Burdock for Liver Health

Burdock for liver health


Burdock For Liver Health

Burdock

Vicky Chan - May 14, 2014


It is spring again and is a crucial time to pay attention to our liver health according to Chinese Medicine because the liver is most active in spring.

Liver is the detox engine of our body. It is a part of the digestive system for making cholesterol to digest fatty foods and to dispose of waste products from our blood stream. The liver is also responsible for maintaining the equilibrium of our overall health and should be well taken care of to avoid life-threatening diseases.

The most damaging things to liver health are alcohol, medicine and sorrow. Alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements are all chemicals which can have unhealthy results to the liver. Mixing them can create toxins and can be poisonous. If you have to take drugs, it is best to take them with at least a one hour interval between each one. Toxins cause our liver to overwork and they can also scar and harden liver tissue. Sorrow, sadness and depression can cause stagnation of liver energy which can inhibit proper liver function.

We should also be careful of what we breathe in. When cleaning with aerosol sprays or cleaners, or any other form of spray such as paint or air fresheners or cosmetic products, we must make sure that the room is ventilated and cover our nose with a mask to prevent breathing in toxic chemicals. When using insecticides, make sure the skin is covered because the chemicals can get into the body through our skin. All toxins require the liver to filter them out therefore over-working this important organ.

The liver does not complain until it is too late. We should be aware of symptoms of problems and check our liver through blood tests regularly.  The symptoms include lack of energy, lack of appetite, indigestion, acid reflux, milky eyes, dark yellow urine, flaky rash, itchy skin, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and fluid retention. Poor digestion leading to leaky gut syndrome will cause toxins to get into the blood stream, making the liver work harder.

The purpose of a liver supporting diet is first ‘to do no harm’. Avoid alcohol and toxins including drugs. Secondly, eat food made from scratch with good oil and not too much seasoning and sauces and with little and simple cooking so that the food can be easily digested and absorbed. Eat small amounts of high quality protein and increase the intake of green vegetables for fibre and essential minerals.  Drinking good clean water will also help the body to flush out toxins and keep the liver healthy.

Burdock

Burdock contains a number of nutrients important to liver function. They include vitamins B1, B6 and B12 which are essential for the function of phase 1 liver detoxification’s pathways, vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and sulphur which is essential for a number of important phase 2 liver detoxification pathways in which potent toxins created by phase 1 detoxification are neutralized. Burdock also contains other substances such as arctiin which act to improve liver and gallbladder function.

Burdock has many other health benefits and is believed to be the main reason why the Japanese hold the world record for longevity because burdock is a staple in their diet. Please search our website to find out more information and recipes using burdock.

The following is a soup recipe that is best for our liver in spring, when liver energies are at their peak.


Burdock, Carrot and Pork Soup

Burdock soup

SYMPTOMS:

High cholesterol

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lower blood lipids
  • Detoxifies
  • Promotes liver health

INGREDIENTS:  (4 to 6 servings)

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  • Fresh burdock 新鮮牛蒡 -  one piece (about 500gm)
  • Carrot 紅蘿蔔 – 2 to 3 (250gm)
  • Green radish青蘿蔔 – one large (250gm)
  • Honey dates 蜜棗 or dried figs – 3
  • Apricot kernel 南北杏 – one handful (about 15gm)
  • Citrus Peel (chen-pi) 陳皮 – one piece (pre-soaked and with white tissue removed)
  • Pork shoulder cut with bone  or bone-in chicken breast – 300gm (pre-cut into large pieces)
  • Ginger – 2 slices

1.   Wash pork, put in boiling water to cook for a few minutes, remove and rinse.

2.   Peel carrot and radish and cut by rolling cut into pieces.

3.   Peel burdock and cut into thin slices.

4.   Rinse other ingredients and put all into a soup pot with about 3 liters of water. Bring to a rolling boil, remove foam and reduce heat to medium low and let it simmers for about 3 hours to about 6 cups of broth left. Add more water (boiling hot) to the cooking if necessary.

5.   When done, add salt to taste and serve soup with some meat, burdock and carrot. Burdock is a good source of fibre.


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USAGE:

No restrictions and suitable for all ages.

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