The Best Supplements & Herbs to Nurture Your Liver & Kidneys
You’ve finally decided to nurture your liver and kidneys. You might be looking for the best liver detox or how to successfully flush your kidneys and liver. You might be wondering, “What does the liver do?” or “What are the best herbs for kidney health?” This article will answer those questions and more.
Let’s Start With Your Liver
At around 3 lbs, your lovely liver is a large, meaty organ, almost the size of a football. This dark brown and reddish beast is protected by your rib cage and sits on the upper right side of your stomach. It lives just beneath your diaphragm and above your tummy. When you feel pain in your liver, it most likely comes from your upper right abdomen, mid-to-upper back, or within your right shoulder blade.
Your liver has a few adjacent relatives. Cousin Gallbladder sits directly under the liver, where you’ll also find parts of Aunt Pancreas and Uncle Intestines. This little system works hard to digest your food, absorb nutrients, and filter the blood that comes from your digestive tract.
While the liver regulates and detoxifies the chemicals going through your body, and metabolizes the drugs in your system, it secretes bile, which breaks down fats and carries waste to your intestines. All of this happens during digestion. When you eat, your liver goes to work.
Your liver produces proteins that are important in blood clotting, and it breaks down old and damaged blood cells. It metabolites carbohydrates and ensures your blood sugar levels remain constant. Your liver also stores vitamins and minerals and releases them when you need them most.
The liver is one of those organs that people tend to take for granted. We sometimes assume that it can handle anything. While this is almost true, we forget that the liver is a catch-all for everything we put into and experience within our bodies, including emotions. Even though it’s usually reliable, and our primary line of defense, the liver has limits.
Liver disease is severe and can stem from a variety of causes, including:
- Cancer and other growths
- Injecting drugs
- Exposure to other people’s fluids
- Exposure to chemicals and toxins
How To Improve Liver Function
Sometimes healing our livers is as simple as dramatically reducing our consumption of alcohol and drugs, avoiding risky sexual behavior, removing aerosols and toxic soaps from our homes, meditating, crying, forgiving others, protecting our skin, and eating natural, organic, whole foods.
If you’re serious about improving your liver function, you might consider taking some of these herbs, each of which has unique healing properties:
- Milk Thistle
- NAC N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Artichoke Leaf
- Marshmallow Root
- Chana Piedra
- Dandelion Root
- Yellow Dock Root
- Tocotrienols (a type of vitamin E)
Ayurvedic medicine has also been successful in healing the liver, doing so for thousands of years. While it’s best to consult a physician or Ayurvedic practitioner before consuming these herbs, here is the list of Ayurvedic herbs often prescribed to cleanse the liver: Bhumyamalaki, Barberry, Kutki, Amla, Turmeric, Guduchi, and Amalaki.
Tell Me About My Kidneys and How to Heal Them Naturally
Your two kidneys are bean-shaped warriors who continuously protect you. How do they do it? They filter your blood, removing waste, drugs, acid, and excess water to produce urine. They help your body maintain a healthy balance of water, salt, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium in your blood. They also produce an active form of vitamin D, which feeds your bones.
With a million functional units called nephrons, your kidneys keep your nerves, muscles, and other tissues functioning correctly. They regulate plasma, extracellular fluid, ion concentrations, pH, toxins, and hormones. Your kidneys allow your body to control your blood pressure and make healthy red blood cells, and they filter your blood before its journey into the heart. Your kidneys play a significant role in your health.
Chronic kidney diseases can cause or stem from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weak bones, high blood pressure, anemia, nerve damage, Glomerulonephritis, cysts, urinary tract infections, congenital disorders, drugs, and toxins. While not every kidney story has a happy ending, most kidney diseases can be treated successfully.
Herbs for Kidney Health
To keep your kidneys happy and healthy, you might consider adding some of these herbs, berries, roots, and supplements into your daily regiment. Be careful when ingesting these things as they can be toxic in any quantity. Consult a doctor the moment you believe your kidneys to be in jeopardy.
