Liver is one of the heaviest and your body’s second largest organ. It is placed right under your ribcage on the right side and is approximately the size of a football. It does a lot of things that keep a person healthy. Liver separates nutrients from toxins as they move through the digestive system. It carries out toxins out from your body and also helps in the process of digestion. So when your liver isn’t working well, it affects your entire body. In this article, we will take a look at PFIC or progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis and its safer treatment options in Ayurveda, a 5000 year old system of medicine.
INTRODUCTION- WHAT IS PFIC?
PFIC or progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis is a disorder that eventually results in progressive liver disease. This most commonly leads to liver failure. Liver cells in this condition are unable to secrete digestive fluid called bile. This is a rare inherited condition which causes buildup of bile in liver cells which leads to jaundice, severe itching and malabsorption which worsens over time.
PFIC or progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis is an inherited disorder that occurs due to gene mutations. This condition occurs when an individual inherits a mutated gene from the parents. Most commonly affected genes in PFIC are ABCB11 or ABCB4.
Most common symptoms for PIFC include
- Severe itching
- Poor weight gain
- Poor growth
- Poor bone growth and strength
- Enlargement of liver
- Malabsorption of fat soluble vitamins (Vitamin A,D,E,K)
- Liver cirrhosis
Most commonly treatment for PIFC is based on giving the symptomatic relief to the patient. Major complaints like itching can be treated symptomatically.
Various Treatment Pptions for PIFC are
- Vitamin supplements: For weakness and incomplete absorption, various supplemental vitamins are suggested.
- Liver transplant: If the medicines are not effective in giving relief, liver transplant is usually the only option left.
AYURVEDA PERSPECTIVE AND MANAGEMENT OF PIFC
Although Ayurveda does not directly mention PFIC, it does mention inherited disorders. Acharya Charka, the ancient Ayurveda scholar mentions that any kind of congenital and genetic deformities originated at the reproductive level. It states that any kind of deformity in sperm (Shukra) and ovum (Shonit) will lead to beej dosha (genetic deformity) because beej bhag (genes) are responsible for womb formation. When the genes are defective it leads to any kind of genetic deformity in the new born baby. Considering all the symptoms and causes of this disease, we can correlate this with Rakta Vaha Srotas Dushti. When the pregnant mother consumes Pitta aggravating diet, there is imbalance in the doshas and the Raktha Strotas of the fetus which then leads to the genetic disorders like PIFC.
AYURVEDA HERBS THAT HELP IN PIFC
Ayurveda, 5000 year old system of medicine does mention various ayurveda herbs that brilliantly help in managing the symptoms and treating the condition of PIFC are
Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri) is an Ayurveda herb mentioned in classical text books of Ayurveda. It majorly affects the health of the liver. This herb has cleansing, soothing and cooling properties. It balances the pitta and kapha dosha and balances the excess agni/heat in the digestive tract. Not only liver, it also helps gallbladder in cleansing and detoxification.
Triphala, a combination of three ayurveda herbs namely amla (Phyllanthus emblica), Harad (Terminalia chebula), Bahera (Terminalia billerica) is one of the most used ayurveda combinations has a unique ability to provide multiple benefits to the body. A combination of three herbs, it helps in constipation and digestion. Along With this, it helps to detox, replenish and nourish the liver with its qualities. It can be easily consumed in powder form, tablet form or in a decoction form.
Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) is a well documented Ayurveda herb mentioned in Ayurveda textbooks. It is called Indian Echinacea; it is one of the most important and powerful ayurveda herbs against liver disorders. It has been proven to have hepatoprotective properties. It is antiviral, anti bacterial, immune boosting and anti infective which makes it the foremost choice of the herb against liver disorders.
4. AMLA (Embilica officinalis)
Amla or Indian gooseberry has antioxidants and helps prevent the body from the attack of free radicals. It is a great source of vitamin C and a huge immune booster. It has a combination of five tastes in Ayurveda and helps prevent bacterial and viral infections. It has cool potency and a sweet post digestive effect which helps in dealing with inflammation in liver disorders.
HERBAL FORMULATIONS FOR PFIC BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet Ayurveda is an authentic, GMP certified company that produces pure Ayurveda herbs and formulations under the expert supervision of Ayurveda doctors. All the formulations are vegetarian, 100% pure and are mentioned in 5000 year old Ayurveda texts. Some of the formulations by planet ayurveda for PIFC are
1. YAKRIT PLIHANTAK CHURNA
Yakrit Plihantak Churna by planet ayurveda is a powder formulation prepared with the pure ayurveda herbs such as Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), Bhringraj (Eclipta alba), Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri) and many other hepatoprotective herbs. These herbs have katu (pungent) and Tikta (bitter) ras (taste) and help in balancing out kapha and pitta dosha in the body. All these herbs work in sync and assist in sustaining the health of the hepatic system without any side effects.
DOSAGE: 1 tsf of Churna twice daily.
2. KALMEGH GHAN VATI
Kalmegh Ghan vati by planet ayurveda is prepared by 500 mg standardized extract of kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) as the main ingredient. This herb has a bitter taste and is known as the king of bitter in ayurveda texts. According to ayurveda, this is yakrit utejak; pittasark and rechak which means these capsules support healthy hepatoprotective activity and sustain good liver health. These capsules work brilliantly well in all cases of liver diseases.
DOSAGE: 2 tablets twice daily.
3. BHUMI AMLA SWARAS
Bhumi amla Swaras by planet ayurveda is liquid formulation that contains Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus niruri) as the main ingredient. This herb has cold potency, bitter and sweet in taste. This herb has anti viral, antihelminthic and laxative properties. It balances out aggravated Vata and pitta dosha and hence manages thirst, cough and cold. This formulation is known to remove all the mala (waste) from the body and is known to retain health while reversing the liver disorders.
DOSAGE: 2 tbsp twice daily.
4. LIVER DETOX CAPSULES
Planet Ayurveda’s liver detox capsules are pure vegetarian capsule formulations with no side effects. The Prime ingredients capsule are katuki (picrorhiza kurroa), punarnava (boerhavia diffusa), kalmegh (andrographis paniculata), makoy (solanum indicum) and many other ayurveda herbs. Extracts of all these potent herbs are present in Liver care capsules. These protect against fatty liver and flush out the body toxins and improve digestion.
DOSAGE: 1 capsule twice daily.
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Liver is the most important detox organ of the body. It is very important for the liver to function properly to be able to maintain overall body health. Liver disorders cannot be fully treated by the modern medicine system. Liver transplant remains the last option in modern treatment. However, with Ayurveda one gets complete relief from the symptoms in a safer way. It is difficult to cure the genetic disorders completely but with ayurveda we can naturally manage the symptoms better and avoid the side effects and liver transplant in the longer run.