How to give your hard-working liver extra love

Your liver plays a vital role in the maintenance of your health and wellbeing by supporting digestion and detoxification processes.

A sluggish liver is the term used in natural therapies to describe a situation where the liver and gallbladder aren’t working as efficiently as they should be. Surprisingly, this is more common than you may think. As the liver is involved in many bodily processes, a sluggish liver can impact various body systems and cause a wide range of warning signs to appear.

What are the indicators of a sluggish liver? 

Signs of a sluggish liver can include any number of the following:

  • Intolerance of alcohol & fatty foots
  • Digestive upsets, bloating & wind
  • Fatigue & sleep disturbances
  • Sluggish Bowels
  • Skin problems and breakouts
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Head and neck tension
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Joint stiffness

If you are suffering from any of the listed symptoms, seek advice from your health care professional.

What causes a sluggish liver?

Your liver is responsible for the breakdown, metabolism and detoxification of fats and hormones as well as the elimination of toxins (both dietary and environmental) from the body. It produces a substance called bile which is responsible for the breakdown and absorption of dietary fats in your body, a process that is essential for facilitating digestion. 

Poor dietary and lifestyle habits, in particular a diet high in fats, sugars, caffeine or alcohol as well as environmental toxins such as pesticides and man-made chemicals can all add to the load on your liver.

If in excess, the liver may begin to struggle keeping up with detoxification processes leading to a sluggish liver.

Diet and lifestyle tips for a sluggish liver

Supporting detoxication processes are key for overall liver and digestive health.

Dietary tips:

  • Increase water intake (drink at least 2 litres daily)
  • Reduce caffeine consumption and limit your alcohol intake
  • Reduce/avoid eating unhealthy fats and sugars in your diets such as fried food, junk food and processed foods. Instead, opt for healthy fats including avocado and olive oil
  • Increase your fibre intake (from fruits, vegetables and wholegrains) to support regular bowel motions to aid in eliminating wastes from your body. Supporting the removal of wastes via bowel motions ensures wastes are not accumulated in the colon

Lifestyle tips:

  • Minimise exposure to toxins such as man-made chemicals and opt for organic fruits and vegetables and non-toxic cleaning products where possible
  • Participate in regular exercise to support detoxification processes and manage your weight
  • Avoid smoking and the use of recreational drugs 
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Thompson’s Herbal Favourites

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is used in traditional Western herbal practice to support a healthy liver function.  The herb is also used to support digestive processes via aiding in the production of bile flow from the liver and gallbladder.

Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) a well-known plant has evidence in traditional Western herbal practice for its use in supporting detoxification & elimination processes in the liver via supporting the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder.

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) uses the purple-red berries of the plant in traditional Western herbal practice to support overall digestive health via supporting detoxification processes of the liver. Schisandra also exhibits antioxidant properties useful in supporting liver health.

Looking to give your liver some love? Explore our Digestion Range designed and mastered with herbs to support a healthy liver and digestion.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Integria, Auckland