Word Liver Day 2018 is being celebrated today and globally, medical experts and physicians are sounding alarm bells on certain lifestyles and dietary habits that are leading to increasing numbers of fatty liver cases. In India, over 10 lakh people are diagnosed with liver diseases annually, as per a World Health Organisation report. Moreover, the average age of liver patients is also decreasing, with more and more young people taking to alcohol abuse and adopting largely sedentary lifestyles. The ancient Indian practice of Ayurvedic medicine has certain remedies and diet tips to protect the liver against fat deposition.
Liver is a very important organ in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, liver is the set of digestion and metabolisation. According to Ayurveda, liver is comprised of the fire and water elements, belonging to the pitta dosha. This means that eating foods that are too fiery or hot may disturb the balance, leading to a dysfunctional liver. This means that the liver will not be able to perform its basic functions of purifying the blood of toxins and metabolising fat. This imbalance in the liver may result in liver diseases like cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.
Dr. Gautam suggests a few diet tips and Ayurvedic preparations to protect the liver from turning fatty:
1. Drink Aloe Vera Juice: The juice from aloe vera is the main ingredient in the Ayurvedic preparation Kumari Asava, which Dr. Gautam says is important for remedying the ill effects of a diet high in processed sugars and fat deposition in the liver. The preparation can improve functional efficiency of the liver.
2. Eat Amla: The Indian gooseberry is a key ingredient in the triphala churna, which is a classic preparation of Ayurveda that helps resolve digestive issues and also aids detoxification of the body.
3. Consume Punarnava Powder: The traditional Indian herb of punarnava or red spiderling is available in the form of a powder, which may be taken as water or milk. It may help in reducing fat deposition in the liver, says Dr. Gautam.
4. Drink Water Of Boiled Rice: The water that is left after boiling rice is called maand in Ayurveda and according to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, it is good for improving liver function.
5. Include More Fruits In Your Diet: Dr. Gautam recommends the regular consumption of papaya to remedy liver ailments.
6. Drink Buttermilk Instead Of Curd Or Milk: According to Dr. Gautam, chhans or buttermilk is a better dairy alternative to milk or curd, as it has more water and less amount of cream.
Dr. Gautam also recommends consumption of the classic Ayurvedic preparation called arogyavardhini vati, which he says helps in removing toxins from the liver. The preparation has a number of Ayurvedic herbs including haritaki, bhibhataki, amalaki, neem, kutki, which are all cooling herbs that help in detoxifying the liver.