Unlike the heart, which can produce alarming signs such as severe chest pain when it malfunctions, the liver—which serves as the body’s chemical processing station—is the strong, silent type. Liver disorders may result in little discomfort until severe damage occurs and even then symptoms, which can include fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and nausea, tend to be vague. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by abnormal liver enzymes, is often a late sign.
Liver disease generally proceeds in stages, from the formation of fat deposits through fibrosis, or scar tissue development, to cirrhosis, when scar tissue takes over most of the liver; cirrhosis can lead to organ failure or cancer. Alcohol abuse or exposure to hepatitis strains B or C over years or decades are the biggest reasons for liver damage. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which tends to develop in people who are obese or who have diabetes or high cholesterol, can also harm the liver.
Herbs for Liver Problems
Certain herbs have long been used to deal with liver problems. Western herbalism’s premiere liver remedy is milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from free radical damage, prevents degradation of fats, fights inflammation and enhances liver detoxification. It has shown itself effective against nonalcoholic fatty deposits in rat studies (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1/12/11).
Other herbs are used to promote healthy liver function. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) stimulates the release of bile from the liver, making it also effective against high cholesterol. And studies support the traditional use of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a liver cleanser and digestive aid.
This article was an excerpt from Energy Times magazine article Defying Age With Herbs October 2015 issue.
As always, do not make any changes in your diet or lifestyle without first consulting with your preventive healthcare provider. We pray for your health and prosperity, 3 John 2, blessings, Donna.