This article is all about the liver, why it gets sick and what we can do to support our LIVErs! It is aimed at anyone who has a liver, whether or not you care for horses and for anyone who wants to be the very best version of themselves!
Not many people know, but I became VERY sick in 2016 and embarked on an incredibly successful healing journey, thanks to Anthony William (known widely as the Medical Medium/AW) and his incredible resources. Without Anthony and his life’s work, I might not even be here now! The bulk of the information in this article is taken from his Liver Rescue book and I make no apologies for this or for not being able to quote scientific research backing up what is written here as there isn’t much which can prove Anthony’s work. But as a living, breathing example of what diligently applying his protocols can achieve, that’s good enough for me, and to the millions of people worldwide who also claim to be well again, thanks to AW.
I wrote this article about the liver to help people get well and stay well. I also wrote it to help the animals we all love. If we can learn more self-awareness about our own bodies and how they heal, I believe it helps create empathy and understanding towards other beings. Horses for example have relatively small livers and they, like humans; are suffering more from chronic health conditions, despite living longer. I hope this helps to inspire you to make better choices for you, your loved ones and including the animals in your life.
If you want to skip to the end of the article and learn how to support your horse, be my guest. But remember, our horses rely on us to be well too and deserve the very best care from us, so please consider your liver and be kind to yourself too.
The amazing liver
The liver is the #1 organ for sustaining life. Without a healthy liver we die quicker – while all tissues and organs work together to survive in harmony, all other organ tissues depend on the liver more heavily than others. It fights to keep us alive and regenerates itself in one third’s, completing its renewal every 9 years and the process begins just before our third birthday.
· Processing fat and protecting the pancreas
· Glucose and glycogen storage
· Vitamin and mineral storage
· Disarming and detaining harmful materials
· Screening and filtering blood
· Guarding you with its own personalised immune system
Signs of a struggling liver
A healthy liver regenerates from a healthy liver. Often, a sluggish liver goes unnoticed until it is advanced and often, symptoms of a struggling or diseased liver are misdiagnosed, and people don’t get the right support they need to heal properly.
The diseases and symptoms of a struggling liver include poor sleep, brain fog, eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, strep, acne, gout, bloating, gallstones, adrenal stress, fatigue, fatty liver, weight issues, digestive complaints, and auto-immune disease.
A diseased liver tries hard to keep you safe, but without a truly healthy lifestyle, it won’t be able to regenerate itself with healthy liver tissue and scarring, cycts and even cancer can form, as well as a variety of related diseases and conditions.
There are fundamentally 3 layers to the liver with membranes subdividing it to help contain troublemakers and protect itself. When overburdened, it creates walls to contain the threat but this strains the liver and without full functionality, the body slowly (or quickly) suffers. It is a miracle organ and is poorly understood by conventional medical science.
The livers troublemakers
Everyone has troublemakers in their liver from birth and from life and everybody’s liver is unique as everyone lives a unique inheritance and lifestyle. The common troublemakers listed below can leave the body following liver healing protocols and the time to heal from these are indicated and include:
Petrochemicals including plastics, petrol, diesel, engine oil and grease, exhaust fumes, kerosene, lighter fuel, cooking gas and gasoline, chemical solvents/solutions/agents, dioxins, paint/varnish, paint thinner, carpet and upholstery chemicals. These are toxic to the central nervous system and settle deep in the livers core and are slowly released for good reason.
Chemical neuroantagonist group including chemical fertilizers, insecticides/pesticides/fungicides/herbicides, DDT, smoke exposure, fluoride, chlorine. These can be inherited easily and settle in all 3 layers of the liver and are also slowly released.
Food chemical group including aspartame/artificial sweeteners, MSG, formaldehyde, and preservatives. These are released fast, within 6-12 months.
Problematic food groups including eggs, dairy, cheese, hormones, high-fat food, alcohol, vinegar, caffeine, excessive salt, gluten, corn, canola oil, pork products. These are on the outer layer and are released fast (upto 3 months).
