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The most common of all liver ailments, this results in an increase in
the bile pigments and bilurubin in the blood, giving the skin and mucus
membrane a yellow tinge. And is called `Kamala' in Ayurveda.
Yellow discoloration of the eyes, tongue, skin and urine
Dull ache in the liver region of stomach.
Possible itching all over the body
Excessive circulation of pitta (bile pigments) in the blood. Occurs
when there is any obstruction in the bile duct or impairment of the
functions of the liver or excessive destruction of the red blood cells.
Ailments as typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, tuberculosis affect the
liver to some extent
Herbs Ghritkumari (Aloe vera) Kakmachi (Solanum nigrum) Jaundice Berry
(Berberis vultaris) Bhumiamla (Phyllanthus niruri)
Ayurvedic Supplements Punarnava Mandoor Liverol Syrup Bhumiamla Capsule
Diet Go for the boiled & spiceless diet. With vegetables-
leaves, tomato, lemon . And dry fruits- dried dates with almonds
Cardemoms Have plenty of sugarcane juice, orange juice, bitter Luffa
and barley water.This enhances urination which helps eliminate excess
bile pigments in the blood.
Lifestyle Take complete rest Avoid heat, sex and pshychic factors like
anger and anxiety.
Yoga Fish (Matsya Asana) Shoulder Stand (Sarvang Asana) Hidden Lotus
AYURVEDA AND LIVER CARE"
"Is life worth living? It depends on the
liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, and has
more functions than any other human organ. A person's entire blood
supply passes through the liver several times a day, and at any given
time there is about a pint of blood there.
Liver has a pivotal role in human metabolism.
of the significant role
the liver plays in maintaining our health, we must do all we can to
keep it functioning properly.
liver produces and secretes bile
(to be stored in the gallbladder until needed) that is used to break
down and digest fatty acids.
prothrombin and fibrinogen, both blood-clotting factors, and heparin, a
mucopolysaccharide sulfuric acid ester that helps keep blood from
clotting within the circulatory system.
sugar into glycogen, which it stores until the muscles need energy and
it is secreted into the blood stream as glucose.
synthesises proteins and cholesterol and converts carbohydrates and
proteins into fats, which are stored for later use.
also produces blood protein and hundreds of enzymes needed for
digestion and other bodily functions.
produces urea, while breaking down proteins, which it synthesises from
carbon dioxide and ammonia. It is eventually excreted by the kidneys.
liver also stores critical trace elements such as iron and copper, as
well as vitamins A, D, and B12.
liver is also
responsible for detoxifying the body of poisonous substances by
transforming and removing toxins and wastes. There are five main
sources of body toxins and wastes that the liver deals with: toxins
from food (traces of pesticides, preservatives)and alcohol; toxins from
outside (drugs, adulterants, and environmental pollutants); internally
produced chemicals, such as hormones, that are no longer needed;
nitrogen-containing waste left over from protein re-use; and energy
production. These toxins and wastes are converted into less harmful
substances by the liver and then eliminated from the body.
of a "sluggish liver"
These are fatigue, general malaise, digestive problems, blood sugar
regulation disorders (such as hypoglycaemia), high cholesterol,
psoriasis, allergies and chemical sensitivities and constipation.
Extreme cases of liver problems would be jaundice, hepatitis and
this article, we'll review the most common liver disease -
hepatitis and cirrhosis. Then will see what Ayurveda can offer for the
protection of this vital organ and survey Ayurvedic treatment of liver
Among the many diseases that can affect the liver the most common is
hepatitis (a viral infection of the liver). Hepatitis can be caused by
drugs, viruses, bacteria, mushrooms, parasites like amoebas or
giardiasis. The most common hepatitis viruses affecting the liver are
named for letters of the alphabet: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis
C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.
A - takes 14 to 21 days after infection to
cause symptoms. It is transmitted through food.
Once infected with HAV, some symptoms such as dark yellow urine and
fatigue will begin to appear within 25 days.
B - is on the increase
world-wide. It is transmitted through direct contact with blood, serum,
saliva, faeces, urine, and sexual contact.
C - is a truly serious
disease with no known effective treatment. It is transmitted through
blood and body fluids in transfusions, injections, the sharing of IV
needles with drug users, and possibly by sexual contact with exposed
D - only occurs in the presence of Hepatitis B
E - is another common
type of hepatitis in developing countries. It occurs in epidemics. The
infection route for it is faecal-oral, the same as the route for
Hepatitis A virus; therefore, again, you must be very careful in what
you eat and drink.
