Protecting Your Liver This St. Patricks Day

Protecting Your Liver This St. Patricks Day


Click on our video to see Dr.Carr’s webinar on Panax Ginseng and Liver Detox.


On St. Patrick’s Day, bars around the country are getting ready to serve up pints of green beer, shots of Irish whiskey, and a host of other Irish-themed cocktails. Hordes of shamrock-waving revelers will head out to their local watering holes to booze it up and paint the town green. 

Spring is also a time of year that many of us start thinking that we should do a liver cleanse—a detox to help undo some of the damage caused by alcohol, medication, smoking, poor diet, pollution and environmental toxins, infection, illness, and even stress. 

Whether you are having a green beer or a green smoothie, find out why your liver is so important, and what you can do to support its best health.


The Importance of a Healthy Liver

Did you know that your liver is your very own chemical processing plant? With more than 500 functions, the liver is crucial to life. This hard working organ plays many vital roles, including filtering blood, removing and destroying toxic substances, and helping to digest and absorb fats. Additionally, the liver stores important nutrients, including iron, copper, and vitamins A, D, K, and B 12. It also helps regulate body cholesterol and hormonal balance.


Liver Diseases on the Rise 

Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body because of its ability to turn food into energy and remove poisons from your blood. Tragically, however, several liver diseases are on the rise. Did you know that cirrhosis of the liver is now the 9th leading cause of death in Western countries? 

Here are some conditions related to liver problems:

  • Acetaminophen (over-the-counter medication Tylenol®) toxicity
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cysts
  • Fatty liver disease 
  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice

Your liver may also need to be addressed if you are experiencing fatigue, excessive weight gain or an inability to lose weight despite a healthy diet and exercise, digestive issues, depression, irritability, recurrent headaches, migraines, multiple food and chemical sensitivities, skin issues, and hormonal imbalance.


Care for Your Liver

Keeping your liver in tip-top shape doesn’t need to be complicated. Start with healthy lifestyle basics. Avoiding excess alcohol, eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and limiting your intake of medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol) are just some of the simple steps you can take to help care for your liver. 

You may also be considering doing a liver cleanse. There are times, however, when a liver cleanse is simply not appropriate or healthy.


Panax Ginseng and Liver Protection 

Panax ginseng has been used for centuries as a valuable treatment for a wide variety of health issues, including liver disorders. This ancient medicinal herb has been shown to play a beneficial role regulating and supporting healthy liver function.       

Because Panax ginseng can help protect liver cells from damage, and even help speed liver cell regeneration, it can be used to support or replace a detox cleanse program. With ginseng’s help, your liver can better do its job of filtering out toxins, thus protecting your body. What’s more, that awful fatigue and flu-like feeling that can accompany the start of a cleanse may be abated if you take ginseng alongside your detox protocol.

Sure, it’s fun to be Irish for a day and toast the Emerald Isle’s patron saint. But before you start slamming back the shots and pints, it’s important to understand how to take care of your liver, so it can take care of you. 




Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine, caring for patients in an integrative medicine clinic in Vancouver.