Category: Alcoholic Liver Disease

Ayurvedic Management of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Introduction

The Liver is the second largest organ of the human body whose weight is approximately 1.6 kg.

Some of the main functions of liver are

  • It metabolizes important proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • It helps in producing and clearing cholesterol in the body.
  • The liver secretes blood clotting factors which help in stopping the excessive blood flow during a cut or any injury.
  • It also secretes bile. Bile helps in the digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.
  • It stores iron, copper, and Vitamins such as A, D, E, K and B12.
  • The liver cleanses the blood by eliminating harmful wastes, drugs, and toxic substances from it.

causes of liver diseases

What are the common disorders that affect the liver?

Disorders that affect the liver are Hepatitis (Inflammation of the liver), Cirrhosis (scarring), fatty liver and cancer. Common causes of liver disorders are metabolism, hereditary, virus infection such as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, intake of alcohol and drugs.

What is fatty liver?

The normal liver has 5% fat only. When the amount of fat increases by 10%, then healthy liver tissues gets converted into fatty tissues. This disorder is known as fatty liver or steatosis. In other words, this condition can be described as a liver that sucks fat.

What are the causes of fatty liver?

  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Overweight
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes Mellitus

causes of fatty liver

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)?

Fatty liver has two basic types:

  • Persons who have more alcohol intake, the fatty liver reaches the first stage of the disease, which gradually leads to cirrhosis if the alcohol intake is continued.
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a term used to describe the fat deposition in those patients who take alcohol in smaller quantities or do not consume alcohol at all.

What is NASH?

Due to the deposition of fats in the Patients Suffering from NAFLD, there is an inflammation and necrosis (death of tissues of the liver). The presence of dead tissues and inflammation lead to a chronic disorder known as Non-Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis (NASH). The word Steato means fat and Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Patients who are suffering from NASH are at the risk of developing cirrhosis.

NAFLD and NASH — Facts and Figures

  • In India, the incidence of NAFLD is commonly seen in obese, diabetes or prediabetic people.
  • 80% of patients suffering from NAFLD are obese.
  • It affects 40-70% of the patients suffering from diabetes.
  • In normal children, NAFLD disease has increased up to 3-10% in the last 10 years and increases up to 8-80% in overweight/obese children.
  • Nearly 2-3% thin and 15-20% obese people have NASH.

What are the risk factors associated with NAFLD?

The risk factors associated with NAFLD are:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Age: It mostly occurs in the persons above the age of 50 years. It is most commonly seen in men.
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • High levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood.

What are the symptoms of NAFLD?

There are no specific Signs and Symptoms of NAFLD. But, when the disease develops, it causes pain and discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen and fatigue.

How NAFLD is diagnosed?

Following are the tests that are used for the diagnosis of NAFLD:

  • LFT: It is a blood test which measures the concentrations of various enzymes and proteins in the blood which are produced by the liver. Patients suffering from NAFLD have elevated levels of liver enzymes.
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Biopsy: A liver biopsy is a procedure in which a small needle is inserted into the liver to collect a tissue sample. Liver biopsy is done to differentiate between NASH and fatty liver.

What are the disorders and complications associated with NASH?

Patients suffering from NASH have higher risks of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disorders or stroke.

What are the steps to prevent NAFLD?

The change in lifestyle is the first step towards the prevention of NAFLD.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Choose a healthy diet.
  • Be regular with your physical exercises.
  • Don’t take any medicine without a physician’s consultation.
  • Intake of alcohol should be under control.
  • Quit smoking.

Modern treatment for liver disorders include the prescription of drugs but currently available drugs have more systemic toxicity therefore, physicians hesitate to administer these drugs for long term use.

According to modern medicine, liver transplantation is one of the options for chronic liver disorders but this treatment option bears several risks and is unaffordable for most of the patients in many countries, particularly in India. Further, liver transplant is a complex procedure as it requires sophisticated infrastructure, expensive drugs and prolonged stays in ICUs.

What is the Ayurvedic perspective on liver disorders?

In Ayurveda, the liver is considered as a well-known organ. It is known as”Yakrit”. The word “Yakrit” is made from two words: Yat + Krit. “Yat” means conversion and “Krit” means to do. Yakrit is a site of Raktdhatu where blood is stored. In Ayurveda, there are many herbs and their extracts that have been shown to possess hepatoprotective activities.

These herbs have biochemical active components that protect the liver from oxidative stress, promote virus elimination, block fibrogenesis, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, liver generating properties. Traditional Indian Medicinal system known as Ayurveda has generated extensive empirical knowledge and treated various complicated disorders since ages.

