The liver has many functions including detoxifying hormones, alcohol, drugs, allergens, microbes, pesticides, and herbicides. It is also a major site of metabolism, helping to break down bile, cholesterol, albumin, and fats and processing the conversion of glucose to its storage form, glucagen.
Since the liver serves so many functions, it is useful to give it an occasional break by eating a more simple diet and using alterative herbs to promote elimination. The following is a simple dietary protocol that can be used to help lessen the burden on the liver. It is adapted from Optimal Wellness by Ralph Golan, M.D. (This protocol would not be appropriate for diabetics because diabetics have to maintain a stable blood sugar level).
This protocol may be used two to three times a year.
Liver Flush Tea
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon flax seeds
4 slices fresh ginger root (cut into thin slices)
Boil the ginger root for three minutes in 1.5-2 pints of water. Add the other ingredients and steep for 15 minutes. While you wait for the tea to steep, prepare the Liver flush.
Mix together in a blender
Juice of 1-2 grapefruits or oranges
4-6 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons of cold-pressed virgin or extra virgin olive oil
1-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)
1. In the morning, drink all of the liver flush. Then drink one glass of the liver flush tea while it is hot.
During the rest of the day, drink four or more glasses of the tea. You may sweeten this tea with honey except for the first glassful.
2. Two hours after your liver flush breakfast, eat some fresh fruits (e.g. oranges, pears, apples), or freshly made vegetable juice.
You may eat snacks like this throughout the rest of the day if you feel hungry.
3. For lunch and dinner make a vegetable or fruit salad. Avoid mixing fruits with vegetables. If you find that raw salads are too cooling for you, you may steam the vegetables. You may add some lemon juice, oil or sesame seeds, for taste.
Some suggested foods celery, carrots, onions, turnips, squash, string beans, cauliflower, mung beans, apples, pears, bananas, grapes, figs, peaches, berries, raisins.
Avoid meat (including chicken), fish, unsprouted legumes, starches (potatoes, rice, bread), sugar caffeinated teas, coffee and alcohol.