Liver support tea is an excellent product when you're looking to live a healthier lifestyle. However, like many health supplements, there may be some lingering doubt in your mind. What does it do? How does it work? What's in it?
In our endless quest to bring science and information to our audience, we've decided to break down one of our most popular products to tell you exactly what's in it, why, and what it does. Let's get started!
What is Liver Support Tea For?
The word "detox" has gotten a bit of a bad rap from people who don't understand health circles and don't read details about what they rail against.
When we talk about a detox product, generally, we aren't talking about something that purges your system of toxins. There are two reasons for that.
- Products that actually detox your body are generally harsh medications that require a prescription.
- Your body is pretty dang good at removing toxins as it is, through your liver and kidneys.
This is why a lot of "detox" products have been rebranded to more accurately reflect what they actually do. What is that? Well, it supports your body's natural detoxification process.
Your body is quite good at getting rid of stuff it doesn't want and can't use. If it's biological, your immune system fights it off. If it's not, it gets funneled through your blood to your kidneys and liver, where it's processed and excreted through one of the various ways your body expels waste; urine, feces, sweat, even your breath.
Sometimes your organs have a hard time with things. Maybe they've been damaged a bit and need time to heal. Maybe you've taken on a lot of additional toxins and are taxing your system above what it can handle. Maybe you're sick. There are a lot of reasons why this system might not be working at peak capacity.
That's where liver support ingredients, like teas, come into play. A liver support tea is meant to augment and assist your liver with its function. Every ingredient in it serves a purpose, with the overall aim being to help your liver process toxins and get rid of them more efficiently or to a greater degree.
Do you need it to get rid of toxins? No, your body can do it on its own. Will it help? Certainly. There are other ways to detox as well, but a liver support tea is one of the best we know of.
What's In Our Liver Support Tea?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of liver support teas on the market. They all have different recipes, but a lot of them share a similar set of ingredients. We'll talk about what's in ours here.
We offer a range of different detox/liver support items, but the main three are our liver support tea, our liver support capsules, and our detox kit, which contains capsules and aloe vera juice. The ingredients for our tea – since that's the one we're discussing today – are as follows.
Artichoke is a delicious vegetable and relative of the thistle. The part we eat as a vegetable is actually a huge flower bud, and they look quite pretty when they bloom. In addition to being a delicious vegetable, they have also been shown to support the liver and increase liver function in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
"A few small studies have shown that artichoke can improve liver function for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Though there's no data yet about its effect on alcoholic fatty liver disease, there's evidence that artichoke leaf extract can contribute to overall liver health." - WebMD.
Artichoke leaf extract is one of the key active ingredients in liver support tea for this reason.
Boldo is a health supplement you may not have heard of before. It's native to the Andes mountains in South America, where it has been in use for centuries. Fossilized leaves – with human teeth imprints – have been found from 13,000 years ago!
The leaf, in small quantities, acts as a diuretic. It supports throughput through the liver, helping it function by clearing the way for further processing. We use a carefully prepared version of the leaf; if you get it whole, be aware that it contains a chemical called ascaridole, which can actually damage the liver in large amounts. Since that works counter to what we want, we don't let it into our teas.
Blessed Thistle Herb
Blessed Thistle is not the same as the thistle you see growing as a spiny weed across America. It's actually a smaller, yellow variety native to the Mediterranean, found everywhere between Portugal and Iran. It gets its name from its common use among monks in the 14th century.
Blessed Thistle was used back then primarily for liver support. These days you most often find it as a lactation aid for breastfeeding mothers, though it's also commonly used to fight bacterial infections. It's not as potent as some of the other ingredients on this list, but when you throw a little bit of everything at a problem, all those little bits add up.
Cascara Sagrada Bark
Cascara Sagrada is one of the two dozen different names for a shrub, which is also known as bitter bark, buckthorn, and yellow bark. It's a bitter little bit of bark, and it was used a few decades ago as a laxative. However, some activist groups raised concerns about the safety of the bark as an ingredient. The FDA – which had certified the ingredient until then – asked companies to provide testing and reports into the health and safety of the bark. The companies chose not to – it wasn't a big seller – and so the FDA removed certification. Now, it's just a dietary supplement and doesn't need to be certified.
Bitter bark works in much the same way as boldo; as a laxative, it encourages throughput. Your body then won't have to work as hard cleansing and extracting nutrients from what you've removed from your system and can focus on what's still there.
