5 Powerful Ways Rosemary Helps Your Liver
I love taking a deeper look at the herbs and plants in my spice cabinet. Partly because it makes me think differently about how I use food and partly because these herbs and spices are so delicious it is a delight to include them in everything from tea to dessert. In rosemary’s case it is truly enjoyable to let MEDICINE be our FOOD.
Rosemary is directly stimulating to for our stomach acid and liver enzymes through its flavour. It’s important to remember and not to underestimate that foods with pungent and bitter flavours stimulate our stomach acid. When our stomach acid is ample our liver gets stimulated too. So the first way that rosemary helps our livers is by encouraging stomach acid and bile production.
Rosemary contains many volatile oils. In fact I listed over 70 of them in a recent PDF. Wow! That’s a lot of essential oils. One of the main volatile oils in rosemary is D-limonene. The same limonene that is found in the peels of citrus fruits. Limonene is a big part of how these essential oils help us to clean our homes and yes, they also help to clean our bodies. Limonene has been shown to help reduce fatty buildups in the liver (fatty liver). Isn’t this awesome! Not to mention limonene tastes and smells amazing. Check out the recipe for Rosemary Citrus Marmalade for a delicious way to make a limonene-rich condiment in your kitchen. If you’re looking to citrus for limonene remember it’s in the peel. (The coloured part, not the white part). It is also in many plants with needles, especially rosemary. It is responsible for the citrusy freshness of rosemary’s flavour.
Third, rosemary works to detoxify fats in the body by stimulating the liver in both phase 1 and 2 detoxification. This is partly due to the limonene again. It helps us to increase the enzymes responsible for both phase one and two detox in the liver. For some people phase two can become sluggish which leads to a buildup of toxic metabolites. More importantly it can lead to symptoms like headaches, skin issues and more. So sometimes when people encourage phase one liver detox they feel worse. This is one of the reasons I love rosemary, because it encourages both phase one and two. AND if you’re eating the whole food rather than using a tincture or oil you will get more stimulation for bile production, which is the liver’s way of actually getting rid of the substances it detoxifies.
The constituents of rosemary can help to up-regulate the CYP1A1 gene which helps with our detoxification of harmful estrogens and xenoestrogens.
Rosemary can also help to increase our absorption of other herbs. So pairing rosemary with other liver herbs can help them be more effective or available. Rosemary has been shown to increase the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. Since turmeric is also a great help for phase two liver detoxification this would be a great pair. Particularly for the BRAIN and liver yum.