Ten main symptoms of liver malfunction
- Darker color of the urine, which occurs when bilirubin mixes with urine.
- Lighter color or pale stools when stercobilin, a brown pigment, is absent from the stool.
- Swelling/edema of ankles and feet due to the liver’s failure to generate albumin.
- Dull abdominal pain and swelling.
- Heaviness or sluggish digestion post fatty meals.
- Jaundice resulting in yellowish, pale and/or discolored skin and eyes.
- Unbearable itching.
- Bruising and easy bleeding. When liver damage occurs, the substances that help in the coagulation of blood are no longer present and severe bleeding may occur.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Nausea and/or loss of appetite.
Main causes of liver malfunction
- Acute liver failure.
- Bile duct obstruction.
- Enlarged liver.
- Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E.
- Liver cancer.
- Liver cyst.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Alcoholic hepatitis.
- Autoimmune hepatitis.
- Toxic hepatitis.
Strengthen, detoxify and nourish the liver
Garlic and onions: Choline is a soluble compound that helps prevent fat deposits in the liver. Methionine is an amino acid in proteins that protects the liver and helps flush away fat-soluble toxins through urine. Both these components are present in garlic and onion. Use them raw or cooked in your diet on a daily basis.
Radish: Sulfur-based chemicals in radishes help increase the flow of bile, assisting the liver and improving digestion. Radishes contain diastase, an enzyme that aids digestion of starches. Mix equal amounts of cucumber juice, radish juice and carrot juice and take about four ounces, two times a day, 30 minutes prior to meals, for healthy digestion and healthy detoxification.
High-fiber diet: Food high in fiber not only helps the liver function properly, but also helps it transport fatty toxins out of the body. Fiber binds to bile in the large intestine for slow and proper digestion. Vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts provide plenty of fiber to promote liver health. Eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries (all berries) are good fruit sources of fiber. Whole grain products are excellent sources of fiber. Eat whole grain crackers or a handful of nuts.
Pomegranate tea: Pomegranate is a super detox food for the liver, a powerful antioxidant, high in Vitamin C, calcium and potassium. Pomegranate peel, leaves and flowers are excellent for a cooling effect on the liver. If flowers and leaves are not available, take the fresh peel of one small pomegranate and boil it in two cups of water. Reduce it to half by boiling and drink it as tea before going to bed.
Other detox foods: Turmeric,green tea and yogurt are some of the foods that help in detoxifying the liver and aid in proper digestion of food.
Lime juice and honey: Drink four to six ounces of hot water mixed with the juice of half a lime and one teaspoon of honey first thing in the morning.
Dry massage (Udvartana): Stimulate liver function with a dry massage of the foot soles with a brush. Do this around 40-50 times. Scrub the foot soles from heels to toes before going to bed – this is an excellent method to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Apart from this, a special Ayurvedic treatment known as “Udvartana” is practiced where the whole body or a part of the body is massaged using dry powder of therapeutic herbs depending upon the body-mind constitution (prakriti) of the person in treatment. It is excellent to reduce swelling, itching and rashes. The powders used for liver detox are sandalwood, rose leaves, holy basil, lime peel, clay, Bengal gram flour and special Ayurvedic herbal formulations.
Castor oil packs: Castor oil has deep therapeutic properties. It reduces internal inflammation and swelling, as well as stimulates the internal organs when applied as a hot pack externally. To use it as a pack, soak a piece of flannel in castor oil and place it on the right side of the abdomen. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic/cling wrap (generally larger than the flannel cloth), and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the pack for about five minutes. The entire procedure is to be repeated three to four times in one session.
Point 1: Press the point on the big toe, at the bottom left corner of the nail intermittently, to release pressure on the liver.
Point 2: Move your ring/middle fingertip in a counterclockwise direction over the point between the big toe and the second toe, a half thumb width from the margin of the web to reduce heat from the liver.
Point 3: Move your ring/middle fingertip in a counterclockwise direction over the point on the line between the big toe and the second toe. The point is located about three finger widths from the edge, in the one fourth- to half-inch depression of the big toe and the second toe. Stimulating this point helps release accumulated stress and anger leading to congestion in the liver.
Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any or several of the symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. You must verify with your physician before applying this article’s suggestions to your individual situation.
Indu Arora, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapist considers herself a student for lifetime. She has been sharing about Yoga philosophy, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda since 1999. She is inspired by and taught under Kriya Yoga, Himalayan Yoga, Kashmir Shivaism and Sivananda Yoga lineages. She has studied both Yoga and Ayurveda in a traditional Guru paramapara setting. Her teaching style is rooted in empowering and inspiring students to awaken the inner Guru. Her core philosophy is, ‘Nothing has the greatest power to heal, but Self!” www.yogsadhna.com