These days, it’s not uncommon to scroll through social media and read about a friend who’s doing a liver detox. It seems like everyone you know is on day three of the Master Cleanse or halfway through a green tea fast to clean their liver and lose weight.
With so many people flushing, fasting, cleansing, or detoxing, it’s difficult to know which liver cleanse recipe is most beneficial for a healthy liver.
How do you know which ingredients are healthiest and which foods you should remove from your diet during the cleanse? Is a three-day cleanse long enough or should you complete a seven-day liver cleanse if you really want to see results?
When it comes to choosing the best liver cleanse recipes, here’s what you should take into account.
First, Do You Actually Need a Liver Cleanse?
Before you stock up on lemons, maple syrup, and thistle root, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the key functions of your liver and consider just how stressed it might be.
The liver is responsible for over 500 processes, but when it comes to liver detox we’re primarily concerned with two functions: processing what we eat and drink into forms that we can use, and removing harmful substances (toxins) from the blood.
Essentially, the liver is Mission Control for digestion and blood cleansing. To keep it functioning in tip-top shape it’s in our best interest to give it some love. But over time, our lifestyle choices and exposure to toxins can overtax our livers, resulting in a host of negative symptoms.
In a nutshell: if we bombard our bodies with too many substances the liver has to remove, or if we don’t give the liver what it needs to function at a high level, our bodies respond in some predictable ways.
Signs Your Liver Could Benefit From a Cleanse
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Poor digestion — frequent diarrhea or constipation
- Headaches — especially migraines
- Skin issues — dry skin, eczema, acne, or excess oil
- Uncontrollable weight gain, belly fat
- Lethargy, lack of energy
- Muscle or joint pain
- Foggy mind
- Emotional mood swings
- Heart palpitations or irregular pulse
- Onset of allergies
- Frequent sinus issues or congestion
Any of the symptoms above can make us feel uncomfortable, but on their own they may not be the result of a stressed liver.
However, if you’re dealing with several of those symptoms, it’s time to pay more attention to your liver and consider cleansing options.
Essentially, the liver is Mission Control for digestion and blood cleansing. To keep it functioning in tip-top shape it’s in our best interest to give it some love.
How Often Should You Do a Liver Cleanse?
Everyone benefits from a healthy liver – our lives depend on how well our livers process the foods we eat and remove the toxins. So the question is not whether or not to cleanse, it’s how often you should do a liver cleanse and how to go about it.
The short answer is a few times a year or when you notice the symptoms above creeping in. Ideally, if you are eating well and minimizing contact with toxins, as needed should be sufficient.
What Does a Liver Cleanse Consist Of?
Finding the best method to cleanse your liver is a little less straightforward, but there are a few similarities the best cleanses share.
Remove Toxins From Your Diet
The first step of any tried-and-true liver cleanse is to remove all toxins from your diet and/or environment.
Makes sense, right? What good is a cleanse if you keep scarfing down the foods that stressed or damaged your liver in the first place? It would be similar to washing your car during a dust storm – hard to get the results you’re looking for.
So who are the dietary “bad guys” that most cleanses agree on?
Are you sitting down? Here are the most obvious targets:
Any liver cleanse you undertake should make clear recommendations about reducing or eliminating these toxins from our diet. Taking a break from these “Big Five” will give our livers a welcome rest and a chance to recuperate.
Other unsavory substances that are less talked about, but still worth avoiding, include:
- Painkillers, medications, and recreational drugs
- Direct contact with chemical pollutants from inside and outside the home
- Excessive and/or unhealthy fats and artificial sweeteners
These may not be as easy to recognize as the Big Five, but they can stress the liver nevertheless.
Flush Your Liver
Once you’ve made it a point to remove the toxins from your diet, it’s time to focus on the actual liver flush.
A healthy liver flush is an effective way to purify your body and remove harmful toxins from your cells. Here are some of the top liver cleanse recipes we recommend for a healthy flush.
Choosing the Best Liver Cleanse Recipe for a Healthy Liver Flush
These liver cleanse recipes will help you show your liver some love.
The Master Cleanse
For those interested in the “no pain, no gain” approach, consider the “Master Cleanse” created by Stanley Burroughs and Peter Glickman. The primary component of the Master Cleanse is a fresh lemonade drink that is to be ingested 12 times per day for 10 days – nothing else.
Proponents say they get all the nutrition and liver support they need through the ingredients, they lose weight, and they feel terrific after the third or fourth day.
What’s in It?
