While spring is the time of the liver and gallbladder (or the wood element in Chinese medicine), anytime it’s convenient for you is the right time for a cleanse. And while a strong liver detox can give you side effects that feel like the flu, know that there are so many variations and degrees of cleanses that you don’t ever have to put yourself out of commission. Choose what works for your lifestyle and schedule.
Your 30-day Liver Detox Challenge –
For a full month, do one or more of the following daily:
- Drink 16 ounces of lemon or lime water first thing in the morning.
- Avoid eating oil or fat of any kind until lunch. Then eat good fats sparingly.
- Eat an apple or two.
- Eat beets raw or cooked for all three meals.
- Drink one cup of burdock root tea, dandelion root tea, or hibiscus flower tea.
- Drink a freshly made green juice that includes cucumber, celery, apple, and greens (sometimes kale).
- Take only fresh raw fruits and vegetables until dinner time.
- Eat the Green Soup Recipe, with no oil added, as one of your meals (or along with a meal).
- Eat one variety of a cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc.) – the same one or change it up. (This assumes you are now aware which ones upset your gallbladder or digestion and avoid those.)
- Have one large or two medium zucchinis with a meal or two, or add zucchini to a smoothie
- Steam 1 lb asparagus; eat it unseasoned for one meal or divide the asparagus between two meals.
- Avoid oils for the month. Whole avocados would be the exception.
- Save your main protein for dinner only and limit your intake to 2-4 ounces.
- Eat one large (Caribbean or Mexican) papaya throughout the day.
- Eat one globe artichoke or several artichoke hearts.
- Add ½ cup of parsley to your food or green drinks.
- Eat dandelion leaves or flowers, steamed or in a salad.
- Eat all your fruits and vegetables raw, or eat them raw at least 90% of the time.
- Freshly-grated turmeric with all meals or in juices (unless turmeric provokes gallbladder pain for you).
- Freshly-grated ginger with all meals or in juices, or sliced and boiled to make tea.
- Take no sugar or sugar substitutes, no refined foods, and no grains at all.
- Avoid all packaged foods.
Supplementation During a Liver Detox
There are many more steps you can take to support your liver. Some of these suggestions, you will notice, are to be found in the Gallbladder Attack Starter Menu Plan (new and improved version), which, in itself, is a gentle liver cleanse. Gallbladder pain is a good motivator to clean up our diets.
With gallbladder issues, it’s more about the bile than the gallbladder, and liver detox is likewise more about cleaning the bile than the organ itself. All of the above help the liver cleanse and send toxins out with the bile. If you do this often enough and long enough, eventually, the bile that is coming out carries fewer toxins with it. Raw fruits and vegetables help the liver cleanse. Any oils, even the good, have to be dealt with by the liver and bile, which takes away the focus from removing toxins or cleansing. They essentially stop the cleanse.
Choose one or all of the steps above. You could choose to drink lemon juice followed by an apple 20 minutes later and a fruit smoothie with spinach and/or spirulina (or add the apple to the smoothie), and in doing so you could easily avoid oil until lunch.
Solely eating raw fruits and vegetables does not constitute a mild cleanse but a strong liver detox, assuming you avoid adding external oil. Adding oil or eating cooked food is one way to slow it down if you need to pursue a gentle cleanse process instead of a rapid one.
And if you prefer to take supplements that support detox, you can always use The Liver Detox Kit and simply add it to your daily routine. Or you can kick it up a notch by following at least one of the suggestions above.