NAFLD can be successfully treated with the help of herbs and herbal remedies.

Ayurvedic Treatment of Fatty LIver

Natural Treatment of Fatty LIver

What is the treatment of NAFLD by Planet Ayurveda?

Planet Ayurveda offers effective herbal remedies for the treatment of NAFLD. These remedies are:

  1. Indian Echinacea Capsules
  2. Yakrit Plihantak Churna
  3. Phyllanthus Niruri Capsules
  4. Liver Detox Formula

1. Indian Echinacea Capsules

Planet Ayurveda’s Echinacea Capsules contain the standardized extract of the herb Andographis paniculata. This herb is known as “King of Bitters”. In Sanskrit, this herb is known by the name “Kalmegh”. This herb has been used for liver disorders, lack of appetite, purification of blood since ages. It reduces vitiated Kapha and Pitta dosha. It is useful for the treatment of liver disorders as it stimulates liver, expels out excess Pitta from the body.

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

2.Yakrit Plihantak Churna

Planet Ayurveda’s Yakrit Plihantak Churna is a wonderful combination of unique herbs that are known to improve the functioning of the liver. The herbs used in this formulation influence the functioning of the liver by regenerating liver cells, relieving inflammation, eliminating toxins, etc.

Ingredients used in the preparation of Yakrit Plihantak Churna are:

Sr. No. Ingredient Name Common Name Parts Used Quantity (200 gm)
1. Phyllanthus niruri Bhumi Amla Whole 60 gm
2. Andrographis paniculata Kalmegh Whole 20 gm
3. Eclipta alba Bhringraj Whole 20 gm
4. Tephrosia purpurea Sharpunkha Roots 20 gm
5. Cichorium intybus Kaasni Roots 20 gm
6. Picrorrhiza kurrao Katuki Stem 20 gm
7. Solanum indicum Makoy Whole 20 gm
8. Boerhavia diffusa Punarnava Roots 20 gm

Dose: 1/2-1 teaspoonful of herbal powder with plain water after meals should be taken.

3.Phyllanthus Niruri Capsules

Phyllanthus Niruri Capsules contain the standardized extract of the herb Bhumyamalaki. This herb is considered as hepatoprotective. This herb reduces vitiated Kapha and Pitta dosha. It is a coolant by nature. Therefore, these capsules are very useful in enhancing the functioning of the diseased liver. Its root, leaves and the whole plant is used as an herbal supplement. This plant has also been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for urinary calculi.

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

4.Liver Detox Formula

Liver Detox Formula by Planet Ayurveda is obtained from the mixture of different herbs that are helpful in the cleansing liver and keeps it healthy and strong. This formulation is designed to revive the damaged liver cells and gives strength to the body.

Ingredients of Liver Detox Formula are:

Sr. No. Ingredient Name Common Name Quantity
1. Picrorrhiza kurrao Kutki 200 mg
2. Boerrhavia diffusa Punarnava 100 mg
3. Andographis paniculata Kalmegh 50 mg
4. Solanum indicum Makoy 25 mg
5. Chicorum intybus Kaasni 25 mg
6. Achillea millefolium Biranjasipha 25 mg
7. Tamarix galluca Jhavuka 25 mg
8. Capparis spinosa Himsra 25 mg
9. Terminalia chebula Haritaki 25 mg

Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

How Ayurveda Treat Liver cirrhosis with Diet & Herbal Remedies

Overview

Liver cirrhosis can be compared with Kumbhkamala in Ayurveda. Mostly alcohol is responsible for it. Liver has to perform multiple functions like production of biles to absorb vitamins & fats, regulation of proteins and flushing out the toxins & pathogens.

Although it is a disease which can’t be reversed, but if treated earlier it saves you from further troubles. Ayurveda has natural and herbals ways to treat this disease in a humble way.

The liver is seen as your body’s engine and processing plant, which is responsible for multi-tasking job of generation, digestion, metabolism of numerous compounds, filtration of blood and distribution of vital nutrients to different cells and organs.To keep the plasma tissue (rasa dhatu) clean, the liver catches the bad toxins (Ama), which have accumulated in the liver, and throws them out.

