In my previous article,
I mentioned cleansing the liver on a regular basis. This is crucial for everyone, not just those of you participating in hormone therapies. Your liver is one of the most vital organs you possess. If it is damaged, your body cannot function properly. Without it, you cannot survive. An unhealthy liver is the root of many physical problems, and can complicate others.
When you undergo any kind of chemical treatment, the liver is affected. This holds true whether you are taking prescription antibiotics, or herbal or synthetic hormone treatments, or any treatment for any ailment. Everything that you ingest passes through the liver in some form, via the blood stream. Many of these substances end up stored in the liver, as the body does not know how to rid itself of many of the unnatural toxins we ingest daily, from chemicals to preservatives to additives. When the liver becomes overloaded, it develops problems that can lead from mild to dangerous to fatal. Even a mildly sluggish liver can seriously affect our energy levels, and our libidos! Always remember that the liver is responsible for the hormone levels in our bodies. If the liver is impaired in any way, your hormone levels are affected, as is the liver’s ability to process incoming hormones from feminizing therapies.
This in turn affects the kidneys, gall bladder, spleen, heart, brain – every system of the body. Once the liver is full, other organs try to help with the storage/elimination problem, overworking and damaging them as well. Taking care of the liver means taking care of all of the body’s systems as well.
Synthetic hormone residues end up stored in the liver. Once the buildup becomes too much, the liver begins to have trouble eliminating wastes from the body, as well as trouble digesting our food. This then leads to a buildup of toxins in other organs, and in all the tissues of the body, including the brain. A buildup of this nature can be fatal, if the liver doesn’t first cease to function altogether. So it is our job to eliminate these toxins from the body on a regular basis. It is also our job to feed the liver the nutrients it needs to support its important functions and aid it in regeneration, as well as to occasionally give it a complete break from all we put it through in a day.
Hormone therapy especially calls for a need to monitor the liver carefully. When hormones, synthetic or herbal, reach a saturation point in the liver, you will then experience an overload of that substance in the body. You continue to take your estrogen (or any other substance, such as antibiotics), the liver is already full and cannot remove more from the blood or process what is at hand, and you suddenly are full of many times the amount of estrogen your body needs. The result of this can be as simple as chronic depression or wild mood swings, or can then manifest into many other serious and potentially fatal problems, not the least of which is cirrhosis.
This includes such substances as alcohol and recreational drugs. If you are undergoing hormone therapy, these are two things that you should be staying far away from. You are already taxing your liver’s abilities with the hormone therapy. Add in the damage that has been proven to be caused by these substances, and you are a walking train wreck waiting to happen. Binge drinking is very dangerous when on hormones of any kind. If you have ever watched someone die of liver failure, then you know what I mean by that. If not, spare yourself and your loved ones of the hideous lengthy scene and intense pain it creates. Organ donors are in very short supply, and transgenders are not at the top of the list as a recipient.
Many of you are unaware of all the work the liver has to do. Here’s a bit of information: It cleanses toxins from the body (and if it cannot eliminate properly due to impairment or illness, it stores these toxins either in the liver or directs it to other places in the body), it is a very vital part of the digestive process, it processes hormones, it regulates blood sugar levels, it controls cholesterol levels, it processes nutrients from our food for the body to utilize properly, it controls metabolism, it forms bile for the digestive process, the bulk of plasma proteins is manufactured by the liver, it stores and produces glucose in conjunction with the pancreas and as such is the target for almost all of the hormones involved in blood sugar regulation and carbohydrate metabolism, it regulates the plasma cholesterol level, and I could go on and on as it is a very complex organ that we just cannot do without for any length of time. So you can see from this brief list what would be affected if the liver were impaired; and clearly, alcohol impairs the liver as has been shown in study after study for many years, as does many other substances, including our food additives.
If you are a drinker, a recreational drug user, a long-time prescription drug user, or suffer from chronic illness, I would highly suggest undergoing a full liver cleanse cycle prior to beginning any hormone therapy, herbal or synthetic. Your liver needs to be nourished and ready to tackle the job you have for it to perform. This cleanse also cleans out other vital organs, your blood, your intestines, so it is a vital cleanse for your overall health.
Overall, a regular liver cleanse is important to your entire family as well. Remember those days when grandma or great-grandma gave you her special spring tonic? It tasted awful, but you sure felt good afterwards. This was a typical way folks took care of themselves, making cleaning out the body a normal task of every spring cleaning session. Somewhere along the line, we lost this knowledge, or discarded it, thinking that in today’s modern world that it just wasn’t necessary any more. How wrong we all were! It is more important now than it ever was 20 or 30 years ago. Our foods are highly processed, full of additives, our lives are full of stress and caffeine and sugar and frustration and our bodies really need a regular break from all of these stimulants. Our organs need all the support we can give them to continue functioning well right into our golden years.
