Aromatherapy for your liver
I mean, not the one in your plate, but indeed the organ of which your health depends. Yes, your liver should be your main focus everyday, and here is why :
• A healthy liver is the key to a good health!
Indeed, hepatic balance is still concept that is not known or used so much as a key to well-being, except in traditional Chinese medicine.
We’re getting there little by little, especially with patients for which conventional medicine can’t do much.
And yet, sparing your liver is one of the key to well-being as it comes to guaranteeing that other organs function optimally.
You can’t have a glowing complexion, a beautiful skin, a harmonious menopause, a beautiful figure without a healthy liver and it is essential to spare it to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol, kidney deficiencies, digestive problems and more…
Basically, to maintain internal balance, good energy levels and mental health, it helps to know how to identify what may upset the hepatic balance.
For more details, the best is to read the excellent book by Dr Sandra Cabot “the liver cleansing diet”, that I highly recommend for english-speaking readers.
Otherwise, let me summarize its outlines:
It’s a type of slimming diet based on liver purification.
At first, this diet is meant for persons wishing to lose weight, as detoxification is essential in order to rebalance body metabolism, but everyone can follow it and make it a daily internal cleansing technique, especially if you took high amounts of medicine in the past.
Medicine, in addition to junk food, is one of the most effective way to damage the liver:
Anti-inflammatory drugs, pain-killers, antibiotics, steroids, and chemotherapies contain toxic molecules that the liver needs to process to make them safe for the body to use and eliminate: when these products are used in over-dose, the liver can’t eliminate them anymore and ends up intoxicated (ex: medicinal hepatitis)
Here are a dozen wise rules to follow if you wish to spare your kidney and your figure.
Habits your liver will love
Only eat when you’re hungry
drink a glass of water, eat a fruit, a small salad, but do not force yourself to eat if you’re not hungry.
And the other way, do not let yourself starve to death. Do not try to finish your plate if you’re not hungry anymore; by the way, if you’d ate with your eyes closed you wouldn’t eat that much.
- Drink at least 8 large glasses of water per day, as water is essential to cleanse the liver, the kidneys and favors weight loss. Your cells need water just like plants. Drinking enough water reduces your chances of contracting a degenerative disease.
- Do not intake high quantities of sugar, refined especially, as the liver will convert it into fat such as triglycerides or cholesterol.
If you need to eat something sweet, go for dried fruits (they contain trace elements), honey or fresh fruits.
If you can’t live without chocolate, go for dark chocolate with 70% of cocoa, and if you’re more of a candy person, try Halvah. This product from north Africa is made with sesame, honey, vanilla, pistachios, etc…(make sure that is doesn’t contain glucose syrup).
In any case, try not to make it a habit as your liver will still have to process it into fat.
Do not eat when you are feeling stressed or nervous
as you will not be able to digest.
Take a deep breath, inhale an essential oil that will regulate the nervous system such as mandarin (citrus reticulata), wait a few minutes allowing your heartbeat to go back to normal, then eat little bites, slowly.
Favor organic fruits and vegetables, organic meat and poultry
They contain less pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, saturated fat, preservatives, coloring and artificial sugar than processed food.
Your liver doesn’t need it, neither does your stomach.
Vary your sources of proteins, from vegetables and animals
Combining whole cereals with a legume and oleaginous food in the same meal brings you the perfect source of proteins.
Ex: hummus, whole pita bread, and a greens salad with lemon.
In details, that is: chickpeas, sesame, wholewheat, lemon (its vitamin C increases the assimilation of proteins).
Sprouting seeds and legumes increases significantly both their nutritional properties and liver detoxifying action.
Germination creates nutrients that do not exist in a non-germinated product and gives them an enzymatic activity. These sprouts make a great source of essential fatty acids, proteins and plant hormones.
During a liver detox, it is particularly important to purify the food you eat.
If you can make your bread yourself and so know exactly what is in it, you can offer yourself the luxury of fresh food, combined with nutrition, variety and quality.
It is important to vary the flours to limit the risks of allergies or intolerances:
There are now tortillas, pita breads, wraps, naans and crackers as new ways to carry a salad or as a side during a meal, but you can also make them yourself.
If you buy your bread, choose in priority organic and “au levain”, which means, it is cultured and not fed with yeast. A culture is crucial to make sure any whole grain had a chance to have its phytic acid neutralized (by soaking, and even sprouting) so the nutriments the seed contains become available for absorption. If not soaked, your whole grain brain is not more nutritious than a vulgar white flour bread!
