World Liver Day 2020 – Ayurvedic tips for healthy liver
Ways to keep your liver healthy
Image: Ways to keep your liver healthy
World Liver Day is celebrated on 19th April every year globally to build awareness and understanding how important the liver is for your body and understanding how liver diseases can be managed and treated without any side effects. The liver is the engine and the second largest complex organ in the body. Everything you eat, consume in a form of liquid passes through the liver. The main functions of Liver are fighting infections and illness, regulating normal blood sugar, controlling the levels of cholesterol and removing toxic substances from the body. Medical experts and physicians are sounding alarm bells ringing on certain sedentary lifestyles and dietary habits that are leading to an increasing number of fatty acids. As per World Health Organization (WHO) report, a major population is diagnosed with liver diseases. The ancient Ayurvedic medicinal practice has home remedies and dietary habits to protect the liver against the deposition of fatty acids. Eating healthy food and active lifestyle with sufficient exercise helps keep the liver healthy. Ayurveda recommendations and practices help in taking care of liver by avoiding diseases and recovering from illnesses. As per Ayurveda, liver majorly comprises the fire and water elements that means eating hot and spicy foods may imbalance the forces, thus disturbs the liver. This imbalance in the liver contributes to the liver related diseases such as cirrhosis etc. So for maintaining good liver health, choose a healthy food diet. Healthy diet maintains a healthy weight that controls the escalation of cholesterol levels and maintains the proper functioning of the liver. Proper diet such as Veda diet and good health prevents toxins from entering the blood. The main important function of Liver is to produce blood-clotting factors and also stores certain valuable nutrients and vitamins. Veda diet is an ayurvedic diet is an eating plan that provides guidelines for when you eat , what you eat and how to eat to boost your health.
Ayurveda’s fundamental principle is “prevention is better than cure”. Ayurveda recommends adopting a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fats and proteins for a healthier liver. Detoxifying our liver to improve health through Ayurveda by including few changes to our diet. Ayurveda lists a few easily available food items that can help detox your liver,
Garlic – Garlic contains high levels of active constituents called allicin that contains antioxidants. The antioxidants present in Garlic prevents the damage caused by the free radicals. Garlic also helps to activate enzymes that flush out toxins from the body. It also has antibiotic and antifungal properties that have germ fighting ability.
Apple – “An apple a day keeps a doctor away”. Apple contains an enzyme called pectin that helps in cleaning the body and releases the toxins from the digestive system.
Green tea – Green tea contains antioxidants that prevents cell damage and helps improve liver functions. This also reduces the body fat percentage and fat in the blood.
Carrot – Carrots are rich in plant flavonoids and beta carotene that helps manage overall liver and bodily functions. It also contains Vitamin A that prevents liver disease.
Walnuts – Walnuts is an excellent source of amino acids. So eating walnuts regularly helps remove toxins and detoxify the liver. Eating a handful of walnuts in a day helps manage liver functions.
Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits are good to improve the immune system as it contains Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps increase the production of white blood cells and fights against the infectious or viral agents. Some of the common citrus fruits are oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit. All these fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C so you can easily add Vitamin C into your food and diet.
Turmeric is a famous key ingredient used for preparing curries in Indian Kitchens. Turmeric has medicinal and healing properties due to its active constituent curcumin that helps decrease muscle damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that helps manage arthritis related problems such rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It helps in metabolising fats and production of bile juice, which acts as a natural detoxifier for our liver.
Green leafy vegetables – They are rich in chlorophyll that helps flush out toxins from our blood stream. They can neutralise heavy metals to protect the liver.
Do’s and Don’ts
Legumes – such as beans, peas, soybeans, contain the necessary amino acid arginine in the detoxification of ammonia, the waste product of protein digestion
Turmeric – Cooking spice contains curcumin which has traditionally been used as a remedy for liver disorders
Onions – Contain sulfur which helped sweep the various toxic substances such as chemical drugs, alcohol, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants
Get more exercise – Preferably resistance exercises have been proven to help improve a fatty liver
Eat raw vegetables – These are high in fibre and vitamins and in general will help you lose weight especially if you can substitute your favourite sweet thing for a raw vegetable
Drink more water – Drinking sufficient water will help the liver and kidneys do their thing a lot easier
Avoid dairy products. Cheese, milk and yoghurt
Cut down the amount of red meat as this is harmful for your liver
Don’t smoke, avoid pharmacy drugs. The liver has to filter out the toxins left by these and by reducing its work load it will have more resources to heal itself
Avoid breathing in toxic fumes from cleaning products, paint or solvents because this can damage the liver. If you want to paint walls, for example, open windows, turn on fans and wear a mask. Always use gentle cleaning products.
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Useful Herbs for the Liver
Several herbs are very useful for liver disorders. Many of them promote the flow of bile as well as detoxifying the liver and reducing Pitha.
Kalamegh – Aerial Parts (Andrographis paniculata)
Traditionally used for a variety of ailments including liver disorders and has also been shown to protect against toxin induced hepatotoxicity.
Katuka – Root (Picrorhiza kurroa)
Used traditionally in Ayurveda for centuries as a general liver tonic and for liver cleansing, hepatitis, biliousness, fevers, and poisoning. The root also protects against alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity.
Ginger Rhizome – Root (Zingiber officinale)
Recommended for promoting digestion. Ginger has been found to have a stimulatory effect on gastric secretions and has metabolic and circulatory enhancing effects, which reinforces the therapeutic activity of other herbs.
Vidanga – Fruit (Embelia ribes)
Used for hepatic conditions and liver rejuvenation.
Bhringraj – Leaf and Root (Eclipta alba)
Traditionally used to aid secretion of bile and for removing functional obstructions in the body in cases of liver enlargement, for jaundice and other ailments of the liver and gallbladder.
Harithaki – Fruit (Terminalia chebula)
Traditionally used in chronic diarrhoea and dysentry, flatulence, vomiting, colic and enlarged spleen and liver.
Pippali – Fruit (Piper longum)
Piperine, an active alkaloidal constituent, has been shown to exert a significant protection against liver toxicity by decreasing the reduction of GSH, a powerful antioxidant.
Arjuna – Bark (Terminalia arjuna)
The powdered bark is traditionally used as a diuretic and general tonic in cases of cirrhosis of the liver.
Amla – Fruit (Emblica officinalis)
Traditionally used for enlarged liver and for liver revitalizing.
Punarnava – Whole Plant (Boerhaavia diffusa)
Traditionally used for hepatic disorders and for internal inflammation.
Bhumi Amla – Whole Plant (Phyllanthus niruri)
This is the most widely used herb for liver disorders in south Asian countries.
Amrutha – Stem (Tinospora cordifolia)
A powerful immunomodulator.
Sharapunkha – Whole Plant (Tephrosia purpurea) Successfully used in hepatomegali.