The first step to a healthy liver (and body!) is diet, which is discussed more in depth in another article. There is no substitute for eating properly and obtaining as much of your daily nutritional needs from whole foods, rather than from synthetic vitamins. You should be eating a diet high in fiber, low in saturated fat, and low/absent in refined sugars. Eat foods every day that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients protect the liver and other organs from free radical damage. You should avoid processed foods (such as lunchmeats, junk foods, etc.), soft drinks, fried foods, salty foods, and white sugar (and especially sugar substitutes!). Try using honey as a nutritious replacement to sugars. Limit your caffeine intake, or stop using it altogether (caffeine can cause breast tenderness and pain amongst other things). Limit red meats, and add fish to your diet at least once per week. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, whole grains, and legumes.
The first couple of days of your cleansing regimen you should fast lightly. Drink plenty of fresh water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and eat very lightly, such as simple broths or cooked vegetable soups, if at all. It is preferable to avoid eating solid foods for the first two to three days, as this gives the liver a rest from the rigors of digestion, and gives the body a better chance to clear out toxins. If you cannot do without foods, keep it as light as possible. Plenty of fresh water every day is very necessary to help flush the toxins from your system. If you live in an area where your tap water is questionable, use bottled water.
After the first couple of days, you can slowly increase your diet by adding foods, starting lightly, and avoiding red meats, all processed foods and sugars, and all foods that contain any sort of chemical additive (colorings, preservatives, flavor enhancers, etc.). Concentrate on totally healthy foods during the liver cleanse. If you are taking a synthetic hormone therapy, discontinue your hormones for a minimum of four days, or as advised by your physician. If you are on herbal therapy, you should discontinue your herbal feminizing regimen for a minimum of four days, although I generally recommend doing without them for the entire first week. You won’t arrest your development, and you won’t suddenly lose all of the feminine characteristics you possess at this point. You will be doing your body a huge favor by staying off of them for this period of time.
Here I will pass along the most effective GENERAL cleansing therapy I have devised, as it is used for treating hepatitis and other liver ailments, as well as for cleansing and supporting the liver. It also includes items that cleanse and nourish other vital systems of the body. I have discovered it to be most effective for keeping you healthy during and after feminization, and have utilized this particular cleanse with a great many illnesses with excellent results.
I then suggest the following combination:
Use this entire combination twice per day, morning and evening. Capsule size is not real important here, although you should utilize individual capsule milligram sizes below 1000 mg when possible. It is important, however, to avoid standardized or extracted versions of these herbs, which are not nearly as effective as the whole herb, especially for a cleanse.
In the middle of the day, drink a liver support tea, such as this combination:
| cup dried Alfalfa leaf
| cup dried Red Clover blossoms
cup dried Peppermint leaves
|cup dried Sage leaf
1/4 cup dried Nettle leaf
| cup dried crushed Rose hips
Mix together these dry herbs, and store in a dark glass container away from heat and light. Make the tea by using one to two teaspoons of the dry herb, steeped for 10 minutes in very hot, not boiling, water. Strain, sweeten with honey to taste (not sugar!).
An alternative tea recipe that does the same job but has a different taste:
Continue this regimen for one week. For the second week of the cleanse, continue to drink the tea in the middle of the day. Change the encapsulated herbs to the following:
Take this exact combination twice per day. At the end of the two week cleanse cycle, return to your regular feminization program. This is the perfect time to make necessary adjustments to your feminizing regimens as needed. You can continue to drink the liver tonic tea two or three times per week, if you so desire. Remain on a healthy daily diet, and you should enjoy better health, and in most cases improved feminizing results. You will need to undergo this cleanse at least once per year, although some medical conditions and concerns may require that you do this more often. Your health care professional can help you determine your specific needs.
I do not recommend taking daily liver tonic herbs during the first three months of beginning hormone therapy. This cleanses the liver out too thoroughly at the beginning, and does not give the body time to understand and adjust to what it needs to be doing to process the incoming hormones.
For maintenance of the liver during the rest of the year, various versions of the above may be used, or you may need something different altogether. It is best to check with a trained professional who can devise the best program for your personal needs and medical history. Certain medical conditions or concerns may require that this be done more often, that you utilize different combinations of cleansing herbs, or that the extended cleanse be utilized more often – please contact me or your certified health professional for more information if you need it. THIS IS GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY and not intended to be the perfect cleanse protocol for everyone!
I recommend following a regular cleansing regimen such as this one for all hormonal therapies, both synthetic and herbal, for anyone with a chronic illness or disease, for anyone under a lot of stress, for anyone who doesn’t eat as well as they should, and as a regular body maintenance program. Committing to following this regimen on a regular basis, coupled with a healthy diet and regular productive exercise, will prolong your life and overall organ health, as well as ensure continued good general health.
Rev. Dr. EarthAngel
The Herbal Encyclopedia
Benevolent Member of The Sissify Staff
Copyright 1998-2006 by Rev. Dr. EarthAngel, ND, DD · All rights reserved