The liver is our body’s largest organ and is vital to the body’s metabolic function and immune system. A person cannot survive without a functioning liver. This organ is responsible for breaking down or converting substances, extracting energy, making toxins less harmful to the body and removing them from the bloodstream. Moreover, the liver also stores vitamins as well as minerals such as iron and copper releasing them when the body needs them; creates immune system factors that can fight against infection; creates proteins responsible for blood clotting; breaks down old and damaged red blood cells; and stores extra blood sugar as glycogen.
For centuries, bitters have been used to support liver functions. One of the bitter agents that can do the work is artichoke leaf.
Several studies have found that artichoke leaf extract may protect our liver from damage, promote the growth of new tissue and increase the production of bile, which helps remove harmful toxins from our liver.
In a study involving 90 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, results showed that consumption of 600 mg of artichoke extract daily for two months can help to improve liver function.
Moreover, in a separate study of obese adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, reduced liver inflammation, and less fat deposition were experienced by those participants who took artichoke extract daily for two months.
According to experts, artichokes contain antioxidants cynarin and silymarin which act as a powerful liver protectant.
Aside from artichoke, two ingredients such as dandelion root and chicory root also encourage liver health.
Here is a DIY liver-balancing bitter recipe that can help us protect our liver.
1 oz. dried artichoke root and leaf
1 tbsp. dried chicory root
1 tbsp. dried dandelion root
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
1 tsp. dried grapefruit peel
1/2 tsp. dried ginger
10 oz. nonalcoholic spirit
How to Prepare
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a mason jar and pour the alcohol-free spirit on top. Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place to let the ingredients infuse until the desired strength is reached or for about 2-4 weeks. Shake the jar about once per day. After the given period, strain the bitters using a coffee filter or muslin cheesecloth and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Take this bitter-tasting recipe from a tincture dropped on or under your tongue, or blend with sparkling water.