According to Ayurveda

  • According to Ayurveda the liver is an organ that is as fresh as a daisy. It keeps working as long as we live and has the same importance as the heart.
  • Currently, due to the rising amount in the consumption of  all alcoholic drinks over the globe, we are at a risk of hurting our liver, whereas it becomes a duty of all humans to safeguard it from any such mishaps.
  • When liver gets disturbed, many infections are lurking in our environment to strike, if the liver is strong it keeps all infections at bay, but when it is hurt and gets weak, your body can be ambushed by any infection, then better be ready to face the music, which can also prove to be fatal if ignored.

Some of the most common liver diseases are:

1.Alcohol-related liver disease:

Cirrhosis or scarring of the liver caused by excessive consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages.

2.Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease:

  • Liver damage can happen from fat build-up caused by obesity, high blood sugar level, insulin resistance or high levels of fats in the blood.

3.Hepatitis:

Infection can be caused by hepatitis A, B, C or D virus.

4. Primary biliary cirrhosis:

Mostly it is a result of autoimmune disease.

5.Haemochromatosis:

  • It can be a genetic condition in which an iron overload can cause liver cirrhosis.

Every individual has different reasons to cause liver cirrhosis, but by changing your diet plans and life style you can restore the health of the liver.

Liver cirrhosis

Natural Treatment for Liver cirrhosis

Arogyavardhini Vati

  • Ayurveda has an effective and most common remedy called Arogyavardhini, which heals the scarred liver. In fact it is a compound of katuki and calx that protects the patients from chronic deteriorating conditions like Jaundice happening.
  • Arogyavardhini Vati functions by reviving the liver muscles and is extremely beneficial in cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice and in case of poor liver functioning. This remedy comes in the form of powder (churna) and is also available in tablets.

Katuki

  • Katuki is a word of Sanskrit meaning bitter and another herbal remedy which is very effective and helpful. It is just available in powder form. It is a fragile herb that can be found growing in the pristine environment of the lower Himalayas. Its demand is gaining more because it possesses large scale therapeutic benefits.
  • It triggers the liver to produce more bile and soothes it from the congestion and pain. It also facilitates the tissues for working normally. It rejuvenates the liver after purifying the blood. It is a soft laxative and such a remedy  excretes out the aggravated Pitta (excess bile) from the liver and makes it function in normal conditions. It also stimulates the fat metabolism and lowers bad cholesterol level. Mix 1 teaspoon of katuki powder with an equal amount of honey and have it thrice a day.

Bhringaraja

  • Bhringaraja is another herbal remedy in Ayurveda that can help the people who have infantile liver cirrhosis. Traditionally, Bhringaraj was used to treat diseases like Jaundice and fatty liver. Its leaf juice or plant extract may be given to patients of injured liver either alone or along with other products  such as honey, pepper, or punarnava.
  • Your liver works in an arduous way to eradicate toxins from your body and Bhringaraj has the capacity to protect this vital organ from damage by harmful chemicals.  Its ingredients like demethyl-wedelolactone and wedelolactone are thought to account for these beneficial effects as they show not only anti-hepatotoxic activity but are also able to help regenerate liver cells. Take 1 teaspoon of Bhringaraja, thrice a day. I know it tastes bitter, but you can add some honey to sweeten the taste.

Papaya

  • 4. Papaya seeds are beneficial in cirrhosis, especially if  liver cirrhosis happen due to alcohol. Papaya seeds can either be taken in raw form or can be put in a grinder to take out their juice. For the best way to have it is, mix 1 tablespoon of this juice with 10 drops of fresh lime juice, be regular and try it for a month, be ready for pleasant surprises.

Prevention & Tips

  • If liver cirrhosis has gone more complicated and has become Jaundice, then you need the juice of Raddish leaves, mixed with water. This process will enhance the appetite and regulates the movement of bowels, thus helps in digestion. This experiment proved with lots of patients saying that they do get positive results within 8 to 10 days.
  • If Jaundice has become severe, enhance the amount by taking fresh buttermilk. Persist on having healthy meals regularly. Better avoid the food which is rich in proteins and sugar. If you have a high quality of protein, which is available in goat milk, almonds and cottage cheese, then it can be given to the patients with cirrhosis. Avoid having pulses and legumes.

home remedies for liver failure

Other Remedies

  • There are many more remedies in Ayurveda that can restore liver like Vasaka, Triphala and kakamachi. All are herbal formulations.

Note

  • All these herbal remedies are tried in liver conditions and have a high success rate. Just make sure that all these herbs are grown in an organic manner to reap in the maximum benefits. It will be a lot more better that you consult with a highly qualifies and renowned Ayurvedic doctor before proceeding as he/she can guide in an adorable way.