Our liver performs a variety of tasks. It breaks down toxins like alcohol, medications, and natural byproducts of metabolism; produces proteins, cholesterol, and bile; stores vitamins and minerals, and a lot more. We need to keep this organ in good shape in order for us to maintain good health. There are certain herbs that may help us boost our liver health and prevent liver problems.
Milk thistle is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family. It is also known as Mary thistle and holy thistle. It has an active ingredient called silymarin. Different parts of this plant are being used to treat various health conditions. The most common use of it is for liver problems.
In a study published in 2011, results showed that milk thistle may benefit people with cirrhosis of the liver. This involves 5 clinical trials with a total of 602 cirrhosis patients. In this study, it was found that treatment with milk thistle could lead to a significant reduction in liver-related mortality (1).
Furthermore, several clinical trials testing milk thistle in the treatment of hepatitis B and C were also conducted. Though researchers in a 2005 research review found no evidence that it can help get rid of any type of hepatitis virus, some research recommends that milk thistle may possibly help protect liver cells from damage and curb inflammation that is associated with hepatitis C (2).
This bright yellow-orange spice that comes from turmeric root has been used for its medicinal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years. Having turmeric tea is one sure way to enjoy its multiple benefits.
The antioxidant effect of turmeric appears to be so powerful that it may stop the liver from being damaged by toxins (3).
Research shows that taking turmeric extract reduces markers of liver injury in people who have a liver disease not caused by alcohol. It also seems to help prevent the build-up of more fat in the liver in people with this condition (4).
In a 2009 study on liver cells, scientists discovered that turmeric extract helped stop the hepatitis B virus from replicating (5).
Parsley is a popular herb that is often used to elevate the flavor of dishes like soups, salads, and fish recipes. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties due to its antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C (6).
Considered as a bitter veggie, parsley can help stimulate our body’s release of bile, helping the liver detox. It also produces glutathione, which helps protect the liver from damage (7). Moreover, it can also help protect our liver by reducing inflammatory liver enzymes (8).