Usually Hepatitis A is self-limiting. Most of the Hepatitis A virus
patients will return to normal in between four to six weeks time. The
antibodies that the body's immune system develops kill the infection
and also produce immunity to Hepatitis A virus
But with Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus, many people will go
into a chronic phase that leads to chronic phase. With chronic HBV and
HCV, 30% of patients develop cirrhosis of the liver or hepatocellular
In modern medicine, the only protection against hepatitis are the HAV
and the HBV vaccines. There is nothing available for HCV protection so
far. Therefore, limiting our exposure to hepatitis is the best
prevention. We have to take the responsibility for prevention of
hepatitis ourselves. This means using safe sexual practices, taking
precautions when exposed to blood and blood products; avoiding the
sharing of IV needles; taking care to eat in restaurants that enforce
hand-washing policies among their employees; and avoiding scavenger
seafood. These measures can cut your chances of being infected with
hepatitis to a minimum.
Cirrhosis of the liver is a chronic, diffuse degenerative liver disease
in which the parenchyma (the functional organ tissue) degenerates, the
lobules are infiltrated with fat and structurally altered, dense
perilobular connective tissue forms, and areas of regeneration often
Cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of death by disease in the
United States. In most cases, though, there is a loss of liver cell
function, and an increased resistance to blood flow through the damaged
liver tissue (a condition known as portal hypertension) leading to
oesophageal varices. Severe cirrhosis leads to ammonia toxicity,
hepatic coma, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, and kidney failure. As
liver cells are destroyed, they are systematically replaced by scar
The most common cause of cirrhosis is believed to be alcohol abuse
Though it affects many organs, alcohol is especially harmful to the
liver, and is a factor in about three-fourths of the cases of liver
cirrhosis . Alcohol must be metabolized, and the liver performs most of
that job, suffering serious damage in the process. Not only does
alcohol destroy liver cells, it also robs them of their ability to
regenerate. Such cofactors as hepatitis C virus can increase the risk
of liver cirrhosis
More than half of all liver disease could be prevented if we acted on
the knowledge we already have. Avoiding or limiting the use of
alcoholic beverages. Man-made chemicals also pose an extreme threat to
cirrhosis has been diagnosed, sodium and fluids should be
restricted, and all alcohol consumption must cease. Antiemetics,
diuretics, and supplemental vitamins are prescribed. Patients should
avoid exposure to infections and eat small but frequent meals of
nutritious foods. The liver is the only organ that can generate
healthy, new tissue. It is therefore possible to regenerate a
cirrhosis-damaged liver if extraordinary therapies are followed and the
underlying cause of the cirrhosis is eliminated.
Interferon-alpha, a powerful antiviral, may reduce the risk of cancer
in some cirrhosis patients. In cases of total liver failure,
transplantation has been successful.
Medicine in Treating Liver Disease
Hepatitis A virus can be taken care of very easily with herbs. Many of
the Ayurvedic herbs have shown remarkable results in clinical trials
and studies. One of these is Eclipta Alba (Bhringaraj), others are
Boerhavia diffusa (Punarnava) , and Picrorhiza kurroa (Katuki).
It is recommend that people take these herbs on a prophylactic basis
when travelling to parts of the world where hepatitis infection is a
HBV and HCV are more serious infections. We must be careful how we use
Ayurvedic herbs for prevention of HBV and HCV. The herbs mentioned
earlier have shown a protective action in HBV, and using them on a
regular basis may be a good way to prevent HBV.
Ayurvedic medicines play a significant role in protecting the liver
from cirrhosis and from liver cancer. Animal and clinical studies done
with Phyllanthus Amarus, Phyllanthus Niruri, and Eclipta Alba have
proven their ability to reverse HBV infections in approximately 60% to
70% of patients. More significantly, with these herbs we are able to
stop the process, which leads to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.
This means that even if we are not able to make some patients negative
for HBV and HCV, we can still protect them from cirrhosis of the liver,
in which the liver stops functioning, and liver cancer.
very good care of your health. To protect your liver,
avoid alcohol and caffeine. Drink green tea, exercise, reduce stress,
and use the herbs mentioned above. Give this hard-working and essential
part of your body a rest and a tune-up, and you will be rewarded with
better health, more energy and higher disease resistance.
work on Hepatoprotective Plants -
Andrographolide, the active constituent isolated from the plant
Andrographis paniculata, showed a significant dose dependent (0.75 - 12
mg/kg p.o. x7) protective activity against paracetamol-induced toxicity
on ex vivo preparation of isolated rat hepatocytes. It significantly
increased the percent viability of the hepatocytes as tested by trypan
blue exclusion and oxygen uptake tests. It completely antagonized the
toxic effects of paracetamol on certain enzymes (GOT, GPT and alkaline
phosphatase) in serum as well as in isolated hepatic cells.