Pathogenic group including virus and virus waste matter, bacteria’s, food-borne toxins and mould. These can be in all layers and time varies in the livers ability to remove these, depending on how the liver is cared for.
Domestic chemical industry group including plug-in air fresheners and scented candles, aerosols air freshener, cologne and aftershave, perfumes, lotions and creams, shampoos and other hair products, hairspray, hair dye, talcum powder, conventional make-up, spray tan, nail chemicals, conventional cleaners, conventional laundry products and dry-cleaning chemicals. These can be released quickly and within 3-6 months they can all be gone and with daily measures to take care of your liver.
Pharmaceutical group including antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, sleeping pills, regular immunosuppressants, amphetamines meds, opioids, statins, blood pressure meds, hormone meds, thyroid meds, steroids, the pill, alcohol and recreational drug use. These can be deeply stored and can take 2 years to release from the liver.
Toxic heavy metal group includes mercury, lead, aluminium, copper, cadmium, barium, nickel and arsenic. We can be born with these and are exposed throughout our lives and while they can start to release immediately, they can take 2 years to be removed safely and effectively.
Radiation can be inherited and from x-rays, aeroplanes, mobile phones and from fallout in the water, food and atmosphere. It can take 1-3 years or longer to remove safely.
Excessive adrenaline including prolonged stress and adrenaline based activities. The live can heal quickly from this – in a matter of weeks.
Rainfall exposure. Rainfall is not clean like it used to be and can be loaded with a nasty mixture of toxins from the sky and air including radioactive particles, barium, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and vapourised chemicals from factories, often from other countries. It takes a couple of weeks to rid the body of these and once healthy, the liver can neutralise these fast and partly due to the healing properties also contained in living rainwater!
Healing and maintaining a healthy liver
The time taken to have an optimally functioning liver depends on which troublemakers are present, how deep they are in the liver and how well you follow the guidelines which are:
Reduce exposure to troublemakers (food and environmental toxins listed above)
Reduce fats (esp from animal sources but also plant based)
Eat healing foods and regularly
Take some supplements designed to help your liver heal
Do the Liver Rescue Morning whenever possible
Periodically bring in the Liver Rescue 3:6:9
If you think you have a hefty load of trouble makers in your liver, do the Liver Rescue 3:6:9 every 2-3 months. Otherwise do it every 6-12 months for regular clear out and liver maintenance once healthy.
Why fats are a problem
It takes the right balance to keep the liver fed properly so it can perform at its best and most people are unknowingly eating too much fat which interferes with the livers function to perform. Too much fat in the bloodstream creates insulin resistance (which prevents essential glucose fuel from entering cells), lowers oxygen levels and dehydrates the blood. This literally deprives the liver of its critical requirements: glucose, oxygen and water. Animal fats in particular also feed virus’ and other pathogens and these are major troublemakers for the liver. A low-fat, 100% plant based diet supports liver healing and maintenance and eating more plants also boosts the healing process!
Healing foods include:
Fruits include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, coconut, cranberries, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi, lemons and limes, mangoes, maple syrup, melons, oranges and tangerines, papayas, peaches and nectarines, pears, pineapple, dragon fruit, pomegranates, raw honey, and wild blueberries.
Vegetables and herbs include artichokes, rocket, asparagus, Atlantic sea veggies (especially dulse and kelp), broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, coriander, cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower and cabbage, cucumbers, dandelion greens, aubergine, garlic, hot peppers, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leafy greens such as lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, red cabbage, spinach (raw), sprouts, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric (fresh), winter squash and courgette
Try to incorporate as many of these daily and think outside the box! Breakfast is very important for liver health (see Liver Rescue Morning, below) but do try to eat when hungry and at least every 2-3 hours. If you can, include both minerals and glucose together when snacking (eg sliced cucumber and celery sticks with apple and dates).
