Liver: The Organ of Transformation, Renewal and Change

A few weeks ago, I posted about the body clock and how waking at certain times of the night can lead you to an organ that needs support. I thought it would be great to now explore some of those organs, their processes, the connections to the body and other organs, the associated emotions and how their imbalances can affect us.

Let’s start with the liver, arguably one of the most important, hardest working organs in the body. The liver has its strongest activity from 1am to 3am. Its weakest activity is from 1pm to 3pm. It is known in ancient medicine as the organ of transformation, renewal and change in both the physical sense and emotional sense. Read on to see why.

Physically, the liver is the key metabolic organ. After food is dissolved by the digestive juices of the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder and gut, it is passed to the liver for further processing. The liver creates and dispatches to the body: vitamins, minerals, proteins, cholesterol, sugar and more from the food we eat. The liver also processes medicines, metabolic products, hormones, harmful substances from our environment, and those that are no longer of use to the body. It’s a transformation machine.

Emotionally, if liver function is compromised, feelings of tiredness or lethargy occur at it’s main organ times: hyper-function (high/strong) from 1am to 3am and hypo-function (low/weak) from 1pm to 3pm. These are also the best times for providing support to the liver as well.

The liver’s role is to act as an engine, keeping the blood and other body fluids flowing efficiently, and regulating emotions and feelings. It also protects the internal organs and blood circulatory system by transforming toxins into non-toxins. It additionally protects the outer layers of our bodies by establishing boundaries. Therefore, the liver always suffers when people feel that they are being emotionally or mentally exploited.

Common emotions associated with the liver are:

  • Anger,
  • Bitterness
  • Guilt
  • Hatred
  • Resentment
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Indecisiveness
  • Panic
  • Taken For Granted

Preserving a person’s own personality, and sense of self, through an active barrier against harmful emotions and psychological influences is one of the liver’s key functions. And the most powerful boundary we can establish against emotional and physical exploitation, psychological attacks and manipulations from others is the simple word “no.”

People who are incapable of saying “no” have higher cholinesterase levels, indicating that the liver tries to process all the incoming stimuli without much success. Also, people carrying excess weight often display an inability to establish limits, and by accumulating more body mass, they translate that boundary from a mental/emotional level to a physical level.

Milk Thistle promotes the ability to set boundaries and supports protection on both a physical and emotional level. Conditions caused by an overactive liver are most noticeable between 1am and 3am, generally revealed through fitful sleep or waking multiple times during this time frame.

Transforming and adapting to ideas and values is a quality of liver energy, just as on the metabolic level the liver is constantly converting chemical substances extracted from food. Many people find it difficult to adapt or change previously held beliefs when faced with a new experience. The most common block encountered with clients is a lack of willingness to change certain things in their lifestyle, surrender old habits, and welcome new experiences. This shows up physically in blood analysis as lowered cholinesterase, as previously mentioned. Liver function and the flow of bile are disrupted, and the process of transformation and adaptation backs up and becomes paralyzed.

Dandelion invigorates liver processes, thereby promoting adaptability. Conditions involving low liver function are mostly revealed from 1pm to 3pm, generally in the form of fatigue or excess tiredness during this time frame. Tiredness is the “pain” felt by by the liver.

I could go on about the liver. It has so many functions as the guardian of our bodies. The best thing you can do you for your overall health at any given time is to support your liver. Emotionally and mentally, you can learn to say no and let go of old hurts, anger and resentment of being taken for granted, and learn to adapt to change. Physically, reduce the number of toxins and chemicals you are ingesting so the liver doesn’t have to work as hard. Choose whole foods over processed ones which are easier for the liver to break down. Also, utilize additional support like milk thistle and dandelion when needed.

Exercise is also a key factor in supporting the liver, reducing internal stress, clearing the head and freeing us from inner pressure. Add relaxation to the mix and the liver will be that much more happier. (Side note: not all exercise is good exercise for everyone. If you are unsure of what’s best for you, let’s talk.)

Some common symptoms of liver issues include:

  • Restless legs
  • Inability to cope / adapt
  • Swelling and itching in genital area
  • Menstrual complaints
  • Aggression, attacks of rage, anger
  • Gallstones
  • Cysts
  • Myomas (fibroids)
  • Joint tremors
  • Herpes
  • Tired eyes
  • Fragile nails
  • Allergies
  • Auto-immune illnesses
  • Erectile disfunction, impotence

Lastly, if you don’t have a gallbladder, it is especially important to take care of your liver because it has to work extra hard without the bile backup storage of the gallbladder. I’ll also add that if you have lost your gallbladder, or have ongoing gallbladder issues, it is particularly important to address feelings of resentment and bitterness–that unexpressed anger or rage you are holding inside. These are almost always associated with impaired function of the gallbladder specifically. If you need help exploring and releasing those emotions or feelings, I’d be happy to help.


For informational purposes only. Not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or ailment.


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