By springtime our livers and digestive systems are as ready for a good cleaning as our curtains and window screens. The big difference? We can live with dusty curtains—not so much with a dilapidated digestive system. The liver is one of the body’s largest organs, second only to the skin. It is a vital organ that supports nearly every other organ in the body and performs many essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity, and the storage of nutrients within the body. It also works to cleanse the body of all of the toxins and harmful substances that you encounter or ingest, such as medications or alcohol. And so coming out of the holidays with all the rich food, drink and indoor winter living, our livers are ready for a little TLC. Enter milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric—three amazing plants that work wonderfully together to support the human digestive system.
- Milk thistle seeds contain silymarin, a powerful antioxidant effective against free-radical producing toxins in the liver, and works to inhibit inflammation
- Dandelion is a traditional treatment for jaundice and inflammation of the liver
- Turmeric stimulates the flow of bile and is used in traditional medicine to help cure jaundice
Adding these power herbs to your diet will give your digestive system the stimulation it so deserves after a long winter. It’s simple to add fresh dandelion greens to your salads and smoothies or dried in a tea and turmeric is a delicious spice, but milk thistle is a little more complicated to consume. The silymarin in the seeds isn’t particularly water soluble, so an extract or supplement will be much more effective than a tea. Adding a high quality, non-GMO supplement with all three herbs to your daily routine is probably the simplest and your liver will thank you!