Addressing Oral Contraceptives, the Liver and Ways to Detox

Addressing Oral Contraceptives, the Liver and Ways to Detox

 The liver is our primary organ of detoxification and works to remove toxins and waste from the blood, while filtering and sorting nutrients that our bodies need for daily functioning. It is almost as if the liver receives a small package, determines what is inside the package, and reacts accordingly. Our health and wellbeing is a reflection of our body’s ability or inability to remove and purge toxins, and the liver is a great place to begin when addressing any health concerns. We need to understand the liver, support it, and repair it so that it can perform optimally. Both the benefits of a healthy liver, and the consequences of an overburdened one are plenty.

 The liver uses a two-step detoxification process to filter hormones and toxins into the bloodstream. In phase one, the liver repackages harmful chemicals into less harmful ones, and gets them ready for elimination. These chemicals are converted to water-soluble substances that are secreted through bile, urine, or feces in phase two. Both detox pathways must be properly nourished and act in conjunction with one another for the elimination of waste to occur. If one is failing to operate sufficiently, toxic free radicals build up, causing a number of problems.

 Any digestive issues can tax the estrogen-detoxification process that takes place in the liver. Because the liver is the main organ involved in detoxification in our bodies, any impedance of the detoxification process in our liver resulting from poor diet, alcohol, drugs or toxins can lead to estrogen dominance. Harmful estrogens are difficult to detoxify and are stored in fat. Estrogen dominance in women can lead to an increase in PMS symptoms, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis, as well as symptoms including sluggish metabolism, bloating, thyroid dysfunction decreased libido, foggy thinking/memory loss, fibrocystic breasts, irritability, and weight gain around abdomen and hips. Even further, birth control pills and synthetic hormones stress the liver and cause benign cysts. The biochemical effects of the sex hormones on the liver are prolific. When women take birth control pills, a woman’s natural rhythmic cycles of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone turn into constant high levels of estrogen. This creates an imbalanced hormonal environment, which leads to nutrient deficiencies, benign liver tumors, liver diseases, and countless other negative side effects.

 It is known by doctors that long term use of the Oral Contraceptive Pill can increase the incidence of liver tumors such as adenomas and hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are tumors made from blood vessels and adenomas are round shaped tumors. These are usually benign.

 Let’s be honest, sometimes women need synthetic hormones to manage PCOS and pain caused from fibroids, endometriosis and painful cycles. You can detox the liver and shrink liver tumors and keep your liver in check by taking selenium in the form of Selenomune which contains three forms of selenium that have been shown to exert anti-cancer effects. It also contains Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Iodine, Zinc, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Boron and Brewer’s Yeast. This is a powerful formula to boost the strength of the immune system and increase energy levels.

 So many women take the oral contraceptive pill for years without having checks on their liver such as a blood test for liver function or an ultrasound scan of their liver. This is because no one warns them that prolonged use of the oral contraceptive pill can cause liver problems.

 Estrogens and oral contraceptives are associated with several liver problems including sluggish bile flow, dilatation of spaces in the liver, liver adenomas, liver cancer, clotting of the veins in the liver and an increased risk of gallstones.  These side effects are more common with higher doses of estrogens, as were used in the early high dose estrogen formulation of oral contraceptives, but they have also been described with use of more modern birth control pills and with low dose, estrogen hormonal replacement therapy.

 Signs you could be suffering from an impaired liver:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Endometriosis/Adenomyosis
  • Rashes
  • PCOS
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Painful Periods
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Jaundice
  • Inability to lose weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • Dark urine
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Bruise easily
  • Poor appetite

 Liver-boosting supplements and herbs:

 Organic Sulfur/MSM

  • Your liver requires high levels of sulfur in order to carry out phase 2 detoxification.  Sulfur is found in foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion and garlic.  Many people do not consume adequate sulfur.  This mineral also has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and is excellent for painful, inflamed joints. MSM is a natural form of sulfur; it stands for methyl sulfonyl methane.  MSM works most efficiently when combined with vitamin C.


  • Neutralizes free radicals, enhances the immune system and detoxifies the liver


  • Plays one of the most important roles in liver detoxification 

Green Tea

  • Catechin, a polyphenol found in green tea, helps prevent inflammation of the liver.

 Holy Basil

  • Contains essential oils that help combat bacteria and heavy metals.

Milk thistle

  • This “king” of detoxifying herbs helps eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, prescription drugs and alcohol from the liver.

Dandelion Root

  • Natural detox flush.

Castor Oil Packs

  • Relieves constipation, improves immune function, and aids in detoxification.

Vitamin E

  • Powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce free radical damage and balance hormones.

Vitamin B12

  • helps keep the nervous system and red blood cells healthy and is important for protein metabolism.

Vitamin C

  • High in antioxidants and has protects the liver from oxidative damage, particularly when used in combination with vitamin E.


  • Protects the liver from free radical damage and preserve its elasticity and detoxifying capabilities.

 Alpha lipoic acid.

  • Removes toxins and byproducts of fat metabolism and fends off the toxic effects of alcohol. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that also protects other antioxidants, including glutathione and CoQ10. No other nutrient does this. Lipoic acid may be even more effective when taken in combination with milk thistle and selenium

 Liver Detox:

 A great guide to liver detox here

 Liver detox - detoxing is such a good way to invest in your health. It is the way the body heals and repairs itself, but be careful to never detoxify without addressing foundational issues. In order to detox, all elimination pathways must be open.

 Therapeutic foods for the liver:

 Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning

  • This is extremely important. Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning helps to flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body.

Leafy Greens

  • The abundant fiber found in leafy greens, and their inflammatory and antioxidant properties help nourish the liver.


  • One of nature’s most powerful foods; the liver contains high amount of vitamin B and helps with detoxification and supporting liver function.

Aloe Vera

  • Digestive tonic and pain reliever.

Green Tea, especially matcha green tea

  • High in catechins that act as antioxidants in the body, combatting free radicals within the blood, and supporting liver function.


  • Stimulates bile flow and relaxes bile ducts, helping break down fats. It calms the stomach for optimal digestion.


  • Promotes elimination of intestinal gas and stimulates digestion.

Bone broth

  • Sooths the digestive tract and supports the integrity of the gut lining.


  • Increases bile production and flow, which helps to carry toxins from the liver out of your body.

Beet Juice

  • Natural blood cleaner that helps the body detox and cleanse the blood of heavy metals, toxins and waste.


More tips:

  • Drink half your weight in ounces of clean, filtered water (i.e. 150 lbs. = 75 oz. of water) this keeps the body flushing appropriately. Water keeps the blood fluid so that toxic material may be delivered to the lymph and liver.
  • Eat organic whenever possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar from the diet.
  • Avoid endocrine disruptors – phthalates in plastics like BPAs, herbicides, heavy metals, etc.
  • Be aware of chemicals in our foods, unfiltered drinking water, cosmetics, and household cleaning products.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.
  • Minimize stress – it raises cortisol and reduces progesterone.
  • Sweat therapies – infrared sauna.
  • Enemas/Colonics
  • Probiotics to ensure you are having regular bowel movements
  • Frequent amount of movement and/or exercise is important.