Keeping your liver healthy is vital, as it plays a very important role in the overall health of your body. Liver’s main job is to filter the blood that comes from the digestive tract. By doing so, the blood gets clear of toxic substances, such as the ones contained in certain medicines, before going back to the circulatory system. Also, The liver synthesizes proteins, carbohydrates and fats and stores vitamins.
Many people that suffer from chronic pain take opiate painkillers to relieve their symptoms. Some prescription medicines, such as oxycodone or morphine contain opiates and can be as addictive as heroin.
How Painkillers Can Affect Your Liver
Although opiates by themselves are not usually related to liver problems, some prescription medicines such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Lortab contain a large amount of acetaminophen, which can damage your liver.
Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is also an ingredient in many over the counter medicines to treat different kinds of illnesses, such as cold, fever and pain. There are more than 600 prescription and OTC medicines that contain this active ingredient, being the most widely used drug in the United States. Taking more acetaminophen than the recommended doses can cause liver damage that can go from abnormalities in the liver function to liver failure or, in the worst cases, even death.
Symptoms of Liver Disease
There are several factors that can damage your liver or cause liver diseases, such as alcohol and drug abuse, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and malnutrition. Also, acetaminophen overdose can destroy half of the liver cells in less than a week.
Some symptoms of liver disease include:
- Allergies (urticaria, rash, asthma)
- Frequent headaches
- Poor digestion, nausea, and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Fluid retention
- Irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal gas, stained tongue or bad breath
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea
- Jaundice or yellow pigmentation of the skin
Is Liver Damage Reversible?
The answer is yes. The liver is the only organ in the human body that is able to regenerate by replacing damaged tissue with new cells instead of scar tissue. Hence, a liver affected by an acetaminophen overdose could heal up completely after 30 days. However, sometimes this doesn’t happen completely, especially when the liver is still under attack of a virus, drug or alcohol.
Natural Remedies for A Healthy Liver
Dandelion stimulates bile production and helps to clean the liver. It also improves the function of the liver and the gallbladder and it’s beneficial in cases of hepatitis. Dandelion leaves are usually brewed into a tea to stimulate urine production, alleviating fluid retention. Dandelion roots are used to relieve various ailments, from headaches to certain skin disorders, such as acne and psoriasis. It also acts as a mild laxative and helps improving digestion, helping alleviate stomach disorders, such as constipation and gas. Thanks to its detoxifying properties, it’s also useful for the elimination of toxins that prescription medications can leave in the liver.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat different conditions. Various scientific studies have concluded that curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, helps improve liver function by increasing its detoxification ability. It also helps remove cholesterol and toxic substances from the liver. Turmeric also improves the function of the gallbladder and regulates digestion. Some reports have even linked it to combating liver cancer and improving liver fibroids. Other studies have also revealed that it helps reduce blood sugar levels, prevent liver fat accumulation and improves insulin function.
Milk Thistle (Silymarin)
Milk thistle – or silymarin – has been traditionally used for its hepatoprotective effects, including:
- Anti-inflammatory properties in the liver.
- It helps regenerate the liver.
- Acting as a natural antioxidant and promoting the growth of new liver cells.
- Reducing iron overload, that can cause liver damage.
- It can help prevent liver damage caused by medication, drugs, and alcohol.
- It can treat various liver-related illnesses, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatic steatosis (fatty liver).
Herbal Remedies and Kratom Tea Recipe for your Liver
Considering the above, why not trying to add some extra ingredients to your kratom tea to help keep your liver healthy? Here is an example recipe that you can try:
Desired amount of kratom powder
1 tsp. of milk thistle
A pinch of black pepper
1 tsp. of dandelion
1 tsp. of turmeric
Boil 1 cup and a half of water in a kettle or pot.
Add the kratom powder.
Lower the heat and let the kratom simmer.
After 12 minutes add the dandelion, turmeric, and milk thistle and let them simmer for 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat, put a cover on the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Strain over a cup, add the black pepper and enjoy.
Don’t forget to add black pepper to this recipe. Adding black pepper will increase turmeric bioavailability. This will prevent turmeric from being metabolized before it can get absorbed by your system.
Remember to speak to your doctor before using any herbal remedies, especially if you suffer from heart disease, stomach ulcers, diabetes, gallbladder issues, a bleeding or seizure condition or a liver or kidney illness.