The liver, one of the largest organs in the body, is often overlooked and taken for granted. Are you too guilty of making this mistake? Let's amend that by getting to know the importance of this gentle giant and how Ayurveda can help keep it healthy.
In Ayurvedic scriptures, the liver is considered as the 'seat' of ‘Pitta dosha’, the fiery dosha, a combination of water and fire associated with metabolism. The liver is in charge of a wide array of vital body functions such as
- Digestion, metabolism and transformation within the body
- Filtering out 'ama' (toxins) from our blood.
- Converting Rasa Dhatu (plasma) to Rakta Dhatu (blood)
- Boosting metabolism and much more
Like a little engine, our liver keeps working round the clock to support our body's many functions. But when our liver is running on overdrive, lugging the load of our body without any break, it's bound to become sluggish and clogged up from all the toxins. An overworked liver can lead to slow digestion, skin problems , low immunity, gallbladder stones, excess heat in the body, poor appetite, and weakness amongst other things. And external factors like air pollution, unhealthy food habits, and the fast-paced lifestyle, making it even more taxing for our liver.
So, we recommend an Ayurveda-inspired pampering sesh for our liver to help it heal and rejuvenate.
No More Toxic Behaviour/No More Toxicity
'Ama', commonly known as toxins, can cause serious liver damage. But before we proceed, let's see how 'ama' can be formed. Some of the major reasons for 'ama' formation are leading an unhealthy lifestyle, having negative thoughts, consuming allopathic medicines that leave behind residue, and vitiated doshic balance within the body for long periods of time, that may lead to indigestion, constipation and retention of ‘ama’. The best way to protect your liver is to reduce ama formation in the body. We can do that by
- Using ama-reducing therapeutic herbs like cinnamon, fennel, a pinch of nutmeg, dried ginger, mint, and coriander.
- Regular exercise and sweating it out helps reduce ama
- Drinking good amount of water daily
- Going for a gentle Ayurvedic cleansing
- Cultivating a positive state of mind
Other ways to safeguard your liver health is by avoiding direct exposure to packaged products like junk food, alcohol, aerosol sprays, pesticides, drugs, commercial household cleaners, etc. When ingested or inhaled, these things can aggravate pitta dosha and tax the liver. So, choose organic, freshly-cooked food and keep away from inhaling or using products laced with chemicals and preservatives.
Give Your Liver A Break With A Pitta Balancing Diet
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy liver is to keep our pitta dosha in balance. Eating a pitta balancing diet, especially in summers, will help keep the pitta dosha in check. An aggravated pitta can result in excess bile production, leading to overheating of the liver.
Few examples of a pitta balancing diet include cooling foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes, juicy fruits, cooked leafy greens, summer squashes, milk products like ghee, milk and lassi, and barley grain. Some other pitta balancing items to consume are coconut water, cucumber, fennel and cardamom tea, and less spicy food.
Avoid excessive intake of fermented, pungent, and salty foods like idli, dosa, curd, chillies, vinegar, etc. These tend to aggravate Pitta.
Keep Calm And Flush It Out
Liver tends to easily overheat, if a person has a pitta constitution and is not following a disciplined lifestyle along with appropriate eating habits. So, staying cool and hydrated is the key to maintaining a healthy liver. Besides, staying hydrated helps maintain the fluid content of the blood, making it easy for the liver to detox it. Pineapple juice, orange juice, sweet lime, beetroot juice, and just plain water are some of the great hydrating options to explore. So the next time you see that tall glass of your favorite beverage, take a sip! Another way to balance pitta dosha is by regular exercising. Exercise right for your body type. It helps flush out toxins in the form of sweat and balances the pitta in the body.
Hit Reset With Panchakarma Detox
Panchakarma or the five-fold detox therapy is Ayurveda's premier mind-body healing experience. This traditional Ayurvedic treatment eliminates the toxins from the body to help us re-achieve the balance of the tri doshas. Ayurvedic scriptures have reverenced Panchakarma treatments for their preventive, curative, and rejuvenating action.
While every Panchakarma detox is curated according to an individual's ama accumulation and doshic constitution, a few common practices include herbal steaming, abhyanga massage, shirodhara, ear candling, neti, herbal enemas, purgation, and emesis. Panchakarma does wonders for your liver health by eliminating toxins and offloading the stress from the body and thereby enhancing its functionality.
Last, but not least, take some time to unwind. Too much stress can aggravate pitta dosha, forcing your liver to work overtime. This can affect the quality of sleep and the quality of life, causing numerous ailments. To help deal with insomnia, try to eat light, easy to digest meals at night like khichdi, vegetable curry with rice, or some soup.
Our liver has a great ability to heal and rejuvenate itself provided it gets the time and attention it needs. It is the king of all organs. If your liver is healthy, then you can fight any disease.
So let's choose to support our liver with these Ayurvedic suggestions and a holistic lifestyle. Furthermore, an ayurvedic detox can do wonders for our liver and Butterfly Ayurveda's LIVOFLY is the perfect liver tonic for it. This herbal concoction improves metabolism, relieves hyperacidity, promotes gradual detoxification, and boosts overall liver health. And if you've got any questions or would like to get a consultation, our Ayurvedic doctors would be more than happy to help.
Let's incorporate these Ayurvedic practices into our day-to-day life.