If you enjoy eating animal produce, try to limit the number of meals containing animal produce to one per day (if you are healthy) and if you think you are dealing with troublemakers or have signs of a struggling liver, you might wish to give your liver a break from having to digest animal protein until you are healed, as animal produce is always high in fat, no matter what the label says. It can also be loaded with other troublemakers such as antibiotics and chemicals and are thought to feed disease causing pathogens.
Swapping your meals for highly nutritious plant-based meals, loaded with minerals, fibre, glucose, vitamins, pro and pre-biotics, essential amino acids for building proteins and also incredibly healing phytochemicals which support our whole body including our immune system, gives your liver a break and provides it with the very tools it needs to heal and stay well. Think of every “liver friendly” meal consumed and Liver Rescue protocol completed as a deposit in the bank for current and future health as well. This way, we can have some more relaxed days or enjoy special occasions without disturbing the balance and becoming sick.
Helpful herbs and supplements
5-MTHF , ala (alpha lipoic acid), aloe vera, amla berry, ashwaganda, barley grass juice extract, B-complex, burdock root, cardamon, cats claw, chaga mushroom, chicory root, coenzyme Q10, curcumin, dandelion root, d-mannose, epa and dha, eyebright, ginger, glutathione, goldenseal, hibiscus, lemon balm, licorice root, l-lysine, magnesium glycinate, melatonin, milk thistle, MSM, mullein leaf, NAC, nascent iodine, nettle leaf, olive leaf, oregan grape root, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, schisandra berry, selenium, spirulina, turmeric, vitamin B12 (as adenosylcobalamin and methylocobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D3, wild blueberry powder, yellow dock, zinc (zinc sulphate)
The supplements you choose will depend on whether your liver is already healthy and you’re looking to maintain health or whether you have a health condition and need extra support. There is a lot of detail about protocols for liver healing in the Liver Rescue book and I recommend you read this before taking supplements or embarking on a liver Rescue Morning or 3:6:9 Liver Rescue protocol.
Liver Rescue Morning
There are two simple guidelines to follow to incorporate this into your life every day or periodically – the more you do it, the healthier your liver will become and remain:
Hydrate well (with non-caffeine or fatty drinks), especially first thing in the morning
Don’t consume radical fats before lunchtime or 12 noon.
That’s basically it! This helps rehydrate, re-oxygenate and provide energy in the form of glucose for the liver do its job to the best of its’ ability and flush waste products and accumulated toxins from the body in the morning. If you consume fats, heavy proteins and caffeine and don’t fully hydrate the liver before 12 noon, it cannot complete its release of waste matter and toxins, it stops what it is doing and has to deal with processing these instead. The toxins and waste matter are stored or reabsorbed back into the liver and the liver slowly reduces functionality and this can take years – but eventually your health will suffer.
Sample Liver Rescue Morning:
Upon waking, consume 1 litre of filtered water with the juice of a lemon or lime added. If you don’t like lemon or lime, add cucumber slices. This awakens the water!
Additional beverages should be consumed throughout the morning include coconut water, aloe water, fruit and veggie smoothies or juices. If you like hot drinks, consider a hot lemon and raw honey tea or hibiscus tea for instance.
Consume water rich fruit and veggie based plants such as grapes, melons, berries, apples, cucumbers, pears, papaya, cherries, apricots and celery. You can eat as much of these as you like, as they are, juiced or in a smoothie.
If you are concerned about protein, don’t be! There is plenty in the fruits and veg. Nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, eggs, yoghurt, milk, cheese, coconut, smoked salmon, bacon, all contain protein but also fat! Save your servings of healthy protein for later in the day and try to only eat one serving of animal meat in a day.
Liver Healing 3:6:9
This is a 9 day protocol and complements the natural bio-rhythm of the liver (which resonates to cycles of 3). You don’t need to take supplements during this time and it should be a mild, supportive detox on your liver, leaving you feel energized! Your liver is responsible and will not release a lifetime of fat and toxins in one go. This is why it should be repeated – to allow for safe and effective release of toxins out of the body. This is different to other fad detox programmes which can leave you feeling tired and even sick.
