The Liver is an organ that plays a vital role in human digestive system in vertebrates and few animals. Liver is a huge meaty organ which lies on the right side of the belly. It weighs about 3 pounds. It is reddish brown in colour and is rubbery to touch. Liver cannot be felt because it is protected by the rib cage.
Anatomy of the Liver
Liver normally has four lobes of different shapes and sizes. It is a triangular organ. Liver is the largest internal organ and also the largest gland in the human body. It is situated in the right upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity, just under the diaphragm. Liver lies to the right of the stomach and overlies the organ called gallbladder. It is connected to 2 large blood vessels- hepatic artery and portal vein. The hepatic artery carries blood from aorta and portal vein carries blood including digestive nutrients from the whole gastrointestinal tract and spleen and pancreas. The blood vessels are divided into capillaries that lead to lobule. Each lobule is made up of millions of hepatic cells. They are the basic metabolic cells. Lobules are the functional units of the liver.
Functions of the Liver
The liver performs several essential functions related to metabolism, digestion, immunity and in storing nutrients within the body. The main functionality of the liver is to filter the blood that comes from the digestive tract before it is transported to other parts of the body.
These functionalities make liver a vital organ. Without liver, the tissues of the body die very quickly due to lack of nutrients and energy. Luckily, the liver has anamazing capability of regenerating the damaged and dead tissues. It has the capability to ensure growth of tissues faster than a cancerous tumour and then restore the tissue to its normal size and make it function normally. It has the ability to detoxify the blood that is quite essential in keeping the blood pure and ensuring health of other vital organs of the body. It secretes a juice called bile that aids in proper digestion of food. Bile is essential in digesting fats. It breaks down fats into smaller pieces thathelp the small intestine to absorb it very easily.
Liver stores vitamins and iron. It helps the body to get rid of drugs and alcohol present in the body. It stores simple form of the sugar glucose. It also converts stored sugar into usable sugar when the glucose levels in the body falls down below the normal. Liver breaks down haemoglobin, insulin and other hormones present in the body to simpler forms. It converts ammonia into urea that is very important in human metabolism. It destroys old red blood cells which are no longer useful to the body.
Liver Provides Immunity
Liver is the organ that plays a vital role in providing immunity to the body. The kupffer cells which line the sinusoids help in retaining immunity of the body. Kupffer cells are fixed macrophage cells which form part of mononuclear phagocyte system along with macrophages in the spleen and lymph nodes. The kupffer cells play a vital role in capturing as well as digesting bacteria, parasites, fungi, worn out blood cells and cellular debris. The kupffer cells clean the large volumes of blood that pass through the liver and hepatic portal system.
Since theliver is connected to several other organs and has several functionalities, liver is prone to several diseases. But it needs to be addressed as soon as possible because any small problem with the liver can affect the functionalities of various other organs.
7 Natural Remedies for Protecting the Liver
Ailments relate to liver are extremely common in developed countries and more than 30% of the population of these countries suffer from diseases known as fatty liver, steatosis, tiredness, obesity, diabetes, under-diagnosed condition causing rashes, puffy eyes, etc. However, every disease can be cured with proper intake of food. Healthy liver cleansing diet can help you get out of the group of people with liver ailments.
Turmeric repairs damaged liver tissue. Turmeric, also known as Circuma longa, belongs to the family of ginger called Zingaberaceae. It has long been used and cultivated throughout India and Southeast Asia. It is valuable for thedigestive system and overall health of theliver. It reduces gas, bloating and improves digestion.
Turmeric is recommended for digestive weakness and congestion. Winter or spring is the best time to consume foods and herbs which strengthen liver, because it is the time of the year which rules gallbladder and liver according to Chinese Medicine. Turmeric shrinks the engorged hepatic ducts and treats liver ailments like cirrhosis, hepatitis and jaundice. In encourages production of bile and stimulates excretion through gallbladder. It can naturally cleanse liver and encourage healthy living.
Ginger, one of the favourite spices on the world is grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Ginger and chicory, according to recent studies, proved to have liver protective properties. It improved liver damage and also restored the composition of blood to normal. Ginger provides protection against liver fibrosis. Ginger is known to increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes that are used by liver. It is used in treating liver fibrosis too.
Schistosomiasis is a parasite thathas the ability to damage liver and intestines. Ginger and ginger extracts help in getting rid of this parasite. Ginger also provides protection against the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition is cured when oxidative stress on the liver is reduced and when insulin resistance is reduced, and fortunately ginger does it all. Ginger should be included in liver cleansing diet to achieve ahealthy liver and healthy life.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables should be included in liver detox diet as it ensures deep tissue detox. In general, every vegetable protects and strengthens theliver. But leafy vegetable are more protective. Those who consume more green leafy vegetables have aless probability of having liver disease and people who consumeless green leafy vegetables usually suffer from fatty liver.To be on the better side, make surenot less than half your plate is filled with greenies at least thrice a week.
Fruits are amazing for improving overall health. Fruits have fibres, vitamins and most importantly water. They have enzymes that can improve the process of digestion and reduce the content of toxins in the body. This reduces the incoming toxins which the liver has to deal with.
Apples are high in pectin and some other chemicals which are essential to cleanse and remove toxins from the digestive tract. Apples can help liver to handle the toxic load during the detoxification process. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C which helps the liver in synthesizing toxic materials into such substances which can be absorbed by water. Grapefruit helps the body produce glutathione which helps in increasing the production of enzymes that boost detoxification process.
When fruits and vegetables are heated, it destroys the enzymes that are naturally available in the food. These enzymes greatly help in digestion of food. One best method of consuming raw food is by drinking juices of raw fruits and vegetables. Drinking juices of raw vegetables and fruits is easy than consuming them whole. This gives combined effects of raw vegetables and fruits. Going completely on the juice diet for a week or month, completely reverses the serious liver conditions. This is one of the best liver cleanse foods and best way to cleanse the liver available till date.
When you look beyond its weird shape, Artichoke is the healthiest food which is delicious and potential helper in dealing with liver related ailments. The Artichoke is a fibrous and green veggie which contains cynarin. Cynarin is nothing but a phenolic acid compound responsible for its properties of choleretic and cholagogue. Choleretic is a substance that improves the production of bile in the liver and Cholagogue is a medicinal agent which stimulates the discharge of bile from the system by purging it downwards. Thus, this can cleanse theliver naturally.
Role of Water
Drinking enough water every day is extremely essential in attaining healthy living along with ahealthy liver. It allows the whole body to give peak performance. About 60% of the body is made up of water. It plays a vital role in transportation of nutrients and other important substances. Liver performs more than 400 tasks and ensures every part of the body is run smoothly. Liver and all other parts of the body depend on water for smooth functioning. Everyday water is lost from the body through sweat, urine and even breathing. Therefore to compensate the quantity of water lost from the body, we need to consume it in abundance.
Eating correct food is not the only thing you should do. The way you eat and what you do not eat also should be carefully analysed. Small periods of detoxing and workouts are extremely important in reversing a disease, and it is the key to protectinghealth. Though you consume best foods to cleanse the liver, its effects can be observed if they are eaten at right time in right quantities. If you already have a liver related ailment, detoxifying the body will tremendously help in reversing the ailment.
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