Your liver is responsible for over 500 metabolic functions in your body, including filtering and removing toxic substances from the body. This means that a healthy — or unhealthy — liver can dramatically influence your health, from how quickly you burn fat to how well you fight off sickness and disease.
Unfortunately, liver health in America is falling fast. Blame it on our modern lifestyles that compromise liver health at every turn.
We eat too many foods that are high in fat and sugar. Drink a few too many sodas and alcoholic beverages per week. Take far too many liver-damaging prescription medications. And we’re beat up all day long by invisible toxins in our air, water, and even our household goods.
All of this puts an enormous strain on our liver health! Today, one in four people in the U.S. are living with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a serious condition that can lead to a wide range of health problems and even liver failure.
Thankfully, there are numerous herbs for liver health available. If you want to optimize your liver health before lasting damage occurs, any of the following herbs for liver and kidney health will help.
The Best Herbs for Liver Health
Milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root, boldo leaf, and artichoke are five of the most effective herbs for liver and kidney health. Here’s what you should know about using each to enhance your body’s most important functions.
1. Milk Thistle
You’ve probably seen the purple flowers of the milk thistle plant growing along country roads. The plant seems commonplace, but it’s actually been used to promote liver health for more than 2,000 years.
Most of milk thistle’s therapeutic potential comes from a compound called silymarin. Silymarin is a powerful compound with antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It allows milk thistle to stimulate healing, help the body fight free radical damage, and slow or stop the development of disease.
Research has established many evidence-based uses of milk thistle for the liver:
- Regenerate liver cells
- Slow down and even stop the advancement of cirrhosis
- Complement the treatment of hepatitis
- Protect the liver against damaging agents and toxins, including occupational liver poisons, alcohol abuse, pharmaceuticals, and chemotherapy
- Slow down and potentially stop fatty liver degeneration
Your liver health dictates your overall health more than most people realize. In order to remedy the fact that your liver is bombarded by thousands of toxins every day, you need a milk thistle supplement to protect and repair your body’s largest organ.
2. Dandelion Root
Millions of Americans spend a small fortune fighting the dandelions that pop up on their front lawn every spring. But dandelions shouldn’t be seen as annoying weeds. They’re really a liver health super food in disguise.
Every part of the dandelion — roots, leaves, stems, and flowers — is edible. But it’s the roots in particular that have been used for centuries to support liver function.
Dandelions help the liver produce a steady flow of bile that breaks down food and filters the blood. By supporting the production of digestive bile, dandelion regulates liver function and reduces inflammation.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to pull dandelions from your yard to enjoy these health benefits. Dandelion herbs and roots are sold fresh or dried in tinctures, extracts, teas, tablets, and capsules.
3. Burdock Root
Burdock is a close cousin to dandelion. This edible root is harvested and eaten in China, Korea, and Japan. In addition to being a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and amino acids, burdock root is also praised for its healing properties.
Traditionally, burdock root has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including digestive discomfort, bladder infections, and liver disease. Since the active ingredients in burdock root can detoxify heavy metals from the blood, a burdock root supplement improves organ health and reduces strain on the liver.
In our modern world, burdock root can prove especially important for its potential ability to prevent liver damage caused by acetaminophen. An accidental overdose of acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. What if all we need is burdock root to combat this issue?
4. Boldo Leaf
Boldo is a tree that grows high in the Andes mountains of South America. Fossilized boldo leaves date back nearly 13,000 years. Incredibly, these leaves have imprints of human teeth. It would seem that boldo is a truly ancient dietary and medical food!
Traditional cultures have used boldo leaves to treat anxiety, constipation, upset stomach, gallstones, and bladder infections. American medical studies into the health benefits of boldo leaf are still in the early stages, but boldo tea has gained a reputation for its digestive benefits.
Boldo leaves are also rich in antioxidant compounds. These antioxidants protect the liver and stop any potential damage from foreign invaders.
The plant you’ve seen at the grocery store or enjoyed in an artichoke dip on game day is not actually a vegetable at all… It’s a flower!
The artichoke plant is a distant relative of the milk thistle plant and, like its cousin, is packed with liver health benefits. Artichoke contains certain plant acids known as mono- and di-caffeoylquinic acids that can have a positive effect on bile flow and liver protection.
Bile helps to break down fat that would otherwise accumulate in your liver. It also helps carry toxins away from your liver and out of your body. Together, these effects take stress off of the liver and support better natural detoxification.
What Herbs Are Bad for Liver Health?
There’s no denying that the right herbs can optimize your liver health, but a few herbs are actually bad for your liver. Be sure to stay away from these herbs in concentrated amounts.
Kava kava has a history of traditional use to treat anxiety and insomnia. It is made from the roots of the Piper methysticum plant, but it is connected to about 100 cases of liver damage. Many European countries have banned or restricted Kava kava, though it is still available in the U.S. If you choose to use Kava kava for your own relaxation, do so with caution.
Concentrated Green Tea
It’s true that green tea offers an abundance of health benefits, and all of those benefits are valid. However, it’s important to know that high doses of concentrated green tea can harm the liver.
The active ingredients in green tea, known as catechins, deplete some of the protective molecules in the body, making susceptible people more vulnerable to fatal liver injury. Just a few cups of green tea each day will continue to support and nourish your health; it’s the concentrated extracts and formulas that should make you wary.
A High-Quality Supplement Containing Herbs for Liver Health
Your liver can’t maintain optimal health all alone! Rather than buying each liver-friendly herb separately, use a high-quality supplement that combines the most powerful herbs known to support liver health.
A liver detox supplement like LivLean from Perfect Origins contains selenium, dandelion root, artichoke, milk thistle extract, and a variety of other nutrients and botanicals to support liver health.
When you take LivLean to optimize your liver function, you can expect the following benefits:
- Support liver health and detoxification
- Rev up metabolism for faster weight loss
- Boost immune function
- Balance blood sugar levels for fewer energy dips and afternoon cravings
Learn more about the ingredients in LivLean and how they can help you protect your liver and accelerate weight loss by clicking here.