How to Fast for Liver Health

According to the American Liver Society, your liver manages more than 200 functions, including the processing and removal of toxins from your body 1. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that your liver needs any help with this from you. Still, liver-detox fasts and liver-cleansing diets have become popular 4. The best way to support your liver is to avoid consuming things that make it work overtime, like fatty foods, alcohol and cigarette smoke, but an occasional liver detox fast may inspire you to rethink your bad habits 4.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Start your fast with 2 to 3 tbsp. of lemon juice in a cup of hot water. Sip it slowly. Vitamin C supports your immune system as well as liver function.

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Wash fresh fruits such as apples, kiwi, pears, oranges and grapefruits. Eat them raw, or juice them if you prefer to fast on liquids only. Organic produce is best because it should not have been treated with chemical pesticides.

Wash and slice raw vegetables and either juice them, munch on them as snacks, or combine them with garlic, lemon juice and water to make soup. Fasting doesn’t have to mean starving -- your goal is to eat foods that support your liver while giving it a 24-hour rest from added toxins.

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Drink between 32 oz. and 64 oz. of water during your liver fast. Your liver needs water to help it flush the toxins from your body.

Take a milk thistle supplement. According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a 2008 article published in the Annals of Hepatology, preliminary studies suggest that milk thistle supports liver health and can help in the treatment of cirrhosis, but many more human studies are needed to verify this 25.

End your liver health fast with another cup of lemon juice and hot water. Drink this at least one hour before bedtime because lemon juice is a diuretic.


Fast for 24 hours once every month to give your liver a rest.


Never stay on a liver fast for more than 48 hours.