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Love Your Liver Iced-Tea | Nutrition Stripped, natural liver detox tea
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

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

A liver detox tea that supports your liver using herbs, digestive friendly teas, and floral teas that tastes delicious.

This has been a recipe I’ve been loving lately! I’ve been making it since college, but it was one of those recipes I “forgot” I had tucked away until I was craving it one day and could tell my body needed a little boost from a few too many late nights out and excess coffee the days after.

Our liver is probably the most important detoxification organ in our bodies. It’s responsible for over 500 processes, including not just the metabolism of alcohol but also the metabolism of medications and toxins from the environment, food, etc. It also stores glycogen and is a powerful fat burning organ.

The liver is one of the hardest working organs in our body, which is all the more reason to give it a lot of love and support through nutrient-dense whole foods and supportive herbs including with this Love Your Liver Iced Tea!

Our liver goes through a lot each day from metabolizing everything we eat and drink and environmental toxins we encounter each day. It basically repackages toxins for your body to use in another way or eliminates them. Most often it’s performing elimination for those with the Standard American Diet since it’s particularly high in toxins and lacks essential nutrients, fats, and whole foods that our livers love.

This tea is filled with bitter herbs, vitamin C-rich lemons, and fresh herbs. This combination is designed to give our liver a little extra love. I’ve been getting more requests lately for healthy cocktails and questions about alcohol and detoxification, which I suppose is because summer is quickly approaching and socializing is at an all-time high! Read up on what alcohol does to your body and health, and if your body needs a little love, prep this powerful organ with this supportive tea.

Even though this tea contains all bitter herbs, it’s incredibly delicious and refreshing with the addition of lemon and fresh herbs like mint over ice. You also have the option to add in purely flavored based teas like rose, hibiscus, or rooibos.

Bitter herbs have been used for centuries in preventing illness and easing symptoms of common health challenges, especially in Ayurvedic Medicine which puts a strong emphasis on healing and taking care of our wellbeing through nutrition and digestion. Regardless of folklore and traditions, bitter herbs actually do help our digestive systems in many ways starting immediately when you put them in your mouth.

To illustrate the effect of bitters, think about when you eat a lemon and the tart bitter flavor immediately makes you salivate – bitter herbs work in the same way. This initial process stimulates our digestive system by getting it moving as digestive juices start to flow. This sets off a chain reaction of digestive enzymes that stimulate hydrochloric acid (HCL helps our body digest food) and ultimately increases gastric emptying (i.e. moves food through our system more efficiently). O

ur digestive systems and liver work very closely with one another so it’s important that our whole food choices optimize how our liver functions. Let’s take a quick look at some of these herbs and why they’re beneficial in this tea:

  • Peppermint: soothes digestion and relaxes the esophageal sphincter that can help improve digestion (if you suffer from reflux, avoid peppermint since this sphincter will be relaxed causing more reflux).
  • Ginger: a warming spice, stimulates digestion and increases peristalsis (movement of the gut) to help digest food. Ginger is also great at decreasing nausea and other tummy woes.
  • 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 in any way but especially within the liver since it’s responsible for hundreds of processes.
  • Other liver supportive bitter herbs you can try in this mix: chamomile, dandelion (included in the Liver Detox tea I use here), wormwood, and goldenseal.
  • Keep in mind friends, if you’re pregnant or on specific medications, I would highly suggest checking the herbal interactions with your situation since these are pretty strong and efficacious herbs – safety first.

For more ways to incorporate bitters into your diet, read up on 10 Bitter Foods to Improve Digestion.

 

Love your Liver Iced Tea
Recipe Type: to drink
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
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
Instructions
  1. Put all the tea bags in a large pitcher.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Pour into the pitcher with all the tea bags, steep for 10 minutes– all teas have varying steep times, but 10 minutes ensures herbal teas to start releasing. Pour the tea into the pitcher and you’re left with tea bags, put more boiling water in and repeat this process to steep the tea a total of 3 times.
  3. Once you’ve made the tea 3 times, you’ll end up with a large amount about 12 cups of tea. Add fresh lemon juice and let cool or place immediately in the fridge to cool. Serve with fresh mint over ice 1x a day.

Teas that I recommend and personally use in this recipe: Peppermint, Ginger, Liver Detox, Hibiscus, and Milk Thistle. To make these large batches of iced tea, I’ll typically put all the tea bags in a french press since 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…

Resources:
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/12/21/herbs-to-improve-digestion.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22010973
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446506/

The Recipe

Serves 12

Print

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:

 

    1. Put all the tea bags in a large pitcher.

 

    1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Pour into the pitcher with all the tea bags, steep for 10 minutes– all teas have varying steep times, but 10 minutes ensures herbal teas to start releasing. Pour the tea into the pitcher and you’re left with tea bags, put more boiling water in and repeat this process to steep the tea a total of 3 times.

 

    1. Once you’ve made the tea 3 times, you’ll end up with a large amount about 12 cups of tea. Add fresh lemon juice and let cool or place immediately in the fridge to cool. Serve with fresh mint over ice 1x a day.

 

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