5 Steps to Liver Detoxification

anxiety bipolar disorder depression functional medicine mental health natural health naturopathic medicine Oct 10, 2023

If you go into a health food store, you will find many types of detoxification kits: heavy metal, liver, bowel, kidney and more. I recommend that you do detoxification or cleansing programs under the supervision of a naturopathic doctor. To assess the need to do a detoxification program, complete the Detoxification Questionnaire. If done properly, there are five steps to a cleanse or detoxification program:

Step 1: Eat clean: Eliminate foods that slow down liver function, such as sugar, alcohol, hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, processed foods and coffee. A great place to start is with the 3-day Detox Diet.

Step 2: Identify causes: Complete the Environmental Quiz to decrease the inputs that your liver must cope with.

Step 3: Support your extracellular matrix: Start homeopathic remedies to initiate the “drainage” or removal of toxins. An extracellular matrix surrounds our tissues and organs. Imagine that I am going to deliver a letter to your front door, but there is so much clutter (quad, skis, bikes, golf clubs, hockey equipment) blocking the pathway that I can’t make it to your front door, so I walk away. This is what happens to the extracellular matrix: it gets clogged with water-soluble epoxides, chemicals and heavy metals, which end up blocking receptors (the doors of the cell). Consequently, neurotransmitters, hormones, vitamins and minerals are not able to get inside the cell to do their jobs. Homeopathic drainage works on clearing the extracellular matrix so the pathway is open to the cells.

Step 4: Support liver detoxification: After the drainage process, the liver is better able to utilize nutrients. Supplements are prescribed to support phase 1 and 2 detoxification as well as the production of glutathione. Glutathione is the main anti-oxidant of the liver, which helps to get rid of toxins.

Step 5: Promote liver function: Nutrients and herbs are prescribed to promote ongoing liver function. Liver supportive foods – eat cruciferous vegetables (i.e. kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, beets, dandelion greens); grapefruit, grapes-organic, carrots, artichokes, parsnips, burdock root -2x per week; add squeezed lemon ½ to water or teapot;

In conclusion, a decrease in liver function and bile production results in poor digestion and constipation. When your food is not digested properly, your intestines can be damaged through leaky gut syndrome. This is when you have gaps in your intestinal lining that allow more toxins to enter your bloodstream and create more inflammation in your body. When you have a sluggish liver, you have poor digestion, which means you have fewer nutrients available to create neurotransmitters. Basically, to recap, a sluggish liver contributes to poor digestion, which leads to reduced brain function that can be a root cause of mood disturbances.