The liver is one of the most vital organs in our body. It performs various functions including bile formation, digestion, detoxification, protein metabolism, synthesis and many more.
According to Ayurveda, metabolism and digestion in the body is carried by different types of digestive fires (enzymes), which are termed as ‘Agni’ and ‘Pitta’ in Ayurveda. So in short, liver is a fiery organ and that is why anything, which is fiery or heating in nature is not good for liver. Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, hot spicy food, chemicals in pre-packaged foods or medicines and environmental pollutants are not good for liver as they are also fiery or heating in nature.
The good news is that the liver knows how to heal itself, we just have to stop exposing it to heating foods and chemicals and keep it cool and clean.
According to Ayurveda bitter tasting and cooling herbs and foods like Aloe Vera, Neem, Kutki, Karela, Amala, Turmeric, Bhumi-Amala, Punarnava etc are used for both protection as well as boosting the liver health. Green leafy vegetables, beet roots, carrots, apples are also good for liver.
Boil a pinch of turmeric powder in a cup of water for few minutes. When the water cools down, squeeze some fresh lemon juice (about one teaspoonful). This is a good detox tea for liver. A teaspoonful of honey can be added if needed to make it sweet.
Just as the liver is important for digestion of food, it also plays an important role in the digestion of emotions. The liver is considered the seat of heating emotions like anger, envy, irritability, will power, courage and enthusiasm. Possessing negative emotions like anger, envy, irritation, and frustration will weaken the liver. Hyperactivity or underdeveloped capacities for will power, courage, enthusiasm, also affect the liver health. Practicing Yoga, Pranayama, meditation and maintaining a sattvic diet and lifestyle helps to balance these emotions and thus protect the liver from becoming weak and sick.
- Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda