The liver is the body’s factory – it makes the stuff that stops you bleeding when injured and it extracts the healthy bits from food and gets rid of the rest. The liver is the body’s waste disposal plant – it cleans the blood and breaks down and removes harmful drugs, alcohol and poisons and it recycles waste into new building blocks for the body.
Love Your Liver is a national UK awareness campaign which was quite aptly launched on 1st January 2012 by the British Liver Trust. The campaign has kicked off with a series of roadshows and pop-up liver clinics around the country where specialists have been on hand to offer expert advice and free liver tests.
According to the British Liver Trust if you regularly drink more than a pint or 2 of beer or a couple of glasses of wine each day you are putting your liver under incredible strain and over time this can lead to liver failure. However, just staying off alcohol for two to three days at a time, avoiding fatty foods and taking regular exercise can help you to take care of your liver and help it function at its best.
In addition to a more healthy life style there are a number of essential oils that have been traditionally and medically recognized as being supportive to liver health.
Rosemary essential oil is by far the most beneficial to the liver as it helps to cleanse the blood and flush harmful toxins from the liver. One of the liver’s most important functions is to produce enzymes needed for proper digestion and Rosemary is believed to stimulate the production and flow of bile which aids digestion. It has a tonic effect on the liver, encouraging it to work more efficiently and it is often used in the treatment of liver problems including cirrhosis and jaundice.
German Chamomile is also an excellent tonic for the liver and digestive system. It stimulates the liver and gall bladder which helps to improve digestion and it also helps to cleanse the blood and discharge toxins via the liver.
Peppermint essential oil also stimulates healthy bile flow from the liver and gall bladder and supports the digestive system as a whole.
Juniper oil benefits the digestive system and has a tonic and detoxifying effect on the liver, helping to eliminate waste products from the body.
Fennel essential oil supports the digestive function and has an antiseptic, tonic effect on the liver. It is also believed to protect the liver from certain toxins.
For a simple liver tonic, add a slice of lemon to a cup of warm water and drink first thing in the morning to help cleanse your liver. Then throughout the day add 2-4 drops of Rosemary / Chamomile and/or Peppermint Hydrolat to a glass of water (you can use a single hydrolat or a combination of the above). Make sure the water is at room temperature as it will be easier for your body to absorb.
For more tips, health advice and information about the liver, visit the British Liver Trust www.britishlivertrust.org.uk