Ayurveda And Yoga Can Prevent Liver Disease

Ayurveda And Yoga Can Prevent Liver Disease
Ayurveda And Yoga Can Prevent Liver Disease

This is a special article for July 28th World Hepatitis Day.

According to the American Liver Foundation, one in 10 Americans have some sort of liver disease that is, over 30 million people in the United States present some form of liver imbalance. To make things a bit more complicated, it is known that there are more than 100 types of liver disease.

To make matters worse, statistics have proven that 20 percent of Americans have fatty livers, a condition responsible for what is called NAFLD or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

If more than one million Americans are infected with hepatitis B and four million have hepatitis C (there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C) and each year 21,000 Americans are diagnosed with liver cancer with statistics proving that this number is on the rise, how could a change in lifestyle, use of herbs and maybe some sort of physical exercise could help to prevent such an imbalance?

One important aspect of prevention is information. Understanding how the liver generically works is the first step.

How Does The Liver Work?

The liver is the heaviest

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organ in the body occupying the upper right side of the abdomen behind the ribs. It converts food into nutrients and also functions as storage of nutrients, fats, vitamins, sugars and iron until needed by the body. It also acts as a filter in the body neutralizing potentially harmful substances in the body such as alcohol. The liver from the intake of saturated fats produces most of the cholesterol in the body. To help with the digestion, the liver secretes a fluid called bile, which helps to emulsify fats and helps to neutralize the acidity in the stomach.

Ayurvedic Approach To Liver Imbalances  

According to Ayurveda, the liver is a Pitta (physical constitution) organ related to the water and especially fire elements, which are related to metabolism. To follow a clean liver diet means following a diet and lifestyle that will help to pacify the pitta energy in the body.  Here are some tips to avoid too much heating in the system:

-Avoid spicy foods

-Drinking aloe vera, coconut water and lots of pure water will help to cool the energy in the body

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pacifying the pitta energy.  Favor the naturally cooling, sweet, astringent and bitter tastes such as juicy fruits such as pears.

-Avoid fermented and overly salty foods. Vegetables like carrots and broccoli are good choices. Add bitter herbs to your diet because they aid in the detoxification process.

-Add fresh and organic food to your diet, avoid food preservatives, over-processed food and unnecessary toxins such as alcohol and smoking.

-As far as exercise, avoid hot yoga and exercising outdoors when the temperature is too high.  Yoga twists such as ardha masyendrasana (spinal twist); bhujanghasana  (cobra) and other twists will help to pacify pitta, at the same time helping to detoxify the body.

-Bedtime should be before or at 10 PM

Expert advice: Avoid situations that will create or expose you to anger or other negative emotions. Negativity will also be toxic to the liver and will deplete the immune system.

Ayurveda And Yoga Can Prevent Liver Disease
Ayurveda Herb Bhumiamalaki

Some herbs that can help the

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liver are Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus amarus), Kutki  (Picrorrhiza kurroa) and aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis).

 

References

 http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/liverlowdown/ll1013/bigpicture/

American Medical Association- Family Medical Guide

Images provided by DREAMSTIME