We all know the term “jaundice” as a disease. But actually jaundice is not a disease but a symptom of various diseases. Jaundice can be caused by inflammation of the liver, damage to the bile duct, Gilbert’s syndrome or hemolytic anemia. These disorders can be caused because various reasons, both external and internal.
The Pitta dosha (Ayurvedic element representing fire) in the body gets aggravated because of consumption of alcohol or faulty eating habits. Other factors that can cause jaundice are anger, stress, anxiety and too much physical exertion. This impairs the blood and muscle tissues of the liver, causing blockages in the channels of the liver. As a result, the accumulated pitta (in the form of bile) gets thrown back into the blood leading to what we know as jaundice which discolours the sclera of the eyes and skin.
Individuals suffering from jaundice can experience digestion problems such as stomachaches and vomiting, urine infection and abdominal pain, weakness and itchiness. Jaundice can be of 2 types: Obstructive and Non- Obstructive jaundice. Obstructive jaundice is when the liver is functioning well but the bile duct has some form of obstruction. Non- obstructive jaundice is because of the breakdown of the red blood cells. In this case, the liver is damaged and hence it cannot process the bilirubin efficiently.
Even though jaundice is curable, prevention is always better than cure. Since this disease arises from the liver, the best way to prevent it is by keeping the liver healthy by avoiding alcohol as well as hot, spicy and oily food as it slows down the functioning of the liver. Exercising on a regular basis also improves the liver function and can be a good prevention to keep the body’s systems in good condition. Consuming a lot of fluids like chamomile tea, buttermilk, coconut water, carrot juice accelerates the flow of bilirubin through urine and thus can be a natural way to prevent jaundice. Consuming vegetables such as radish, spinach and garlic and fruits such as banana and papaya are also very effective means of prevention. The time taken to cure jaundice varies from a week to a month, based on the severity of the case thus, it is better to be safe than sorry.
At Dr. Vaidya’s we have a product called LIVitup! which contains herbs such as Arogyavardhini Ras and Kalmegh Ghan that protects the liver by pacifying the energies aggravated in the body. These herbs regulate the functioning of the liver and increase the flow of bile. Along with this one must follow a systematic diet plan to restore proper digestion and efficient metabolism.
The herbs in LIVitup! help to reduce bilirubin which will normalize the colour of the sclera and skin. They also help to normalize urine colour. Digestion improves and the feeling of weakness gradually rescinds. Treatment with LIVitup! can continue for a while even after the patient returns to a normal state in order to rejuvenate the body and bring back the lost immunity.
Authored by: Dr. (Mrs.) Surya Bhagwati (BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, and DHBTC), 25+ years experience in Ayurveda