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How to Cleanse Your Liver: The Ultimate Natural Liver Detox

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 01/07/2024

A natural liver cleanse can help eliminate liver fat and promote the regeneration of liver cells, which enhances the liver’s natural ability to eliminate toxins from the body.

Learn how to cleanse your liver to support healthy liver function and discover how poor dietary habits can increase the risk of chronic liver disease. 

Human liver illustration

What does the liver do?

The liver is the body’s main detoxification organ, responsible for converting toxins, including drugs, alcohol, and heavy metals, into less harmful compounds that can be easily eliminated. 

The liver also regulates your metabolism and energy-making processes, stores nutrients, synthesizes proteins, controls energy storage, and helps balance cholesterol levels

In addition, liver cells produce bile salts, which are stored in the gallbladder and play a crucial role in digestive health and facilitating the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins.       

Because the liver helps maintain hormonal and metabolic balance, poor liver function can impair essential physiological processes and increase the risk of serious health consequences. 

While it’s well known that regular alcohol intake can lead to liver inflammation and cirrhosis, poor dietary habits can also significantly impact liver health. 

A diet high in carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods is linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is characterized by excessive fat buildup in liver cells. 

Fatty liver disease has become a widespread epidemic, and the National Liver Foundation (NLF) estimates, ”Between 80 and 100 million adults in the U.S. have fatty liver disease, and many don’t know they have it.”

Watch the video below to discover some of the best foods to cleanse your liver. 

Signs of liver damage

Liver pain can be obscure and often presents as muscle tension in the right shoulder and neck area. 

This can make early detection of liver problems challenging and explains why many liver diseases are commonly referred to as silent killers.  

The liver is one of the largest organs in the human body, and poor liver health can manifest in various hormonal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and skin issues.

Here are common signs of liver damage:

  • Jaundice

  • High blood pressure

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Ascites

  • Digestive issues 

  • Nutrient deficiencies 

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss

  • Itchy skin

  • Hair loss

  • Estrogen dominance 

  • Insulin resistance

  • Unexplained fatigue  

  • Brain fog  

  • Memory problems

  • Bone pain

  • Night blindness 

If you are concerned about your liver health or show signs of liver damage, it’s crucial to seek medical care.  

A healthcare provider can assess liver function by measuring liver enzymes and performing imaging tests to identify liver swelling or scarring, which can indicate liver disease. 

Woman eating junk food

Causes of liver damage

Liver damage can be a result of viral infection, also known as hepatitis, a serious liver disease characterized by inflammation, scar tissue formation, and cirrhosis. 

Although alcohol consumption remains a leading cause of liver damage, increasingly more evidence suggests that diet-related habits play an equally significant role in the development of liver disease.

Research published in Hepatobiliary Surgery and Nutrition found that a diet high in sugar, carbohydrates, and high-fructose corn syrup can lead to fat deposition in liver cells, greatly increasing the risk of fatty liver disease

“The liver metabolizes dietary carbohydrates and converts excess energy into fatty acids,” explains Dr. Berg. “This can lead to fat accumulation in the liver, which can trigger liver inflammation and loss of liver function.”      

In addition, a diet high in carbs and processed foods is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, poor blood sugar control, and abnormal lipid levels, all of which can impair normal liver cell function and increase the risk of chronic liver problems.  


In some cases, liver damage can be a result of autoimmune conditions, genetic predisposition, prolonged exposure to certain toxins, or liver cancer. 

Time to detox on wooden cubes

Are liver detoxes necessary?

There is a common misconception that toxins accumulate in liver cells and that a liver detox helps flush out these potentially harmful substances. However, this isn’t accurate as your liver doesn’t store toxins.

The term liver cleanse or detox actually refers to enhancing liver health and improving liver function, which promotes effective detoxification processes and improves the liver’s natural ability to eliminate toxins. 

Alcohol-related liver damage and liver fat can impair liver function, and individuals who regularly consume alcohol and those with abdominal fat can benefit from a natural liver cleanse to lower the risk of liver disease and promote overall health and well-being.  

alarm clock on a table with low-carb foods

How to cleanse your liver naturally

To cleanse your liver naturally, it’s important to limit alcohol consumption to reduce the toxic effects of ethanol detoxification and allow liver cell regeneration. 

It’s equally important to make beneficial dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce liver fat and incorporate liver-cleansing natural remedies into your routine to protect the liver from potentially harmful by-products generated during detox reactions.    

Here are seven ways to naturally cleanse your liver.

1. Avoid a high-carb diet 

While it may seem counterintuitive, a high-fat diet can help eliminate liver fat and may be especially beneficial for individuals with fatty liver disease. 

A nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto® primes your body to utilize fat as a primary fuel source, which enhances fat burning in the liver and can help reduce fatty acid accumulation in liver cells. 

A study published in the Journal of Hepatology confirms the benefits of a high-fat diet for liver health and concludes that restricting carbohydrates is an effective therapeutic strategy to manage and even reverse fatty liver disease. 

2. Intermittent fasting 

Combining Healthy Keto with intermittent fasting can amplify the benefits of a high-fat diet for liver health.

During periods of fasting, the liver is forced to burn stored body fat to generate energy. This promotes the elimination of fatty acids in liver cells and helps cleanse the liver of fat accumulations. 

