The liver is the master organ of the body, and most people consider the liver to be more important in the normal functioning of the body than even the brain and the heart. If there is any damage to the liver, then there could be serious complications, such as constipation, chronic gastritis, morning sickness, etc. Problems with the liver could be jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), all of which are life-threatening conditions. Hence it is very important to take proper care of the liver.

Some symptoms which indicate something is wrong with the liver are:-

1 Loss of appetite
2 Diarrhea
3 Flatulence
4 Pain in the abdomen
5 Difficulty in breathing and coughing

Ayurveda places the liver at the center of the body. It is the house of all the five digestive agnis, or fires, and hence if anything goes wrong with the liver, digestion will be the first activity to come under peril. The liver is also responsible for converting plasma (Rasa dhaatu) to blood (Rakta dhaatu) in conjunction with the spleen. Thus, liver defects can cause serious blood ailments also.

This article deals with various Ayurvedic methods and home remedies to take proper care of the liver.

(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Liver Care

1. Berberis (Berberis vulgaris)
Berberis is nicknamed as the jaundice berry for its beneficial effects on the treatment of jaundice. It is a bitter tonic which is made from the bark of the berberis tree. It is taken in amounts of quarter teaspoon when jaundice strikes.

2. Chicory (Chichorium intybus)
Chicory is one of the most useful herbs in treatment of liver problems. Almost all parts of the herb are important – flowers, seeds and roots. The juice of the chicory plant promotes the secretion of the bile. Hence it is used in different ways in treating liver problems such as bilary stasis, sluggishness of the liver, bile obstruction, jaundice and enlargement of the spleen.

3. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion stimulates the liver and the gall bladder for the proper utilization of fats within the body. It also helps in the detoxification of the liver. Its juice is used in treatment of most liver problems. Even for people with hepatitis, dandelion tea is very beneficial.

4. Gokulakanta (Hygrophila spinosa)
This herb is used for treatment of several liver problems including jaundice, hepatitis and derangement of the liver. Its root is prescribed in such conditions. A specially prepared decoction of the root (60 grams root powder mixed in half a liter of water and boiled for about half an hour) is given in doses of 30 to 60 milliliters twice or thrice daily.

5. Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
The cooling effect of the henna is also beneficial in the treatment of liver problems. Its bark is effective in the treatment of liver problems such as jaundice and enlargement of the liver.

6. Indian Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
The Indian aloe stimulates the liver into carrying out its functions normally. It is used in the treatment of jaundice and enlargement of the liver.