Sometimes we’re exposed to things we’re unaware are detrimental to our health. While traveling, we often don’t have the same control over our environment as we may have in our native countries. Eating in restaurants, buying medicines manufactured in areas with questionable standards, among any number of other situations may effect our bodies in ways we couldn’t have foreseen. Sometimes those effects remain in the body and sometimes, those effects can be lessened, even healed through the cleansing our livers.
Think of your liver as an air filter that traps all the dust, dirt, and other germs that circulate through the air. Imagine what an air filter looks like right before it needs to be changed. It is completely saturated with dust. The role of the filter is to trap and contain dirt so that it does not become a health hazard to those in the environment.
The liver works in a similar way, it is also the body’s filter and traps toxins that have entered the body through digestion, skin, or respiratory system. The liver is the hardest working organ in the body. Weighing around five pounds, it sits close to the heart and resembles a football. The liver detoxifies the body by filtering the blood, producing bile, and breaking down toxins and waste.
More info on the function of the liver here and here.
Detoxing my liver became important after living in Thailand for a couple of years. One year spent in a gym that was serving me MSG, a chemical additive I’m allergic to, in conjunction with random hits of it afterwards killed my health and my face. I retained water, I had eczema and looking at old photos, my eyes seemed to be more swollen than not during that period. My allergy seemed to worsen with time. Eating MSG could lay me out in bed for days. It was awful. Some intensive research helped me realize that a liver detox was in order. Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to a naturopath nor the herbal detox supplements I was accustomed to and local remedies didn’t help the matter. I continued my research and eventually found the Hulda Clark liver cleanse and various versions of it. Here are some of the best that I found:
I created a simplified version of my own with what I had available:
For two days I sustained myself on 100% pure apple juice. On the third day, every hour on the hour I drank a shot (1 oz) of olive oil followed by a shot (1 oz) of pomello juice (lemons and grapefruit weren’t available in my area of Thailand). I believe I did this for twelve to fourteen consecutive hours. I don’t mind the taste of olive oil so I found the process easy. However, during the night I got hit hard with all of lovely effects listed in the above links. It was awful. I was nauseated, at times in pain and I had to spend a day in bed afterwards, but it worked. If I remember correctly, within a week or so my skin had healed and I no longer had swollen eyes. I looked and felt different. I was exposed to MSG again (and again, and…), suffered but not to the same degree. No eczema from exposure and my eyes didn’t swell. I tried the cleanse again, a few months later and it wasn’t as hard on my body. I’m incredibly grateful I found the cleanse and I continue to do it whenever I feel necessary. Generally every four to six months.
If you think you’ll benefit from the cleanse, please do your research. Check out the links I’ve posted and find some more. A number of people have blogged about their experiences with the cleanse. Connect with people on forums if you’re concerned. Figure out what will work for you. The intent of this piece is to aid those who don’t have access to a naturopath or a similar practitioner. If you do and are interested in detoxing your liver in this manner, I suggest consulting with them first.