Ayurveda and Restoring Supplements for Liver Health

Date Posted:22 February 2012 

The liver is a remarkable and vital organ responsible for facilitating crucial functions within the body. It is also one of the largest glandular organs and is considered the seat of Pitta within Ayurveda.

Vital Liver Functions

The liver transforms plasma to blood, stores energy, and then releases it as glucose to balance blood sugar when it falls below optimal levels. The liver is also responsible for playing essential roles in sugar, fat, and protein metabolism. Additionally, the liver identifies toxins in order to remove them before they enter the bloodstream. Natural detox remedies and supplements for liver health can help the liver carry out its functional roles.

When the liver gets overloaded with toxins, it is unable to identify or eliminate toxins. Toxic overload can occur for many reasons, such as a diet rich in bad fats, sugar, white flour products, junk and processed foods, heavy metals, and excessive alcohol. Foods treated with fungicides and pesticides, as well as those containing preservatives, monosodium glutamate, and other chemicals, can also overload the digestive system, causing toxic overload in the liver.

The liver needs to be able to process and protect the body from all the toxins encountered on a daily basis. Toxins not only come from the foods you eat, but also the products you put on your skin, the air you breathe, and your environment. While alcohol is one of the main causes of damage, prescription and over the counter medications take an enormous toll on the liver as well.

The liver is also essential for processing the toxic waste produced within the body as a by-product of cellular waste. This includes urea synthesis, a waste product of metabolizing protein, which the liver dispenses into the bloodstream where it is then transported for elimination by the kidneys. The liver breaks down old red blood cells and then recycles the by-product from the cell's destruction or eliminates whatever is not used.

Liver Health

The Pitta dosha governs the liver with the predominant element being fire. Most afflictions that are the result of an imbalanced Pitta dosha in the liver manifest by skin irritation, inflammation, infection, burning, excess acidity, or infection. Modern science states that the liver is an organ responsible for processing all digested food matter into a form usable by the body. Ayurveda holds remarkable similarities in that the liver holds the necessary enzymes used for digesting the five elements found in food. These five elements directly nourish the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin – the five sense organs.

Substances that are toxic to the liver can be identified for not only their harmful properties, but their heating nature as well. For example, alcohol is notorious for causing excess damage to the liver, and it predominately heats the body. According to Ayurveda, greasy, oily, processed, and junk foods heat the body, and ultimately the liver, in a similar fashion as alcohol does.

Everybody can benefit from natural detox remedies and supplements for liver health. It is also to your advantage to ensure Pitta dosha stays balanced by limiting Pitta aggravating foods and substances. Pitta predominate individuals must take extraordinary care to keep their Pitta dosha balanced as they have a natural tendency to burn hotter than the other dosha types. If Pitta does need to be increased for a Vata or Kappa type, healthier sources of Pitta fire should be introduced to the body such as cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, or warmed herbal teas. There are also supplements for liver health that can support the body in keeping the Pitta fire burning at the intensity it should.

Ayurveda strongly encourages doing one of the many natural detox remedies at each seasonal juncture, with the beginning of spring being the optimal time. Detoxifying the liver in the spring allows the body to eliminate the buildup of toxins from over the winter. It also allows the liver to take advantage of the earth's natural cleansing cycle to facilitate its own cleanse. The period between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn is also one of the best times to undergo one of the natural detox remedies available. This enables the body to shed the toxic overload caused during the hot summer months.

The liver is also the seat for the emotions ruled by Pitta. An excessive increase or imbalance of Pitta can be expressed by mood swings, outbursts, anger, unhealthy ambitiousness, jealousy, impatience, and irritability. However, alternatively, a balanced Pitta dosha can inspire courage, healthy ambitions and drives, will power, and confidence.

Suppressing and bottling up emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and jealousy can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol or unhealthy food. It is important to find a healthy outlet for those emotions in order to work through them in a way that is beneficial rather than detrimental to your health.

Helpful Herbs and Supplements for Liver Health

Ayurveda has countless herbs and natural detox remedies to improve liver health and maintain Pitta balance. There are multiple herbs and supplements for liver health that have specific actions that directly target the liver. This includes balancing Pitta, promoting the production of bile, and detoxifying and cleansing the liver.

Herbs for Liver Health

Bhumyamalaki is one of the standard herbs for stimulating and supporting the liver.

Sharapunkha can be used for optimizing the secretion of bile, purifying the blood, and reducing inflammation. It also supports the overall health and condition of the liver.

Punarnava is rejuvenating and helpful in removing the deep toxins embedded within the cell walls of the liver.

Chiretta promotes bile secretions and stimulates the liver. It also helps to produce a glycoside that helps provide protection to the liver.

Indian Barberry also helps to stimulate the flow of bile and is one of the best natural remedies for correcting an improperly functioning liver.

Aloe Vera has been shown to have liver protecting qualities in clinical studies and can promote healing of wounds and other damages on the surface of and inside the body.

Supplements for Liver Health

Liver Care is a product developed by Maharishi Ayurveda for balancing the liver. Liver Care is specially formulated to improve the beginning phases of digestion, clear clogged channels, and stimulate the cleansing of the liver to purify and eliminate toxins.

Elim-Tox-O is used for gently cleansing the body and supporting the liver. This is one of the best natural detox remedies that can be used on a regular basis for long term liver health. Elim-Tox-O cleanses the body and purifies liver and other vital cells in a manner that does not cause additional heat.

Consider doing, at the very least, a cleansing fast with one of the many natural detox remedies suggested by Ayurveda at least once a year. Helping your liver function at its best will ensure you regain the spring in your step and a freshness you forgot you had.

The liver is an essential organ in the body, and it must be taken care of for health, vitality, and longevity. Avoid Pitta aggravating foods, deal with your emotions in healthy and beneficial ways, and incorporate plenty of liver-friendly foods into your diet. Supplements for liver health and natural detox remedies can restore Pitta balance, support the liver, and help eliminate toxins to avoid toxic overload.