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Ayurvedic Treatment & Management for Liver Cirrhosis and Fatty Liver: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Updated: Mar 22


TABLE OF CONTENT:


1) WHAT IS LIVER CIRRHOSIS

Liver cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease characterized by the scarring of the liver tissue and the disruption of normal liver function. It is often a result of long-term liver damage caused by various factors such as alcohol consumption, hepatitis, or fatty liver disease.


Liver is the largest and one of the most important organs in the human body. Liver, the seat of all metabolism, is where all toxins, hormones, drugs, alcohol, preservatives, chemicals, and body toxins are metabolized. Its function is liver cirrhosis', including alcoholic liver disease and cirrhotic ascites, prime consideration in its Ayurveda treatment.


Any disease of the Liver may lead to serious problems and Cirrhosis being one among them.In this disease, there is a blockage of blood through the Liver and unhealthy or scar tissues replace the normal tissues of the Liver.


Liver cirrhosis is a chronic and last stage of chronic liver disease; it is mainly caused by portal hypertension and leads to ascitis or fluid collection in the peritoneal cavity. Every time the liver is affected and damaged by harmful toxins, the liver tries to heal itself. And in this process, scar formation occurs in cells of the liver. As the liver’s cirrhosis progresses, more and more cells and tissues get scared and affect the liver’s function.


Fibrosis describes encapsulation or replacement of injured tissue by a collagenous scar. Fibrosis progresses at variable rates depending on the cause of liver disease, environmental and host factors. Cirrhosis is an advanced stage of liver fibrosis .It is a progressive disease, developing slowly over many years. If it is allowed to continue, the buildup of scar tissue can eventually stop liver function. 


Cirrhosis of the liver is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, leading to 27,000 deaths each year. The condition affects men slightly more often than women.


2) CAUSES

Liver cirrhosis, which could escalate to decompensated cirrhosis, can be caused by chronic alcohol consumption, hepatitis B or C, treatment for fatty liver disease, or other liver disorders. Chronic liver inflammation and damage to the liver cells lead to the formation of scar tissue and the progression of liver cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism, hepatitis B and C, and fatty liver disease, but has many other possible causes such as

*Obesity is becoming a common cause of cirrhosis

*Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

*Scarring of bile duct

*Cystic fibrosis

 *Excessive iron build up in the body/ Accumulation of copper in liver

*Genetic digestive disorders

*Overuse of Drugs, toxins, and infections

*Chronic constipation

In the early stage of liver cirrhosis problem you may not feel any symptoms, but as the time goes on the progression of diseases occurs, and you may notice some symptoms like,

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lack of energy

  • Nausea, vomiting

  • Weight loss or sudden weight gain

  • Bruises

  • jaundice

  • Itchy skin

  • edema in the ankles, legs, and abdomen (often an early sign)

  • Abdominal pain and bloating in liver cirrhosis with ascites.

  • A brownish or orange tint to the urine can be a sign of hepatic cirrhosis.

  • Light colored stools

  • Confusion, disorientation, personality changes

  • Blood in the stool

  • Fever


3) DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing liver cirrhosis involves assessing liver function through blood tests to measure levels of bilirubin and liver enzymes. Imaging tests may also be performed to visualize liver damage and ascites, a common complication of cirrhosis characterized by fluid buildup in the abdomen.


4) TREATMENT IN AYURVEDA

Ayurvedic treatment for liver cirrhosis, also known as liver cirrhosis ayurvedic treatment, focuses on detoxifying the liver and restoring its function. Panchakarma, a set of purification therapies, is commonly used to treat liver diseases. Ayurvedic medicines and dietary guidelines are also prescribed to support liver health and manage symptoms.

Liver and kidney function test,Hepatitis B and C tests,Imaging tests like MRI, CT, and ultrasound images of the liver, and Biopsy of liver are applied in the evaluation of cirrhosis of the liver.

Liver cirrhosis treatment in ayurveda

The liver is called Yakrit in Ayurveda. Pitta is the predominant humor of the liver. Most liver disorders, like hepatic cirrhosis, are aggravated conditions of Pitta in Ayurveda. Excessive bile production or a blockage in the flow of bile usually indicates high pitta, which in turn affects the agni or enzyme activities responsible for absorption, digestion and metabolism.Kumbha Kamala is the classical description of cirrhosis of liver in Ayurveda.

It is a neglected or untreated stage of jaundice or hepatitis, when becomes chronic, produces dry or roughness to the Liver . It can become incurable if not attended immediately.

Detoxification of the body is an essential step to keep your liver healthy and functional. Natural antioxidants helps to excrete the hazardous chemicals and toxins from the body and improve the liver’s function and prevent tissue scarring.Proper Digestion plays a significant role in the health of the liver. Ayurvedic remedies help to boost your immunity against various bacteria and viruses and protect your liver from chronic hepatitis viral infections.


