Liver diseases – causes and consequences
Liver diseases are life-threatening and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to develop but should be controlled in time. The liver itself is an organ whose functions are related to the develpment of the whole organism.
- Bile release for the digestion
- Processing the substances for cell nutrition/metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, proteins/
- “storage” of substances required for the metabolism
- Neutralization of toxins
- Synthesis of proteins for various processes in the body, such as the blood clotting
- Hormonal and thermal regulation, etc.
Viral hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver, as there are several types. Hepatitis A is transferred through contaminated water or food. The other two types of hepatitits – В and С, are very dangerous, they can become chronic and the people infected with them may transfer the disease for a long time, without having any symptoms of the condition.
Hepatitis B is transferred by blood, but also through other body fluids – for example sperm or breast milk. Hepatitis C is mainly transferred by blood. The international statistics shows that people who died from these types of hepatitis are about a million per year.
In combination with hepatitis B, the other type may occur – hepatitis D, which is also transferred by blood. The infection with hepatitis G happens in the same way, and by faeces – infection with hepatitis E.
Hepatitis F is very rare and its clinical features are not well understood. When they occur, the hepatitis symptoms may incldue jaundice, fever, nausea, muscle and joint pains, rashes, swelling, gases and bloating, etc.
The liver can be damaged also by accumulation of toxins, vascular damage, excessive alcohol abuse, degenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases.
A common liver disease that is very dangerous is caused by alcohol. It is due to excessive alcohol consumption and it has a hidden period. Later on, the patient begins to feel tired, doesn’t have energy, loses appetite and even can develop anorexia. Alcoholic liver disease may cause accumulation of fatty liver cells /steatosis/, it also may lead to changes in the tissues such as liver sclerosis, fibrosis or in some severe cases – cirrhosis, cancer.
How Ayurveda treats the liver diseases
According to Ayurveda, liver diseases are treated by specific nutrition, herbs, procedures with healing oils, cleansing of toxins – generally of the whole organism, and in particular cleansing the liver, yoga.
The goal is to restore the energy balance in the body of the patient. This balance is between the three energies – vital forces that are called Doshas in Ayurveda. It is set by nature and the proportions of these energies are unique for every person, as each one of them is responsible for the functions of a group of organs and their systems. When a Dosha goes out of balance it causes disturbance in these functions and diseases occur.
Liver diseases are due to increased Pitta Dosha. Its characteristics are hot, fatty, fluid, sharp, as in order to be balanced the opposite characteristics shall be applied. Especially very important is the food consumed by the patient. He has to avoid all hot, salty, spicy, sweet and sour foods, as well as the fried foods, because they have increasing effect on Pitta dosha.
Meat, cheese, butter, fish also have to be avoided. Porridges are recommended for the first ten to fourteen days, then you can include to your menu basmati rice and kichari with herbs to cleanse the liver: turmeric, coriander and other.
To cleanse the blood are used sprouted grains and raw green leafy vegetables. The Aloe Vera juice is very good especially with turmeric and coriander in it. Also you can consume brahmi, bringaraj, katuka, sudarshan powder, triphala and so on.
Some of the herbs are intended to cool down the “fiery” emotions that are related to Pitta – irritation, ambition, jealousy, anger – as they have damaging effect on the liver. This is connected with the perception of Ayurveda that the organism is a unity and interdependence of the physical beginning with emotions and consciousness. When the liver is ready to process oils you can use restorative oils such as olive oil, sesame oil and avocado oil.