Independent health store advice on how to care for your liver

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health food store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This month we speak to Lydia Lakemoore, co-owner of The Herbalists in Doncaster.

This month a lot of people will be pledging to give up alcohol as part of the Macmillan Cancer Sober October campaign. This is a great way to give your liver a bit of a break and there are a few ways that you can support this process with herbal remedies.

There is one main herb that is very well-researched and well-documented in terms of liver support and that’s milk thistle. It’s the main ‘hepatoprotective’ herb, which means that it protects the liver. If a customer is looking to give their liver a bit of extra support, this is the first thing we will recommend. We stock milk thistle herbs, milk thistle seeds and we also stock supplements and tinctures.

Very close behind milk thistle is dandelion. This herb supports healthy liver function and protects against toxins such as alcohol and drugs as well as environmental toxins.

We stock dandelion leaf and dandelion root and we also sell this herb in tinctures and capsule form.

Time for tea!

The most basic form of herbal medicine is a tea, and both milk thistle and dandelion can be brewed up as teas. It’s very important to keep the tea covered though, as you can lose some of the active constituents by allowing the steam out. Another way to take dandelion is to add the leaves to a salad, but you need to use a generous quantity. Try to include as much of the dandelion leaf as you would use rocket, for example. It has a bitter taste, and bitters not only help with digestion but they also help to stimulate the liver and the production of bile. Some people like to take their herbs with an apple cider vinegar, which is a nice addition. So you could sprinkle that over your herbal salad. It’s another thing that is very good as part of a detoxifying diet.

Some helpful herbs

Other herbs with hepatoprotective qualities include reishi mushrooms. And herbs such as Angelica, sage, rosemary, peppermint and celery have been found to increase our production of bile, which is very important for healthy liver function. Celery seeds are particularly protective for the liver, specifically from drug and toxin damage. I would suggest that if people would like to try one of these herbs then they should choose the ones that they like the taste of. Some, like Angelica, have quite a strong taste, so choose the ones you are drawn to because then you are definitely going to use them and get the benefits.

There are a few other things that you can do to support the health of your liver and to aid a detox or cleanse. We would recommend cutting back on milk, dairy and meat products and to drink plenty of water. Add some fresh lemon and fresh cucumber to your water to give it an extra kick. Eat healthfully with lots of green leafy vegetables and lots of green leaves. Regular exercise is important too.

We recommend a minimum of half an hour of exercise at least three times a week. Lastly, just try to do all things in moderation!

The Herbalists, Doncaster

The Herbalists is based at 44 Printing Office St, Doncaster DN1 1TR. Its origins date back to 1933 when the Jackson brothers founded Doncaster’s first recorded Medical Herbalist Practice: W. D. Jackson & Sons.

After 50 years, the brothers retired and the store was taken on by the Shepherd twins who transformed it into a thriving health shop. In 2018, local-born Lydia Lakemoore returned from London to join the team with her partner Arman Mantella.

The pair, along with long-term owner John Shepherd, created a new team comprising all generations to continue the ethos of the shop and work out how to take it forward into a digital era.

The store’s mission, as it was in 1933, is to support its now expanded community to live their healthiest and happiest life.

To contact the store, call 01302 323508 or visit www.theherbalists.co.uk
Follow the store on social media: Facebook:@theherbalistsuk and Instagram @theherbalistsuk

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