Liver, along with Gall Bladder, Pancreas and Intestines, Digest, Assimilate and Metabolise the Food we Eat. Let us run down the Digestive Procedure and then try understand role of few important organs including Liver.
The Procedure: We eat Food => Mouth-Oesophagus-Stomach (Comprises of Mucosa-Gastric Glands-Hormone Gastrin-Enzyme pepsinogen-Pepsin-HCl-NaCl…)-Food gets mixed with gastric Juices => Processed Stuff (Semi Liquid Chyme) passes onto Duodenum => Moves onto Small Intestine where maximum Nutrients get absorbed by The Body => Water-Minerals-Bio chemicals (Biotin-Vitamin K…) are absorbed-reabsorbed back into the Blood in The Large Intestine.
Let me now run through the importance-function of Liver. Gall Bladder, Pancreas & Spleen.
Liver is mostly located at upper right abdomen below diaphragm. Blood & Bile flows along The Liver Cells. Blood from Digestive Organs flows to Liver through Hepatic Portal Vein. This Blood carries all – Nutrients & Toxins (Including Medical & Other Toxins, which can’t be broken down by The Digestive System). Detoxifies-Processed substances are then released back into the Bloodstream. Liver also helps in Metabolising our food and Synthesis of Important Bio-Chemicals in the Body (Proteins, Enzymes, Hormones, Regulates Blood Glucose Levels…). Again reiterating, Most of The Lipoproteins are Synthesised in Liver only & Hence A2 Ghee–Other Unctuous Stuff (such as Black Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil…) are utterly essential for good Liver Health. Liver produces Bile which gets stored in Gall Bladder & gets released to Duodenum via Bile Ducts (or even directly). Liver also stores Vitamins & Minerals (Mostly iron & Copper) &releases then as and when required by the body. Metabolisation of Proteins into Body Usable Energy involves release of Toxic Ammonia which then is converted by Liver to less Toxic Urea before being released into the blood stream which then is excreted from our system by Kidneys.
Bile is produced by (in) Liver and is composed of Bile (& Inorganic) Salts, Mucus,
Pigments (or Bio Chromes, Mostly Bilirubin) & Some Fats. It disperses Food Fats to smaller units ‘Micelles’, which creates larger surface area for Pancreatic Enzyme Lipase to act on. Helps absorb Vitamin-K from Diet (Required for Blood Clotting). Bile is Collected & Delivered through ‘Common Hepatic Duct’, which is joined to ‘Cystic Duct’, onto ‘Common Bile Duct’. Bile is stored in Gall Bladder, and is released (Intermittently) as food (semi-liquid Chyme) passes via Pyloric Sphincter onto Duodenum.
Gall Bladder is hollow and sits just below Liver. This is where most of the Bile is stored before being released onto Duodenum. Bile Ducts carry Bile from Liver to ‘The Gall Bladder’. A Peptide Hormone ‘Cholecystokinin (Responsible for Digestion of Fats and Proteins)’ signals release of Bile rom Gall Bladder.
Pancreas function both as Endocrine Gland (Releases Hormones-Other Liquids directly into the Bloodstream) & Exocrine Gland (Releases Hormones-Other Liquids into The Bloodstream via Duct/s). It releases Insulin to maintain Blood Sugar levels and makes available Energy to Body Tissues-Organs. Conversely, it releases Glucagon if Blood Sugar Level Drops. It also releases Pancreatic Juice (Digestive Enzyme~Important Role in Digestion Process) into Duodenum via Pancreatic Duct. Bicarbonate (Alkaline) Ions of Pancreatic Discharges help neutralise Acidic Chyme (Semi-Liquid Discharge from Stomach to Duodenum…).
