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What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver disease is a common condition caused by the abnormal and over accumulation of fats in liver cells causing inflammation inside the liver. Most people don’t notice any symptoms of it. However, in few of them it can become serious health complication. But there is always two sides to every coin, yes! it is completely reversible.

What are the functions of liver?

The liver is the most important organ which helps with major complex chemical processes in the body. Hence any issue with its working can cause serious health aliments.

Following are the functions of liver :

  • • It produces bile, which helps with digestion.
  • • Protein synthesis
  • • Major metabolism of the body, converts food into energy.
  • • Helps create clotting factors essential in clot formation
  • • Major organ for detoxification and immunity built up.

Fatty liver as per Ayurveda

Accumulation of fats in the liver cells and obstruction because of inflammation is the condition associated with kapha imbalance, rasa, rakta and mamsa dhatu. As Liver is the seat of pitta dosha and the dhatu mentioned, they play a significant role in dhatu parimarjan, but due to raised kapha it is suppressed. Hence, correcting the kapha dosha, rasa, rakta and mamsa dhatu, rasavaha and rakta vaha srotas alongside annavaha srotas for correcting the indigestion, obesity and those who consume high calorie diet is the general line of treatment.

Causes of fatty liver

Fatty liver disease occurs due to improper diet, alcoholism and indulgence of such intoxicating substances. The inflammation in liver hinders with its normal functioning to eliminate the toxins and fats from the body. There are two types of fatty liver disease, alcoholic and non alcoholic fatty liver. This disease is more prevalent among patients who are obese and have diabetes, are at higher risk. The occurrence of fatty liver disease has become a growing concern in India, with reports suggesting that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects anywhere between 9% to 32% of the population. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is characterized by certain symptoms, including but not limited to jaundice, fever, spider veins, and abnormally high WBC count. There are numerous treatments available to reverse this disease with ayurveda.

Fatty liver as per Ayurveda

There are some general conditions with which FLD is associated with,

  • • Overweight or obesity: Being overweight or obese does not only means that there is accumulation of fats in other body tissues. It also means that your body’s fat-muscle ratio is out of proportion and putting more strain on your bones than they can handle. As a result the body tendency to put the fats elsewhere happens and thus changes to fatty liver disease.
  • • Poor diet: Overconsumption of trans fats, processed fats and packaged food products results in FLDs.
  • • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes: insulin resistance raises blood sugar, but it also appears to promote fat accumulation in the liver. This may lead to inflammation or scar tissue build-up in the liver.
  • • Metabolic syndrome: diseases like hypothyroid, hashimotos thyroiditis, PCOS, rheumatic arthritis also has a contributing role in development of FLD.
  • • Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption affects the ability of liver to metabolise the fats.
  • • Rapid weight loss: Rapid weight loss can also cause the liver to become overwhelmed and lead to the accumulation of fat.
  • • Certain medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, amiodarone, can cause an accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • • High Triglycerides Levels: High triglycerides circulating in the blood can lead to fat accumulation in the liver. This is one of the significant factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

At a very early stage the fatty liver does not show any signs and symptoms, though as the disease progresses it may show up with following symptoms,

  • • Fatigue
  • • Bloating- feeling of fullness
  • • Abdominal pain
  • • Weight loss
  • • Nausea and vomiting
  • • Enlarged liver
  • • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • • Dark urine
  • • Itching
  • • Odema over both lower limbs and abdomen
  • • Weakness

There are a number of Ayurveda treatments and Ayurveda medicine available is diverse and it completely depends upon the health conditions of the patient. Managing your lifestyle along with the incorporation of certain ayurvedic herbs helps in managing and reversing such condition of liver.

  • 1. Nidan parivarjan - Lifestyle modification , Incorporate good fats and avoid trans fats. As per ayurveda aggravation of kapha causes fatty liver, hence it is always advisable to control the intake of fats. However, complete elimination of it also leads to improper elimination of unwanted fats. Meaning, usage of good fats such as cow ghee or medicated or herb infused ghee can also help in lowering the fatty liver.
  • 2. White Sugar is considered as a white poison. It causes inflammation inside the body and more toxic that fats. Jaggery is a better option to substitute white sugar.
  • 3. Increase fiber in your diet, a boost in metabolism is achieved much with the help of fiber rich diet. Fiber helps eliminate unwanted toxins in the intestine and helps ease bowel movements. Ultimately helping in fatty liver.
  • 4. Avoid Alcohol, having said that alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the types. Undoubtedly over intake of alcohol can cause overload on to the liver sometimes it may also happen that people who consume alcohol infrequently can also get this FLDs.

Each person has a unique body constitution and responds differently to home remedies. Home remedies may be as good as thoughts and prayers for some people. And for that reason alone, Ayurvedic medicines exist.

  • • Triphala: Triphala is a combination of amla, haritaki and bibhitak fruit. This trio is of great help in detoxifying the colon, is hepato-protective and is antidiabetic and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • • Shankhapushpi: It helps reduce fat accumulation in the liver and improve liver function, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help protect the liver from damage.
  • • Guggulu: It improves liver function, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver, and improve metabolism.
  • • Bhringarajasava is formulated with natural ingredients possessing restorative properties that help improve liver function. Bhringarajasava can help maintain a healthy metabolism and manage the symptoms of fatty liver disease.
  • • Arogyavardhini vati: It is a blend of herbo-mineral formulation which specifically acts on the improvement of liver function.
  • • Panchakarma therapy – certain ayurvedic detox procedures helps in elimination of unwanted fats and toxins from our body. Vaman and/or Virechan therapy is advisable in FLDs, according to the condition of the patient.

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Diet preferences to reverse the fatty liver

• Fenugreek seed soaked in water over night, consume in morning ( recommended only for people with low stomach acids – check it with your physician first)

• Vegetable dalia, Veg vermicilline, wheat chapatti, phulka, roti,dal

• Avoid fermented foods such as idli, dosa, dhokla, bakery products – biscuits, cake, pasteries, marie etc.

• Fresh buttermilk- 4 cup of water + ½ cup fresh curd – whisk well with stirrer, add grinded ½ tsf coriander seed powder, 1/2tsf roasted jeera powder, rock salt as per taste and fresh coriander.

• Herbal tea- ginger , fennel tea, cinnamon tea, liquorice tea.

• Rice, khichadi

• Turmeric milk.

• Chicken soup.

• Dry fig, black raisins soaked overnight, dry dates can be consumed.

• Seasonal and regional fruits in limited quantity can be taken.

Yoga for fatty liver

Asanas exert pressure on the liver and strengthens the liver function. Exercising helps reduce the fat accumulation in the liver as it is used up for energy. The blood supply directed towards the liver is enhanced while practicing daily yoga asanas. Thus the blood flows helps mobilize the fats from the liver and to some extent metabolizes the same. There are few asanas and pranayams to be done daily

  • Kapalbhati Pranayama
  • Padmasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Chakravakasnan/ cat cow pose
  • Bhujangasana
  • Mandukasana
  • Adhomukh shvanasana
  • Anulom vilom alternate breathing technique


Deviations in the lifestyle habits in human have led to drastic development of diseases especially metabolic disorders. Fatty liver disease is also a result of improper diet and other faulty habits. If, over looked, it can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. No permanent solutions are available in the modern medicine. Hence, Ayurveda treatment modality can help deal such conditions in a more effective and safe way. Simple lifestyle modifications along with alternative therapies which support the liver can help reverse the condition.