What do you know about the effect of bitter leaf on the liver? If your answer is ‘not much’, then allow us to tell you a little bit more about this fascinating plant and how it can be good (or bad) for the health of your liver.
Bitter leaf (botanical name Vernonia amygdalina) is a common plant used by many people in Nigeria. Some of the most common bitter leaf uses are for food and medicine. This magical plant is filled to the brim with important microelements that can improve one’s health exponentially. While it can be used to improve the function of many organs in the human body, bitter leaf is commonly regarded as the liver plant, and we want to tell you why.
Bitter leaf benefits for the liver
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Let’s talk about the bitter leaf health benefits for the liver. There are several reasons why it is called ‘liver plant’, and here are some of the most important ones:
- It improves general liver health. If you have been suffering from liver damage or you want to avoid it by protecting your liver, you should consume bitter leaf.
- It prevents the development of fatty liver disease. While this is a common disease among frequent drinkers, people with diabetes can also suffer from fatty liver disease, which causes the buildup of fat in the liver, and that is not good for you. However, if you consume bitter leaf, you can prevent it or even clear it out in its early stages.
- It detoxifies the body. Bitter leaf contains lots of antioxidants, and, as we all know, they can help in detoxifying the body. Lots of toxins can be found in the liver, but they can be flushed out with some bitter leaf juice/tea/soup or any other meals containing bitter leaf.
- It prevents cancer. Many organs in the human body can develop cancer, and liver is no exception. However, bitter leaf juice is known to be effective in cancer prevention, as well as in stopping the growth of existing cancer cells.
- It decreases negative effects of medicine. Medicine (particularly pills and antibiotics) are often quite harmful for the liver, but if you consume some bitter leaf, you can significantly decrease or even completely negate this damage.
Bitter leaf side effects
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Now that we have waxed poetic about the positive effects of bitter leaf on your liver, let’s ask the very important question: what side effects does it have?
Well, as far as we can tell, it has none! At least if we are talking about the liver health. All in all, bitter leaf is considered to be generally safe for human consumption, as long as you do so in moderate quantities. There is also a chance that you might get an allergic reaction from consuming it, but this is a rather rare occurrence.
In case you want to know what to expect in the worst case scenario, eating/drinking too much bitter leaf might cause fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, rashes, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhoea. That said, the effects should subside as soon as you stop ingesting bitter leaf, and none of them should have any lasting damage, particularly on your liver.
Nevertheless, if you still have concerns, it is best to ask your doctor about whether bitter leaf could be harmful to you. This is particularly important for pregnant women, as it is known to cause contractions of the uterus, and it is not something you want to happen prematurely.
Bitter leaf is truly a magical plant that is good for you and especially your liver. However, you should always consume it in moderation and consult your doctor if you are not sure whether you should ingest it at all. So stay safe and healthy!
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