LIVER FAILURE - HOW CAN IT BE TREATED NATURALLY?
No doubt, a number of medicines are already available in the market for Liver Failure which may or may not treat the disease. But, the herbs have the proven potential for treating the life-threatening diseases such as Liver Failure from around 50 centuries. This article reviews a detailed description of liver failure which includes causes, clinical features, diagnosis, complications, preventive measures, treatment of liver failure with the help of herbal remedies from Planet Ayurveda along with the diet and lifestyle recommendations for a healthy life.
Liver failure is a complex clinical syndrome characterized by elevated liver biochemistry, coagulopathy, and hepatic encephalopathy without underlying chronic liver disease. A healthy liver filters out the harmful toxins and substances, such as alcohol, from blood, and helps the body to fight against various infections. An exposure to harmful chemicals can harm the liver severely. When the liver gets damaged, it may result in hepatic (liver) failure. Liver failure is a serious condition. If a person develops liver failure, he should receive treatment immediately as if the liver failure occurs it also affects the functioning of other organs. It is also known as fulminant hepatic failure.
In Ayurveda, its description comes in Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 19th chapter and chikitsasthana 13th chapter has enumerated 8 types of Udara-Roga, Yakriddalyudara has been also mentioned as one type of udararoga over there. Also, Acharya Sushrut and Bhavprakash also defined eight types of udararoga.
According to Ayurveda, Yakrit (liver) is the Raktavaha Srotamula and pitta dosha is considered as mala (a waste product) of rakta (blood). So the line of treatment for the Yakritvikaras is to pacify the Pitta Dosha and the classical measures for Raktavaha Srotas gatarogas are used. It is evident from the treatment measures as most of the plants used in the treatment of liver failure are pitta dosha pacifying.
The annual incidence of acute liver failure is less than 10 cases per million populations in the developed world. The condition is more frequent in developing countries and often affects young people.
TYPES OF LIVER FAILURE
Liver failure can be either acute or chronic:-
1. Acute Liver Failure
In Acute liver failure person experiences loss of liver within weeks or even days. It may happen suddenly, without showing any symptoms. The most common causes of acute liver failure are:
- Poisoning from mushrooms
- Drug overdose, which can be a result of taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) in higher dose.
2. Chronic Liver Failure
Chronic liver failure develops slower than the acute liver failure.
- It can take months or even years before exhibiting any symptoms.
- Chronic liver failure is often the result of liver cirrhosis, which is usually the consequence of consuming alcohol for a long period of time. Cirrhosis is caused when the scar tissue replaces the healthy liver tissue.
- During chronic liver failure, the liver becomes inflamed.
There are three types of alcohol-related liver failure:
1. Alcoholic fatty liver disease
Alcoholic fatty liver disease is a disease in which fat cells get deposited in the liver. It is common in alcoholic and obese people.
2. Alcoholic hepatitis
It is characterized by fat cells deposition in the liver, inflammation, and scarring. It also occurs in persons who are alcoholics.
3. Alcoholic cirrhosis
It is considered the most advanced out of the three types. It affects people who drink heavily.
SYMPTOMS OF HEPATIC FAILURE
It may include the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fatigability and weakness
- Bruising or easy bleeding
- Itching over body
- Patient may even slip into a coma
Some people don't show any symptoms until their liver failure has progressed to a fatal stage. In alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) the patient may develop the following symptoms:
- Develop jaundice
- Lack of concentration
- Decreased mental function
- gastrointestinal bleeding
- Kidney failure
- Hepatic carcinoma
CAUSES OF ACUTE LIVER FAILURE
Any one or more of the following may become the cause of acute liver failure:-
- Acetaminophen overdose.
- Viruses including Hepatitis A, B, and E, herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, and the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Adverse effects of some medications.
- Eating poisonous wild mushrooms
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Wilson's disease: This genetic disease prevents the body from removing copper.
- Acute fatty liver of pregnancy.
- Septic shock.
- Budd-Chiari syndrome - rare disease narrows and blocks the blood vessels in the liver.
- Industrial toxin - such as carbon tetrachloride, cleanser, degreaser, etc.
CAUSES OF CHRONIC LIVER FAILURE
The most common causes of chronic liver failure include:-
- Hepatitis B: makes the liver swell and stops it from working the way it should.
- Hepatitis C: it can lead to cirrhosis.
- Long-term alcohol consumption: It also leads to cirrhosis.
