By Dr. Irina Matveikova
"The liver deserves its own book, and it would be an honor to be able to write it one day. But for now we’re only going to go over some of the terms and the basics of its functioning and that are particularly important for knowing how to detox your liver properly.
The liver is a hyper intelligent central processing system that filters, controls and cleans a liter and a half of blood per minute, all while simultaneously processing 500 vital biochemical metabolic reactions.
The liver acts as a purification plant for the blood. It plays a vital role in the detoxification and excretion of a great variety of endogenous and exogenous compounds. The uncleaned liver is very fragile yet simultaneously a survivor: it regenerates rapidly and is grateful for care; it can regrow from just a tiny piece and function with only 10% of healthy tissue! Just 200 g (7 oz) of healthy or transplanted liver can save a human life, even if the entire organ weighs around 4.5 lb or, when it is full of blood, up to 7 lb.
THE ORGAN OF REGENERATION
There are many references in both ancient and modern medical literature to the influence of the liver on our mood, emotions, and intellectual state and instructions for how to cleanse the organ as well. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), for example, the liver holds “the soul”; it is associated with the wood element and it is considered (almost) more important than the heart, an organ full of energy and powers, making it extremely important to cleanse the liver regularly. The liver manages everything, including moderating mental activity. In TCM, it is thought that if Qi (our vital energy) is unable to flow along the liver meridian, it ends up concentrating in the organ and showing up as irritability, insomnia, depression, anguish, melancholy, and doubt. The phlegm gets stuck, and the mind clouds over. The gallbladder, its counterpart, governs decision making, courage, and cowardice. If a patient’s gallbladder doesn’t function well and accumulates bile, he will have a fearful attitude to life. For this reason, in TCM, liver flushing is the treatment of choice for the maintenance of health.
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates described four humors. One of them was the yellow bile of the liver. When you don’t understand how to detox your liver, the bile doesn’t flow, he said, it stagnates and is transformed into a thick black substance. The word melancholy means “black bile” and notably affects digestion and mood, altering the mental state of a person.
Many cultures around the world have used the term “bile”, “bilis” in expressions to denote anger, frustration, melancholy, and similar liver related emotions. Common ones you’ve probably heard of are, “to be full of bile,” “to raise one’s bile,” and “to spit bile”; and a comment can be full of “black bile.” All of these phrases speak for themselves.
If you are filled with rage and fury, if you have negative feelings and everything irritates you, you may be right, but don’t forget your liver may need to be flushed. Help it and encourage it a little, so that your bile flows.
TO DETOX THE LIVER = TO DETOX THE MIND
When you know how to detox your liver you know how to cleanse your mind, as innumerable treatises of traditional natural medical wisdom from around the world affirm. Liver flushing has a place in traditional medicine and is considered a very important therapeutic step. Following the development of modern medicine, we have lost the ancient tradition of cleansing and flushing the liver to help the bile flow; recently, though, I have noticed increasing interest from doctors on this subject.
Unfortunately, when a patient is permanently sad, lacks enthusiasm, and is in an emotional trough (that is to say melancholic), a doctor usually prescribes antidepressants or tranquilizers and this, in its turn, increases the saturation and congestion of the liver, making a liver flush and cleanse more necessary than ever.
As well as medications (if they are considered necessary) for the treatment of mood disorders, integrative medicine recommends the adoption of a light detoxifying diet, infusions of medicinal plants suitable for the liver, and liver flushing."
Keep reading about the amazing powers of the liver here.
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