The liver is an important organ located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It is responsible for:
- Filtering the blood
- Making bile, a substance that helps digest fat and excrete certain fatty substances
- Processing and hooking fats to carriers (including cholesterol), and storing sugars, helping the body transport and save energy.
- Making important proteins, such as most of those involved in blood clotting
- Metabolizing many medications, such as barbiturates, sedatives, and amphetamines
- Storing iron, copper, vitamins A and D, and several of the B vitamins.
- Making important proteins like albumin that regulate fluid transport in the blood and kidneys.
- Helping break down and recycle red blood cells.
If the liver becomes inflamed or infected, its ability to perform these functions may be impaired. Liver disease and infections are caused by a variety of conditions including viral infections, bacterial invasion, and chemical or physical changes within the body. The most common cause of liver damage is malnutrition, especially that which occurs with alcoholism.
Symptoms of liver disease may be acute, occurring suddenly, or chronic, developing slowly over a long period of time. Chronic liver disease is much more common than acute. The rates of chronic liver disease for men are two times higher than for women. Liver disease may range from mild to severe depending on the type of disease present.
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Symptoms partly depend on the type and the extent of liver disease. In many cases, there may be no symptoms. Signs and symptoms that are common to a number of different types of liver disease include:
- jaundice, or yellowing of the skin
- darkened urine
- loss of appetite
- unusual weight loss or weight gain
- light-colored stools
- abdominal pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- malaise, or a vague feeling of illness
- generalized itching
- varicose veins (enlarged blood vessels)
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- low grade fever
- muscle aches and pains
- loss of sex drive
Liver disease can be caused by a variety of factors. Causes include:
- congenital birth defects, or abnormalities of the liver present at birth
- metabolic disorders, or defects in basic body processes
- viral or bacterial infections
- alcohol or poisoning by toxins
- certain medications that are toxic to the liver
- nutritional deficiencies
- trauma, or injur
Cyranin, along with other compounds found in artichokes, helps increase your liver’s production of bile and strengthens the bile duct so that it’s better able to contract. It also strengthens the liver cell walls, protecting them from damage. Since artichokes can break up and mobilize fat stored in the liver, it’s useful as a natural liver detox as well as for lowering cholesterol.
Papaya is known to provide good nutrients in maintaining a healthy liver.
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Milk thistle is my choice for all types of liver ailments. Including everything from hepatitis to cirrhosis to Amanita mushroom poisoning. Milk thistle contains silymarin, a flavonoid that has been shown to aid in healing and rebuilding the liver. Take 200 to 400 milligrams three times daily.
Burdock root and Dandelion root are important in cleansing the liver and bloodstream.
Rosemary is a common cooking herb and is by far the easiest to find of all the liver detox herbs. The biologically active compounds in this herb are caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, both of which stimulate the liver to work more efficiently The two healthy acids in rosemary also reduce inflammation that can lead to liver disease. As you know, rosemary’s pungent aroma and taste complement chicken, lighter vegetables dishes, and breads. So adding this herb to your dishes should be extremely easy.
Turmeric is credited with quite a range of health-giving properties and it’s also a proven-effective natural liver cleanse. The yellowish oils, called curcuminoids, in this plant help reduce any build-up of toxins in the body, including the liver. It is said to shrink enlarged hepatic ducts, so it can be useful to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Roots of dandelion provide a good liver care. Boil its root (small amount) in a glass of water for 10 minutes. Your drink is ready for drink.
Dandelion increases the production and flow of bile from the liver, helping to cleanse the organ. While dandelion is a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and provides more vitamin A per gram than carrots, it also contains a high amount of choline, which tones and strengthens the liver.What’s more, it also helps flush out fat deposits from the liver. The roots are the best source of the liver supporting compounds. If you can find a location free of pesticides, you can collect roots and make a tea, tincture, or herbal decoction from them.
All parts of the Chicory Plant are useful in the treatment of liver ailments. The flowers, seeds and roots are the most often used. The juice of the chicory can help in the treatment of sluggishness of the liver, obstruction of the flow of bile and the enlargement of the spleen; all of which are associated with jaundice. Chicory can also promote the healthy secretion of the bile.
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Some, but not all, liver diseases can be prevented. For example, hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccines.
Other ways to decrease the risk of infectious liver disease include:
- A low-fat diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, avoiding excessive protein
- practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands well after using the restroom or changing diapers
- avoiding drinking or using tap water when traveling internationally
- avoiding illegal drug use, especially sharing injection equipment
- practicing safest sex. Practicing safer sex provides less protection.
- avoiding the sharing of personal hygiene items, such as razors or nail clippers
- avoiding toxic substances and excess alcohol consumption
- using medications only as directed
- using caution around industrial chemicals
- eating a well balanced diet following the food guide pyramid
- getting an injection of immune globulin after exposure to hepatitis A
- using recommended safety precautions in healthcare and day care work
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