- Other conditions that can lead to liver failure include:
- Hepatitis A
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Wilson's disease
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Liver cancer
- Liver adenoma
- Fatty liver disease.
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Alagille syndrome.
- Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)
- Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D)
- Renal failure
- Cerebral edema
Esophageal variceal Bleeding
- Metabolic: hypoglycemia, hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia
- Acid-base disturbance
- Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
- Portal hypertensive gastropathy
Tests and procedures used to diagnose liver failure include:
- Blood tests - A prothrombin time test measures how long it takes your blood to clot. With acute liver failure, blood doesn't clot as quickly as it should.
- Imaging tests - Ultrasound, Abdominal computerized tomography (CT SCAN) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Examination of liver tissue - Liver biopsy
HERBS FOR LIVER FAILURE
- Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus niruri) - It is helpful in maintaining liver function tests under normal limits. It is also beneficial in all five types of hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, hepatomegaly, jaundice, which reduces inflammation.
- Bhringraj (Eclipta alba) - This herb is considered as a powerful liver tonic and best in treating liver cirrhosis, infective hepatitis, other liver disorders.
- Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurrao) - This herb is pungent and bitter and known best for the liver as it detoxifies it and also acts as an antioxidant agent.
- Punarnava (Boerrhavia diffusa) - It is a hepatoprotective herb and used in various liver problems.
- Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) - It is a multifunctional drug and is hepatoprotective, improves the functioning of the liver, improves metabolism.
- Makoy (Solanum indicum) - It also has hepatoprotective action and also helpful in treating other liver disorders.
- Kaasni (Chicorium intybus) - It is a medicinal herb used traditionally in the treatment of diseases of the hepatobiliary system.
- Jhavuka (Tamarix galluca) - It has an alkaloid which helps in increasing platelets, in hepatic insufficiency.
- Himsra (Capparis spinosa) - It is a bushy plant and act as hepatoprotective.
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) - It is widely used in Ayurveda and act as liver protective and prevents the liver from damage from the hepatotoxic drug.
- Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpurea) - It has been identified as a fruitful herb in liver wellness and treatment of liver disorders.
TREATMENT OF LIVER FAILURE BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet Ayurveda provides best combination of effective herbal remedies such as Liver Care Pack for ayurvedic treatment of Liver Failure. These herbal remedies are prepared from using best quality herbs and strictly follow the principles of Ayurveda. All these herbal remedies of Planet Ayurveda are 100 percent pure, natural and vegetarian. These are free from chemicals, additives and preservatives. These are safe to use as these are free from side effects.
- Indian Echinacea - 2 capsules twice daily after meals with warm water.
- Yakrit Plihantak Churna - You can boil the powder 1 teaspoonful in 400 ml water, keep it boiling until it remains 50 ml. Strain it and drink the water. Leave the residue. Do it twice daily. Make fresh every time.
- Phyllanthus Niruri - 2 capsules twice daily after meals with warm water.
- Liver Detox Capsules - 2 capsules twice daily after meals with warm water.
1. Echinacea Capsules
These capsules are prepared by using flowers, root, and leaves of this herb which are mainly immune boosters. Echinacea is used in Ayurveda as a stimulant of Ayurveda. This herb is very effective for the liver and lymph nodes due to which it is helpful in fighting against problems such as cough, tonsillitis, inflammation of the skin, other body infections.
2. Yakrit Plihantak Churna
It is a purely Ayurvedic preparation that is prepared from a mixture of herbs which has good effects on the liver. It helps in detoxification of the liver by removing toxins, it also helps regeneration of liver cells as the liver has a high capacity of regeneration and preventing the liver from failure. It is beneficial in certain liver conditions such as jaundice, hepatitis B, liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, liver damage from toxins, alcohol, infections. This churna increases the production of bile and improves liver function.
3. Phyllanthus Niruri
It has been used safely in Ayurveda since ancient times for medicinal purposes as it is a natural herb having a positive effect on the clearance of HBV markers. These capsules act by cleansing the effect of modern medicines and rejuvenates the liver for proper functioning.
4. Liver Detox Formula
Liver Detox Formula is a combination of some herbs which are beneficial in restoring and enhancing liver functions system. It acts by converting and neutralizing toxins into safe by-products which don't cause any harm to the liver cells. The liver is the main site of metabolism, defense mechanism, bile production and secretion. As the name specifies liver detox support can be used on a regular basis for the proper functioning of the liver.
