Your liver plays many important roles in your physical health. It aids in digestion and metabolism and acts as a filter for the blood, breaking down harmful substances into waste that is expelled from the body through urine and stool.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of liver dysfunction include:

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily

Liver disease can be genetic. Other factors like viral infections, age, obesity, or excessive alcohol use may also cause liver damage or dysfunction. If left untreated, this damage can be fatal.

The good news is the liver is the only organ in the body with the ability to regenerate new cells and repair damaged ones. Repairing liver damage can be challenging; however, it is possible through consistent diet and lifestyle changes. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating nutritious food and having a balanced diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Avoiding harmful additives and chemicals
  • Avoiding excessive or continued alcohol or illegal drug use (damage from alcohol abuse can cause irreversible cirrhosis of the liver)

Also, many beverages, such as water, tea, and grapefruit juice, can be beneficial for your overall health and may aid detoxification of the body and liver.


Staying properly hydrated is an important factor in maintaining a healthy liver. Dehydration can greatly affect liver function, especially the ability to detoxify blood. On average, you should drink eight to ten glasses of water a day; those with health conditions may need to increase their water intake beyond the recommended amount.


There are a few natural teas that may assist in liver function. Several popular and possibly beneficial teas for liver health include:

  • Lemon Ginger Tea – reduces the risk of liver disease
  • Peppermint Tea – improves digestion and detoxifying functions of the liver
  • Green Tea – reduces the accumulation of lipids in the liver and contains antioxidants

Research the health effects and benefits of specific teas or discuss recommendations with your health care provider to ensure safe recommended use.

Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit juice contains specific antioxidants that stimulate the liver and help filter and excrete chemicals from the body. Grapefruit also contains flavonoids naringin and naringenin, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help protect the liver. However, it is recommended to not consume more than six ounces of grapefruit juice per day. Grapefruit juice also interacts with many prescription medications, so please check with your doctor or pharmacist and read your medication warning labels before adding it to your diet.

Turmeric Water

Turmeric is a commonly used supplement that may decrease inflammation and assist with liver repair, due to its ability to help flush out harmful toxins while decreasing fat buildup in the liver. For safe use, medical studies recommend mixing one to three grams of dried turmeric root in hot water each day for up to three months.

Lemon Water

Many citrus fruits, including lemon, can be added to water to help stimulate and flush out the liver. Lemons are high in nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants. To help prevent liver disease, enjoy four to six tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with water each day.

Ginger Water

Ginger helps protect your liver and reduces inflammation in the body. It may also boost immunity and improve digestive health. The recommended consumption is less than four grams of ginger per day, mixed with warm or cold water.

As with any change in nutritional intake or supplement use, please use caution. Some people may experience unwanted results or side effects, and some herbs and foods may interact with certain medications. Also, the information presented above is based on adult studies and should not be used for children. Research any supplements and consult a health care professional before making abrupt changes to your diet or lifestyle.

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