Liv(er)ing Beeyoutiful- Fall 2013 Catalog
By Nancy Webster
Have you ever felt unappreciated for all the behind-the-scenes work you do to keep things running smoothly at home or at the office? Especially after extra busy days, I admit to having more than once considered hanging an “I Quit” sign in our kitchen, thinking it wouldn’t take long before my non-stop work there was missed.
Your liver may wish it, too, could hang out a white flag when it is suffering from burn-out, but all it can do is drop hints in the form of health problems—unless the work has totally overcome it, causing cancer or cirrhosis. A multi-tasking workhorse, the liver runs over 400 metabolic functions every day to keep you going strong for even your biggest days. When it goes down, so does your entire digestive system, your brain, your central nervous system and everything they direct.
Honestly, in my younger years, I didn’t give my liver much thought. But now, as middle age is full upon me along with a few accompanying issues, I see this neglect was a big mistake. Liver care is important even for children, who may enter the world with weak livers due to their mom’s unhealthy liver.
Pretty much everyone knows the liver is a filter to keep toxins from harming us. Everything must pass through your liver: any food, drink, pesticides or pills you consume; lotions, soaps, make-up or bug sprays you apply; injections/immunizations you receive; and even fragrances and gas station fumes you breathe. But that’s just one of its many jobs. This 3-4 pound organ plays a key role in digestion, the formation of our blood, and in immune defense.
During digestion, the liver secretes bile into the small intestine to lubricate the intestinal walls. The bitter bile regulates friendly bacteria; destroys dangerous organisms (like parasites and candida); stimulates peristalsis (muscle activity to move out fecal matter); and, with digestive fluid from its team player, the pancreas, helps us digest fats, proteins, and starches.
When the liver is abused by bad diet and chemicals and even not enough sleep (because it catches up on “housework” during the night), it becomes weak and congested. The bile it secretes turns toxic, ultimately contributing to what we now call a “leaky gut”, which leads to allergies, acne, eczema and other skin issues, food sensitivities, and even autism and bi-polar disorder.
The liver also does blood quality control. It regulates clotting factors, weeds out old red blood cells and helps grow new ones, and provides proteins needed to make white blood cells to fight germs.
How is My Liver Livin’?
Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, suggests a quick test of liver health you can do right now. Place the fingers of your right hand underneath your right rib cage. You may find it feels hard, “congested”, and even tender. If you can’t extend your fingers up to the second knuckle, your liver definitely needs help.
Although the liver is involved in a long list of ailments, here is a short checklist to see how yours is faring:
2)Pain or discomfort over the liver
3)Excessive abdominal fat, pot belly, or roll around upper abdomen
4)Trouble digesting fatty foods
5)Gallbladder has been removed
7)Dark spots (“liver spots”) or tiny red flecks that come and go on skin
8)Overheating of body; excessive perspiration
9)Acne, rosacea, or itchy, blotchy skin
10)Unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight even with calorie restriction
Also, watch for high blood pressure, fatigue, high cholesterol and triglycerides, mood swings, depression, sleep apnea or snoring, and fatty yellowish lumps around your eyes.*
Alcoholics aren’t the only ones with liver problems. If you eat a diet mainly composed of high-carbohydrate, processed foods, you risk insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Dandy Help for a Prickly Situation
Your liver can get healthy again, but you need to make some changes first. Switch your personal care and cleaning products to organic, chemical-free ones. Lessen your exposure to electromagnetic forces by keeping wireless and other electric devices a minimum of eight feet from your bed. Eat more whole, organic foods and lacto-fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Avoid processed, sugary foods and bad oils like canola and soybean.
You also need to support all these changes with liver-healing supplements. In the old days, Native Americans and pioneers sought out chicory, dandelion, and prickly milk thistle plants when the weather warmed. They may not have known a healthier liver was the reason, but they knew eating these plants made their bodies feel lighter and cleaner after a long winter of salted meat and potatoes.
My family enjoys wild foraging and has sought out and eaten all three of these plants. Although gathering and eating these medicinal plants is fun and definitely puts a spring in our step, it takes time and is only possible in the growing seasons.
In their Silymarin Liver Support, Beeyoutiful offers a much easier way to supplement for a healthier liver. The main liver-strengthening ingredient extracted from the milk thistle plant seeds is silymarin, a powerful antioxidant said to protect liver and other cells in the brain and body from toxins (it has even been used to prevent death from accidentally ingested poisonous Deathcap mushrooms!). Silymarin promotes the growth of new liver cells (which you’ll keep healthy by your diet and lifestyle changes) and discourages the formation of fibrous tissue (hard, congested spots). It also helps your body hang onto the aggressive antioxidant called glutathione, which is famous for its role in improving autism and other problems.
Other known benefits of silymarin are protection from certain cancers including colon and prostate, improvement in the glycemic profile of Type 2 diabetics, and increase in milk production by nursing mothers. And I know that taking 1-3 capsules per day of Silymarin Liver Extract enhanced with dandelion and artichoke compounds is way easier than dealing with prickly milk thistle plants!
To complement their silymarin supplement, Beeyoutiful also offers Every Day Detox Tea. To stimulate your liver’s natural detoxification processes, roasted dandelion and chicory roots are combined with schisandra berries, in use even 5000 years ago. Called “five flavor berry” in Chinese, schisandra is unique in that it has all five tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent (or warmly spicy). A cup of this delightful, complex-tasting tea should be enjoyed 2-3 times daily. What a pleasant way to heal!
Large amounts of friendly bacteria are essential for keeping the liver clean and healthy. Fermented foods are an excellent source, but if your liver and/or gut need help, probiotics like Beeyoutiful’s Tummy Tune-Up and Gut Guardian are a needful addition to your daily supplements. Also, you can use Beeyoutiful’s Liquid Chlorophyll added to water, juice, or even kombucha to aid in liver cleansing.
Get Clean First
To jump-start your liver and overall healing routine, consider doing a bowel cleanse. It is necessary for the bowels to be clear and working well so as the liver begins dumping toxins, they can move right on out of the body. Many homemade recipes for bowel cleansing are available online, including water enemas, a salt water flush, a psyllium/bentonite clay/ginger/apple juice “shake”, and the well-known, ten-day Master Cleanse of just drinking lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne, and water. There are also packaged herbal cleanses available. Even after an initial cleanse, if your liver was especially toxic, you may want to do some coffee enemas to help lessen uncomfortable detox symptoms in the eyes, joints, and skin. Take care not to get constipated!
Many times naturopaths will also recommend a parasite and kidney cleanse followed by a liver cleanse, often with recipes based on the work of Hulda Clark, author of Cure for All Diseases. If you choose to follow these routines, research carefully and preferably get under the care of a good naturopath. You do not have to complete all these cleanses before benefiting from Silymarin Liver Support or Every Day Detox Tea.
Live well. Make your liver well. And you will be well.
*list from http://nourishholisticnutrition.com/heart-health/ten-signals-your-liver-is-telling-you-you-need-to-detox/#sthash.qdzKMVaB.dpuf
Nancy Webster enjoys researching and writing about alternative health. She leads the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of The Weston A. Price Foundation. A homeschooling mother of eight (and a new grandmother, too!), Nancy, her husband, Greg, and their children live on a partially-working farm in Middle Tennessee. They have fun publishing a free, online e-zine at http://www.CreativeCountryLiving.com.