Could a hardcore liver flush help you get a holiday-ready body? Our beauty editor at large Emma Van Hinsbergh investigates
Emma Van Hinsbergh
My mother has always been super switched on when it comes to health and nutrition. Living in California back in the 80s she was already raving about essential fatty acids, alkaline foods and phytonutrients while the rest of us were still chugging back Ki-Ora and frying Spam fritters in non-stick pans swimming in trans fats.
So when she returned from a trip to an organic juice retreat near Palm Springs looking ridiculously radiant and waxing lyrical about the joys of a liver flush, I sat up and listened. The intense detox involves drinking a combination of grapefruit or lemon juice with olive oil and Epsom salts over several days to flush away impurities. The main aim is to eliminate liver and gall stones that can accumulate in the body and affect its ability to detox. However other welcome benefits, if you’re anything like my mother, include weight loss and fabulously glowing skin. So, as I was still sporting an unseemly layer of winter blubber with summer looming just around the corner, I was ready to sign up in seconds.
Medical intuitive Andrea Moritz, author of The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush (£12.99, enerchi), explains that regular flushing improves your overall health and raises the body’s vibration. “By re-opening the bile ducts, the body’s energy circuits becomes restored and healing can take place on all levels of body, mind and spirit.” But it’s a pretty tough process (your body can expel up to 500 pea-sized ‘stones’ over the course of several flushes), and the jury is still decidedly out.
Integrative medicine expert Dr Andrew Weil maintains that if you are in good health and not overloading your systems with toxic substances the liver will cleanse itself very well. “Using supposed liver cleansing foods such as concoctions of apple juice, olive oil, lemon juice and Epsom salts is unlikely to result in any improvement in health.”
So with this in mind I opted for a less drastic option and embarked on a juice fast instead. This took the form of a three day Supergreen Vegetable Cleanse, which is pure juices, followed by a three day Liver Cleanse, which is juices and two healthy meals a day from Nosh Detox (noshdetox.com). Founder Geeta Sidhu-Robb explains that when you cleanse your liver, you help it promote the production of bile, which will in turn assist your body in metabolising fats. “If you are serious about losing weight, then a liver cleanse should definitely be at the top of your priority list,” she says. Remember though to consult your healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, and it’s not appropriate for everyone.
Twice a week (or four times a week if you live in London) a box of hand-pressed raw juices and tasty liverboosting meals such as pumpkin soup and roasted vegetables is delivered to your doorstep. All you need to do is open it up and tuck in. Everything is delicious and it sure as hell beats olive oil and grapefruit juice. And boy, does it work! A week later I’m feeling lighter and brighter and ready to start my summer health kick. All of a sudden, hitting the beach doesn’t seem that daunting after all.
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