Whatever you choose, go for the best quality (it’s for your liver) and for a bread containing as much wholegrain as possible, preferably made with germinated seeds to be assimilated and digested independently from your sensitivity to allergens.
You also need to choose carefully what you will spread on it …
There are very good alternatives to butter and cream cheese…indeed, it is essential that you avoid margarine and butter during the detox.
After a few weeks, you will forget about it.
- homemade hummus,
- mashed avocado,
- canned sardines
- almond or natural peanut butter, without added fat or sugar.
Let’s be clear: your are constipated if you don’t have a bowel movement twice a day (not once every 3 days…).
Eliminate several times a day and you will avoid the proliferation of harmful organisms in your colon as well as as permanent poisoning that I describe in the chapter about nutrition.
A lot of constipated patients suffer from dyspepsia, acid reflux and indigestion.
These terms are often used to describe the same symptoms, and if it’s your case, beware of anti-acids containing aluminium.
It is toxic.
Rather use aloe juice or even better, noni juice (Tahitian noni juice).
With aromatherapy, you will benefit from a stomach massage with:
- 3 drops of mandarin essential oil
- 2 drops of sweet fennel essential oil
- 1 drop of everlasting flower essential oil
diluted in 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of base oil (see dilutions on User guide to essential oils) to massage on your stomach 2 to 3 times a day.
Regarding your energy level, you need to cool down your body and rehydrate it with lots of greens juice, soaked dried fruits and plenty of water.
Make sure you don’t suffer from chronic candidosis
Candidosis is a disease of the 21st century that concerns more or less everyone living in a developed country. This is a huge subject that has to be considered when liver, digestive system and constipation are concerned. Click here to access the subject I wrote about it.
One thing to avoid at all costs when you want to take care of your liver: absorb poison from bad fat, and not enjoy the benefits of the good one.
We all need essential fatty acids, and you can detect a deficiency with the following symptoms:
Dry and squamous skin, eczema, hair loss, joint pain, lower fertility, miscarriage, depression, lack of memory, metabolic weakness followed by weight gain, weaker immune system, hormonal unbalances, liver degeneration, fatigue, circulatory problems, degenerative diseases, premature aging and increase of triglycerides.
To sum up, to protect your liver and this way obtain and maintain a good natural balance, one of the simplest ways is to intake essential fatty acids.
They are vitals to body’s metabolism and your priority should be to avoid deficiencies. The fat you intake everyday is extremely important for your well-being and longevity.
The health of your liver depends on them.
Therefore, it is essential to know them and incorporate them in your daily diet.
Detox your liver
There are many natural ways to detoxify and support your liver. You can have a daily preventive action or a seasonal way to help your liver with a week or two of liver detox.
The benefit of using plants is that your liver will be more likely to recognize and benefit from them, and not to suffer as it would with most of the medicine that it has to process. Some plants are well-known to be liver plants, and other deserve to be talked about.
Here is my list :
It mostly grows in Hawaï, it looks like a thistle.
It has been used as an hepatic tonic for more than 100 years, and the scientific reports demonstrating its healing properties are countless: hepatic protection, liver regenerating, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
People suffering from the following diseases will benefit from it:
- Chronic hepatitis
- Liver cirrhosis
- Cholestasis (bile stagnation)
- Liver fattening with alcohol or medicine
To make it simpler, Silybum marianum reduces toxic degenerations of a liver that is too fat.
Intake 200 to 400 mg of capsules containing the dried herb, three times a day.
Dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale, has also been used for centuries to improve hepatic problems.
German people have been using it since the 16th century to purify the blood and decongest the liver. The Chinese, Indian and Nepalese people have always used it as a liver medicine.
But it also acts as an overall tonic, laxative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and gallbladder tonic.
Dandelion leaves can be eaten fresh, in salad, with lemon and garlic, but is also available in capsules.
Doses range from 500 to 2000 mg per day.
It is one of the less known amino-acids. We absorb it with animal proteins, and it plays an important role in a good liver function, taking part in the formation of bile acids.
More recent studies showed the importance of Taurin in body detoxification from harmful substances, such as drugs and medicine.
Vegetarians, epileptics, alcoholics, people taking oral birth control, people using cortisone and under intense stress need it even more.
Recommended doses range from 200 to 500 mg per day.
Particularly for Hepatitis B, Phyllanthus is widely used a herb of the ayurvedic materia medica and Chinese people will go for Schizandra.
Whatever you choose, do not intake herbs for more than 7 days in a row.