5) GUIDELINES

The Ayurvedic management of liver cirrhosis involves addressing the underlying imbalances of the doshas, particularly pitta, which is associated with liver disorders. Lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes and stress management, are integral parts of the treatment for liver cirrhosis in Ayurveda. For the treatment of liver cirrhosis, it is crucial to seek professional guidance for the liver cirrhosis Ayurvedic approach tailored to individual needs, especially when exploring options like liver transplantation.

·       Make a good habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

·       Avoid alcohol consumption.

·       Avoid dairy products and non-vegetarian food in your diet.

·       Doing yoga and meditation regularly can help in the treatment of liver cirrhosis, maintaining bodily health, and calming the mind and spirit.

·       To keep your liver cell healthy and functional, detoxify your body.

·       Increase the intake of antioxidants rich food.

·       Keep your body always hydrated by drinking 2 to 2.5 litres of water.

·       Eat a low sodium diet, and avoid the overuse of allopathic medicines.

Some of useful herbs in Liver diseases kalamegha ,punarnava,guduchi,bringaraja .Treatment involves Shodhanachikitsa (Panchakarma procedures), Shamana chikitsa (Ayurvedic medicines), de-addiction and various dietary advises along with life style modifications. Ayurvedic  treatment is useful in improving the Liver heath and preventing further damage.


Which tablet is best for liver damage?

Liver damage is a serious issue and its important to address it under a guidance of a proper health care professional .How ever ayurveda offers several tablets and herbal compounds for the same .Here are few listed below

·       Arogya vardhini vati -it a classical ayurvedic formulation containing herbs like triphala ,shilajith and guugulu .Its used to balance pittha doshas ,improve digestion

 

·       Punarnava Mandur:Punarnava Mandur is an Ayurvedic preparation that contains Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) and other herbs like Trikatu (a combination of ginger, black pepper, and long pepper) and Triphala. It is used to support liver and kidney function and promote blood purification.

·       Yakrit Plihantak Churna:Yakrit Plihantak Churna is an Ayurvedic herbal powder specifically formulated to support liver health. It contains herbs like Bhumi Amla, Katuki, Makoy, and Punarnava, which are known for their hepatoprotective properties.

·      Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)Tablets:Kutki is a potent Ayurvedic herb known for its hepatoprotective and liver-regenerating properties, making it an important medicine for fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. Kutki tablets may be used to support liver function and aid in liver detoxification. Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa), classified as rasayana in Ayurveda, is highly recommended as an ayurvedic medicine for liver conditions.


How to detox the liver in Ayurveda?

Here are some Ayurvedic practices and remedies that can help detoxify the liver:

Dietary Modifications:

   - Follow a balanced diet that includes fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins.

   - Avoid processed foods, fried foods, refined sugars, artificial additives

   - Include foods such as bitter vegetables and foods rich in antioxidants (e.g., berries, turmeric, ginger) to prevent liver damage and support natural treatment.

   - Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support the liver's detoxification processes, which is crucial to preventing liver diseases.

Herbal Remedies:

   - Incorporate Ayurvedic herbs known for their hepatoprotective and liver-detoxifying properties, such as:

     - Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)

     - Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri)

     - Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

     - Amla (Emblica officinalis)

     - Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)

     - Triphala

     - Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)

     - Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri)

Liver Cleansing Herbs and Formulations:

   - Consider using Ayurvedic formulations specifically designed to support liver health and detoxification, such as Arogyavardhini Vati, or Punarnava Mandura. These formulations may contain a combination of liver-supportive herbs and minerals to aid in liver detoxification.

Daily Detox Practices

   - Start the day with a glass of warm to stimulate digestion and support liver function.

   - Practice oil pulling (swishing oil in the mouth) with cold-pressed sesame oil or coconut oil to remove toxins from the oral cavity and support overall detoxification.

   - Engage in regular exercise or physical activity to promote sweating, circulation, and elimination of toxins through the skin and other excretory pathways.

Fasting and Cleansing Practices:

   - Consider periodic fasting or detoxification protocols. Fasting can help rest the digestive system, stimulate detoxification, and promote cellular repair.

   - Ayurvedic cleansing practices such as Panchakarma (a detoxification and rejuvenation therapy) may be recommended for deeper detoxification and purification of the body, including the liver.

Stress Management

   - Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness to promote relaxation


Can you recover from liver cirrhosis?

Liver cirrhosis, often resulting from alcoholic liver disease, is a chronic and progressive condition characterized by irreversible scarring (fibrosis) of the liver tissue. In some cases, with proper treatment and lifestyle modifications, individuals with liver cirrhosis can experience improvement in liver function and even stabilization of the condition. However, complete recovery from advanced liver cirrhosis is rare.

