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Tips for Lifelong Liver Health

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Tips for Lifelong Liver Health

By Carrie Demers, MD, Yoga International

I recently went to see an acupuncturist for some chronic digestive problems and she told me that my liver is congested. Is this something serious? What should I do?

Consider this diagnosis a wake-up call. A congested or stagnant liver won’t put you in immediate danger, but it will produce symptoms—in your case digestive problems—that can lower your quality of life and indicate that you’re headed for trouble down the road. Think of liver congestion as a precondition for more serious problems. It occurs before Western medicine can detect any sign of liver malfunction, and it is a “condition” you and a traditional medical practitioner—such as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or ayurvedic doctor—can remedy.

Both TCM and ayurveda attribute liver congestion to heat that is trapped in the liver, and they seek to clear and cool the organ through lifestyle changes and herbal treatments. The liver is a natural multitasker: it plays a large role in metabolism, helps build proteins, breaks down hormones, clears toxins from the bloodstream, and much more. Ayurveda views the liver as “hot” or “pittic” because the fiery, dynamic energy of pitta—one of the three doshas (along with vata and kapha) that regulate the physiological functions of the body—guides and supports these myriad functions of the liver. Too much fiery energy, however, can accumulate in the liver and lead to physical problems. Ayurveda describes symptoms caused by excess pitta that are very similar to what is called “liver fire” in TCM: headaches; flushed face; red, burning eyes; acne; nosebleeds; and outbursts of anger. Ayurveda adds inflammation, allergies, and symptoms of indigestion (like heartburn) to the list. Changes in lifestyle—like eating cooling foods, getting regular exercise, and taking time to relax—are often enough to bring pitta back into functional balance.

Next: Herbal First aid

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Ayurveda, Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, , , , , ,

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12:03AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

thank you

8:18AM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

Thank you :)

2:58PM PDT on May 28, 2014

This is a whole lot of hogwash. Of course there are foods that are more or less difficult for your liver to process, but this entire post shows a lack of understanding of how the digestive system works and the role the liver plays. But I suppose I wouldn't expect much else from advice that is based on ayurveda.

11:57AM PDT on May 25, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

10:53AM PDT on Apr 20, 2014

Excellent information. Thanks.

4:42AM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

Hmmm... Hard to believe anyone. Once I read a book on Chinese medicine which claimed that fruit and vegetables were very harmful because they cooled the liver.

12:41PM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Have to delve further..thank you for the info.

11:24AM PST on Feb 25, 2014

Good information. Thanks for posting.

11:46AM PST on Jan 23, 2014

Good info thanx!

8:09AM PST on Dec 18, 2013

Thanks for the valuable information.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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