Not only does fasting help you lose weight, which is crucial to promote liver function, but prolonged caloric restriction triggers autophagy, a critical biochemical process that helps degrade and recycle damaged cell components. 

Evidence published in Nature suggests that autophagy plays a vital role in liver tissue renewal and may reduce the risk of liver disease by eliminating defective proteins and mitochondria damaged during metabolic processes and detoxification.

Milk thistle

3. Milk thistle 

Milk thistle is a liver-cleansing herbal remedy that has been used to promote healthy liver function for centuries. 

Milk thistle is a rich source of silymarin, a group of bioactive compounds with liver-protective properties that have been found to mitigate some of the harmful effects of detox reactions.

Research published in Annals of Medicine investigated silymarin’s benefit for liver function and concluded that silymarin supplementation has shown potential in managing chronic hepatitis, fibrosis, NAFLD, and alcoholic liver disease (ALD).

4. Choline 

Choline is an essential nutrient belonging to the vitamin B-complex and is mainly found in organ meats, beef, chicken, eggs, and fatty fish.

The detoxification of alcohol, heavy metals, and certain drugs generates free radicals. These volatile molecules can trigger inflammation and oxidative stress, linked to liver scarring and impaired liver function.   

Choline has potent antioxidant properties that can help protect liver cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, explaining why it’s often referred to as the best vitamin for liver health.  

5. Spirulina 

Spirulina is a type of microalgae that contains astaxanthin, a potent anti-inflammatory carotenoid that can reduce alcohol-related liver inflammation.

Astaxanthin may also enhance fatty acid oxidation in liver cells, which is linked to a lower risk of fatty liver disease. 

Cruciferous vegetables in a wooden bowl

6. Cruciferous vegetables 

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnips, arugula, and Brussels sprouts have liver-supportive properties and should be an integral part of any natural liver cleanse. 

These vegetables are rich sources of indole-3-carbinol, an organic compound that protects liver tissue from inflammation and can stimulate the release of fatty acids from liver cells.  

Using kale, arugula, watercress, or broccoli sprouts to prepare a liver-cleansing drink is a great way to incorporate cruciferous vegetables into your diet to promote the elimination of liver fat.   

7. Curcumin 

Curcumin, a polyphenol and pigment found in turmeric root, has been linked to a lower risk of fatty liver disease.

A study published in Nutrients found that curcumin supplementation enhances energy metabolism in liver cells, which can prevent liver fat accumulation and may be an effective remedy for the management of NAFLD.

Human liver between two hands

Key takeaways

Are you concerned about your liver health and want to know how to cleanse your liver? 

Combining a nutritious low-carb diet with intermittent fasting pushes the liver to burn stored body fat, which helps eliminate liver fat accumulations and reduces the risk of fatty liver disease and liver inflammation.  

In addition, consuming plenty of choline-rich foods and cruciferous vegetables and incorporating liver-cleansing remedies such as milk thistle, spirulina, and turmeric into your daily routine can support effective detoxification processes and may stimulate liver cell regeneration. 


1. What is the best natural liver cleanse?

The best natural liver detox involves a nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto® and intermittent fasting. 

Limiting carbohydrates in combination with prolonged periods of caloric restriction pushes the liver to burn stored fatty acids, which cleanses the liver of fat deposits and supports healthy liver function.

2. What is the best drink to clean your liver?

Drinking shakes and smoothies made with cruciferous vegetables such as kale, watercress, or arugula can stimulate liver fat burning and enhance the liver’s capacity to eliminate toxins, including alcohol, drugs, and heavy metals. 

Cruciferous vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol, a potent bioactive compound that stimulates the release of fatty acids from liver cells, which helps improve liver function and may lower the risk of fatty liver disease.     

3. How long does it take for liver cleanses to work?

How long it takes to cleanse your liver depends on your overall health status, alcohol consumption, and dietary habits. 

Some individuals can reduce liver fat within a few weeks of following a low-carb ketogenic diet. However, more severe cases may require significantly longer periods of consistent dietary and lifestyle changes to reverse liver disease and improve liver cell function.   

4. How do I make my liver healthy again?

To reverse signs of liver disease, it’s crucial to combine intermittent fasting with a healthy diet low in carbs, sugars, and processed foods to eliminate liver fat, which is a primary cause of poor liver function.

In addition, taking liver-cleansing natural remedies such as spirulina, milk thistle, curcumin, and choline can protect the liver from inflammation and counteract some of the harmful effects of detox reactions.   

5. What are the signs of an unhealthy liver?

Poor liver health can manifest in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including jaundice, unexplained fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, ascites, hair loss, skin issues, weight gain, high blood pressure, and night blindness.  

6. Can intermittent fasting reduce liver fat?

Yes, intermittent fasting can reduce liver fat. 

During periods of caloric restriction, the liver converts body fat into energy and utilizes fatty acids stored in liver cells first, which explains why intermittent fasting is one of the most effective liver cleanses.  

7. What is the fastest way to reverse fatty liver disease?

The fastest way to reverse fatty liver is by combining a low-carb ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, incorporating liver-cleansing supplements such as spirulina, milk thistle, and curcumin into your daily routine, and consuming plenty of choline-rich foods and cruciferous vegetables. 


  1. https://liverfoundation.org/about-your-liver/facts-about-liver-disease/  

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4405421/ 

  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S258955592100032X 

  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrgastro.2016.185 

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9186366/ 

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6893521/ 

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