Best Naturopathic Doctor Tips: Liver, Herbs + Nutrition

February 26, 2008

Best Naturopathic Doctor Tips: Liver, Herbs + Nutrition

Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD

Scottsdale Naturopathic Doctor

Liver disease symptoms often start out with mild symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, and itchy skin. As the damage progresses it can cause hormone imbalance, perimenopausal estrogen dominance, heartburn, chronic fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, ADHD, High Blood Pressure, Rosacea, easy bruising, sweating, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, yellow nails, weight gain, bloating, abdominal pain, gallstones, pain in the right upper quadrant, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and diabetes.

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are also common. As liver damage progresses it can result in Fatty Liver, Cirrhosis, Liver Failure, and jaundice or yellow eyes.

Patients with Liver Failure will require a Liver Transplant.

Drinking too much alcohol, and eating fried foods, fast foods, processed foods and sugary desserts all impair liver function. NSAID medications such as advil, tylenol, naproxen, and certain medications can also tax the liver and elevate your liver enzymes.

If your liver enzymes are elevated that means that the cells in your liver are actually DYING and releasing their enzymes into your blood stream in the process.

Our livers are responsible for filtering out all the environmental toxins that we are exposed to as well as those that we ingest. Consult with your physician to decide what kind of liver support protocol is best for you. The following is a sample approach to optimizing the liver’s ability to detoxify the body from pollutants and toxins.


Beet juice (1/2 cup) mixed with carrot juice (1/2 cup) once a day.

Dandelion root tea – steep 1 tsp. in 1 pint boiling water for 20 minutes, take once a day.

Nettles leaf tea at 1Tbl per 8oz of boiling water is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Red Clover tea as a mild sedative and gentle detox aid at 1Tbl per 8 oz cup of water 2-3 times daily.


Foods to Eat for a Health Liver – Artichokes, endive, cucumbers, garlic, onions, sprouted seeds, grains, tahini, vegetable products (raw or juiced). No condiments except lemon juice and only a little salt. At least 60-80 ounces of water a day, or the liver and kidneys simply do not function properly. Not drinking enough water is similar to running your garbage disposal without the water turned on. It does not work! Green juice (can be mixed with some carrot juice). Liquid chlorophyll or chlorophyll tablets can be helpful for those with heavy metal toxicity.

Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Liver – all processed and refined foods, salt, sugar, aspartame, splenda, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, drugs, synthetic vitamins, fats, oils, non-organic meats and dairy (due to hormones), coffee, heavy starches (processed versions of potatoes, rice, bread, cereal), milk or milk products. Do not use aluminum cookware.

Deep Breathing Exercise for Liver Support: "Square Breathing" and deep breathing will help your liver.

Exercise: Walking 30 minutes twice a day, or exercise with impact such as on a rebounder to also move lymphatics. Strength training also helps drain the lymphatics which become clogged with liver disease.

Sweating through exercise or sauna to eliminate toxins through the skin and alleviate stress on the liver.

Many herbs such as Milk Thistle have been shown to protect the liver as well as aid its natural detoxification process. Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor to determine if you need to start a supplement routine to support your liver.

If you need help getting your liver back on track Naturopathic Medicine and Herbal Medicine can be very helpful for detox support. There are few medications that can be helpful for liver disease. Most medications should instead be avoided as they have to be processed through the liver. Simply pop over to my SCHEDULE page, I would be happy to help.

Dr. Nicole Sundene

(480) 837-0900

Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is a Female Hormone Expert in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause,  Thyroid,  Hashimotos,  PMS, PerimenopauseAutoimmunePostpartumChronic Fatigue, DepressionAnxiety, Food Allergies,  DigestionDermatology, AcnePsoriasis Eczema, and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 23 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones, she presents to women the best-integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. 

She has been an Herbalist for over 28 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan (not Medicaid) and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones, and Naturopathy!

Location: 14300 N Northsight 
Blvd Ste 124
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Ph: 480-837-0900
Fax: 480-409-2644
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