Woodford Files: A Liver Detox Can Improve Your Mood

Woodford Files by Julia Woodford, Editor, Vitality MagazineWith the spring equinox around the corner, sap is rising in the trees and chi is rising in the liver. All those rich comfort foods that fortified us against winter’s cold have laid a heavy burden on our collective livers, so now we turn to fresh green ideas for clearing and toning this crucial organ.

In this issue, herbalist Michael Vertolli shares his prescription for a healthy liver – from nutritional medicine to advanced herbal formulas. Anger is the emotion associated with the liver (according to TCM theory), so if you find yourself extra grumpy lately it could be a nudge from your innards to adopt a detox strategy that gets your plumbing humming again. While Vertolli’s article points to aggressive strategies for liver cleansing, those who wish to begin more gradually can simply start adding bitter greens to their sandwiches (dandelions, endive), and powdered greens to their morning juice (ie., greens+, Berry Green, etc).

With the spring equinox around the corner, sap is rising in the trees and chi is rising in the liver. All those rich comfort foods that fortified us against winter’s cold have laid a heavy burden on our collective livers, so now we turn to fresh green ideas for clearing and toning this crucial organ. In this issue, herbalist Michael Vertolli shares his prescription for a healthy liver – from nutritional medicine to advanced herbal formulas. Anger is the emotion associated with the liver (according to TCM theory), so if you find yourself extra grumpy lately it could be a nudge from your innards to adopt a detox strategy that gets your plumbing humming again. While Vertolli’s article points to aggressive strategies for liver cleansing, those who wish to begin more gradually can simply start adding bitter greens to their sandwiches (dandelions, endive), and powdered greens to their morning juice (ie. greens+, Berry Green, etc).

After a decadent winter vacation laced with margaritas and greasy tacos, I was recently feeling the pain of an angry liver myself. Headaches, irritability, skin rashes … all these plus a rapidly expanding girth were pushing me to get off the couch and do something. So out came my bag of detox tricks, and now I’m gradually easing them into my daily routine: an hour in the sauna a couple times a week to flush out heavy metals stored in my fat; a dollop of green powder and 500mg vitamin C in my morning juice to tickle those toxins out of my cells; and more fresh vegetables on the dinner menu to lighten the load on digestion. Later in spring when it gets warm, I’ll bring on fresh squeezed juices in the morning, along with plenty of bitter spring herbs.

As the outdoor temperature rises, one of the easier ways to lighten our toxic load is to shift from cooked foods to raw. This is true for people as well as animals. This month Helke Ferrie shares her own experience with helping a sick animal get well again using raw organic foods and high octane nutrients. On the one hand it’s sad to realize there’s an epidemic of cancer, diabetes, and thyroid malfunctions among today’s cats and dogs. On the other hand, it’s exciting to learn that pets can overcome their health problems with the same nutrients, herbs, and homeopathics as humans.

My own dog suffered from my stupidity in these matters for the first half of his life, even though I thought I was dishing out a diet fit for a prince (cooked organic meat, no less). He ended up with allergies, terrible rashes, and bloodshot eyes – all symptoms of liver inflammation. Then I discovered the world of nutritional medicine for pets and everything changed. Now he dines on raw food, vitamins, essential fatty acids, herbs, and homeopathics when needed. The rashes are gone, the eyes are clear, and there’s no sign of the chronic disease typical of an animal of his advanced years. So I know that Helke’s ABCs of Animal Wellness work very well, not only for pets but people too.

Readers who find themselves plagued by insomnia will enjoy Susannah Kent’s focus this month on the best strategies for ensuring a good night’s rest. In this fast paced world it’s not always easy to downshift into slumber when the clock strikes midnight. But these techniques, supplements, and strategies will have you slipping into la la land with more ease than ever before.

With the critical shortage of doctors reported in the news daily, it is our pleasure to continually bring you effective ways to take charge of your own health, rather than relying on a health care system that may not address your needs.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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