Saturday, May 19, 2007

Herbs For A Better Liver

Have you experienced any or all of these symptoms - frequent headaches, get bruised easily, impaired sex-drive, food allergies, eczema, chronic fatigue, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or frequent indigestion problems?

If you have, you may be suffering from impending liver problems. It is easy to overlook the fact that these symptoms are related to our liver as the liver handles over 500 functions (I bet you didn't know that, did you?), each crucial to our health and well-being. Most liver conditions show no symptoms. In most cases when symptoms start to show it may be too late.

Learn everything about herbs here, as we owe it to our lives and to the wellness of our liver. Our health and vitality depends greatly on the health of our liver. Modern lifestyles such as alcohol consumption, tobacco, environmental pollutants, food additives, popular cosmetic ingredients, stress and doctor's medication are all toxins that can kill our liver cells, leading to impaired liver function and hence the above symptoms.

Herbs that strengthen the liver are milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric, commonly used by herbalist to strengthen and improve liver function. These three herbs work synergistically to provide five liver-enhancing actions.

Milk Thistle (active ingredient - Silymarin) : Silymarin is the active component in milk thistle that has been used for centuries as a liver tonic. Studies have shown that Silymarin, standardised to 200mg, enhances liver health in the following ways; blocks toxins from harming the liver cells and alters the permeability of the liver cells. This prevents toxic materials from reaching and killing liver cells. It also helps to regenerate new liver cells. Various clinical studies show that Silymarin, at a dose of 400mg, enhances the growth of liver cells. Regeneration of new cells in replacing injured or dead cells is important to ensure continuous optimal liver function.

Dandelion : Belongs to a class of herbs known as bitters. It is a common herb used by both Eastern and Western herbalists to enhance liver health through cleansing of the cells and stimulating the production of bile to digest away fat deposits, improving the efficiency of liver cells.

Turmeric : Has been consumed as both herb and spice in India and China for thousands of years. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, which gives turmeric its characteristic yellow colour has shown positive effects on the liver as it protects and controls the damage to liver cells. During the process of converting toxic materials to less toxic substances, vast amounts of free radicals are generated. Curcumin is a powerful neutraliser of these free-radicals, protecting the liver cells from free radical damage. Frequent contact with toxic materials or virus attacks on liver cells lead to liver cell injury. These cell injuries often occur as inflammation. If left uncontrolled, it may lead to permanent liver cell damage or a condition known as hepatitis.

The ability to learn about health related issues is always a good thing. So for those of us who live in a fast-paced lifestyle, now is the time to take control. It pays to invest into our health now, to reap from the future!

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