Ayurvedic Treatment of Fatty Liver with Herbal Remedies
Liver is the second largest organ of the body which sits under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. The main function of the liver is Digestion of food and freeing your body from toxic substances. If you have a small amount of fat in your liver it is normal but to have a large amount of accumulated fat becomes the reason for many health problems. In severe conditions, it may lead to liver failure. Fatty liver is also known as Hepatic Steatosis. Fatty liver is commonly caused by metabolic syndrome such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity etc.
In this article, we will discuss the fatty liver, its types, causes, and symptoms along with the Ayurvedic herbs, that are beneficial in fatty liver.
Liver is the large half-moon shaped organ located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity and it is covered by the rib cage. It has two section left and right lobes. When excess amounts of fat build up in the liver, it leads to a disease called Hepatic Steatosis or fatty liver. Two types of Fatty liver diseases are:
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD)
- Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
1. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Alcoholic fatty liver disease is also known as metabolic associated fatty liver disease. Consumption of heavy alcohol is the main reason of Alcoholic fatty liver disease. Liver is responsible for the breakdown of alcohol. During breakdown, it generates harmful substances. These harmful substances lead to liver cell damage, and promote inflammation. Alcoholic fatty liver disease, in turn, leads to hepatitis and cirrhosis.
2. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Name specifies that it is not related to the intake of Alcohol. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are of two types:
- Simple fatty liver, in this type of disease there is little or no liver cell damage and inflammation but fat is accumulated in the liver.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, in this type of disease there is fat in the liver as well as liver cell damage and inflammation occurs.
It is usually silent disease with no or few symptoms. Still some signs are witnessed in fatty liver disease, that are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Swollen Abdomen and Legs (Edema)
- Tiredness & Weakness
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
Some common causes of Fatty Liver are as follows:
- Type 2 Diabetes: Risk of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is increased due to type 2 Diabetes, as in this condition, an excess amount of fat is accumulated in the liver, whether you drink alcohol or not.
- Obesity: it is related to the enhanced risk of Steatosis.
- Age: in elderly age nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common because it carries burden of hepatic complications, such as: cirrhosis, etc.
- Level of fat in Blood is High: if level of cholesterol is high, excess fat is accumulated in liver. It may lead to Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Certain Drugs: Regular use of some drugs such as corticosteroids, etc. Corticosteroids may increase the risk of Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
- Metabolic Disorders: that leads to high risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. and ultimately to Fatty Liver.
- Certain Infections: such as Hepatitis C. Due to hepatitis C, there are more chances of Death of liver cells.
In modern medicine, not any kind of specific medication is used in the treatment of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Only certain diuretic medicines are prescribed. Both alcoholic fatty liver diseases may lead to cirrhosis. If cirrhosis is not treated then it can lead to liver failure and liver transplant becomes necessary, which comes with extreme side effects.
Due to over consumption of kapha vardhak Aahar vihar (diet and lifestyle responsible for aggravation of kapha dosha) such as excess alcohol and over caloric food, sleeping during day hours, stress, lack of exercise leading to Mandagni (reduce digestive power) which in turn affect the various dhatu agni (the fire that converts various body tissue). When medas dhatu Agni decreases, it becomes unable to convert medas dhatu (fat tissue) to the next body tissue i.e., Asthi dhatu (bone tissue) and thus results in accumulation on medas dhatu which leads to vitiation of medovaha strotas leading to difficulty in fat metabolism.
तद्वत मेदः तथा श्रमं, स्वल्पे अपि।
चेस्टिते श्वासं, स्फिक स्तन उदर लंब्रनं।।
(अष्टांग हृदय, सूत्रस्थान 12)
As per this Shloka, the symptoms of medas dhatu vridhi (Increase in fat tissue) include, increased fatty tissue leads to exhaustion, shortness of breath even on small exertion and inflammation in body parts including butts, breast and abdomen.
Thus, the abnormal collection of this extra medas dhatu results in fatty liver disease. Hence, the ayurvedic mode of treating fatty liver is focused on detoxifying the body by removing extra accumulated fat and toxins from the body, and also to correct the Agni and herbal drugs that promote the regeneration of hepatocytes and aiding in their proper functioning.
Basic Treatments in Ayurveda
- Nidana Parivanjan: Avoidance of causative factors is the primary step as treatment will not be successful without Nidana parivanjan (Cause eradication).
- Shodhana Chikitsa: It is also known as waste elimination therapy. Shodhana means “to go away”. Sodhna chikitsa (Detoxification therapy) helps in the purification and detoxification of the whole body.
- Virechana: Virechana (Therapeutic purgation) is considered as gold standard of detoxification procedure for fatty liver in Ayurveda.
- Dakshina bahu sirvedha: Acharya Charaka also mentions Dakshina Bahu Sirvedha. (Bloodletting from right arm).
- Nitya Virechana: Nitya Virechana (daily purgation) is the key treatment to treat all the abdominal disorders.
- Shamana Chikitsa: It helps to treat the root cause of the disease by giving oral herbal drugs.
Besides, above Ayurvedic therapies, various hepato-protective single herbs that have beneficial roles in the liver diseases are:
- Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri)
- Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata)
- Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa)
- Makoy (Solanum Nigrum)
Herbal Medicines by Planet Ayurveda For Fatty Liver
Planet Ayurveda provides 100% natural and safe herbal medications such as “Fatty Liver Care Pack” to prop up healthy liver and also helps in maintaining Tridosha. Planet Ayurveda’s products are safe, effective and 100% vegetarian. These products are also free from chemicals, preservatives, binders, colors, etc.
Some basic herbal drugs proposed by our experts to manage fatty liver disease are:
- Liver Detox Capsules
- Yakritplihantak Churna
- Echinacea Capsules
- Phyllanthus Niruri
Full Description of the above Herbal Drugs
1. Liver Detox Capsules
Liver detox capsules are formulated with the combination of herbs, Kasni (Cichorium intybus), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), etc. These capsules increase the power of the liver and help to clear toxic substances that are present in the liver. These capsules also control the level of sugar and cholesterol which may lead to fatty liver disease.
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily after meals, with plain water.
2. Yakritplihantak Churna
Yakritplihantak Churna contains the organic extract of Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpurea), Bhringraj (Eclipta Alba) and some other herbs. This herbal supplement plays an important role in the removal of fat from the liver and regenerate the damaged liver cells.
Dosage: 1 teaspoon of churna is to be boiled in 400ml of water until 50 ml of liquid remains. Strain and drink the water. Make fresh every time.
3. Echinacea Capsules
Echinacea Capsules possess many medicinal properties as they are prepared using standardized extract of Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata). Mainly, it is used to treat several liver disorders. Liver gets protected against the free radicals’ attack due to their antioxidant property.
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily after the meals, with plain water
4. Phyllanthus Niruri Capsules
This herbal formulation is prepared using standardized extract of Phyllanthus Niruri that helps to maintain healthy functions of liver. These capsules are very effective in all types of Hepatitis and liver disorders. Phyllanthus niruri has anti-hepatotoxic properties so it assists to eliminate urinary and renal calculi. These capsules also enhance the functions of infected liver.
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily after meals with plain water
Thus, in the end of this article we can say that, in modern medicine there is no any specific medicine for fatty liver. Also, the available treatment methods have more side effects than the actual healing, on the liver as well as other body organs. Ayurveda treats the root cause of the disease and eliminates symptoms with no side effects. Herbals medicines are 100% pure and more effective and are always advised to be taken under supervision of Ayurveda physicians. For more, stay connected on www.planetayurveda.com.