Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Liver Chi Issue Natural Medicine that Gets Results!
May 2010


This is such a gorgeous time of the year here in Boulder, one of my favorite months. While we have a mere few days left until the official last frost date according to the Farmer's Almanac, we had still a light dusting of snow last night. It is now sunny and 55 degrees and the trees are all flowering and the leaves are newly greening, lettuce is up in the garden and the air just sparkles with anticipation of possibilities. Graduation happens and it posesses the energy of embarkation. Anticipation of summer adventures, travels, hikes in the high country, perhaps for some of us a lightened schedule.

This is also the energy of the liver according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. While I am not a TCM practitioner, every discipline has its truths. Liver energy is about wanting to manifest, to create, to push through the ground from the seeds of that creativity. If the liver is functioning well, there is that creativity and initiatory energy. If the liver is burdened with toxins, or its detoxification mechanisms are compromised, or its energy is obstructed, there can be frustration, anger, and even depression. The word "melancholy" comes from Latin roots that mean "black liver". There was some deep truth there.

This issue is dedicated to the liver, connected syndromes and detoxification.

Starting June 1st the office will be on its summer schedule. I will be seeing patients M, W, and Th. Friday afternoon appointments will resume once school is back in session mid-August. Receptionists will still be available to take your calls, direct messages and schedule appointments at (303) 443-2206 M-F 8:30 AM - 5 PM. Enjoy the beauty!

in this issue
  • The Liver Friendly Life
  • PMS and the Liver ( a nice comprehensive article)
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) May Prevent Liver Damage
  • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) for Hepatitis C and other liver conditions
  • Dandelion Recipes

  • PMS and the Liver ( a nice comprehensive article)

    Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is the most common disorder experienced by women during the menstrual years. Up to 90% of women are affected to some degree. [1] Many woman have just a few mild symptoms, while others suffer severe discomfort which adversely effects their quality of life. If the mood swings, irritability and depression are consistently severe, the disorder is called PMDD( Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), and is often treated by conventional physicians with fluoxetine hydrochloride ( ProzacĀ® , SerafemĀ®). Although drug therapies may help mask symptoms, it does little to address causative factors. by Ellen Kamhi

    Turmeric (Curcuma longa) May Prevent Liver Damage

    Action Points Explain to interested patients that this study shows that curcumin appears to delay liver damage in mice. It has not been evaluated for this purpose in humans.

    Note that investigators believe curcumin might be pursued as a treatment for chronic cholangiopathies in humans. A major component of the Indian spice turmeric was found to decrease inflammation and fibrosis in vitro and in an animal model of chronic cholangiopathy, a new study found. From Medpage Today

    Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) for Hepatitis C and other liver conditions

    Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for 2,000 years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver and gall bladder problems. Several scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage in high doses. Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. University of Maryland Medical Center

    Dandelion Recipes

    This is the time of the year for Dandelions! While many people see them as a lawn nuisance , they have many health benefits that should not be ignored. The roots can be dried into a tea or tinctured into an effective liver tonic. Also they can be integrated into recipes so that you can let food be your medicine. Here is a collection of interesting recipes to add variety to your table this spring. Just be sure that the lawns you are harvesting the dandelions from have been untreated by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and are away from where any pets relieve themselves. From Prodigal Gardens

    The Liver Friendly Life

    Springtime is the perfect time to adopt these liver friendly lifestyle habits. While they work well for one's whole life, they are especially relevant for the period in the northern hemisphere or March to June.

    1. Drink plenty of water. 64 oz per day of purified water is a good amount to keep hydrated and to flush out toxins from the liver and kidneys.

    2. The following foods aid in liver function: beets (root and greens), lemons, artichokes (related botanically to milk thistle), turmeric (curry anyone?), burdock root and dark leafy greens will help support the liver's detoxification pathways.

    3. Eat plenty of fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables. This will help improve colon function which helps to excrete the toxins processed by the liver.

    4. Adequate Sleep. According to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) 3AM is the liver's most active time to process the toxins. This occurs most effectively when the body is in deep sleep. Lack of good quality sleep at this time of the night can lead to weight gain, a depleted immune system, and mood disturbances. Several studies regarding "graveyard" shift workers also show a higher incidence of developing cancer which could be due to compromised detoxification mechanism of the liver.

    5. Exercise. Moving your body stimulates the activity of many metabolic pathways, including improving the efficacy of the liver's detox abilities. Also sweat is another route of detoxification since the skin is also an elimination organ.

    6. Stress management. Just as an imbalanced liver can lead to emotional symptoms such as irritability, depression, sadness, anger, those same emotions can also cause the liver to become imbalanced according to TCM. Yoga, meditation, breathwork , exercise, and counseling can also help to mitigate the cortisol response of stress . While stress in life seems to be unavoidable, how we manage it is completely under our control. Taking time for self care whenever possible and making that a priority is an important part of managing life.

    7. Last but not least , avoid when you can exposure to environmental toxins. This can be done partly by paying attention to cleaning supplies (use healthier options available through companies such as 7th generation, boulder ecoproducts, etc), paints (use low VOC), solvents (avoid as much as possible), new carpets (high in formaldehyde - better options available at stores such as Planetary Solutions), and if you are in the market for a new mattress, spend the extra money and by an organic mattress if you can, or use a mattress that is more than 5 years old- (that is when they started using nasty flame retardants which are toxic on all mattresses), lawn chemicals (there are cleaner options out there). It is also important for these reasons to consume as much as possible an organic diet to avoid unnecessary exposure to herbicides and pesticides. Exposure to toxins on a regular basis can further burden the liver while increasing your cancer risk.

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