Food for liver
To support and detoxify your liver continuously without risking over-dose, it is very easy to choose the right food.
Recommended foods for the liver are: shredded carrots and beets, with a lemon juice dressing, artichoke, black radish, green tea, lemon and extra virgin olive oil.
You can also decide to follow a one week liver detox:
Liver detox week
Not complicated if you get organized.
- When you wake up: drink a glass of warm water with a hint of lemon juice
- 15 minutes later, drink a green juice: half of a cucumber, 3 carrots, one beet, one branch of celery, one handful of parsley, a small piece of fresh ginger and half a lemon.
- One hour later, breakfast following the rules of the liver diet with a nice fruit salad (except melon). Take one capsule of a detoxifying herbal blend for the liver.
- One hour later, eat two tablespoons of shredded beet with a lemon and olive oil dressing (prepare this salad for the day).
- One hour and a half later, drink a peppermint herbal tea.
- 30 minutes later, eat again two tablespoons of the beet salad
For lunch: favor greens salads and non-fat proteins. Intake your liver supplements.
- One hour later, eat two tablespoons of beet salad
- Two hours later, drink a glass of the greens juice adding spirulin powder if possible
- 30 minutes later, eat your two tablespoons of beet salad
- One hour later, drink one cup of peppermint herbal tea
- One hour later, eat your two tablespoons of beet salad
For diner :
- salad of shredded carrots with a lemon and olive oil dressing
- vegetable broth made with green beans, zucchinis, celery, parsley, garlic and plenty of purified water. You may add salt and herbs of your choice and let it simmer for thirty minutes.
Prepare an entree of your choice, following the rules of the liver diet.
Intake your liver supplement.
- One hour later, eat two tablespoons of beet salad.
- One hour later, drink a chamomile or peppermint herbal tea.
Try not to eat anything after 7.30 pm to prevent your liver from being overloaded when it has to work while you sleep.
Follow this program for 7 days.
Aromatherapy is a great way to regulate, detoxify and stimulate your liver as well.
The essential oils of your liver
One of the most famous essential oils for digestion and the liver particularly is rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
The list of its physical uses is endless, but for what we are talking about here, it is anti-infectious, choleretic, decongesting and cholagogue (regulates bile production).
That’s why it is prescribed for migraines, morning sickness, and simple digestive headaches; since it stimulates liver metabolism and the action of the gallbladder, it would be a shame not to use it, at least for a preventive action.
To use it, I suggest:
- 1 drop of Rosmarinus officinalis
- 1 drop of sweet basil
- and 3 drops of lemon
in 5 ml of base oil. Massage on the feet, instep, and around the ankle (very softly if you are pregnant).
There is a very important acupressure point of the liver meridian (liver 4) located on the top of the foot, and chances are you will stimulate it while massaging so go ahead, and on both feet!
The other liver essential oil that I use the most is Immortelle (Helichrysum angustifolium).
It’s a little more expensive than other essential oils, but it such a great multi-tasker it is worth it!
For the liver, it is anti-congestion and stimulating.
What’s more, it regulates pancreas and gallbladder secretions and helps eliminate toxic molecules like drugs and nicotine; it is therefore recommended for a pregnant women that keeps smoking…
It can be used in so many different ways, but one to remember is that it is anti-bruises.
You can apply it on the slightest scratch, pure or diluted in a pea size of aloe gel.
It is safe to use on children.
For adults wishing to give a hand to their liver, here is a recipe:
- 2 drops of everlasting flower essential oil
- 3 drops of mandarin essential oil (citrus reticulata).
in 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of base oil.
You can massage this blend on your stomach, with large circular movements, everyday if needed…
For those with a diseased liver, peppermint is the oil of hepatitis and cirrhosis: it restores liver cells and supports the liver to cope with allopathic treatments.
People that go through important treatments often have gingivitis, mouth ulcers, and diverse digestive problems.
Peppermint is perfect for them, whether as a mouth wash (1 drop in one glass of water), or as an abdominal massage with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 5 drops of peppermint.
- Identify and remove food you are allergic to:
If your liver is delicate, chances are you are lacking digestive enzymes. If you feel bloated after you eat, take a pill of digestive enzymes before each meal.
While we age, hydrochloric acid production decreases and it becomes more difficult to digest proteins.
One teaspoon of cider vinegar and one drop of lemon (citrus limon) essential oil in a glass of water during your meal will help stimulate digestion.
However, you might need to read what I wrote about stomach ache, stomach being partner of the liver in your digestive balance.