The world is filled with stressors that pose challenges to our health. Fortunately, Mother Nature has equipped the human body with some heavy-hitting detox armaments. The body’s chief defensive weapon is the liver, that football-sized organ located under the right-front ribs. Another vital defense system is the kidneys, fist-sized organs nestled on either side of the mid-spine. Naturopaths agree that certain herbs can maximize the detox functions of the liver and kidneys, while also promoting their overall effectiveness. Such botanical boosters can be found in our 100% alcohol-free liquid herbal supplements, including Herbal Detox, Kidney & Bladder Blend and Liver Build with Milk Thistle.
The Multitasking Liver
Detoxifying the blood is one of several hundred tasks carried out by the liver every day. It also produces bile, required to digest fat; ensures absorption of essential nutrients; balances blood proteins, fats and sugars; enables blood to clot at wound sites; and cleans up defunct red blood cells. In addition, the liver supports other body systems, including the kidneys, heart, brain, reproductive organs, joints and eyes. Unlike the appendix or even the spleen, the liver is essential not just to health, but to survival.
The World’s Best Filters: the Kidneys
Most people know that the kidneys eliminate waste products and surplus fluid from what we ingest. In the course of filtering an impressive 200 quarts of fluid every day, these organs are so sophisticated they “know” what to reabsorb to help the body. The renal system also produces vital hormones to regulate blood pressure, triggers a form of Vitamin D to build healthy bones and boost immune function, balances blood pH and regulates potassium and sodium levels.
Clearly, these hard-working organs deserve a helping hand. Just as liver and kidney functions are mutually supportive, some herbs are beneficial to both systems. One example is the humble Dandelion Root. There’s a good reason why European settlers brought these plants with them when they crossed the Atlantic. The root of this common lawn weed has strong diuretic effects, helping the kidneys flush excess fluid from the body. Those diuretic properties also support the liver’s detox functions. Ayurvedic healers have long viewed dandelion as a liver tonic.
Burdock Root is another health aid masquerading as a pesky lawn weed. It may produce annoying burrs, but its root not only has diuretic properties beneficial to both liver and kidneys. It also works as a blood tonic, capable of eliminating certain toxins that can damage the liver.
Milk Thistle, the Detox Queen
Any discussion of herbs supporting hepatic function inevitably includes milk thistle seeds. The herb’s name probably comes from the milky sap secreted when the leaves are crushed. Healers have long considered milk thistle a blessing to liver and gall bladder function. Modern studies suggest one of its chemical compounds, silymarin, supports the healthy regeneration of worn-out liver cells.