The liver and the spleen are our filtration systems. This system's main function is to keep poisons from entering the body, which includes environmental chemicals and food source chemicals. In order to have a healthy filtration system, we have to keep it free of products that clog it. When the filtration system is clogged, you may feel very tired. You may have rashes that come out through the skin because the body will use the skin as a filtration system when the liver and spleen are stuck. A clogged liver and/or spleen can create a feeling of exhaustion as well as a feeling of flu-like symptoms. Another symptom of an unhealthy filtration system can be recognized as inability to think and focus. Pains and infections can also be a part of liver/spleen issues including headaches and sinus infections.
The foods to avoid to heal the Liver and Spleen
Avoid water that is treated with any chemical (this includes almost all public water systems). Make certain that your well is healthy. Water is our most important resource and we should drink four to six cups daily. Dark colored sodas should also be avoided.
Artificial sweeteners are chemicals and have to utilize the liver in order to get through the system. Natural sweeteners are a much better choice to the body including pure maple syrup, barley or rice malt, sucanat, Florida cane crystals, molasses, agave and the herb stevia. As a matter of fact, diabetics do exceptionally well on stevia and agave. (Word of caution, however. I find that the actual herb Stevia works best here. There are many processed stevias that don't test as well. The herb stevia is a green color).
Other artificial ingredients should also be avoided like colors and preservatives in food. They serve no purpose except to aggravate our filtration system.
Environmental chemicals should be limited. These include poisons, chemical fertilizers, polishers, chemical cleaners, and harsh perfumes. Basically, anything that has a chemical smell can do damage to an already over-burdened liver and spleen.
Not all, but many medications are filtered through the liver. Make sure you are familiar with side effects of drugs that you may be using.
Herbs & supplements that are beneficial to the Liver and Spleen
My favorite two herbs that help to de-clog the liver and spleen are dandelion root, burdock root or yellow dock root. I know that most people use Milk Thistle, but for the general cleaning in the beginning, dandelion root, burdock root and yellow dock seem to work more effectively. Burdock root and yellow dock root are more potent and should be considered when skin problems have erupted, as this is a clear indication that the clogging is considerable, or for people who have abused their liver over long periods of time. Dandelion root and yellow dock root are available in tea, capsule or tincture form. Milk thistle can be introduced after cleansing to help strengthen the liver/spleen area. Yellow dock root also helps detoxify the lymphatic system. It is helpful for chronic sinus and mucus membrane problems.
If the liver/spleen is very toxic, as you begin a detoxification program, you may feel ill for a day or two (something like you). If this should happen, begin very slowly, such as 1/4 cup of tea for a day or two and increasing slowly up to a full cup by the end of the week. If you are using a tincture, begin with one drop and work slowly up to five drops within a week or two. The important thing to remember is this is your healing journey and you can adjust it as you see fit. Red Clover can also be beneficial as a detoxifying herb especially when hormonal issues are also evident.
For very toxic systems, Michael's Products makes a few combination formulas that test out very well including one called L.V.R. and the other called Hepatic Factors. With severe digestive disorders, a tincture may be more appropriate to help get the herbs into the system more effective. Herb Pharm makes a combination called "Healthy Liver" that I often use in this case.When working with children, Herb Pharm makes a Dandelion Root Glycerite tincture that is safe and effective for all ages as well as pregnant moms.
Physical symptoms of Liver and Spleen imbalances
The most common complaints from those with liver and spleen imbalances include "I can't think or focus". An imbalance in this area will definitely aggravate our ability to learn, think or focus properly. Exhaustion can also come into play here along with the feelings of flu symptoms and skin rashes. Any skin rash is an indication of liver and/or spleen imbalance, including poison ivy! Do you ever notice how some people are so allergic to it and other's never get it.
Headaches and mucus membrane issues can signify liver/spleen imbalances.
Negative emotions that aggravate the Liver and Spleen
The liver is where we store our anger and frustration, so in order to heal a liver, you must work on transforming your anger back to joy. There are many reasons for anger, and the flowers that would assist can also be many. The anger flowers include: Agrimony, Beech, Chicory, Holly, Impatiens, Vine, Water Violet and Willow (refer to our website on "healing the emotions with flower essences.)
Our spleen stores our resentment and bitterness. The spleen is directly connected to our lymphatic system which in turn connects us to our mucus membranes. Hence, resentments eventually manifest in the sinus/broncial areas of the body. So in order to heal a chronic spleen condition, you must also heal your old resentments and bitterness. The flower essence for resentment and bitterness is Willow. Also, Chicory can be indicated for sinus/bronchial issues when the person is in a state of feeling victimized.
The flower essence Beech is helpful with throat issues especially swollen glands and sore throats.