The Story Behind the Formula: Liver Juice
- Published on: 07 September, 2018
- Last update: 03 November, 2020
The goal of my new JUICE tincture line was to create useful, effective products that bring traditional herbs into the modern world. While the rest of the blends I’ve covered are for everyday obstacles (such as peace juice for quick anxiety relief, or digestive juice for gas & indigestion), the blend I’m introducing today goes a little deeper.
My whole mantra with this collection is “herbs for real life.” And something I’m very passionate about when it comes to ‘real life’ is supporting detoxification in a world where environmental, food, and water toxins are the norm. I wanted to include a formula that, instead of providing immediate relief, would provide protection and assistance over time for our most important detoxification organ.
As an herbalist, I feel that a liver formula is an essential part of any “herbal first aid kit!”
That’s why I created LIVER JUICE: to enhance detoxification in those who are feeling sluggish, overburdened, and/or experiencing hormonal imbalance.
THE STORY BEHIND THE FORMULA
Years ago, I found out that I have a genetic mutation called MTHFR, often called “the detox gene.” It’s estimated that up to 40% of the population has at least one MTHFR mutation, and I’m so glad it’s finally getting more attention from integrative physicians and practitioners.
While this mutation isn’t the end of the world, it does mean that my body has trouble with detoxification via a process called “methylation.” Methylation is responsible for many things including neurotransmitter and hormone breakdown, as well as toxin removal via the liver. And because I don’t methylate AKA detox properly, I am prone to experiencing a much greater sensitivity to anything that burdens the liver such as medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, sugar, and alcohol.
For this reason, I live very consciously in a way that supports and enhances liver detoxification and the methylation cycle. I take a methylated B complex every day, I avoid sugar, I get plenty of sulfur-rich cruciferous vegetables to support phase II liver detox… and I even EAT liver to provide the building blocks for my own!
But most importantly, I always make sure to take liver-supporting herbs, especially within days 21-28 of my menstrual cycle. This is a time when the body is already metabolizing and removing toxins and unnecessary hormones to prepare for menstruation and release, so I always like to provide myself with a little support (as I’m already prone to hormone imbalance).
Some of the most common signs that appear in someone who needs liver support would be: constant bloating, heavy stomach with slow digestion (or even nausea after meals), sluggishness and fatigue, trouble losing weight, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, poor appetite, and acid reflux or heartburn. You also may feel a bit itchy after eating fatty foods, and may even wake up in the middle of the night around 1-3am (“liver time” in Traditional Chinese Medicine). A healthy liver is actually very important for sound sleep, and does its best “cleaning” job overnight!
Herbs are powerful allies to have. Not only can they restore and nourish the liver, they can also greatly assist when we fall short in the realm of detoxification. My liver formula includes both hepatic herbs that increase liver function/detox and decrease symptoms of a sluggish liver, as well as hepato-protective herbs that actually protect liver cells from further harm.
Regularly taking herbs that support liver health is the best liver cleanse!
THE HERBS & BENEFITS
1. Oregon Grape Root
Oregon Grape Root is bitter and detoxifying herb that helps move stagnation within the liver and digestive tract. It has a speciic affinity for the liver, and is therefore an excellent promoter of bile secretion. This herb is wonderful for those who are dealing with sluggish or thick bile, poor fat digestion, and malabsorption. Oregon Grape Root also liver function by protecting it from viruses and other liver related illness.
2. Milk Thistle Seed
Considered the “king” of detoxifying herbs, milk thistle protects and restores the liver by helping it rid the body of heavy metals, prescription medications, environmental pollutants, and alcohol. It also helps restore and rejuvenate the liver. It is a powerful liver cleanser that actually helps rebuild and protect liver cells as it removes toxins. The seeds contain the highest concentrations of the plant’s active compound, silymarin. Silymarin is an antioxidant that reduces free radical production and oxidative damage, and may also inhibit the binding of toxins to the liver. In animals, silymarin reduces liver injury caused by acetaminophen (Ibuprofen) and has been shown to have positive effects on alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis and toxin-induced liver problems.
3. Burdock Root
One of the best blood purifiers, burdock is also an excellent herb for bile excretion and liver restoration. Burdock is known in traditional herbal medicine as a ‘depurative’ – a purifying, detoxifying herb for the blood that features heavily in folk remedies for skin disease, fluid retention, digestion and cancer. Burdock root has active ingredients that have been found to detoxify heavy metals from the blood, improving organ health as well as the health of the whole body. It also promotes blood circulation to the skin surface, which improves skin health.
4. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root stimulates bile and relives liver congestion. It’s also a diuretic which helps the liver eliminate toxins more quickly. Regular consumption enables you to gently cleanse the liver on a daily basis lessening and preventing any further accumulation of toxins.
5. Fresh Turmeric Root
Turmeric is a star ingredient here because it’s one of the only herbs that has a big impact on the much-sought-after liver phase II detoxification pathways. It’s very easy to engage phase I pathways of your liver (even coffee will do it), but most people get stuck because the toxins simply recirculate as their phase II is blocked. Turmeric increases glutathione production, which is a powerful phase II detoxifier and acts as antioxidant in the liver. Plus, its powerful anti-inflammatory effect makes it a great natural remedy not only for joint pain relief for liver inflammation as well! Lastly, turmeric protects the liver from toxic compounds and reduces micro-inflammation in the gut.
6. Bupleurum Root
I added this herb in because of my love for Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is a main herb in the classic “free and easy wanderer” formula, which is used to release liver sluggishness that is causing anger, irritability, and depression. Bupleurum is indicated in TCM for liver stagnation, difficulty digesting fats, bloating, “Liver fire rising” (liver headaches/migraines), and pain on left side of rib cage. It is specifically helpful when dealing with anger, fatigue, mood swings, and stress.
7. Beet Root
Beet root serves as a natural blood and liver cleanser, and helps the body detoxify heavy metals, environmental toxins, excess hormones and waste. This is due to the fact that beet root is an excellent bile and lymphatic stimulant.
8. Red Root
Red root or red sage is one of the most highly valued ingredients in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Red root works well with sluggish lymph systems, clearing away dead cellular tissue and stimulating circulation. I added this in to round out the blend and help fully usher out and eliminate any toxins that our other liver herbs are doing their job to clean out.
HOW TO USE LIVER JUICE
Take 1 full squeeze of the dropper bulb 2-3x per day in water, juice, or straight down the hatch! Liver Juice be used daily for gentle detox and hormone balance support, or for a specific period of time as a liver reboot.
As your detoxification pathways are enhanced and supported over time, you’ll feel lighter, more energized and clear-headed. This is my ultimate favorite tool for living in the modern world, and I hope you love it just as much as I do.
If you’re interested in buying Liver Juice, check it out here!