How To Cleanse Your Liver (5 Ways)

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How To Cleanse Your Liver (5 Ways)
How To Cleanse Your Liver Graphic © Background image: Pixabay (PD)

The liver is widely known as the organ that breaks down and removes toxins like alcohol from your body. While this is an important role, your liver does a lot more than that. According to the National Library of Medicine, the liver interacts with nearly all of your organ systems—from the endocrine to the immunological and gastrointestinal systems. It also helps support metabolism and stores nutrients, among other critical functions. [1]

In other words, the health of your liver, directly and indirectly, impacts your overall health. For this reason, cleansing your liver to help it run like a well-oiled machine is a great place to start in your health optimization journey.

So, how do you detox your liver? According to Dr. Josh Axe, here are some steps you can take to show this powerhouse organ some much-needed TLC (tender loving care):

1: Remove Toxins From Your Diet

Food is medicine—but it can also be poison. Case in point, there are foods that put your liver’s health at risk. The concerning thing is that some of these “toxins” are lurking in many people’s diets. A 2018 study appearing in Advances in Nutrition suggests that the following foods may adversely affect your liver [2]:

Avoid trans fats (hydrogenated oils) and fatty foods such as packaged chips, fast food meals, takeout, and fried foods. Research suggests that trans fats may induce oxidative stress, cause inflammation, impair the immune system, and increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. [3]

Reduce sugar intake in sugary drinks and foods such as candies, baked goods, and cereals.

Reducing your alcohol consumption is an obvious way to ease the load on your liver.

Reducing your intake of pharmaceuticals. We can’t advise you to go against your doctor’s advice but you should know that numerous pharmaceuticals have consequences for the liver and do what you can to alleviate the burden. Try these Top 10 Home Remedies For Headaches.

Starchy foods with low fiber may burden your liver. This includes processed grains, baked foods, and pasta.

Dr. Axe also advises against conventional meats and dairy due to the risk of GMO and pesticide residues. It may be better to replace these toxic foods with healthier, liver-friendly alternatives.

2: Consume Foods That Cleanse The Liver

Talking of liver-friendly foods, here are some options that could help cleanse your liver and promote its health:

Cruciferous vegetables: According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, cruciferous vegetables like mustard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and beneficial plant compounds that can protect the liver from damage and increase the levels of detoxification enzymes. [4]

Fatty fish: Oily fish like herring, mackerel, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help fight inflammation, normalize enzyme levels, and curb fat buildup in the liver. [5]

Probiotics: A 2013 study published in the Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases suggests that probiotics may offer clinical benefits for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Taking live microorganisms may improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and prevent chronic liver damage. [6]

3: Consume Liver Detoxifying Herbs

People are increasingly turning to herbal products in the hopes of protecting or improving the health of their livers. It’s estimated that 65% of Europeans and Americans with conditions that affect the liver consume herbal supplements. [7]

Some of the best herbs for liver health include:

Milk Thistle: Research suggests that silymarin, an active ingredient in milk thistle, has potent antioxidant effects and may help promote liver health. It may reduce inflammation, protect against liver disease progression, and promote liver cell regeneration. [8]

Turmeric: Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used in India for thousands of years for medicinal and culinary purposes. Its main active component, curcumin, is a popular choice for liver health thanks to its powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. A 2018 study in the journal Nutrients found that curcumin may help protect against liver disease by exerting remarkable therapeutic effects. [9]

Dandelion root: Some people perceive dandelions as “weeds,” but they may actually be good for your health. Folk medicine has long used the dandelion root as a “liver tonic.” Research appears to confirm there may be scientific underpinning to the beliefs of naturopaths. According to a 2017 study, dandelion contains polysaccharides that may help promote liver function. [10]

4: Detox Your Emotions

According to traditional Chinese medicine, a person’s emotions are intimately connected to their physical health. So, if someone is angry or irritated, their “liver” could be adversely affected. [11] Dr. Axe recommends addressing toxic emotions through practices like gratitude, forgiveness, personal growth, and building joy in your life.

5: Eat Real Liver

Don’t pull that face 😉 Liver is a nutritional powerhouse! The organ meat is low in calories and rich in proteins, essential minerals, and vitamins. [12] A small portion of liver is often enough to meet the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of many nutrients. Dr. Axe recommends eating chicken or beef liver from healthy, grass-fed cattle.


A healthy liver is key to your overall state of well-being. It’s important to support the health of the organ to keep it functioning optimally through the years. This involves avoiding foods that can adversely affect its health and instead adopting a diet of liver-friendly foods and supplements.



[1] Kalra, A., Yetiskul, E., Wehrle, C. J., & Tuma, F. (2018). Physiology, liver:

[2] George, E. S., Forsyth, A., Itsiopoulos, C., Nicoll, A. J., Ryan, M., Sood, S., … & Tierney, A. C. (2018). Practical dietary recommendations for the prevention and management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adults. Advances in nutrition, 9(1), 30-40:

[3] Dhibi, M., Brahmi, F., Mnari, A., Houas, Z., Chargui, I., Bchir, L., … & Hammami, M. (2011). The intake of high fat diet with different trans fatty acid levels differentially induces oxidative stress and non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rats. Nutrition & metabolism, 8(1), 1-12:

[4] Robbins, M. G., Hauder, J., Somoza, V., Eshelman, B. D., Barnes, D. M., & Hanlon, P. R. (2010). Induction of detoxification enzymes by feeding unblanched Brussels sprouts containing active myrosinase to mice for 2 wk. Journal of food science, 75(6), H190-H199:

[5] Gupta, V., Mah, X. J., Garcia, M. C., Antonypillai, C., & van der Poorten, D. (2015). Oily fish, coffee and walnuts: Dietary treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 21(37), 10621:

[6] Eslamparast, T., Eghtesad, S., Hekmatdoost, A., & Poustchi, H. (2013). Probiotics and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Middle East journal of digestive diseases, 5(3), 129:

[7] Loguercio, C., & Festi, D. (2011). Silybin and the liver: from basic research to clinical practice. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 17(18), 2288:

[8] Abenavoli, L., Izzo, A. A., Milić, N., Cicala, C., Santini, A., & Capasso, R. (2018). Milk thistle (Silybum marianum): A concise overview on its chemistry, pharmacological, and nutraceutical uses in liver diseases. Phytotherapy Research, 32(11), 2202-2213:

[9] Farzaei, M. H., Zobeiri, M., Parvizi, F., El-Senduny, F. F., Marmouzi, I., Coy-Barrera, E., … & Abdollahi, M. (2018). Curcumin in liver diseases: a systematic review of the cellular mechanisms of oxidative stress and clinical perspective. Nutrients, 10(7), 855:

[10] Cai, L., Wan, D., Yi, F., & Luan, L. (2017). Purification, preliminary characterization and hepatoprotective effects of polysaccharides from dandelion root. Molecules, 22(9), 1409:

[11] Lee, Y. S., Ryu, Y., Jung, W. M., Kim, J., Lee, T., & Chae, Y. (2017). Understanding mind-body interaction from the perspective of east Asian medicine. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017:

[12] Self-Nutrition Data. Beef Products:

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