The liver is an incredibly important organ. In fact, it is the second largest organ following the skin. It is found on the right side of the body under the rib cage, but extends over to the left pectoral region, taking up a large triangular space in the core of the body. The liver is responsible for numerous functions. Without a liver, human life would cease to exist. So what does it do exactly, when functioning properly?
- Cleans toxins out of the blood
- Aids in digestion by producing bile
- Help with energy levels
- Processes foods and drinks into nutrients
- Stores nutrients for when they are needed
- Aids in metabolism
- Helps with circulation
- Balances hormone levels
- Keeps the immune system strong
- Helps regulate the menstrual cycle (learn more here)
- Aids in mood
- Aids in brain function
- Decreases sinus issues
- Aids in a clear complexion
- Manages fats, triglycerides, and cholesterol
- Turns carbohydrates into glucose
- Stores glucose for when it is needed
- Aids in oral health and fresh breath
That’s a lot, which is also why it is so important to take care of it! The liver is an organ that can easily succumb to damage, but it is also a regenerative organ! In most cases, with better care, the liver is capable of regenerating!
Signs of a Stressed Liver
- abdominal pain
- bruise easily
- dark urine
- difficulty concentrating
- swelling in legs and ankles
- irregular periods
Improving Your Liver Function
If you are concerned about your liver function, there are a number of natural approaches to can take.
1. The obvious…..cut out any alcohol or drug use.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. This would include cruciferous vegetables, herbs, leafy greens, coconut oil, green tea, fruits high in antioxidants, and more.
3. Herbal supplements that support the liver. Some of these herbal supplements include milk thistle, holy basil, dandelion root, and licorice root.
4. Stress reduction.
5. Regular exercise.
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