The Liver: The Selfless General

BY Tysan Lerner TIMEMay 26, 2013 PRINT

The liver is like a heroic character who works tirelessly to keep your body clean of pollution and toxins. If it gets overworked or ill, you will end up feeling tired and irritated, like a driver stuck in traffic with road rage that may explode at any mishap.

The liver, located behind the right rib cage, needs a lot of love and care, because without a healthy liver, you will feel toxic—unable to handle strong smells and easily moved to anger or frustration. You will feel tired, moody, and tight. You may suffer from dry eyes, a bloated belly, allergies, and fatigue.

As there are floods and traffic jams on earth, there are also floods and traffic jams in your body, which ancient Chinese scientists wisely viewed as a miniature of the universe.

If you burden your protective defender with too many toxins, such as pesticides, medication, skin care creams, and body-made substances such as estrogen and cholesterol, eventually it won’t be able to care for you the way it was designed to.

How It Works
Potentially toxic substances line up at the front door of the liver and wait to get changed enough to be tolerable.

Once changed, the now less toxic substance will go down one of five pathways. In one of those pathways, it will get changed again—this time enough to be released back into the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, just like when too much garbage is created for the landfills to handle, if your body becomes too toxic, things will get backed up in one or all of the five pathways, causing a roadblock in the liver.

If that happens, the toxic substance will get excreted into the bloodstream without being changed into a nontoxic substance, possibly causing serious illness such as cancer.

What You Can Do About It
First and foremost, it is important to take an honest look at your lifestyle choices and diet.

What foods are you eating that may load your liver? Processed foods, non-organically raised produce and animal products, artificially flavored foods, sugar, and alcohol all strain the liver.

How much medication are you taking? Is there a way to replace solutions that resort to medications, like painkillers and statins, with natural solutions, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and an improved diet?

What creams are you using? Although we do not ingest cream, it still gets absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin, and any toxins in the cream will get sent to the liver.

Your liver can become healthier and better at detoxification by eating healthier foods. The liver is associated with the color green and the sour taste, so go for lots of leafy greens, such as kale and broccoli. Enjoy them with some lemon.

Essential fatty acids are also wonderful for the liver. Whole plant-based fats that work well for the liver are avocados, nuts and seeds, and coconut.

When healthy, the liver is like a strong, patient general ready to take on any challenge to selflessly protect you. When it is healthy, you too will feel patient and giving.

Care for it well.

Tysan Lerner is a certified health coach and personal trainer. She helps women attain their body and beauty goals without starving themselves or spending hours at the gym. Her website

Tysan Lerner
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