The liver is one of the vital organs of the body as it performs various important functions like protein synthesis, body detoxification, digestion, etc. It is necessary to keep the liver healthy and well-functioning in order to regulate these functions. Poor lifestyle, unhealthy diet and alcoholism are the main causes behind liver problems. Fatty liver, jaundice and hepatitis are common liver conditions that are treatable but in some cases, they may lead to severe complications. Thus, it is better to maintain liver health by following the right dietary and lifestyle practices. Apart from that, you can take the help of Ayurveda in boosting liver health. There are several herbs that can prevent liver-related issues and ensure better health.
What are liver disorders?
Liver is the largest vital organ of the human body that helps in eliminating toxins from the body. This is an important function that helps in keeping the body safe from poisonous substances that cause trouble to other organs. Poor liver health can lead to liver disorders like:
- Fatty liver disease- When excess fat gets accumulated on the liver, fatty liver disease is caused.
- Acute hepatitis- There are five hepatitis viruses( Hep A, B, C, D and E) that can cause inflammation in the liver leading to acute hepatitis.
- Chronic hepatitis- While acute hepatitis is short-term, chronic hepatitis lasts for more than six months.
- Liver cirrhosis- Alcoholism and hepatitis can cause fibrosis of the liver which leads to liver cirrhosis.
- Cancer- Impure blood can cause infection and metastatic cancer in the liver.
Risk Factors for Liver Disorders
Here are some factors that increase the risk of liver disorders:
- Blood transfusion
- Alcoholism or heavy alcohol usage
- Use of shared needles for injecting drugs
- Exposure to infected blood and other people’s body fluids
- Body piercings or tattoos
- Exposure to toxins and chemicals
The Link Between Ayurveda and Liver
Liver is called Yakrit in Ayurvedic terminology. Liver is linked to pitta dosha, raktha dhathu or blood and agni or digestive fire. Any problem with these three is highly likely to be caused due to liver and vice-versa. Aggravation of pitta is inter-related with different liver disorders including enlarged liver and shrink liver. What we know as jaundice, fatty liver and liver cirrhosis are actually caused due to pitta dosha. The two solutions suggested by Ayurveda in eliminating liver disorders are Vamana and Virechana.
How can Ayurveda treat Liver Diseases?
According to Ayurveda, liver processes and metabolises the food that a person consumes. Herbs that have cooling properties with a bitter taste are extremely good for liver health. The same goes for food. Fruits and vegetables like carrots, beetroot, green leafy vegetables and apples are said to be the best for liver. Besides, there are several herbs that aid liver health and are proven to be better than conventional medicines. Keep reading to know more about these herbs.
Also Read: All You Need To Know About Hepatitis C
Ayurvedic herbs for healthy liver
Kutki is a bitter-tasting herb that is an elixir for the liver. It might be bad in taste but it possesses exceptionally great benefits in terms of uplifting liver health. Kutki has cooling and cleansing properties that work as a liver tonic. It detoxifies the gall bladder and liver thereby improving appetite and treating liver disorders like bile and jaundice. Kutki is not only helpful in boosting metabolism but also treating skin issues that were caused due to impurity in the blood. You can easily get kutki herb in the stores or you can get kutki capsules and consume as directed on the pack.
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is a great food. It is not just an herb but also a potential food with vitamin C in abundance. It is great for people with liver issues especially those with fatty liver problems. Amla helps in melting the fat buildups to promote liver health. Everyone should eat at least one amla daily. There are myriad ways to have amla. You can either drink amla juice daily on an empty stomach or consume amla fruit or mix amla powder in water and drink.
Just like Kutki, Guduchi is another powerful Ayurvedic herb for liver health. This is a valued herb and known for its potential blood purifying and body detoxifying properties. Most of the Ayurvedic medicines for the liver problem have Guduchi as their main content. However, it is best to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before taking this as they would best tell you about dosage and other guidelines. People with fatty liver, hepatitis and jaundice can have this herb.
Papaya is a tasty fruit but it is also acknowledged for its incredible health benefits. But for liver health, we are considering papaya seeds and leaves. Yes, leaves and seeds that you discard are supremely great in dealing with liver issues like jaundice, liver cirrhosis, etc. Find below some ways to have papaya for liver disorders:
- Dry papaya seeds in sunlight and grind them to make papaya seed powder.
- In a glass of lukewarm water, add one teaspoon of papaya seeds powder and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Drink this daily to detox your liver.
- Extract the juice of papaya leaves and mix it with any other fruit juice of your choice. Drink it daily.
NOTE: Pregnant or nursing women should not drink this as it may harm the baby’s health.
Do we need to tell you about the medicinal benefits of Triphala? There are so many ailments that Triphala aid and liver disorders are amongst them. This is because triphala is a rich combination of three potent herbs namely haritaki, bibhitaki and amla. If you consume a pinch of Triphala churna daily before going to sleep, your metabolism and bowel movements would become better. Besides, it also helps in blood cleansing and body detoxification.
Your mother must have made you eat a spoonful of chyawanprash in your childhood. This is a magical concoction that can keep all diseases at bay. It is made using a blend of Ayurvedic herbs that boost the immune system and strengthen the overall health. You should have a spoon of chyawanprash daily to detoxify the body and boost liver functions.
We know garlic as a food but it is more than that. It is actually a herb that boosts liver health and reduces the risk of liver problems. It is a powerful remedy to cut fat accumulation in the liver. This helps in the full-cleansing of liver. Having garlic daily or drinking garlic tea in the morning can promote liver functions. For more effective results, add cloves to your food to strengthen liver.
Turmeric and Lemon
This is a powerful combo that is high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While turmeric has medicinal properties to maintain liver health, lemon is a noted detox compound. In a glass of warm water, add a pinch of turmeric and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Have this on an empty stomach. This drink would flush out all the toxins to make it easier on your liver.
Apart from these Ayurvedic herbs, you must have ghee daily. Ghee is believed to be a fatty food but it is not. Surprisingly, it helps in detoxifying the liver. To keep your liver healthy, you must work on your diet and lifestyle. Follow a healthy routine to maintain a healthy liver. Do yoga and mediation to boost overall health. Ayurvedic herbs are generally safe and do not cause any side-effect. However, to treat any ailing liver condition, you must consult an Ayurvedic doctor.
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