Spleen is mostly a part of Lymphatic System (Clears Interstitial Fluid back to The Heart). It composes of Splenic Veins-Arteries-Lymphatic Vessels-Other nerves. As the Blood passes through Vessels through Spleen, Spleen removes-Microbes-Pathogens of The Blood and Removes Dead-Damaged RBC’s. It is an aid to Body’s Immune System & Produces WBC’s (Ref. Pesticides-Weedicides in Modern G.Mo. Fruits-vegetables-Soft Drinks…). Thus, Enlarged Spleen or Splenomegaly could be related to Contaminated Blood where Spleen has to work overtime to remove large number of dead RBC’s.
Ayurvedically, Liver (More Precisely Bile), Gall Bladder, Pancreas & Spleen all are Pitta Organs of the Body (Situated in The Pitta Region) and Mostly-Primarily it is Vitiation of Pitta which Hurts functioning of these organs (Coupled by Vitiation of Other Doshas) (Dry-Hot-Pungent-Sour foods (Except Lemon in Day Time) are a big No-No). Flow of various Juices-Enzymes as mentioned above is actually signifying flow of Pitta. Malfunctioning Liver is surely bound to Vitiate following Pittas: Pachaka Pitta (Jatharagni is in the state of Mandagni); Ranjaka Pitta (Situated in Liver & Spleen; Gives colour to Blood & Other Body Tissues; Involved with conversion of Rasa to Raqta Dhatu & More…); Alochaka Pitta (Located in Eyes – Yellowishness of Eyes result when Vitiated); Bhrajaka Pitta (Located in Skin, Discolouration of Skin results when this is Vitiated) & Sadhaka Pitta (Situated in Brain & Heart; Affected due Vitiated Ranjaka Pitta). Also Ayurvedically, Liver (Yakrut) & Spleen (Pleeha) are the Root (Responsible for) for Clean Raqta-Vaha Srotas (Blood circulation System). Liver converts Rasa Dhatu (Plasma) to Raqta Dhatu (Blood).
Causes for Liver Malfunction could be Dreaded Modern Medicines, carcinogenic Stuff right in our Kitchen (Plastics, Modern Toothpastes comprised of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate…), Excess Oily Food (Ref. Refined Oils-Devoid of so important Unctuousness-HDL), Excess Alcohol-Smoking etc.
Enlarged Liver or Hepatomegaly could be due various reasons like ‘High Blood Cholesterol’, ‘Allergies due some medications’, ‘Toxins in the Blood-Body’, ‘Hepatitis’, ‘Genetic Causes’, and so on…
Few Symptoms which would suggest your lever might not be keeping up to the optimum levels could be:
- A bad mouth (Excess ammonia is removed from the system as the blood circulates through the liver, in the form of water soluble compound, urea),
- Skin health starts deteriorating (Also may have white liver spots on skin),
- Your excretions are getting darker on the constant-regular basis,
- Yellowish colour under-within the eyes and under the nails,
- Regular feeling of bitterness in the mouth, the presence of liver enzyme, Bile,
- Ascites and so on.
Brief One-Liner to various Liver Ailments:
- Ascites is when fluid fills the space between the lining of the abdomen and the organs. It usually occurs when the liver stops working properly,
- Liver Enlargement or Hepatomegaly is Enlargement of Liver due Swelling,
- Liver Psoriasis is a condition in which Healthy Cells-Tissues of Liver die away and get replaced by Scarred-Hard Tissues. The Pressure within Liver due this Blocks Normal Blood low & Built up of Toxins take Place,
- Hepatitis A-B-C-D-E: Infection (Acute or Chronic)-Inflammation-Damage to Liver caused due Hepatitis Virus A-B-C-D-E. Hepatitis-D attacks only in Presence of Hepatitis B. In the next Post (http://www.stayhealthytill70.com/liver-care-few-ayurvedic-remedies/) we shall go about as to how we may try getting rid of the damn viruses responsible for The Medical Condition/s.
Finally, I must point to various studies which point to ‘The Amazing Property of Liver to be able to Repair, Regenerative & Rejuvenate Itself’.