One of the most common e-mails I receive goes something like this: “How do I cleanse my liver? Do you have any liver cleanse recipes? How do you do a liver flush? Is it safe?” So instead of sending out a hundred emails on the topic I decided to write it all out for everyone’s benefit and share the wonders of flushing out and regenerating your liver!
Why Do a Liver Cleanse?
Our liver is a phenomenal organ and a true hardworking hustler when it comes to keeping things in order.
Every day, our liver:
• Manages our blood sugar levels
• Produces, filters, conjugates, deconjugates, and regulates our hormones
• Creates bile in order to break down fats so that the body can assimilate fat-soluble vitamins
• Metabolizes alcohol and medications
• Produces and secretes vital protein components for blood plasma which are essential for blood clotting
• Maintains our electrolyte balance
• Filters 1.4 liters of blood per minute!
That’s a lot of vital processes our body needs on a daily basis for vibrant health and well-being. Pretty impressive!
Making sure our liver is in tip top shape is one of the best ways to maintain energy, beautiful skin, and overall health. Our liver takes care of a lot and it doesn’t get any breaks. In order to maintain optimal health, we need to lessen its burden as much as possible because toxins are more prevalent than ever before.
Who Should Do a Liver Cleanse?
Not everyone should do a liver cleanse because it can pack a wallop on those who take certain medications, are pregnant or nursing, suffer from frequent yeast infections, are diabetic, hypoglycemic, have stomach ulcers, or have a fragile constitution due to age, chemo, etc. Honestly, this cleanse can take you on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride even if you’re strong and healthy, so I highly recommend checking with your healthcare practitioner before diving into liver flushing.
That said, how do you know if you need to do a liver cleanse?
Some of the most common reasons may be:
• You have acne
• You drink alcohol regularly
• You drank too heavily on a night out or over the weekend
• You eat processed foods often
• Your sugar intake is moderate to high
• You feel fatigued, run down, or just tired throughout the day
• You use chemicals to clean your home
• You are exposed to environmental toxins and pollution (maybe you live in a large city or your workplace uses chemicals)
• Your blood sugar fluctuates often (due to your liver’s overburdened state)
• Your skin is always dry
• You use skincare and cosmetics that contain chemicals daily like lotions, shampoos, conditioners, foundation, etc.
• You have unexplained back pain
How Often Should You Do a Liver Cleanse?
This largely depends on how you treat your body. If you eat healthy wholesome foods, exercise a few times a week, stay hydrated, get outside, and keep your alcohol, sugar, and processed foods intake to a minimum, you really only “need” to cleanse your liver once a year. However, if you go out often and are exposed to pollutants, chemicals, and other toxins in your environment on a daily basis, cleansing your liver 2-3 times a year is generally recommended.
Never do a liver cleanse when you are ill.
How does The Liver Cleanse Work?
I’m adding this in so you know exactly why you need to follow every instruction without substitutions. The cleanse will not work otherwise and you may cause yourself some unintentional discomfort.
Apples, Apple Juice, and Malic Acid
Apples are rich in malic acid, a compound that helps break up gallstones for more comfortable elimination. You need to include these in this cleanse for this reason. Without them, you may not pass some of the larger stones.
Epsom salts are essential because it dilates the ducts that expel gallstones. If you don’t use Epsom salts, you risk one or more of the stones getting lodged and causing a lot of pain as the gallbladder expels bile.
Grapefruit and Lemon
The slightly bitter flavor of these fruits is known to stimulate the gallbladder and cause it to release bile and flush out stones. Grapefruit and lemon are also amazing for liver support and regeneration.
How to Do a Liver Cleanse and Liver Flush
This cleanse is inexpensive and simple to do. In fact, you may already have all of the ingredients that you need. Once again, keep in mind that this cleanse is not for everyone!
Here are the ingredients:
• Organic apple juice (I buy the large gallon size as I need it)
• Organic whole apples, or a malic acid supplement
• 4 TB Epsom salt
• 3 cups of filtered water
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large organic grapefruit (I prefer ruby grapefruit) OR 3 organic lemons (needs to be fresh squeezed from the fruit!) to make at least 1/2 cup of juice
How to do a Liver Flush
1. For the first 5 days before you begin the actual flushing protocol, eat as many organic apples as you can. I will typically eat one apple with every meal and snack on apples between every meal. You can also drink organic apple juice instead of eating apples throughout the day, or take a malic acid supplement according to its instructions. Just choose one method – apples or malic acid.
