Liver detoxing and how to do so safely

Written by: Olivia Aurora


Healf Journal

The liver is a vital organ located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It is crucial for detoxifying the body. Its main function is to rid the body of toxins, harmful substances and by-products. It processes nutrients from the food we eat-converting it into essential blood components storing the vitamins and minerals. The liver is central to our overall health and making sure it is performing optimally is key to our well-being. Whilst not an essential method for optimal health, one way to ensure a good functioning liver is to consider a detox.

What is a liver detox?

A liver detox is a process aimed at flushing out built up toxins in the liver. It is based on the belief that toxins can accumulate in the liver over time, impairing its function and overall health. It claims to improve liver function, enhance digestion, promote overall health and boost energy.

It is important to note that the liver is designed to naturally detoxify itself and it does this through a 2-phase process:

  1. Phase 1 (Oxidation): enzymes in the liver convert toxins into less harmful substances.

  2. Phase 2 (Conjugation): These substances then latch onto molecules to allow them to be excreted from the body via urine or bile.

While the liver is capable of detoxifying itself because of certain lifestyle choices or environmental factors that can burden it making it sluggish and unable to perform at its best. This is where many people turn to a liver detox. 

How to do a liver cleanse safely?

  1. Hydration: One of the key factors is to make sure one is well hydrated. Once the toxins are being removed they need lots of water to flush them out efficiently.

  1. Balanced Diet: A diet rich in foods that contain compounds that assist with the liver detox process are key. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are all excellent choices. In the specific broccoli, beets, Brussels sprouts, garlic and onion are particularly beneficial.

  1. Regular exercise: Moving helps keep things circulating and avoiding fatty buildup whilst also supporting the liver function and promoting overall well-being.

  1. Herbal supplements: Certain herbs are believed to support the liver such as milk thistle, turmeric and dandelion root. However, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplement as they may interact with medications and have side effects.

  1. Avoid Alcohol, Sugar Intake and unhealthy Fats: Excessive alcohol and unhealthy fat consumption can cause fatty liver disease and other liver related issues. Sugar can also lead to fatty liver disease as well as insulin resistance.

  1. Avoid toxins: steer clear as much as possible from toxins like pesticides, chemicals and pollutants. Use natural cleaning products both in your home and in your beauty regime and avoid processed foods.

  1. Sleep is key: the liver repairs and regenerates itself during sleep. Make sure to get at least 7+ hours of good quality sleep at night to help support liver health. 

What to be aware of when cleansing or detoxing?

  • Juice cleanses or extreme fasting can leave the body with essential nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar imbalances, electrolyte imbalances, muscle loss, gastrointestinal distress, potential for increased hunger and cravings and a weakened immune function.

  • Extreme Colon cleanses or enemas: These methods include flushing the colon with large amounts of water or other solutions to remove waste. This can be done with oral laxatives, enemas or colon irrigation and although they can be beneficial- when done without medical supervision they can have adverse health concerns like dehydration, risk of infection, damage to the intestinal lining and the disruption to the gut flora.

  • Medical guidance: Individuals with pre existing health conditions should always consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on a liver detox to make sure they are following a safe and tailor made approach. 

A liver detox when done safely and mindfully can be a great way to support the liver and rid the body of excess toxins. However it is essential to approach it with a balanced perspective focusing on long term lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes. 

Always consult a healthcare professional before starting a liver detox program especially if using supplements or harsh detox programs. By maintaining a healthy diet, being hydrated, exercising regularly, avoiding harmful unnecessary toxins, sleeping 7+hours you can support your liver and keep your body functioning at its best.


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Healf