HEALTH: Post-Carnaval Liver Cleanse

Liver Detox - Photo Credit:

Did you join in with Barranquilla´s Carnaval celebration? If so, chances are your liver is still screaming! Barranquilla’s Carnaval is one of the biggest carnivals on the planet and heavy drinking and heavy partying are almost mandatory for four days and nights as well as during the pre-carnaval celebrations. We hosted many visitors for the weekend, and I was a firsthand witness of some of the terrible hangovers experienced throughout Carnaval. If you would like to learn how to prevent future hangovers, click here.

The good news is that likely you have survived your hangover as it is a transitory condition. But, the effect of alcohol on your body doesn’t stop once the feeling of the hangover is gone. In fact, an overwhelmed liver may suffer for a long time if you don’t provide your body a chance for cleansing. Now that the party is over, let´s talk about a post-Carnaval liver cleanse.*

    • The best thing you can do for your liver now is to be more conscious of your diet. Your liver will not get a chance to cleanse your body unless you give it a break from the ever-accumulating toxins. Reduce the amount of toxins entering your body by choosing whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and junk foods. Stay away from products containing preservatives or artificial additives. Lay off alcohol and drugs for a while.
    •  Liver detoxification involves two phases. The first phase converts toxins to intermediate substances so they can go through the second phase. Many times, the intermediate substances are even more toxic than the initial toxin. Alcohol, coffee, and many drugs speed up the first detoxification phase, while slowing down the second phase. This can lead to an overload of floating dangerous toxins in your body while waiting to become neutralized through the second phase. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to balance your liver detoxification phases.


If you have been drinking, chances are your first liver phase has become overly fast leading to an overload of floating dangerous toxins in your body. To help restore this, you can follow these instructions.

  • Lay off alcohol, drugs, and nicotine for a while. All these substances increase the speed of phase one.
  • Reduce coffee: Coffee is not bad by itself in moderation. However, it also is a strong phase one activator of the liver. Replace it with green tea which is a phase two activator.
  • Consume foods that slow down liver´s phase one: Some of these include grapefruit and grapefruit juice, onions, cloves, and cayenne pepper and turmeric (Curcuma longa). **


  • The goal of a detox is to process the toxins and eliminate them from the body as fast as possible without ending up with an accumulation of dangerous intermediate substances. The liver´s phase two process is responsible for neutralizing the toxins and preparing them for elimination from the body. The following will help to speed up the liver´s phase two detoxification.
  • Eat vegetables from the Brassica family such as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
  • Eat a high protein diet: There are certain amino acids that are essential for the proper functioning of phase two.
  • Consume fish or fish oil. Essential fatty acids can help with the phase two detoxification process.
  • Take multi B vitamins: B2, B5, B6 and B12 are needed for phase two detoxification. Alcohol consumption leads to a deficiency of these vitamins in the body, causing slowing down of the phase two.
  • Use turmeric (curcuma longa): Turmeric is one of my favourite herbs because it has a lot of health benefits. Turmeric not only slows down phase one, but also helps to speed up phase two, helping with the whole restoring process.


  • Once toxins are processed, they need to be eliminated from the body.
  • Drink lemon water in the morning: Lemon water helps by stimulating the gall bladder to release bile and toxins. It also helps with activating the colon helping elimination.
    • Instructions: Squeeze the juice of ½ to 1 fresh lemon into a full glass of room temperature water. Drink when you wake up and wait a minimum 20 minutes before eating breakfast
  • Drink plenty of water to help elimination through the kidneys.
  • Use foods high in fiber to help intestinal elimination of the toxins.


Liver Cleanse Summary list

Consume Avoid/Reduce:
  • Lemon water in the morning
  • Whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Fresh fruit juices
  • Green tea
  • Turmeric (in small amounts as spice in food)**
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cloves
  • Onions
  • Brassica family vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts
  • High protein diet
  • Fish and/or fish oil
  • Multi B vitamin supplement
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice
  • Food containing fiber
  • Plenty of water
  • All Processed and junk foods
  • Deep fried food
  • Food items containing preservatives or artificial additives
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Nicotine
  • Coffee


Do this for three weeks:

A good liver detox requires minimum of two weeks, ideally 3 weeks to give your body a break to recover. Love your liver and your liver will love you back! Let us know how your liver detox goes!

Be Happy & Healthy!

Dr. Rasa Nikanjam, ND, BSc



  • The above content is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any conditions.
  • *Most pharmaceutical drugs are processed through the liver. If you are taking any medication, including birth control pills, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before commencing a liver detoxification process.
  • ** Turmeric in low amounts is safely used as a common cooking spice in many cultures. However, avoid using it in high doses unless prescribed by your healthcare provider.

*** Liver detoxification is not recommended during pregnancy or during any serious health conditions without the direct supervision of your healthcare provider.