The Liver-Skin Connection
Our Livers are the second-largest organ next to the skin. And when it is stressed, it can result in some serious, surface-level problems.
Our livers are the recycling centers of the body, breaking down everything that we consume, restoring the tissues with nutrients via the blood, and sending waste to be eliminated. When the liver becomes backlogged, stressed, or suppressed, it can start to show on our skin as acne, rashes, hives, itchiness, and discoloration.
Alcohol use, tobacco, diets high in sugar and unhealthy fats, medications, stress, as well as natural fluctuations of hormonal shifts, such as menstruation or menopause, can impair proper liver functions.
Fortunately, our livers are incredibly resilient and regenerative, taking about 40 days to completely renew every cell, if there isn't extensive damage. While reducing environmental stressors can help to lighten the load, it's though adopting liver-loving lifestyle changes, as well as focusing on nourishing and supporting our livers, that contributes to lasting impacts on the appearance of our skin and on our overall health. Continue below for extra liver information and ways to love your liver!
Quick reminder... While I am an herbalist, I am not YOUR herbalist and i most certainly not a medical doctor. Before making any changes to your diet, always check in with your body to see which changes are right for you and have a talk with your healthcare provider. Read more of my blog disclaimer here.
Essential Liver Functions:
- Cleanses and restores the blood
- Breaks down and removes toxins
- Produces Bile
- Deactivates hormones
- Stabilizes energy levels
Things supporting your liver can help achieve:
- Better digestion
- Clearer skin
- Increased energy and positive moods
- Stronger Immune functions and fewer infections
- Better oral health and fresh breath
- Reduce or eliminate sinus troubles
Ways to Love Your Liver:
- Avoid fasts, cleanses, and detoxes. These actually stress the liver, making it harder for it to do its job efficiently.
- Nourish with liver loving foods and herbs to support its functions.
- Eat well-cooked meals that make it easy for our cells to access nutrients and assimilate them.
- Reduce sugar consumption, particularly high fructose, crystalline fructose, and agave syrup.
- Avoid raw foods when working with a stressed liver, as they contain more bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens and are harder for the liver to process. Cooking your food well (not just steaming) ensures these bad boys are properly eradicated.
- Reduce exposure to exogenous (environmental) toxins, such as: air pollution, household cleaners and skincare products, non-stick cookware, plastics, unfiltered water.
- Reduce exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals. Focus on organic meats, dairy, and eggs as pollutants are stored in fat cells, and bioaccumulate higher along the food chain. Nuts and seeds are also high in fats.
- Prioritize avoiding the EKG's "Dirty Dozen," as these are the few fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of agricultural pollutants.
- Avoid scents and fragranced products. Yes, this includes essential oils! These volatile oils are potent, and when misused can become poisonous, and can further irritate an already stressed-out liver.
- Connect to your anger and rage, as these emotions are associated with the liver. Find healthy outlets to release this energy, like punching a pillow, yelling in the woods, or journaling. Getting physical and vocalizing can help access anger more deeply. Make it a regular part of your life, just as you clean the living room and take out the trash. Start by setting aside 10 minutes a week and see what comes up.
Lifestyle changes for the liver:
- Meditation or guided imagery
- Journaling and positive affirmations
- Yoga, and stretching
- Gratitude and positive affirmations
- Breathing exercises
- Learning to let go.
- Get active and MOVE MORE!
Remember the aim is to reduce exposure to liver stressors, as much as support and nourish it. In the world we live in, it is impossible and impractical to eliminate all forms of environmental toxins, plus it's totally unnecessary. When you feel good about the changes you are making and the things you are doing to support your body, you are more likely to keep it up and continue.
How do you know what you're doing is right?
The idea that you should feel bad, weak, tired, sick, dizzy, or headachey on your journey to be well is a myth rooted in the same forces that instill sin and shame into our healthcare. These are simply more symptoms of stress on the body.
Of course, as you start to remove harmful substances, like refined sugar from your diet, you will have some cravings or shifts in hunger and energy levels. But as long as you are replacing them with whole, nourishing, and supportive foods, you should quickly start to feel more energetic and well.
Also, you may have some digestive trouble if you are not used to eating probiotic-rich and high fiber foods. Add this and other new foods into the diet slowly to avoid any upset.
You do not have to feel worse before you start to feel better. Take your time in making shifts, and remember to nourish yourself above all else. You deserve to feel good and be well! When we support our bodies, it does a better job of keeping us healthy, making us feel better!
So what is your relationship to your liver? Do does your skin woes translate to a stressed liver? Let me know in the comments!
If you are interested in trying and developing an at-home facial care routine and are ready to start learning more about them, or simply want some extra tips for your existing regime, download my free Step by Step Natural Facial Guide! In this guide, you will learn each step and the full process of giving yourself an at-home facial, the Fecund Herbals way, with any natural facial products you may have on hand!
Author Bio: My name is Katya Herb, owner of Fecund Herbals. I am an herbalist from Chicago with a passion for skincare, radical self-care, and all things plant related. I first came to herbalism to address some unresolved pelvic issues but grew to love the vast healing, and nourishing potential plants have on our bodies and minds.
My goal with Fecund Herbals is to promote radical healing and self-care through my herbal product offerings, as well as through education. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about new posts, promotions, and more!