Friday 26 September 2014

Why is cleansing of the liver so vital to our well being?

■Expert Q&A
by Khabir Southwick

Khabir Southwick

Q. Thanks for joining us Khabir.  For the benefit of our readers can you share your credentials as an Ayurveda expert and a brief background on your work? 
I am a professional health consultant, Ayurvedic and Naturopathic practitioner, whole-foods nutritionist, herbalist and formulator, public speaker on natural self-care and an author of numerous natural health-care programs.
I maintain a busy private health-care and consulting practice in Ojai and Santa Barbara California. For over 14 years, I have successfully helped hundreds of clients and thousands of people to naturally overcome a wide range of health conditions and improve their overall health.  I travel throughout southern California providing private consultations, selling herbal teas and spices, conducting workshops and lecturing on a wide range of health subjects (mostly in Whole Foods Market and other health foods stores).
I was born in Tucson Arizona (1962) and was raised as a lacto-vegetarian, by health conscious parents who began educating me about nutrition and Hatha yoga at an early age.  As a teenager, I was already helping others improve their eating habits and providing medicinal teas for common health complaints.  I went on to formally study western herbal medicine (1980) and the traditional nutritional sciences (1981).   I pursued advanced Ayuveda studies in India (starting in 1982), specifically herbal formulations and applications, and mentored under an Ayuvedic Doctor in Northern India, Rishikesh, for about 3 years.
Why is cleansing of the liver so vital to our well being?
In our industrialized developed world we are immersed in a sea of toxic chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that half-a-million chemicals are in use today and over 5000 new chemicals are introduced yearly. Some researchers believe up to 25% of these may be carcinogenic. This is why it is crucial to employ a liver cleanse supplement and/or diet to cleanse your liver of the toxic waste of 21stcentury living. If your liver becomes overworked, it can become congested. Toxic compounds and impurities may get trapped in deposits of hardened bile. Pollutants may not be flushed out of the body, and can back up in your bloodstream.
What are the signs that I need to cleanse and detox my liver?
A sluggish liver can lead to serious fatigue, weight gain, water retention and a host of other health woes. Detoxification, that targets the liver, can help remove these unwanted poisons and enable it to function properly. A healthy liver will increase your energy, improve metabolism and help you burn excess fat.
A poor functioning liver can also manifest a malaise of symptoms that lead to misdiagnoses for other chronic diseases. This sluggishness can be prevented and also corrected through rejuvenating and cleansing your liver frequently.
Do you really need a liver cleanse?
Since the liver has more than 500 functions including storing fat soluble vitamins and some water soluble vitamins like folate and B1-12.  A main function of the liver is converting sugar, fatty acids and fats into glucose and then storing glycogen for future use.  Additionally the liver creates bile, metabolizes hormones, breaks down excess cholesterol, homes aldosterone and insulin and old cells and antibodies that need to be removed from the body.  The liver also has a role in the immune system by producing antibodies.  So when a person’s liver is congested, fatty, burdened, with too many toxins or damaged by infection, there are a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to:
  •     Allergies
  •     Bloating, Gas, Flatulence
  •     Chemical Sensitivities
  •     Constipation
  •     Fatigue
  •     Fatty Liver
  •     Gallstones
  •     Low Metabolism
  •     Menopausal Digestive Issues
  •     Obesity
  •     PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome)
  •     Poor Digestion
What is the basic protocol for your liver detoxification program?
Liver and Gallbladder Cleansing Program offers an inexpensive and easy way to detoxify, protect, and rejuvenate one of your most important organs and the many body functions it supports. When your liver functions at its best, it has the marvelous ability to recover and regenerate; all it needs from you are the proper nutrients and to be free from any toxic burden.
By cleansing the colon and the liver consecutively, you’ll focus on the top two filtration organs of the body. The combination of both therapies helps relieve poor digestion including gas, bloating, and constipation while at the same time promote healthy liver function.
BTW – This program does not include drinking Epson salts or drinking a cocktail of oil and citrus juice. This liver cleansing program utilizes herbal and nutritional therapies.
I generally follow these three steps:
  1. Improve Digestion. First I provide pre-cleanse dietary instructions according to a person’s body-type and provide herbal solutions to achieve regular elimination which will be taken throughout the treatment period.
  2. Intestinal Cleanse. Use a custom fiber mix and custom Ayurvedic colon cleansing/laxative as needed.  I have the client drink a liver detox tea in the morning, have a green powder based on chlorella with meals and then slowly add the fiber between meals.  (The fiber is both a bulking agent and has intestinal drawing properties.)
  3. Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse.   Next, I have the client continue with the liver tea or a general detox tea but have them eat a simpler diet with lots of veggies and no oil or fat in the diet. I also add another Ayuvedic powder to helps soften any stones. Then I have the person take a veggie concoction each morning with includes lemon juice, garlic and ginger at various amounts with 1 Tablespoon of olive or flax oil. Then each morning for the next 4 or 5 days the amount of oil is increased.  (This process of not having any oil or fat all day and then doing so in the morning with these supportive herbs flushes the gallbladder and detoxifies the liver very effectively. )
Are there specific cleansing programs depending on different health conditions?
 Different types of plans can be done based on the individual.
  1.      The MILD Colon/Liver Cleanse Plan is for individuals in good health, who have completed a colon cleanse or liver cleanse before.
  2.      The MODERATE Colon / Liver Cleanse Plan is for individuals in fair health, who have never completed a colon cleanse or liver cleanse before and have been suffering with moderate fatigue, bloating, gas, candida, indigestion or constipation. Clients in this category may have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease, elevated liver enzymes or other liver function issues.
     The INTENSE Colon / Liver Cleanse Plan is for individuals in poor health, who have never completed a colon cleanse or liver cleanse before and have been suffering with severe fatigue, bloating, gas, candida, indigestion or constipation. Clients in this category may have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease, elevated liver enzymes, or other liver function issues, or diagnosed with IBS or diverticulitis. 

Is there any dietary regimen one need to follow while on the liver detox?
Pre-cleanse dietary instructions according to your body-type (Ayurveda Dosha); supplement recommendations to achieve healthy digestion and proper elimination. But basically it needs to be simple with a low amount of protein, no animal protein, cooked and easy to digest vegetables and grains based on one’s body-type/Dosha. Juicing with carrots, beets and celery with other dark greens will also help the detoxification process.
What are the benefits of such a program?
Generally speaking a liver detox supports blood purification, cleanses stagnant waste from the liver, promotes the production of healthy blood cells, bile and nutritional fluids and reduces and eliminates gallbladder congestion
The overall benefits of the program include:
Healthy weight loss, improved digestion and nutrient absorption and the prevention of future health problems especially gallbladder issues and liver conditions.

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