- 2 tablespoons of organic, freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 10 ounces of filtered water
- 2 tablespoons of organic grade B maple syrup
- 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
The Simple Remedy & the Long Intensive Treatment by Christopher Vasey, ND
There are several recipes depending on the severity of symptoms in Liver Detox: Cleansing Through Diet, Herbs and Massage by Christopher Vasey, ND. He’s a proponent of using hepatic plants, such as dandelion, milk thistle, black radish, and artichoke, in conjunction with food elimination diets, water intake, and massage.
His “Simple Remedy” consists of two detoxification procedures, one taking a medicinal plant supplement and the other applying a hot water bottle to the liver for 10-15 minutes daily.
If you’re looking for a longer commitment, Vasey’s “Long Intensive Treatment” is a one- to three-month regimen of medicinal plants and extensive massage, heat treatment, and drinking water with high sulfur content.
The 9-Day Liver Detox Diet
In The 9-Day Liver Detox Diet, authors Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce make a strong case for food elimination and eating foods that support healthy liver function. Their detox involves following a specific diet religiously for nine days and then gradually incorporating foods from the five stressor groups listed above.
One advantage to this method is that Holford and Joyce spell out exactly what to purchase and when to eat it, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process.
The Detox Prescription by Woodson Merrell, MD,
The Detox Prescription by Woodson Merrell, MD, offers three main options, with the intention of creating a complete lifestyle turnaround that has your liver thriving.
- The “3-Day Turbo Cleanse” consists of fresh juices, smoothies, and nut milks.
- The “7-Day In-Depth Detox” continues the “3-Day” with added liver support through foods like dandelion root tea, coconut yoghurt, and lentil-cashew stuffed peppers.
- The “21-Day Clean and Lean Diet” picks up where the “7-Day” left off and adds fish, quinoa, more nut milks, and fruits.
Remember: even a short break has benefits. One of the more remarkable aspects of eliminating or reducing toxins is that you’ll notice positive differences in your health early on in the process – it’s often just a matter of days before you’ll feel clear-headed and have more energy.
For those who may need the relief from more extreme measures, a week-long regimen of enemas made with organically grown coffee may be called for. This procedure has been effective for people undergoing cancer treatment, as well as those looking for liver and digestion support.
What to Do:
- Using a standard coffee maker, place the filter into the brewing basket and place the basket in the coffee maker.
- Add the grounds. (You can set your coffee grinder to fine or use pre-ground coffee.)
- Fill the reservoir with water. Use a quart of quality water and one of the following amounts of coffee, depending on the coffee enema solution you want.
- 1 tablespoon = weak
- 2 tablespoons = medium
- 3-4 tablespoons = strong
- Turn on the coffee maker according to the coffee maker’s instructions and your coffee should begin brewing.
- Wait for coffee to cool to 95-100°F, then add your coffee enema solution to your enema bag.
Genius Kitchen’s Cleanse
Genius Kitchen has a recipe similar to the Master Cleanse that you only need to drink once, first thing in the morning, for ten days:
- 2 tablespoons of organic lemon juice that is freshly squeezed
- ½ to 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Cayenne pepper to taste
Alkaline Recipe #4
Live Energized’s liver cleanse called Alkaline Recipe #4 was concocted form 4-5 other recipes. They claim the combination of nutrients “heals, soothes, and detoxifies the liver, and the taste is surprisingly refreshing and delicious!”
- 2 large grapefruits
- 4 lemons
- 300 ml of alkaline water (or filtered)
- 2 tablespoons of Udo’s Choice (or cold pressed flax oil)
- 1 teaspoon of acidophilus (or a mixed probiotic)
- 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 inches of fresh root ginger
- optional: a dash of cayenne pepper
A Few Things to Keep in Mind During Your Liver Cleanse
Reducing or eliminating toxins that stress our livers can improve the quality of our lives dramatically.
While you should consult with a physician to diagnose health symptoms that persist or are life-threatening, following a simple liver detox using one of the recipes above can allow your liver to recuperate and relieve you from symptoms that keep you from living life to the fullest on a daily basis.
Keep in mind that drinking plenty of pure water and striving to keep your electrolytes balanced goes hand in hand with these recipes.
And remember: even a short break has benefits. One of the more remarkable aspects of eliminating or reducing toxins is that you’ll notice positive differences in your health early on in the process – it’s often just a matter of days before you’ll feel clear-headed and have more energy.
Once you’re back on track, maintaining a healthy liver can be accomplished through diet, supplements that support liver health, and keeping the toxins out of the picture.