Dr. Francesco Milano , expert in Nutrition , illustrates the importance of purification to support the functionality of the organism. Particular light is placed on the liver, the detoxification organ par excellence, which expels the toxins accumulated in the body. Taking care of your liver is therefore essential.
"Modern research has shown that a great variety of medicinal plants can neutralize or detoxify toxins and thus protect our body. In particular, they protect or support the excretory organs which are the organs responsible for eliminating waste or harmful substances. The organism. These organs include the lungs, urinary tract, skin, liver, intestine, mesenchyme and nervous system which allow us to protect ourselves from the toxic effect of drugs or chemical compounds, through direct protection, that is, supporting the processes of endogenous detoxification and elimination.
There are numerous medicinal plants that can be used to support the physiological processes through which the body eliminates waste molecules of exogenous or endogenous derivation. Medicinal plants can be used both singly and in combination, depending on the situation that is observed.
I like to underline the importance of the phytocomplex, that is a set of molecules contained in the plant which, acting in synergy, not only enhance the desired effect compared to the single active ingredient, but also act on other problems and therefore rebalance the whole system. it is for this reason that many medicinal plants have different beneficial properties and are used in different associations for different problems.
The detoxifying action of the liver is carried out through complex chemical activities that are generally managed by two main phases:
The transformation phase or phase 1 , through which the liver modifies the structure of the toxic substances and makes them reactive and the conjugation phase or phase 2 , through which the molecules are made more water-soluble to promote elimination through the urine or bile.
The detoxification of the liver generally indirectly allows the purification of the other excretory organs that communicate with it, detoxifying the liver means purifying the body, improving vital and metabolic functions, "feeling" better or improving night sleep, feeling less tired, regularizing intestinal transit and increase the sense of well-being.
A liver in some way fatigued by incorrect eating habits, an inadequate lifestyle, such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, can also lead to alterations in metabolism and energy use.
How can we find help from nature?
Diet and exercise certainly help the body to favor the natural endogenous processes of elimination of waste and harmful agents due to non-modifiable factors such as environmental pollution or any residues present in our diet.
Nature offers us numerous plants that can support the functions of the liver gland such as milk thistle (Sylibum marianum L.), fumaria (Fumaria officinalis L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber), combretum (Combretum raimbaultii Heck .), the artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.), the Italian helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum Roth) and the lime tree (Tilia cordata Mill.) just to name a few.
The mechanisms of action through which these plants carry out their action are different, thanks to the different active ingredients contained in them.
Mainly we find:
- Bitter principles
The milk thistle , the etymology of the word that describes the genus, comes from the Greek 'Silybon', which represents the term with which in ancient times the thistle was called, in all its species. Instead the epithet that specifies it seems to be linked to the Madonna. An ancient legend, in fact, tells that Mary, during her flight into Egypt, hidden to breastfeed Jesus, involuntarily dropped some drops of milk, which spotted the green of the leaves of the thistles that were near her white. Silymarin is extracted from the achenes of milk thistle, a mixture of flavonolignans (silybin, silidianin, isosilybin and silicristin) known for their purifying and protective properties on the liver. Milk thistle is used in all liver diseases (alcoholic, toxic-metabolic, iatrogenic and chronic) in which anatomo-functional damage is detected, since it performs a regenerating action on the liver cell and makes the cell more resistant to of hepatotoxic agents. It is also an effective antioxidant as it captures free radicals.
As for the flue , it owes its name to the acrid and acid smell that the roots give off when it is uprooted. The active ingredients contained in it belong to different classes such as the alkaloids Fumarin (or Protopin), Fumoficinalina, Sinactina, Coridamina, Fumarosina, Sanguinarina, Criptopina, Stilopina. These alkaloids in toto have an effective anti-histamine, antiplatelet and sudoriferous action, the flavonoids Rutina, Isoquercitina, Kampferolo. They have an excellent biliary antispasmodic and diuretic action , as well as slightly sedative . Finally, organic acids: Fumaric acid, protocatechic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, citric acid, malic and glycolic acid which act by regulating the hepatic metabolism .
Dandelion , commonly known by the popular name of piscialetto, which recalls its diuretic action, also has hepatoprotective and purifying properties, thanks also to the bitter principles contained in it. The fresh plant of Taraxacum officinale contains a number of bioactive substances. The leaf mainly contains derivatives of taraxinic acid (sesquiterpenlactone), triterpenes and steroids, flavonoids (apigenin and luteolin glycosides), vitamins (B1, B2, C, E).