Here are some key points to consider regarding recovery from liver cirrhosis:

·       Early Detection and Treatment

·       Lifestyle Modifications

·       Medications and Therapies

·       Regular Monitoring and Follow-Up 


Does intake of ghee useful for treating liver cirrhosis?

Ghee is a rich source of healthy fats, including medium-chain fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which are believed to have potential health benefits. In Ayurveda, ghee is also considered to have a balancing effect on Pitta dosha (one of the three doshas or bioenergies in Ayurveda), which is associated with the liver and digestion.It may be included as a  part of  balanced diet for individuals with liver cirrhosis, it's essential to approach its consumption with caution.


How can Ayurveda treat liver cirrhosis?

·       Dietary Recommendations:

-         Follow a Pitta-pacifying diet: Ayurveda views liver cirrhosis as a disorder primarily involving the Pitta dosha. Therefore, a diet that balances Pitta dosha is recommended. This includes consuming cooling, non-spicy foods and avoiding hot, spicy, fried, and processed foods.

-         Emphasize fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins.

-         Limit or avoid alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, processed foods, and foods high in saturated fats and trans fats to reduce the risk of conditions that lead to cirrhosis.

-         Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and fresh fruit juices.

·       Detoxification Therapies

-         Panchakarma: Panchakarma is a comprehensive Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation therapy that includes procedures such as Virechana (therapeutic purgation), Basti (medicated enema), and Nasya (nasal administration of medicated oils or powders). Panchakarma aims to remove accumulated toxins from the body, improve digestion, and balance the doshas.

-         Liver-cleansing herbs and therapies: Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend specific herbs, herbal formulations, or liver-cleansing therapies to support liver detoxification and elimination of toxins.

·       Yoga and Meditation:

-         Regular practice of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and support overall well-being.

·       Lifestyle Modifications:

-         Maintain a regular sleep schedule

-         Engage in regular physical activity or exercise

-         Avoid exposure to environmental toxins

-         Practice mindfulness and mindful eating

·       Ayurvedic Formulations

-         Specific Ayurvedic formulations and herbal combinations may be prescribed based on individual constitution and the severity of liver cirrhosis. These formulations may include liver-tonic herbs and detoxifying agents to support liver regeneration and function.

·       Herbal Remedies:

-         Ayurvedic herbs with hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties are commonly used to support liver health and function. Some herbs that may be beneficial for liver cirrhosis include:

-         Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa)

-         Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri)

-         Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

-         Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)

-         Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri)

-         Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)

-         Triphala (a combination of three fruits: Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki)

·       Regular Monitoring and Follow-Up:

-         Individuals undergoing Ayurvedic treatment for liver cirrhosis should receive regular monitoring and follow-up with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner. Progress should be assessed through clinical evaluations, symptom monitoring, and appropriate laboratory tests.


Is there any Ayurvedic medicine that can help with liver problems?

Yes, Ayurveda offers several herbal medicines and formulations that are traditionally used to support liver health and address various liver problems.

·       Arogyavardhini Vati:Arogyavardhini Vati is a classical Ayurvedic formulation that contains a combination of herbs like Haritaki, Bibhitaki, Amla, Shilajit, and Guggulu. It is used to balance Pitta dosha, improve digestion, and support liver health. Arogyavardhini Vati is commonly prescribed for various liver disorders, including fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and liver congestion

·       Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa): Punarnava is a rejuvenating herb used in Ayurveda for its diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protective properties, serving as an effective natural treatment for liver damage. It helps promote detoxification, reduce inflammation, and support liver function. Punarnava is often used in Ayurvedic formulations for liver disorders, including liver congestion, hepatitis, and jaundice.

·       Triphala: Triphala is a combination of three fruits: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). It is a well-known Ayurvedic formulation used for overall health and digestion. Triphala helps support liver function, improve digestion, and promote detoxification. It is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat liver disorders such as fatty liver disease, liver congestion, and jaundice.

·       Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa): Kutki is a potent Ayurvedic herb known for its hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and liver-regenerating properties. It is commonly used to support liver function, improve digestion, and treat liver disorders such as hepatitis, jaundice, and liver cirrhosis. Kutki is often included in liver detoxification protocols and Ayurvedic formulations for liver health.

·       Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Guduchi, also known as Giloy, is a powerful Ayurvedic herb with immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and liver-protective properties. It helps strengthen the liver, boost immunity, and promote detoxification. Guduchi is often used in Ayurvedic formulations for liver health and as an adjunct therapy for liver disorders.

·       Bhumyamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri) Bhumyamalaki, also known as Stonebreaker or Chanca Piedra, is a well-known Ayurvedic herb used for liver and kidney health. It has hepatoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for liver disorders such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and liver congestion. Bhumyamalaki is commonly used in Ayurvedic formulations for liver support and detoxification.

 

These are just a few examples of Ayurvedic medicines commonly used for liver problems.


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