The Liver – Living healthy

You asked me to write an article about the liver. In the following, I try to answer your questions through research and advice from experts.

The liver helps to digest food for vitality and for repair, cleanses the blood of impuritites and poisons, balances the hormones, and helps to resist and clear parasites and due to its innate healing force, the liver is our body’s most important healing source.

1. The Liver in the Body

                             2. What Does the Liver Deal with Daily?

                           3. What are the Functions of the Liver?

    4. The Liver and Emotions

                 5. Guidelines to Support the Liver

                      6. What can I do to cleanse my liver?

1. The Liver in the Body

Place one hand on your body under your right rib cage and notice a sensation of warmth under your hand. The large, triangular liver is tucked below the diaphragm and across from the stomach, and weighing about three pounds or more.

The liver is one of five vital organs that are essential for existence (the other four being the heart, brain, kidneys, and lungs). All your blood passes through it filled with dissolved nutrients ready for final processing and waste and toxins for detoxifying. At any given time, the liver holds the greatest volume of blood of any organ.

Together the digestive organs, which work to extract the energy from food, compose our digestive force. Even though food particles don’t pass through the liver like they do through the stomach and the small intestine, it plays a key role in ensuring that the food we ingest can be assimilated.

The liver is the most important organ of digestion and detoxification.

2. What Does the Liver Deal with Daily?

Here are some of the things that our liver deals with daily: the complex combination of foods in our daily meals, including the unnatural fats they contain – or the natural fats eaten in unnatural amounts, and also the problems we mull over, trying to solve, and the emotions that churn through us, simply as part of being human, are also processed by the liver. Additionally, the liver screens everthing we eat, drink and ingest for toxic material.

3. What are the Functions of the Liver?

The Largest Chemical Factory in our Bodies

The liver is responsible for creating the numerous natural chemicals and initiating the processes the body needs to stay nourished, cleansed, and balanced.

  • Brain, Nerves, Energy from Fat – It devides up fats into small droplets through the production of bile, a thick, yellow-green digestive juice that gets stored in the gallbladder until needed. The drops of fat can then be turned by pancreatic enzymes into fatty acids, which are used as slow-burning fuel, for making hormones and supporting brain and nerve function.
  • Energy from Carbohydrates – With the help of the pancreas, the liver also turns quick-burning glucose dissolved in the blood from carbohydrates into its storable form, glycogen, and then holds on to it until our cells need to burn it for fuel.
  • Metabolizing Fructose – Meanwhile, if we ingest fructose (the form of sugar naturally found in fruit, table sugar (= sucrose), molecules, and in artificial, corn-derived fructose syrups), the liver will metabolize this also, because cells in the body actually do not use fructose.
  • Alcohol – The liver also breaks down the ethanol in the alcohol we drink.
  • Protein for Muscles – And after the pancreatic juices turn partly digested proteins into amino acids that dissolve into the bloodstream, the liver finishes the job of protein metabolism too, so that these vital building blocks can be used to repair our tissues and muscles.
  • Vitamin Storage – In addition, the liver stores vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12, as well as iron and copper, in a repository of precious reserves that the body needs for many tasks.
  • Enzymes and Temperature– And all this while creating enzymes that control functions all over the body, including maintaining our body temperature in partnership with the thyroid.
  • Unwanted Chemicals – At night when we sleep, the liver performs another set of critical functions. It takes unwanted chemicals out of circulation.
  • Hormones – This includes hormones that the body has produced and now needs to expel, such as used-up estrogen, along with thyroid and stress hormones and waste from worn-out red blood cells, which transport oxygen. We don’t want these things to accumulate; hormones need to exist at proper homeostatic levels in order for us to stay well (estrogen, if it accumulates, can disrupt the thyroid and the gallbladder and contribute to toxicity). When we talk about “balanced hormones,” even if what we’re looking at is reproductive health or thyroid health, we need to always include the liver in the conversation.
  • Chemicals and Metals – In addition to the internally produced waste matter, externally derived chemicals and heavy metals from the environment and our foods, personal-care and cleaning products, indoor atmosphere, and pharmaceutical drugs are also processed by the liver so that they don’t become toxic free radicals in the body. If not cleared, these highly reactive molecules can damage cells, suppress the immune system, and make us look and feel older than we are. To avoid this, the liver converts them from fat-soluble forms into water-soluble forms that can be eliminated through the urine or passed back into the intestines and excreted in the stool. When toxins overload the liver, they typically are stored in fat cells and/or keep getting sent back through the digestive system, which can cause chronic inflammation in the body.
  • Immunity – Immune cells in the liver tissues help to remove bacteria and viruses that might have made it through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and prevent them from entering the circulatory system at large, where they could cause real trouble. Meanwhile, the bile also sweeps unwanted substances like parasites, along with the detoxified chemicals, and hormones, and metals like mercury, aluminum, and lead, out of the body by binding them into the stool. Never underestimate the power of bile!
  • Bacteria – Bile also keeps levels of bacteria in the intestinal tract low, helping to prevent inflammation of the intestinal wall that could degrade it and allow pathogens and undigested food particles to cross through it and stimulate a hyperimmune response.
  • Lymph – To complete this inventory of impressive feast of strength, the liver also helps to create a very significant amount of lymph, a fluid that plays a critical role in nourishment, cleansing, and immunity.

