Petal Power

Dandelion Greens-1

By Maria Grusauskas | Good Times Weekly | June 4, 2014

What can dandelions do for our bodies?

In the upper right abdomen, taking up most of the space under the ribs, resides a massive, three-pound organ: the liver. Among its many life-critical tasks, it processes virtually everything we put into our bodies, from vital nutrients to last night’s wine. At any given time, the liver holds 13 percent of our blood supply, breaking down toxins and converting nutrients before releasing them back into the blood to be stored or eliminated.

But might we be taking this ceaseless process a little bit for granted? And would we feel better and more vibrant if we gave our livers a short break—or even lent them a hand?

Santa Cruz-based naturopathic doctor Aimée Gould Shunney says yes, to all of it. In fact, she believes poor liver and digestive health are the root cause of any ailment.

“Those who are ‘anti-cleansing’ seem to feel that our livers are designed to cleanse and detoxify, and therefore cleansing programs are bogus and unnecessary,” says Shunney, who leads regular, food-based cleanses through her program Cleanse Organic, as a way to restore and reset the body’s vital functions. While Shunney agrees that the liver does an amazing job in the detox department, she also believes it is heavily burdened in this day and age.

“Let’s start with the hundreds of thousands of environmental chemicals to which we are exposed,” says Shunney. “Add to that our medications, alcohol and recreational drug use, nutrient-depleted diets, and our high stress levels.”

Symptoms of an overtaxed liver include dry skin and acne, constipation, gas and bloating, frequent headaches, chronic fatigue, and an inability to lose weight.

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