- Milk Thistle
- Juniper Berries
- Golden Rod
- Dandelion Root
- Gravel Root
- Corn Silk
- Marshmallow Root
- Vitamin B-6
- Potassium Citrate
- Grapes, peanuts, berries w/ resveratrol
- Lemon, orange, beet, and melon juices
- Teas: Fenugreek, Ginger, Mint, Nettle, Hydrangea, Tumeric, Sambong
When cleaning or healing your kidneys, Ayurvedic medicine suggests the following herbs: Brahmi or Gotu Kola (Bacopa monnieri), Shilajit, Punarnava, Manjishtha, and Varuna. When cleansing your kidneys, consider consuming lots of watermelons, leafy greens, roots, and teas with the herbs as mentioned above.
Liver and Kidney Flushes and Diets
What is the best drink to flush your kidneys and liver? What cleanses will bring my vital organs back to full strength? There are several natural liver and kidney cleanses and diets that will help improve the functionality of these critical organs. Here are a few suggestions:
- For 2-3 days, begin each day with a glass of water infused with a tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Enjoy a morning smoothie that includes one or more of the following: beetroot, apples, cucumber, spinach, banana, lemon juice, and grated ginger. You might follow-up your smoothie with a cup of green tea.
- For lunch, enjoy proteins like organic chicken and tofu, and veggies like red onion, green beans, and carrots. Add a little Greek yogurt, grapes, and some brown rice. Keep the meals trim and simple.
- For dinner, create a meal that includes a few of the following: a cup of coconut water, blueberries, kale, a small portion of tofu, sweet potatoes, celery, tomatoes, kidney beans, parsley, and garlic.
- Throughout each day of your cleanse, enjoy concocting your own teas with Dandelion root, Marshmallow root, Turmeric, and Ginger. Or select a few favorites from the liver and kidney herb lists above.
- As you come out of the cleanse, consider changing your daily routine to include some of the ideas in this list, mixed with things like Milk Thistle, Omega-3s, and other supplements mentioned above.
No matter how healthy you are, consider adjusting your diet to include kidney- and liver-friendly foods. You might focus on berries, citrus fruits, vegetables, brown rice, lean meats, including chicken and seafood. You might also consider avoiding processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, artificial sweeteners, foods high in sodium, beef, pork, alcohol, and caffeine.
Wishing you lots of healing as you begin to nurture your liver and kidneys!
17 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Health and Wellness
Apple cider vinegar, commonly denoted as ACV, has received a lot of hype as a miracle home remedy for all kinds of ailments, from allergies to arthritis. While a lot of conclusive research needs to be done, there are all kinds of ACV tricks you can try for your home and wellness.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is the product of fermentation—the process in which sugars in food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In stage one of fermentation, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Stage two, if the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. While vinegar can be made from all sorts of things—fruits, vegetables, and grains –ACV, is, unsurprisingly, made from pulverized apples. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, is acetic acid. It also has other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.
It sounds like a relatively innocuous substance more likely to be found in a salad dressing or used as a preservative, but because of its unique properties, ACV has a huge range of uses.
15 Health Benefits to Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding apple cider vinegar as a supplement to your diet can result in a number of benefits to your health. Apple cider vinegar may help with everything from heart disease to weight loss. Below is a list of 17 proven benefits.
1. Help with Heart Disease
If you’re looking for an alternative modality to improve heart health and ameliorate high blood pressure, ACV could be exactly what you’re looking for. Though clinical trials haven’t been conducted yet on humans, trials on animals have shown ACV to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, two of the major contributing factors to heart disease.
2. Lower Blood Sugar
Do you experience high blood sugar levels from type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Are your insulin levels low and your glucose levels too high? Try taking ACV after meals to lower your blood sugar levels. According to research conducted from a small study in 2004, subjects taking 20mL of ACV diluted in 40mL of water with a teaspoon of saccharine, lowered their blood sugar levels after a meal. This reduction was significant, though small, and only lasted about 30 minutes.
While this method needs more research conducted before it could be considered a viable treatment, some researchers have described it as a potential adjuvant to other treatments for diabetes.
3. Leg Cramp Relief
Ever had a crazy sudden pain in your leg in the middle of the night? It’s the worst! Stop the attacks with an ACV tonic. Taken diluted in water twice daily, it will dissolve acid crystals in the blood and provide potassium, calcium, and other essential minerals to the body needed to ease the leg cramps.