The liver has over 500 different functions. I really appreciate how a healthy liver, full of energy to digest and detoxify and producing bile in proper amounts, is an important ally not only in allowing us to digest food—the source of subtle energy that nourishes us—but also in resisting and overcoming parasites, and unwanted autoimmune responses.

4. Mind-Body-Connection: Is the Liver an Emotional Detoxifier?

Digestion is the process of turning food into its component chemicals so that the body can use them for fuel, building, and repair. From a multidimensional perspective on health, the act of digestion involves more than “breaking down” food; it includes the processing of thoughts and emotions as well.

The liver filters and purifies the blood: Physically it filters all the blood in the body from impurities, and it purifies the blood of emotiononal and mental toxins in order to promote a flow in the body. Emotions and thoughts can have biochemical responses in the body and are frequencies. Uplifting and expansive emotions like joy and love resonate or support the flow; difficult or contracting emotions like grief and anger interfere with it.

When the liver is in balance, supported, and not overworked, our perception is more clear, our thinking is more sharp, and our outlook is positive.

We rarely consider the state of our liver or link it to how we feel – when we feel energized upon waking and enjoy glowing skin, bright eyes, and a clear mind, we might not realize that our liver is probably quite happy and getting much of what it needs to do its work. Should we feel sluggish and slowed down, bloated, puffy, or constipated however or should we notice problem skin in the mirror or suffer frequent headaches and nausea or bad PMS or hot flashes, or if we feel stuck in low spirits or are quick to explode with anger… we’d be wise to understand that the signs are telling us that our liver is congested and our lymphatics – the drainage system that works in tandem with the liver to keep us cleansed – are getting overburdened.

Nevertheless, the liver has an unusual capacity for self-repair and regeneration.

Its ability to regrow is quite legendary which is why there is a high rate of success in liver transplant operations.

When we repress emotions rather than acknowledge them, this can lead to stagnation. A congested, weak and overworked liver can not efficiently metabolize and absorb food, because toxins are accumulating in the blood and tissues causing congestion in the lymph system. This means, when we are having indigestion or are fatigued or even irritated, we might first look to the liver. When the liver is inflamed, so is our mind! I didn’t know that before reading Kulreet Chaudhari’s book and I think it’s super interesting and helpful. A healthy liver helps the mind to perceive clearly; it ignites our intellect so it can better understand ideas, “digest” concepts, and assimilate positive thoughts while discarding negative ones.

The next time we feel bloated, tired or just bad we may stop looking for external causes and take into account that our inner self has to do some repair work and how we can effectively support our body to do its amazing feasts of strength.

“As beings of free will we have a choice in everything we do, we have a choice to pick the healthy food or the junk food, a choice to breathe a full breath or to shut down and tighten up. With our mental will, we decide to make those better choices.”

Overall, it means: Our body develops and functions according to how we treat it. Even though the human body absorbs a lot of toxins from the environment and through the skin, eating healthy helps a lot to feel better and to get more energy throughout the day.

 

5. Guidelines to Support the Liver

Try to fill your kitchen with a bounty of fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables that support digestion and detoxification, from beets to apples to sulfur-containing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage (detoxification requires the mineral sulfur to be in our diet). Infuse your food with spices like turmeric that support the liver cell regeneration and combat inflammation, and eat them calmly and intentionally, in simple combinations with natural and unprocessed fats as your staples. Eliminate hard-to-process sugars and carbohydrates such as baked good. Turn off your devices during meals knowing that too much visual and mental stimulation interferes with good digestion. Drink clean water in a natural way to support the flow of bile and lymph. Furthermore, don’t stay seated for the whole day, move often so that your lymph stay fluidly mobile too. Try to sidestep from nonessential pharmaceutical drugs that can aggravate the liver and disrupt normal functioning. Finish eating several hours before bedtime take some moment to unwind at the end of the day and try to fall asleep before the 1 am window when the liver naturally does its cleansing work. Simple dietary habits, such as using unheated extra virgin olive oil is really good for your liver. This way of eating helps to cleanse and revitalize the organs by removing foods that have congesting and aggravating effects and filling the diet with foods that support the functions of the organs.

The Liver’s Clock

From 3:00 pm until 3:00 am the liver accumulates glycogen as a result of carbohydrate metabolism. After 3:00 am until 3:00 pm, it releases stored glycogen into the blood for use as energy. The bile-secretion rhythm is the reverse. Its maximum activity is at 3:00 pm and minimum at 3:00 am. In this process, the liver and gallbladder work in a synchronized way. Since the maximum release of bile needed for fat digestion occurs at 3:00 pm if the main meal is taken after 6:00pm, fat digestion is hindered. It is better to have the higher-fat meals early in the day.

The primary causes of malnutrition are foods that are low in minerals and high in chemicals and hormones, processed, overrefined foods laden with preservatives, food colorings and additives. These foods impede the digestive organ’s ability to assimilate nutrients and energy. A primary goal for us is to purchase fresh, good-quality food that whenever possible is organic or biodynamic. Locally raised farm-stand foods grown without chemicals, even if not officially certified or organic are good choices, too (some nonchemical growers do not have certification).

The approach is to take it one step at a time, moving gradually in order to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms and to support the vital force. When we maintain a day-to-day lifestyle of good diet, we maintain the conditions for the body to engage in a deeper state of balance.

For further information how to support your liver look at my Q&A section, which aligns with the liver supporting guideline.

 

1. Here you can find the liver

 

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