Do you know the liver is the only organ in the human body that can actually regrow provided there is still 25 percent of the liver left? In other words, even if you lost 75 percent of your liver in an accident, your liver can regenerate. Interestingly, the liver is also the largest organ in the entire human body. The liver is considered to be a part of the digestive system that apart from secreting digestive juices (the chemical that helps to digest foods) also functions more than 500 important tasks. The liver filters the blood, synthesize protein, detoxifies the body, performs numerous immunological functions, etc.
Ayurvedic Approach to Maintain Healthy Liver
Ayurveda embraces the Hindu philosophy of 5 elements (fire, water, earth, air, ether) and Ayurveda relates the liver to fire element. Fire element is referred to as agni in Hindu philosophy and Ayurveda. Ayurveda also explains that the human body has three different characters viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. An imbalance between these three characters results in various doshas or diseases. According to Ayurveda, problems related to the liver are caused by Pitta dosha. According to Ayurveda, ‘agni’ is the sacred metabolic fire within, having a diverse range of functions, and also serves as a vehicle of transformation. Ayurveda describes at least forty specific physiological manifestations of agni, and five of them – the ‘bhuta agnis’ – are housed exclusively in the liver. These ‘bhuta agnis’ are responsible for transforming our food into biologically useful substances which our bodies can use.
When done correctly, an Ayurvedic cleanse or detoxification can strengthen ‘agni’ throughout the system and help to eliminate the very toxicity that might otherwise be detrimental to our overall health. Cleansing initiates a powerful process of renewal and healing at many levels and also gives the entire body a period of intense rest and detoxification. An Ayurvedic cleanse employs herbal therapies, diet and lifestyle changes with a view to draw toxins (and excess vata, pitta, and kapha) out of the tissues and into the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Healthy Liver
Ayurvedic herbs which are considered beneficial for liver health include Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), Katuki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Bhunimba (Andrographis paniculata), Parpat (Fumaria officinalis), Kaasni (Cichorium intybus) and Bhumiamla (Phyllanthus niruri).
Ayurvedic Formulations for Healthy Liver
Arogyavardhini vati is an excellent Ayurvedic polyherbal formulation for healthy liver. It consists of herbs such as Katuki (Piccorhiza Kurroa), Shuddha Guggulu or Guggul (Commiphora Mukul), Castor (Ricinus Communis), Shuddha Shilajatu, Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Vibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica), Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula), Neem (Azadirachta indica); and Shuddha Ghandaka (Purified Sulphur).
Patolakaturohinyadi Kashayam is a herbal formulation popularly used in various liver diseases. The composition includes various herbs such as Picrorrhiza kurroa, Trichosanthes dioica, Marsdenia tenacissima to name a few. This Ayurveda medicine helps in various liver diseases including fatty liver and Hepattitis.
Vasaguluchyadi Kashayam is another ayurvedic medicine used in liver diseases. This herbal formulation is a medicine as well as a herbal supplement. It not only cures liver disorders but also stops disorders from further developing. This ayurvedic formulation consists of herbs like Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), Katuki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica), Neem (Azadirachta indica), etc.
Ayurvedic Diet for Healthy Liver
Ayurveda prescribes a ‘pitta-pacifying’ diet to support a healthy Liver. In general, ‘pitta-pacifying’ diet consists of one that is mild and cooling, as opposed to spicy, nourishing, and somewhat dry. More emphasis is given to the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes, while minimizing the salty, sour, and pungent (spicy) tastes. The bitter foods like bitter melon or fenugreek seeds are very good for the liver because bitter foods help in cleansing and detoxifying liver. Avoiding any additional toxicity from recreational or prescription drugs, alcohol, or tobacco will also be supportive in maintaining a healthy liver.
As per Ayurveda, it is best to minimize your intake of refined sugars, oils, and fats—which are the primary foods that the liver is directly responsible for metabolizing. In addition, Ayurveda favors cooling, pitta-pacifying spices and garnishes such as ground coriander, fresh cilantro, fennel, cumin, turmeric, mint, and lemon or lime juice in your meals.
In general, for a healthy liver, Ayurveda recommends a plant-based diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
How to Maintain Your Liver Health Naturally
Natural treatment, or naturopathy as it is popularly called these days, is a treatment method that uses natural methods, traditional medicine, herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle modification for holistic healing. naturopathy recommends the following foods for liver health. These foods not only strengthens liver function but also cleanses the liver.
Fruits that benefits liver
Grapefruit, apples, lemons, walnuts, avocado
Vegetables that benefits liver
Beets, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach
Herbs that benefits liver
Include these fruits, vegetables and herbs in your daily diet to cleanse and maintain liver health.
One of the best ways to maintain liver health is by limiting carbohydrate intake and eating a moderate amount of protein and high-fat diet. By doing this, the liver will begin to use fats for energy, thus helping you to shed extra pounds and remain fit and healthy.