The root, on the other hand, is particularly rich in sesquiterpenlactones, taraxinic and taraxacolide acids, triterpenes and steroids, taraxacosides, linolic and linoleic acids. In addition to its herbal use, it is commonly harvested and consumed in salads, soups and as a side dish. In particular, with the buds you can prepare preserves and used in the same way as capers in brine.
The combreto whose etymology derives from Combretum, an ancient Latin name, used by Pliny, of unknown etymology. Adopted by R. Brown for the family which has for type the genus Combretum, removing it from the Eleagnee. Raimbaultii, dedicated by Heckel to the missionary Raimbault who first made it known as a popular curative means. Contains polyphenols, flavonoids (vitexin), essential oil, triterpenes and organic acids.
In the past, the fluid extract obtained from combreto leaves was used as a cholagogue, diuretic and laxative ; it was therefore indicated above all in the presence of hepatic insufficiency, jaundice, biliary lithiasis, cholecystopathies and dyspepsia.
The word artichoke , the root of which is used to indicate this plant in part of the Indo-European languages, comes from the Arabic kharshuf.
In the dialects of northern Italy it is usually called "articiocco" or "articioc", a term borrowed from the French artichaut. In the Marche and Abruzzo it is called "scarcioful", in Campania "carcioffola", in Calabria "caccioffulu" or "cancioffulu" and in Sicily "cacocciula"; in Campidanese Sardinian the Spanish term "cancioffa" is used. Artichokes are carbohydrates, among which inulin and fiber are distinguished.
The main minerals are sodium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.
Among the vitamins the presence of B1, B3, and small amounts of vitamin C prevails.
More important to explain the pharmacological activities of artichoke extracts, mainly choleretic and cholagogue, is the presence of a complex of characteristic secondary metabolites: derivatives of caffeic acid: among others chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, cryptochlorogenic acid, cynarin. Flavonoids: in particular rutin. Sesquiterpene lactones: among others cynaropicrin, dehydrocinaropicrin, grosseimin, cinaratriol.
The flower buds are used for food, while the leaves are used for herbal medicine.
The helichrysum , Its name derives from the Greek words helios (sun) and chrysos (gold), both because each bright yellow flower head recalls the sun and because the plant, very frugal, lives in sunny places (from the coast to the high hill). The flowering tops of the helichrysum are used in phytotherapy in the treatment of allergies , which affect the airways and skin tissues. Today's clinical studies have in fact demonstrated the usefulness of helichrysum in both allergic and infectious respiratory diseases, justified by the presence of essential oils (neroli, nerile acetate, alpha and beta pinene, geraniol, sesquiterpenes, furfural, eugenol ), flavonoids (narigenin, apigenin, campferol, elicrisin, quercitrin) and triterpenes (alpha amirina, ursolic acid, boswellic acid), elipirone, sitosterol, caffeic acid, These active ingredients in their synergistic action give the plant antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, expectorant properties and antibacterial .
The lime tree , the name derives from the Greek ptilon, which means 'wing', but there are many popular beliefs and traditions of different origins that connect the lime tree to conjugal love and to the female universe. The Greek myth, in fact, made it a sacred plant to Aphrodite. Linden blossom honey has always been used in cooking, as well as the fragrance obtained from it is used to sweeten and flavor sweets and syrups.
- Anti-anemic and anti-flu : rich in vitamin C, prevents winter ailments, promotes iron absorption, and has the ability to lower blood pressure.
- Antipyretic : lowers fever, if taken as an herbal tea, because it promotes sweating during the fever attack.
- Sedative : acts as a calming agent for anxiety, cough and insomnia, thanks to the active ingredients that have a relaxing action on the nervous system.
- Expectorant and mucolytic : it has an emollient, anti-inflammatory and mucolytic action thanks to the rich complex of flavonoids and mucilages which is found in particular in the flowers, and is particularly useful for oily cough.
- Antispasmodic : especially indicated in case of irritable bowel.
- Cicatrizing : performs a healing action thanks to a substance contained in the leaves, useful in the form of poultices in case of small wounds.
The finely chopped sapwood of the lime tree is used as an infusion to control blood cholesterol levels . "
dr. Milan Francesco
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