Turmeric is very well known for promoting liver health. In fact in Ayurveda turmeric is considered to be one of the best herbs for liver health. Before I talk about how turmeric helps liver, let me talk a bit about what role liver plays in our body (I know it is trivial but still I feel it will provide a good background).
Role of liver in our body
- Helps in digestion by producing chemicals. Liver produces bile which aids digestion.
- Plasma protein synthesis
- Extracting nutrients
- Important role on carbohydrate synthesis
- Help in detox of body by breaking down harmful drugs, poison, etc.
- Hormone production
- Decomposition of red blood cells
- Gylcogen storage (it serves as a form of energy storage in animals)
Turmeric for liver
Now you know some of the many important functions of liver in our body. So what all benefits turmeric provides to our liver? Here are some:
- Protection from cholesterol: Turmeric removes cholesterol from liver. Thus it savesfrom fatty liver disease where the fat accumulation in liver exceeds more than 5-10% of the weight of the liver. This can also lead to serious complications. Not only this, it also helps in prevention by controlling assimilation of cholesterol in the liver. Curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric is believed to communicate with liver cells to produce more LDL receptors. Due to increase in receptors, more cholesterol is cleared from our body. Studies have shown that LDL receptors increase multifold in number when liver cells are treated with turmeric!
- Prevention from toxins: Removal of toxins is one of the key tasks of liver. But with changing lifestyle and quality of food we take liver has to work really hard to do all the cleanup. Studies have shown that when turmeric is fed to rats there body was able to flush out toxins much easier and in efficient way. It also protects liver from toxins such as hepatoxins (aflatoxin) etc. and rebuild it in case of damage.
- Coping with excess alcohol: Excess of alcohol damages liver. Turmeric can assist liver in coping up with excess of alcohol and its consequences.
- Turmeric is also known to increase the secretion of bile thus improving digestion too.
According to Ayurveda, in case of damaged liver 5 gms of turmeric with whey (milk serum) should be taken morning and evening for a month. In case of severe damage the dose can be continued further too.