To buy Liver Care Pack, please visit store.planetayurveda.com/products/liver-care-pack.
HOME REMEDIES FOR LIVER FAILURE
Some useful and effective home remedies for liver failure are as follows:
1. Garlic: It is a well-known herb for its medicinal properties. It is powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-diabetic,anti-septic agent. It also purifies the blood.
Method of use - 1-2 cloves of garlic to be chewed empty stomach early morning daily.
2. Licorice (mulethi) with honey: Licorice has healing properties, also a nervine drug. Honey is the Kapha pacifying agent. These both are beneficial in liver failure.
Method of use – consume a mixture of 1 tsp of licorice powder with 2 tsps of honey.
3. Carom seeds and cumin seeds: These seeds are highly beneficial in the treatment of liver cirrhosis alternatively liver failure as well.
Method of use - consume a mixture of 1 tsp of carom seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds and some amount of rock salt two times a day with or without water daily.
4. Papaya seeds and lemon juice: These both helps in the treatment of liver disease.
Method of use - 1 tsp of crushed seeds of papaya and extract the juice from seeds mix it well with 2 tsps. of lemon juice. Consume it twice daily for a month.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Some of the best foods and drinks that are good for the liver include:
- Coffee - coffee offers protection against fatty liver disease. It reduces fat build up in the liver
- Oatmeal - to help reduce the amount of fat stored in the liver in mice, which could also help protect life.
- Green Tea
- Prickly pear
- Plant foods in general - people should eat these foods as a whole. These include:
- Beets and beet juice
- Brown rice
- Fatty fish
- Olive oil
FOODS TO BE AVOIDED:
- Fatty foods: such as junk food, packed snacks, chips, fried food
- Starchy foods: such as bread, pasta, and cakes or baked goods.
- Salt: avoid canned meats or vegetables, and reduce or avoid salted deli meats and bacon.
- Don't overdo alcohol consumption
- Regular exercise
- Be careful with herbs and dietary supplements
- Never take over the counter drugs without a doctors approval
- Get vaccines for flu, pneumonia, hepatitis.
- Put your feet up to reduce swelling
OTHER PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN
The other precautions that should be taken along with the herbal and home remedies are as follows:
- An immunoglobulin shot or a hepatitis vaccine should be taken to prevent hepatitis A and B.
- Eat a proper and balanced diet.
- Maintain healthy body weight.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake when taking acetaminophen.
- Wash hands properly before and after taking meals, proper hygiene should be maintained.
- Personal toiletry items such as toothbrushes and razors should not be used piercing.
- Make sure the conditions are sanitary and all equipment is aseptic while getting a tattoo or a body piercing.
- Use barrier protection (condoms) when having sex.
- Don't share needles with anyone when using illegal intravenous drugs.
As liver failure is described above, so survival period after liver failure depends upon the recovery of the disease which further depends upon the severity of symptoms and patients responding to the treatment. The liver care pack of planet Ayurveda has herbs that have the ability to regenerate liver cells which increases the chances of survival.
1. What can I eat if I have liver disease?
A. Changes in the diet include limiting fats & sugars while increasing consumption of fruits as a whole, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains, nuts, water, olive oil, green tea, coffee.
2. What is prevention for Hepatitis A, B & C?
A. Hepatitis A, B can be prevented by getting vaccinated and in type, C prevention avoids contact with direct blood of anyones affected blood and have safe intercoitus.
3. Are any liver diseases on the rise?
A. There is an increase in the number of people with people suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis.
4. If someone has liver disease, are they immediately aware of it?
A. Unfortunately very often people are not awarded as hepatitis C is the silent epidemic. Also, there are usually no symptoms of cirrhosis in early stages and overtime its gets worsened and leads to liver failure.
5. Does liver disease strike people of any age?
A. Yes, it can occur at any age also in children.
6. Does liver disease affect men and women differently?
A. In some cases, as primary liver cancer is about twice common in men than in women. 70 percent of people with autoimmune hepatitis are women between the ages of 15 -40.
7. Why is fatty liver disease increasing?
A. As cases of diabetes type 2, high cholesterol, poor diet, and lifestyle increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Textbook of DRAVYAGUNA VIJNAN by Acharya Priyavart Sharma
- Textbook of Harrison's principles of internal medicine
- Textbook of medicine by Dr. Vikram Chauhan.