The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. Located in the upper right part of the abdominal chamber, the liver filters out toxins and waste products from the blood. Additionally, it manufactures proteins, metabolizes fats, stores essential nutrients and carbohydrates, and makes and secretes bile, which aids in the proper digestion of food. To keep your liver in good working condition, the first thing to do is adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eat wholesome foods, drink alcohol moderately or not at all, and avoid toxic substances. Many natural health proponents such as Dr. Linda Page, author of "Healthy Healing's Detoxification," also recommend a routine "liver cleanse" to help rid it of accumulated toxins and recharge its efficiency. One of the most common and widely praised methods of liver cleansing is the use of apple cider vinegar (ACV), which Dr. Page calls a "powerful remedy for resolving liver stagnation and indigestion." Practitioners of liver cleansing say ACV's combination of vitamins, minerals and alkalinity help rid the liver of harmful substances and help keep the body's pH levels from becoming too acidic, a condition that can make a person more vulnerable to disease. Here are some ways to use apple cider vinegar to cleanse your liver.
Make an apple cider vinegar tonic. Mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 6 to 8 ounces of water. Add a natural sweetener like honey if you wish. Use this as a daily tonic and drink three times a day before meals. Commit to a short liver detox twice a year, one day in the fall and one day in the spring. The night before "detox day," have a light supper that's easy to digest such as steamed vegetables and fish. On the detox day itself, you'll basically follow a liquid fast, ingesting only vegetable juices, broths, apple juice, green tea and other healthful liquids. Upon rising and before bed, take the basic tonic described in step one but increase its strength by adding an additional tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. For the week following the detox, eat only 100 percent fresh foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, legumes, nonfat dairy and so forth). During the fast, you may experience some side effects as a result of toxins leaving your body, including headaches, nausea and light-headedness. Plan accordingly so you're not required to do any high exertion-type activities, try to get some sunshine, and aim for some light exercise like walking or stretching. Maintain good liver health by enjoying a cup of liver cleansing tea. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of hot water and sweeten with honey or maple syrup. Drink 1 cup daily.
- Use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar when possible.
- Try to eat something shortly after drinking apple cider vinegar, because some people experience mild nausea taking it alone.
- Keep in mind that while there are myriads of anecdotal support for using apple cider vinegar for health benefits, there has not been a lot of scientific research on the subject.