Home Remedies for an Enlarged Liver
An enlarged liver, or hepatomegaly, is a condition that presents with very few symptoms during the initial stage of inflammation. This makes the task of identifying and initiating treatment difficult. It occurs when the liver swells, becoming larger than normal. It can be caused by a range of conditions, such as excessive alcohol consumption, excess fat consumption, viral infections and any form of hepatitis. If you have identified this abnormality with your liver, you should seek professional medical advice. If the cause is not a more serious illness, you can try natural remedies to complement your medical treatment. Read on at oneHOWTO to find out more about home remedies for an enlarged liver.
Enlarged liver or fatty liver?
The first thing to do is to identify if your liver is enlarged or if it is a case of fatty liver. Fatty liver is a different condition which occurs when more liver fat is produced than is normal. It is often caused by, among other things, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity or as a result of high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to severe inflammation of the liver. It is a reversible condition, but you are in trouble when the fat content of the liver is 10 - 15%.
Hepatomegaly, a more general term for an enlarged liver, can come from different causes. It can include fatty liver, but is not limited to it. The liver is on the right side of the body, right underneath your ribs under your chest. If you take a deep breath and stick your hand under your ribs, you should be able to touch your liver.
If your liver becomes very enlarged, you will feel:
- A feeling of fullness in your abdomen
- Discomfort in your abdomen
If you are suffering from liver disease, you may notice:
- A yellowish tint in the whites of your eyes or in your skin (jaundice)
- Weight loss
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is recommended to consult your doctor for appropriate treatment.
Causes of an enlarged liver
Identifying the cause is essential in order to start the appropriate treatment. For example, if alcohol is identified as the cause then it should be eliminated from the diet completely. If you suffer from liver damage caused by alcohol, it can lead to the even more serious condition known as cirrosis. If the cause is a more serious illness, such as a type of hepatitis, then it is best to continue to follow the medical treatment prescribed for that condition and get plenty of rest.
Alcoholic hepatitis is often the cause of an enlarged liver. After consulting a doctor, you should follow the instructions given. In addition to this, you should also modify your lifestyle. Alcoholic hepatitis is a sign that you are living a lifestyle that is dangerous to your health. First, you should increase your fluid intake during the day to combat dehydration. Herbal teas and juices are great ways to increase hydration. Also, make sure that you cut down on fatty and high cholesterol substances like fried food or red meat, while including high fibre foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet because they help to regulate your digestive system.
Taking dandelion for an enlarged liver
Dandelion root has been shown to protect liver cells. For this reason, drinking a dandelion root tea could help a fatty liver. This medicinal plant is a natural detoxifier and is great for reducing the amount of fat stored in the liver and lowering high cholesterol. They are used by herbalists the world over and have a rich history of medicinal usage across the globe. Dandelion leaves can even be eaten raw as a salads. However, you can't just go out to your garden and pick some, you need to get edible dandelion leaves.
As an enlarged liver can lead to weight loss, there is one particular aspect to dandelion root which can be helpful. This is the fact that it is an appetite stimulator. it can help get your appetite back and help bring you back to strength.
Boldo and green tea for an enlarged liver
An infusion of boldo is also used to reduce inflammation of the liver. Boldo is a popular medicinal plant produced in Chile in the treatment of various liver abnormalities and ailments. It contains high levels of boldine, an alkaloid that supports the functioning of the gall bladder, facilitating an increase in bile production and enabling it to be released normally. It is therefore a powerful detoxifier for the liver. Boldo may be toxic in very high doses, therefore it is not recommended to drink more than one cup of bodo a day. Many people in Argentina and other parts of Latin America add a little to their yerba mate, as just a small amount may be beneficial. Do not take boldo, or any infusion for that matter, if you are unsure of its toxicity.
Green tea is another powerful ally when it comes to fighting liver inflammation. Green tea, according to some researchers, is one of the healthiest things you could drink. Rich in catechins (powerful antioxidants), green tea has been shown to be protective to cells, potentially preventing cancer and promoting liver health. It's anti-carcinogenic properties are yet to be confirmed by clinical study, but the odd cup will not damage you. It is also a pleasant flavored drink, especially when feeling under the weather. There are studies which show it can potentially have an up to 4% lower risk of death.
Even though we are unsure why, green tea does seem to have a positive influence on mortality. However, as with anything we put in our body, high doses (10 - 29 mg per day) can negatively affect your liver, so it would be counterproductive to go overboard. These high doses are only really found in green tea supplements, so be cautious of them. Drinking it as a tea is usually fine even if habitual.
Tamarind for an enlarged liver
Tamarind is another natural detoxifier that is used to aid the gall bladder and to help reduce liver inflammation. It is said to contain properties that help protect and decongest the liver. This is thanks to tamarind's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular home remedy to cure hepatomegaly (enlarged liver). It is recommended to drink tamarind tea several times a day. If you suffer from gallstones, however, it is not recommended to take tamarind.
Tamarind is also a natural laxative and is a good source of fiber. it will boost your immune system in general and its anti-inflammatory properties work on other parts of the body, not just an enlarged liver. Be careful if you have been put on blood thinners, however, as it can also affect blood pressure.
Vitamin C for an enlarged liver
The last of the liquid remedies for how to treat an enlarged liver is lemon juice, which has plenty of Vitamin C. Vitamin C also has digestive, antioxidant and diuretic properties which are ideal for reducing inflammation of the liver. It is recommended that you mix it with equal parts water and take it first thing in the morning. Take it on an empty stomach, before breakfast. This is supposed to not only help treatments for conditions like an enlarged liver, but there is research to show it can help you reduce weight. They can also aid in cardiovascular issues and is great for the skin. You can add a few drops of lemon juice to the other infusions mentioned above for even better results.
Artichoke for an enlarged liver
The humble artichoke is one of the vegetables you should include in your diet if you have an enlarged liver. Artichoke is good at fighting high cholesterol. Consequently, it is good for you if you have a fatty liver. You can oven-bake or boil it, or even make a juice out of the leaves. For the latter, blend three or four leaves with a little bit of water. If you opt for taking it in a juice, you should drink a cup after every meal.
Onion for an enlarged liver
Next on the list of foods that help cure an enlarged liver is onion, which has diuretic and cleansing properties that are great for regulating the digestive system and reducing inflammation of the liver. Asparagus has similar properties and is also a good option for treating an enlarged liver. It is best to cook it in a simple way, such as baked, grilled, boiled or steamed.
The liver is one of the most important organs in our body. It has the crucial role of filtering the blood to removing toxins absorbed in the body. These include those from air pollution, alcohol, drugs and other ingested toxins. It also plays a crucial role in the synthesis of proteins and cholesterol. As a result, it is essential that you look after it and try to keep it healthy. Remember that the best thing that you could do for your liver is to minimize fat, cholesterol and alcohol intake, minimize drugs that are hard on your liver, drink a lot of water and do plenty of physical activity.
For more tips on keeping a healthy liver, and more information on liver disease read our articles:
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- Remember keeping your liver healthy is fundamental for your well-being, that's why it's convenient to look after out diet and take alcohol in moderation.