because of the powerful ability of sesamin it can help to protect against liver fibrosis for those who are living with existing liver disease.
Sesame seeds as well as the extract or oil contain these healing properties for our liver. We purchase our big bag-o-seeds from www.sincerelynuts.com however many local markets and ethnic markets carry loose seeds and nuts to buy by the pound. Sesame extract can be found in most health markets and online. We love adding these tasty seeds into our smoothies and they give them a milky texture, sprinkled onto our meatballs baked to a crispy topping, stirred into riceland other healthy grains, added onto salads and into porridge and stews; the possibilities are endless. Cooking with sesame oil imparts a deep nutty flavor to any meal!
Sesame oil has also been utilized in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This super oil makes for a great skin moisturizer and a base or carrier for any other essential oils you may use. It can be added to a bath to soothe dry and cracked feet and heels and sesame oil can be applied to skin to soothe a burn as well as for other skin related issues, which makes it a very popular massage oil.
Sesame oil is also a natural sun screen, keeps hair and scalp moisturized and healthy and aids with dandruff and hair loss.
Grape Seed Extract is loaded with polyphenols making it a rich source of antioxidants what work to rid our body of free radicals. It has been shown that grape seed extract can help to reduce DNA damage in the liver by up to 47% and may enhance overall liver function and help support previous damage to liver cells. Now we don't have any of this particular extract right now, but what we do usually keep on hand are Grapes and lots of them! ( who can resist those juice sweet little globes of nutrients?!! ) Grape seed extract comes from the grape so we don't feel too bad about not having the extract on hand at our quarters at this current time! Remember, do what you're able to to and feel good about that! :()
So what does all of this have to do with Asthma & Allergies, or Food Allergies? Well, allergies are often the result of toxic overload within the liver. This results in immune system malfunction, as discussed earlier. Every action in our body relies on our immune system, our first line of defense. Many alternative healthcare practitioners acknowledge the liver's role in allergies and food allergies. Remember liver overload is a pre curser for many health problems and disease. Here at LivingThruGrace our whole health is the point! That means our body, and our spiritual health!
[ The Castor Oil Plant another precious gift for our well being from our Lord! ]
Castor Oil is a multifunctional natural oil with many health benefits and is a healing boost for detoxing the yuck from our livers! Check out our blog post Healing Benefits Of Castor Oil found under Healthy Living! it's such a simple thing to do and all that's required are some natural cloths and Hexane Free Castor Oil, and a heating source!
[ Real food, brings real results with our health! (Whole meal bread with watercress and chives.) ]
Liver health is crucial especially in our current lives and environment on our planet. There are numerous steps that we can take to begin healing and helping our overworked livers along on their journeys! Let's pamper this precious organ; it's always had our back so isn't it time that we return the favor?!
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Be sure to check out other related posts linked at bottom of blog post! :()