Note that, while it has a laxative effect, it's not pronounced in the amounts in our tea. You're not going to be rushing to the restroom right away; you just might find yourself becoming a little more regular.
Red Rose Bud's Petals
You all know what a rose is, and by any other name, it sure would smell as sweet. In addition to being a symbol of love found every February, rosebuds have been used for a wide range of different health benefits over the millennia. In traditional Chinese medicine, rose buds and the petals thereof have been used for, among other things, liver support.
There have even been some promising studies that indicate rosebud extract has a beneficial effect on the liver. However, it's worth mentioning that the effect was most pronounced with high doses, which you don't get from a liver support tea. That's more in the realm of therapeutic medication.
Flax is a crop grown both as food and as a fiber crop. The part we eat is typically the seeds, which is why those are what's in the tea. In addition to fiber, omega-3s, and ALA, flaxseeds can help suppress appetite and limit cholesterol. This makes them a great dietary addition, and they help you avoid feeling too hungry when you're trying to detox.
When it comes to the liver, flaxseeds have been shown to support liver function in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. You can read the study here. It's a pronounced benefit, though more study needs to be done to ensure the results can be replicated.
Rhubarb is a "sour celery" vegetable. It's tangy and delicious, which is why it's often paired with sweet fruits like strawberries and made into pies. As a food, you eat the stalks. As a health supplement, though, we take part of the roots. The roots have different compounds in them, and while they aren't good eating, they're good supplements.
Rhubarb root is another traditional Chinese medication used to support the bowels and the liver. However, in high doses, it can actually damage the liver. Thus, we only use a little bit in our tea and supplements.
Dandelions are an exceedingly common wildflower in North America, found in lawns everywhere. They're often viewed as a weed, but they're surprisingly good. The leaves can be used in tea (as we do here), as well as used as a salad green, or even brewed into a wine.
When it comes to the liver, dandelions are one of the most well-understood ingredients on this list. They contain polysaccharides which are known to reduce stress on the liver and can help your liver filter more harmful ingredients more readily.
Gentian Root is another one of those plants commonly used in medication but not much else. It's particularly common in Europe. Gentian is most commonly used to treat liver swelling, as well as spleen and stomach issues.
Chamomile is best known as the tea ingredient that promotes relaxation and sleep, but it also has a potent liver support agent in it as well. Specifically:
"This tea is mildly bitter due to its sesquiterpene lactone content which helps the liver prime its detoxification pathways."
In other words, it makes your liver more ready to detox your blood and helps promote its function.
Spearmint is primarily included in our tea for flavor. However, there's some evidence to suggest that it makes your liver more receptive to the effects of other substances. Some studies in people with liver disease showed that it could worsen liver damage, but conversely, it can make liver-protecting ingredients more effective. Either way, we use it more for flavor than for its effects.
These last few ingredients are part of our tea and thus have to be listed on the ingredients list, but they aren't part of the active ingredients. They include:
- Citric Acid, which helps give teas and supplements a tang and some vitamin C.
- Gelatin Capsule, which is just gelatin and is not part of tea, just our capsules.
- Silicon Dioxide, which is an inert colorant.
- Magnesium Stearate, which is used as a "flow agent" to keep ingredients from sticking together.
While they don't add anything to the tea, they also don't take anything away. You can think of them as neutral ingredients.
Should You Try Liver Support Tea?
Of course! Most teas, whether they're true teas or herbal blends, are good for you in some way or another. Our liver support tea won't hurt you unless you're drinking gallons of it every day, and no one is going to be doing that.
If you're worried about bodily toxins and want to detox, our liver support products can help you along that path. If you're living a relatively healthy lifestyle and just want to augment the function of your liver, our tea is a great way to do that while still tasting good.
If you have fatty liver disease, liver damage, hepatitis, or another liver issue, consult with your doctor. You might need more aggressive treatment than our tea can provide. Remember, our liver support tea is just that: liver support. It's not a medication, and it's not going to reverse serious damage or disease.
If you're concerned about toxins in your lifestyle, the best thing you can do is make lifestyle changes. Limit the toxins you expose yourself to on a daily basis, including those you eat, those you drink, and those you breathe. Get fresh air instead of living inside, avoid smoke and smog, drink more water, and eat less sugar and preservatives.
No single product is going to have life-changing effects. Some medications may be useful in managing liver problems, but if all you're doing is trying to lead a healthier life, a liver support tea is a good choice.
Have you tried a liver support tea before? Was it ours? Either way, what were your thoughts on it? Be sure to leave us a comment down below with your stories!