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How To Keep Your Liver Healthy

August 01, 2023 13:14 IST
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Since your liver works hard to purify and detoxify your body, it is important to maintain good health of this vital organ and keep it healthy naturally, advises Dr Hansaji Yogendra.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Shilpa Shetty Kundra/

The role of the liver in our bodies is vital and it is necessary to find out as soon as possible if there is something wrong with the liver.

According to Ayurveda, the liver is the seat of pitta dosha.

Liver problems which show imbalance of pitta are skin inflammation, acne, cold sores, and psoriasis.

Excess toxins in the liver can lead to digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, itchy skin, dark urine, and fatigue.

Imbalances in the liver for a longer duration may cause serious diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, and even cancer.

Therefore, you must naturally detox your liver regularly.

As the primary organ responsible for detoxification, the liver filters and eliminates harmful substances from our body.

However, in today's fast-paced world, the liver's natural detoxification process can become overwhelmed, leading to a host of health issues.

Liver detoxification is a process that aims to support and enhance the liver's function, helping it effectively eliminate toxins and promote a healthier body.

In this article, we will explore the concept of liver detoxification, debunk some common myths, provide practical tips, and discuss four powerful yogic techniques -- ahar (diet), vihar (relaxation and recreation), achar (routine), and vichar (thoughts) --- to aid in the process of detoxification.

What is Liver Detoxification?

Liver detoxification is the process of enhancing the liver's natural ability to remove toxins, waste products, drugs, and other harmful substances from the body.

The liver performs two primary phases of detoxification Phase I and Phase II.

In Phase I, it converts toxins into less harmful substances, and in Phase II, it further metabolises these substances to render them water-soluble, facilitating their elimination through urine or faeces.


Common Myths about Liver Detoxification

1. Extreme fasting or juicing is the best way to detoxify the liver.

While occasional fasting or juice cleanses can be beneficial, extreme fasting can deprive the body of essential nutrients and harm the liver in the long run. A balanced and sustainable approach is more effective.

2. Liver detox supplements and products are a quick fix.

Many commercial detox products and supplements promise rapid results, but they may not be scientifically proven and could potentially harm the liver. Natural methods and lifestyle changes are safer and more sustainable.

3. Only those with a history of alcohol abuse need liver detoxification.

While excessive alcohol consumption can severely damage the liver, even persons with a healthy lifestyle can benefit from supporting their liver's natural detoxification processes.


Tips for Liver Detoxification

Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential for optimal liver function. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps flush out toxins and aids in digestion.

However, ensure that you do not consume an excessive amount of water, as this can also cause liver issues.

Balanced Diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Minimise processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive consumption of saturated fats and salt.

Exercise: Regular physical activity boosts blood circulation and supports liver function.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the liver.

If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.

Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact liver health.

Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.


Yogic Techniques for Liver Detoxification

The concepts of ahar, vihar, achar, vichar from yogic teachings can significantly contribute to liver detoxification and overall well-being:

Ahar (Diet)

Emphasise a sattvic diet: A sattvic diet consists of fresh, natural, and pure foods promotes physical and mental clarity.

Include foods such as pomegranate, pears, beetroot, ginger, cucumber, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, lemon and mint to help liver detox.

Practice mindful eating: Chew your food slowly and thoroughly, and avoid overeating. Eating in a calm and relaxed environment aids digestion.

Avoid processed and unhealthy foods: Reduce the intake of processed, fried, and sugary foods, as they burden the liver with toxins and unhealthy fats.

Vihar (Relaxation and Recreation)

Daily exercise and yoga: Engage in regular physical activities, as they help improve blood circulation and lymphatic flow, supporting the liver's detoxification process.

Sweating during exercising aids in the elimination of toxins through the skin, promoting overall detoxification.

Yoga twists like Vakrasana and inversions such as Sarvangasana can be particularly beneficial.

Sufficient sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night, as it allows the body to repair and rejuvenate, essential for effective detoxification.

Achar (Routine)

Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances put excessive strain on the liver and hinder its detoxification abilities.

Reduce exposure to environmental toxins: Be mindful of household and workplace chemicals, and opt for natural cleaning products whenever possible.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact liver health.

Practice relaxation techniques such as Nishpanda Bhava and Shavasana.

Pranayama and meditation techniques also increase mindfulness and reduce stress levels.

Vichar (Thoughts)

Positive mindset: Cultivate a positive and optimistic outlook on life.

Positive thoughts promote emotional well-being, reducing stress and its impact on the liver.

Gratitude: Expressing gratitude for what you have can shift your focus away from negativity and reduce emotional burdens.

In the Eight-Fold Path of Yoga, as outlined by Maharshi Patanjali, there is a concept called Saucha. It is about cleansing.

Detoxification is another term for cleansing. Since your liver works hard to purify and detoxify your body, it is important to maintain good health of this vital organ and keep it healthy naturally.

Liver detoxification is a vital process that helps maintain general health.

Understanding the common myths surrounding liver detoxification and adopting evidence-based tips can lead to better liver health.

Moreover, integrating the wisdom of yogic techniques - ahar, vihar, achar, and vichar - can provide holistic support for the liver's natural detoxification abilities.

By nurturing our liver through proper nutrition, lifestyle choices, and mindfulness, we can pave the way for a healthier and more vibrant life.

Dr Hansaji Yogendra is the director at The Yoga Institute.

Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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