(NaturalNews) Maybe you have a childhood memory of forgetting to clean your fish tank's filter. After all, it's easy to forget a fish tank even has a filter until it's so clogged up it starts to malfunction. Eventually, the tank is covered in slime and the health of your fish begins to fail. This scenario is much like the way we view our liver today. We often overlook the importance of the liver until it begins to adversely affect our health. However, this organ plays a vital role in cleansing, detoxifying and purification on a daily basis. The liver is also where many important nutrients are metabolized. Without a healthy liver, we cannot be healthy.
If you want to keep the environment clear and healthy in your fish tank, regular filter maintenance is a must. Similarly, if you want to enjoy vibrant health, maintaining your liver is crucial. When liver health is declining, you may experience a variety of symptoms including fatigue, sluggishness, hormone imbalances, acne, headaches and more.
In our literally toxic modern society, maintaining liver health is more important than ever. These natural herbs provide potent results in detoxifying and restoring the liver:
Milk Thistle. By far the most famous herb for liver health, milk thistle contains antioxidant flavonoids, which protect liver cells from damage by preventing toxin absorption and enhancing regeneration. Milk thistle is a part of most popular liver tonics, and it can also be ground fresh and sprinkled over food.
Artichoke. Thought to have a protective effect on liver cells, artichoke can aid liver regeneration and improve its function. 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.
Dandelion. This herb makes an ideal liver treatment because it is highly effective and generally very safe (it is also quite inexpensive). 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.
Licorice. This remedy was often used in Eastern medicine to treat liver problems. One study reported licorice increased the production of interferon, which may explain this herb's unique ability to defend liver health from harmful toxins.
Keep in mind that any of these herbs should be used in conjunction with lifestyle factors which promote liver health, such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine and tobacco; staying active with regular exercise (even walking and yoga are highly beneficial); avoiding processed foods filled with junk sugars and chemical additives; and finally, learning to manage stress and developing healthy sleeping habits.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html
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