Herbal Medicine

Numerous drugs and pharmaceuticals are noted for their potential to damage the liver, especially in higher doses. The liver has to work hard to remove these toxins and overload can lead to damage.

The frontrunner in healthy liver habits is to limit your alcohol intake or even completely exclude it from your diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended daily alcohol intake for women should not exceed 1 drink per day and should not exceed two drinks per day for men. Going over this recommended limit increases your risk for liver damage and even breast cancer. [1]

With regard to drugs, we cannot advise you to go against your doctor’s instructions but care should be taken to reduce the body’s overall toxic load wherever possible.

  1. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a medicinal plant that has been used to treat a variety of liver and metabolic diseases over thousands of years in the Mediterranean. According to numerous studies, the inclusion of milk thistle is extremely valuable for liver support and for the overall management of liver health. [2][3] Milk thistle was also found by studies to have no harmful effects after longer term use.

  1. Papaya

The use of papaya has been associated with skin whitening benefits, but it is also a good addition to your diet to protect your liver. A study in 2007 used fermented papaya preparations as possible supportive treatment for people with hepatitis C. The results were very positive! Papaya was able to improve hemodynamic balance in the body, as well as improving the ability of the body to detoxify itself. [4]

  1. Eclipta Alba (False Daisy)

The Eclipta alba plant has been used since ancient times in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a liver remedy. Today, studies have supported the claims of its effectiveness in improving liver health, protecting it from disease. Not only that, the plant is also shows good antioxidative properties on a liver damaged by alcohol abuse. [5][6]

  1. Picrorhiza Kurroa

Another plant popularly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine, Picrorhiza kurroa is known for managing jaundice – a condition where the skin becomes yellow because of excess bilirubin in the blood – and liver infections. [7] Picrorhiza, not commonly known in the West, was studied and revealed to have hepatoprotective effects as well, able to decrease hepatic lipids and fatty infiltration of the liver – overall reducing liver damage and improving liver health. [8]

  1. Schisandra

Moving to Eastern Traditional Medicine, the Schisandra plant and its fruit are used for a variety of ailments, primarily infections. In a 2012 study, the Schisandra plant was able to prevent a rise in AST/ALT levels (markers of liver damage) in acute hepatotoxicity. This could be due to its ability to get rid of free radicals in the blood which damage liver tissue. [9]

  1. Green Tea

When talking about healthy food and drink, green tea is often on the list because of its antioxidant effects. Green tea’s anti-hyperlipidemic effects are able to reduce fat build-up in the liver tissue and oxidative stress, causing a decrease in inflammation and AST/ALT levels. [10] The antioxidant effects also help clear our free radicals from the blood as well.

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is has immune system-boosting powers which in turn affects our over health, preventing disease. However, did you know that it is able to boost liver regeneration? The liver is a part of the body that will continue to function even as parts of it are damaged. Vitamin C is able to promote liver cell turnover and regeneration, making fruits high in Vitamin C an important part of your daily diet. [11]

 

Credit: Strength & Endurance Performance Academy

 

 
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