Delicious Detoxification: Green Tea and Artichoke
Green tea is an ancient of tea ceremonies. It's consumed frequently by the Japanese, who are proving to have a lower cancer rate as a result.
Studies show that green tea reduces the risk of stomach, skin, oesophageal and prostate cancer, but that's not all! Another study found that green tea lowered the risk from rectum and pancreas cancer for men and of rectum, colon and pancreas cancer for women. It also protects the body from the ravages of chemotherapy.
It is thought that polyphenols, powerful antioxidant flavonoids found in abundance in green tea, inhibit cancer by blocking the formation of cancer-causing compounds, suppressing carcinogens and detoxifying the body. Also, researchers at Purdue University found that the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate in green tea inhibits an enzyme that is necessary for cancer cells to grow.
Green tea could be your liver's best friend. It increases glutathione levels, one of the liver's main detoxifiers, and helps the body to get rid of harmful chemicals. Another way to increase glutathione levels and therefore detoxification is to increase your intake of vitamin C. Conveniently, green tea increases the body's ability to absorb vitamin C, which is a precursor to glutathione.
Partners in Detox
Another valuable detoxifier is artichoke. It lowers high cholesterol, prevents atherosclerosis, helps indigestion and is great for the liver. Perhaps the reason that artichoke offers such fantastic liver protection is because it is a relative of another well-known liver herb -- milk thistle.
The artichoke contains, among its many components, the bitter cynaropicrin, which influences digestion. This remarkable herb affects the way bile is stored, produced and secreted.
Artichoke increases the production of bile by the liver, increases the flow of bile from the gallbladder and increases the contractive powers of the bile duct: vital activities, both to digestion and to detoxification. It is also able to increase both the solid and liquid parts of bile by increasing the number and size of bile vesicles within the liver cells, which help to digest food, particularly fatty food.
An article in Herbagram (no 44) reported that artichoke extract protected liver cells against carbon tetrachloride toxicity. Artichoke extract also stopped other harmful substances from damaging the liver. Like milk thistle, artichoke not only protects against toxins, but is also able to regenerate liver cells. Daniel Mowrey, PhD says, like milk thistle, artichoke is able to completely protect the liver against poisoning and death from poisons. He adds that studies reveal that artichoke's protective effects probably result from its ability to interrupt the enterhaptic circuit, stopping toxins from being recirculated between the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. This makes it extremely valuable for protecting the liver and therefore the whole body from air, water and food-borne toxins.
Yummy and Healthy
Both artichokes and green tea can easily and deliciously be included in any detoxifying program. Green tea makes a pleasant drink hot or cold and is also available in a caffeine-free form. Enjoy serving green tea in a tea ceremony for a truly relaxing experience. Green tea also comes in supplement form.
Artichokes can also be taken as a supplement or enjoyed as food -- try steaming them and serve with a lemon and olive oil dip. The lemon has many detoxifying properties in its own right.
1. B.T. Ji et al. International Journal of Cancer. 1997; 70: 255-258.
2. Khan SG, et al. Cancer Res 52, 4050-4052, 1992.
3. Recknagel RO, Glende RA. Crit rev Toxicol. 1973; 2:263.
4. Mowrey, Daniel B., PhD, Herbal Tonic Therapies, New Canaan, CT.: Keats Publishing, Inc. 1993.
Article copyright Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.
By Linda Woolven