Andrographolide was found to be more potent than silymarin, a standard
Phyllanthus Amaris has been researched for its effects on hepatitis,
and in 1988 Thyagaran et al. (ibid) reported that 22 of 37 cases of
Hepatitis B lost their "carrier" status after using the herb for a
month. In the placebo control group only 1 person out of 23 had
equivalent results! More>>>>
An alcoholic extract of whole plant Boerhavia diffusa given orally
exhibited hepatoprotective activity against experimentally induced
carbon tetrachloride hepatotoxicity in rats and mice. The extract also
produced an increase in normal bile flow in rats suggesting a strong
choleretic activity. The extract does not show any signs of toxicity up
to an oral dose of 2g/kg in mice.
The hepatoprotective effect of the ethanol/water (1:1) extract of
Eclipta alba was studied at subcellular levels in rats against (CCl4)
-induced hepatotoxicity. The loss of hepatic lysomal acid phosphatase
and alkaline phosphatase by (CCl4)
was significantly restored by Ea. The study shows that hepatoprotective
activity of Ea is by regulating the levels of hepatic microsomal drug
Simultaneous treatments with S. Chirata (in different doses, viz, 20,
50, and 100 mg/kg body wt daily) and (CCl4)
caused improvement at both biochemical and histopathological parameters
compared to that of (CCl4) treatment alone but
it was most effective when S. chirata was administered in a moderate
dose (50 mg/kg body wt).
Compound I isolated from fraction TB5 of Terminalia belerica and
finally identified as 3,4,5-trihydroxy benzoic acid (gallic acid) was
evaluated for its hepatoprotective activity against carbon
- induced physiological and biochemical alterations in the liver.
Administration of compound I led to significant reversal of majority of
the altered parameters. Our results confirm the presence of
hepatoprotective activity in altered parameters. Our results confirm
the presence of hepatoprotective activity in Compound I.
Outstanding results in people suffering from jaundice have been
obtained using a herb called Tinospora Cordifolia: In 1993, Rege et al.
(ibid) used the herb in malignant obstructive jaundice: half of the
group received conventional treatment - drugs and drainage - the other
half were treated with drainage plus T. Cordifolia. After conclusion of
treatment, 50% of the drug-treated group were found to have blood
poisoning while none of the herb treated group developed this problem.
After surgery, only 40% of the drug-treated group survived, whereas an
amazing 92.4% 0f those treated with the herb lived.
The hepatoprotective effect of T. Cordifolia has been studied in carbon
tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats. While acute damage was
enhanced by prior exposure to the drug, it proved effective in the
prevention of fibrosis, and in stimulating regeneration of hepatic
Picrorrhiza Kurroa is one of the herbs they recommend to support the
liver not only in everyday situations, but in cases where severe viral
infections attack: a 1996 study by Vaidya found protection against
viral hepatitis, and other studies have demonstrated its helpfulness in
protecting against alcohol.
The hepatoprotective activity of picroliv, the irridoid glycoside
mixture from Picrorhiza kuroa, was determined in adult male albino
rats. Pretreatment with picroliv prevented the hepatotoxic effects of
paracetamol and galactosamine as evidenced by varios biochemical and
histopathological observations. Maximum hepatoprotective effect was
observed with daily oral doses of 6 and 12 mg/kg for 7 or 8 days. The
antihepatotoxic action of picroliv seems likely due to an alteration in
the biotransformation of the toxic substances resulting in decreased
formation of reactive metabolites.
can purchase the 'Liver
Care' compound from our online drug store. It contains
almost all of the above herbs.
1. Rege, N. et al.: Ind. Drugs Sept. 544 (1984)
2. Mukherjee S, Sur A, Maiti BR. Hepatoprotective effect of Swertia
chirata on rat. Indian J Exp Biol, 1997 Apr; 35(4):384-388.
3. Anand KK, Singh B, Saxena AK, Chandan BK, Gupta VN, Bhardwaj V.
3,4,5-Trihydroxy bezoic acid (gallic acid), the hepatoprotective
principle in the fruits of Terminalia belerica-bioassay guided
activity. Pharmacol Res 1997 Oct; 36(4):315-321.
4. Visen PK, Shukla B, Patnaik GK, Dhawan BN. Andrographolide protects
rat hepatocytes against paracetamol-induced damage. J Ethnopharmacol
5. Saxena AK, Singh B, Anand KK. Hepatoprotective effects of Eclipta
alba on subcellular levels in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 1993
6. Chandan BK, Sharma AK, Anand KK. Boerhavia diffusa: a study of its
hepatoprotective activity. J Ethnopharmacol 1991 Mar;31(3):299-307.
7. Ansari RA, Tripathi SC, Patnaik GK, Dhawan BN. Antihepatotoxic
properties of picroliv: an active fraction from rhizomes of Picrorhiza
8. Vaidya (Better Nutrition June 1999 p. 29)