You can do this every 2-3 months until you are well and then every 6-12 months to maintain health thereafter. Remember, it can take upto 3 years to fully release deeply stored toxins if you are diligent and follow the guidelines, and 9 years to fully regenerate a new liver, so repeating the protocol on a regular basis over a 9 year period gives you the ultimate opportunity to have your best liver for life!
The protocol is outlined in AW’s book on Liver Rescue and involves the following:
Drinking 1 litre of lemon or lime water upon waking
Eating 100% plant-based snacks and meals also low in radical fat
Features a lot of apples and celery juice
It isn’t a fast and you can eat as much as you want to feel full. The recipes are featured in the book and while fresh juices are best, you can purchase raw, cold pressed celery juice online. If you work Monday to Fridays, the protocol is best followed from Saturday to the following Sunday.
If you do the Liver Morning Rescue and Liver Rescue 3:6:9, please let us know how you get on. Did you notice your appearance change? Did anyone comment on how well you look? Did your weight or body shape alter at all? Did your mood or energy change? How to you feel mentally or emotionally? Did you performance at work improve?
Liver support for horses
If you own or care for a horse, and after reading this whole article, did you notice that many horses could arguably have signs of a sluggish liver? The troublemakers listed are surely affecting horses in domestication too! In addition, their breeding cycle is much shorter than ours and they are potentially exposed to more agro-chemicals and inherited toxins than us humans.
Stress is I feel, an incredibly influential aspect which impacts the health and well-being of horses too. Stress hormones, along with the other troublemakers inherited, and from their medications, wormers and vaccinations, their diet and environment and even from the rain could lead to an over-burdened liver, digestive tract and an under-performing, sick or lame horse.
As an equine professional, I commonly see signs of pain in horses, even when owners or vets aren’t aware of obvious lameness or pathology. Often this is caused by poor hoof proportions and resulting compensatory posture, and I talk about this a lot in our blog posts here. Pain = stress = adrenaline hormones = overburdened liver and toxic blood. Perhaps it also contributes to the development of metabolic disorders and ulcers?
It is believed that blood-borne factors impact the hoof and contribute to laminitis. Laminitis is suggested to be the second biggest premature killer in the USA, and maybe in the UK too. Perhaps if we helped horses by providing a cleaner and less stressful environment and supported their liver, there would be less incidences of lameness, disease and premature death?
Did you notice that quite a few of the supplements and foods listed to promote liver health in humans are also horse friendly? We outline a diet suitable for most domestic horses in our article here. There are some of the herbs in the supplements featured in the sample diet and you could also grow horse friendly herbs and plants and offer these to your horse.
There are many herbal products sold as supplements to help support the horse’s liver and blood. Our favourite liver tonic is Remount and we use it regularly on our horses and recommend it to clients too. With some, we feed it for longer periods at low dose – it seems to help keep them healthier.
In addition, we believe integrative, holistic hoof care approaches which support the return and maintenance of healthy ideal hoof proportions and posture is critical to reducing stress and overburdened livers in horses. This could have a huge impact on the horse’s metabolism, digestion, and overall well-being and longevity.
If, like our clients, you want to learn a PRO-Active approach to hoof care and wish to prevent lameness in your horse, consider booking us for an Integrative Podiatry Consult, Educational Event, Mentorship, On-line Course or join our new VIP membership where you can learn top tips straight from an expert! We also have a support group on Face Book called Holistic Equine Support Group and anyone can join and ask for free advice here.
Beccy Smith BSc ADAEP EBW
Diploma in Advanced Applied Equine Podiatrist and Independent Equine Podiatrist, Consultant and Therapist
CEO and Founder of 100% Non-Profit Community Interest Company Holistic Reflections CIC
We take an integrative and holistic approach to whole horse hoof and body health. We appreciate the relationship between body, limb and hoof and seek to address imbalances while positively influencing appropriate static and dynamic hoof balance and biomechanics.
Holistic Reflections CIC – a 100% non-profit organisation promoting wellbeing and resilience in people, horses and the environment - for the benefit of all.