During this time eat clean healthy meals that are simple like lean meats, whole vegetables, fresh fruit, and whole grains (this is for the 5 days PRIOR to starting the actual cleanse AND days 1 and 2 if you need more substance during the cleanse). Otherwise, on days 1 and 2, you should cut out all meat products and continue to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains if desired.
Alternatively, you can eat clean 5 days prior to starting the cleanse and fast for days 1 and 2 but only if you are experienced.
2. On days 3-5 begin drinking organic apple juice every 2-3 waking hours, you can do this in conjunction with eating apples as well if you desire but it isn’t necessary. This process tops up the malic acid in your body which is an incredible liver detoxifier and will help ensure that you flush out more stones. If you don’t want to drink apple juice or eat apples, you can take 500mg of malic acid 3x a day with lots of filtered water.
3. On day 6, eat a very light breakfast with no fat before 10 am. An example would be fresh fruit. Doing this will increase bile accumulation in the liver. The bile increases pressure which will help eliminate more stones.
4. At 2:00 pm the same day, mix 4 TB of Epsom salt into 3 cups of filtered water and store it in the fridge so it gets cold. DO NOT eat after 2:00 pm or the flush will not work.
5. At 6:00 pm the same day, drink 1 cup of the Epsom salt mixture. It’s going to taste awful but try your best! You can’t add anything to make it taste better or you will compromise the cleanse results. Using a straw makes it easier to drink.
6. At 8:00 pm the same day, drink another 1 cup of Epsom salt mixture. At this point, THE ONLY THING you should be doing is resting, laying down, or sleeping. Make sure to prepare ahead of time. Get someone to watch the kids and make sure you have taken care of everything you need to. The fewer distractions the better.
7. At 9:45 pm the same day, juice the large grapefruit and remove all the seeds. If you dislike pulp, strain it out. Mix the grapefruit juice (or the juice of 3 lemons) with 1/2 cup of olive oil in a jar or shaker cup until very well combined. This should be 1/2 cup of olive oil and a 1/2 cup of fresh grapefruit juice.
8. At 10:00 pm the same day, drink the grapefruit mixture within 5 minutes. You can use a straw to make it easier. I recommend actually tasting the mixture because it will stimulate the release of bile much better.
9. Immediately after drinking the grapefruit mixture, lay down in bed on your right side with your right knee up towards your chin for 20 minutes WITHOUT MOVING. This is super important. Try to sleep on your right side for the rest of the night. Really try not to move.
10. The next morning when you wake up, drink 1/2 cup of Epsom salt mixture and relax. Try not to overexert yourself at all. Lay down in bed and rest.
11. 2 hours later drink the last 1/2 cup of Epsom salt mixture. Rest.
12. Wait 2 hours before eating ANYTHING, not even fresh fruit after this last dose. You’re almost there!
13. Once 2 hours are up, begin with a liquid diet of fruit juice or a pure fruit smoothie that is slightly runny (you can dilute this with water or apple juice). Slowly incorporate fresh fruit throughout the day, then to light meals that include veggies and light broth. You should feel pretty normal again by dinnertime but some people may feel worn out up to two days after the cleanse.
You can learn more in the video below:
What to Expect After Flushing Your Liver
The morning you finish up the cleanse is when you can expect to experience some intestinal cleansing effects. Sometimes these symptoms can occur soon after drinking the Epsom salt mixture, other times it can take all day to feel the effects. Most people will experience some degree of diarrhea on this cleanse and this is totally normal and is due to the Epsom salts.
Another aspect a lot of people experience is the elimination of several to sometimes hundreds of gallstones. These appear as pea shaped green “stones” that may sink or float during elimination.
There is a lot of debate as to whether or not these truly are gallstones and not everyone eliminates them, but one thing is clear, most everyone who has done a liver flush correctly has experienced incredible results.
Other symptoms, especially if you’re new to fasting and cleansing, include nausea and vomiting. If you stay rested and take it easy you should be fine. Remember, this cleanse is about REST. You shouldn’t be puttering around town or cleaning the house or chasing after a toddler. The key is lots of rest! Best of luck everyone!
[yumprint-recipe id=’102′]Have you ever done a liver cleanse? How did it turn out?
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