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Eat Well May. 30. 2016
Beverages

Love Your Liver Iced Tea

May. 30. 2016
Beverages
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of NS and Creator of The Method

A digestive friendly, floral tea that supports your liver with delicious herbs and spices.

If you can believe it, I’ve been making this recipe since college. It’s definitely one of my favorites!

The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. We want to give it all the love and support it needs through nutrient-dense whole foods and supportive herbs.

This Love Your Liver Iced Tea is the perfect way to do just that!

 

Love Your Liver Iced Tea

Our liver is probably the most important detoxification organ in our bodies. It’s responsible for over 500 processes, including the metabolism of food, alcohol, medications and toxins.

This tea is filled with bitter, fresh herbs and vitamin C-rich lemons. It’s designed to give our liver a little extra love!

It’s incredibly delicious and refreshing thanks to the fresh mint and the ice component. You also have the option to add in flavor-based teas like rose, hibiscus, or even rooibos.

Bitter herbs have been used for centuries to help prevent illness and ease symptoms of common health ailments, especially in Ayurvedic Medicine. Ayurvedic medicine puts a strong emphasis on healing and taking care of our wellbeing through nutrition and digestion.

To illustrate the effect of bitters, think about the sensation you experience when you eat a lemon. The tart, bitter flavor immediately makes you salivate – bitter herbs work in the same way. This sets off a chain reaction of digestive enzymes that stimulates hydrochloric acid (which helps our body digest food) and ultimately increases gastric emptying (i.e. moves food through our system more efficiently).

Our digestive systems and liver work very closely with one another, so it’s important that our whole food choices optimize how our liver functions.

Tea Components

Let’s take a quick look at some of these herbs and chat about why they’re so beneficial:

  • Peppermint: soothes digestion and relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which that can help improve digestion
  • Ginger: a warming spice that stimulates digestion and also has the ability to decrease nausea
  • Milk Thistle (Silymarin): a powerful herb that detoxifies the liver as an antioxidant
  • Lemon: rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, which is crucial for helping our bodies combat stress within the liver since it’s responsible for hundreds of processes
  • Other supportive bitter herbs you can try: chamomile, dandelion (included in the Liver Detox tea I use here), wormwood and goldenseal

If you’re pregnant or taking any prescribed medications, I would highly suggest touching base with your physician before consuming any potent herbs. They can help you check to make sure the herbal components won’t have any negative interactions

How To Make Love Your Liver Iced Tea

Teas that I recommend for this recipe are Peppermint, Ginger, Liver Detox, Hibiscus, and Milk Thistle.

To make large batches of iced tea, I’ll typically put all the tea bags in a french press. It holds much more water and ensures that if any of the tea bags burst, it catches the loose leaves.

Other liver-lovin’ recipes to add to your detoxification arsenal…

The Recipe

Serves 12

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Ingredients

2 peppermint tea bags

2 ginger tea bags

4 Liver Detox tea bags from Traditional Medicinals

2 hibiscus tea bags (optional for flavor)

1 milk thistle tea bag

Juice of 3 lemons

Optional upon serving: fresh mint, honey to taste

 

Directions

Step 1

Put all the tea bags in a large pitcher and bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

Step 2

Pour the water into the pitcher with all of the tea bags and  steep for at least 10 minutes. All teas have varying steep times, but 10 minutes ensures herbal teas start releasing.

Step 3

Pour the tea out of the pitcher so you’re left with tea bags, put more boiling water in and repeat this process to steep the tea a total of 3 times. Once you’ve made the tea 3 times, you’ll end up with a large amount (about 12 cups) of tea.

Step 4

Add fresh lemon juice and let cool or place immediately in the fridge to cool. Serve with fresh mint over ice 1x a day.

Enjoy!

 

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