"Think of the liver as a recycling center. As the blood moves through the intricate network of cells that make up the liver, it is carefully examined. Metabolic by products, hormones, cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, bacteria, viral particles, and all the chemical detritus of living that are in the blood are judged: some are allowed to stay, others dismantled for recycling, and some tagged for removal," Susun Weed.
The liver works hard processing and creating and recycling, but it actually stores very little! With the kidneys, the liver creates vitamins A and D and stores these and other fat soluble vitamins. The liver also stores sugar in the form of glycogen, and regulates iron and copper, releasing them into the bloodstream when needed. But most of the "toxins" we think of are processed by the liver, and away they go! Water soluble toxins are sent by the liver to the kidneys to be excreted in urine, while fat soluble chemicals are packaged up and shipped out to be excreted in breast milk, ovulations, ejaculations, and tears, or stored in fat cells.
My point is, your liver is not dirty.
You are not dirty.
But sometimes, our liver needs some love and support.
Instead of thinking of a liver cleanse as a scrub brush for this "filthy organ," why not see it as a helping hand for our hard working livers in an increasingly polluted world.
Herbalist, CoryPine Shane writes that the three main ways we can cleanse and aid the liver are through fasting, maintaining a good diet, and using medicinal herbs specific to the liver. Some of my favorite medicinal herbs for supporting the liver are common "weeds" like dandelion and burdock! Others like oregon grape, yarrow, and licorice are readily available to buy dried or tinctured.
What it comes down is that everyone is different. Our needs, sensitivities, and lifestyles are different. And there is a liver support/love/cleansing herb that is appropriate for you! It may come in a box. It may come in a bottle. It may come in a capsule or a tincture. It may grow in your backyard! But we're here to help you love your liver and find your next herbal ally, just in time for some spring cleaning.