Liver failure occurs when a major part of the liver has been damaged and it is no longer able to function. This condition may be either acute or chronic. Acute liver failure is usually caused by Hepatitis A, B and C, drug toxicity and food poisoning. Chronic liver failure is caused by Hepatitis B and C, alcoholism, cirrhosis, malnutrition and metabolic disorders. Early symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea. Late symptoms include jaundice, easy bleeding, abdominal swelling, mental disorientation, sleepiness and coma. Treatment is usually supportive. Prevention and removal of the known cause are very important.
The Ayurvedic treatment of liver failure consists of treating the known cause of the disease and correcting liver damage. Hepatitis can be treated using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Sutshekhar-Ras, Suvarna-Sutshekhar-Ras, Bhunimbadi-Qadha, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Guduchyadi-Qadha, Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), Sharpunkha (Tephrosea purpura), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daru-Haridra (Berberis aristata), Chirayta (Swertia chirata), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Patol (Tricosanthe dioica). Hepatitis viruses A, B and C can be deactivated using medicines like Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhuk (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Haridra, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Kutki and Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica).
Alcoholism can be treated using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Saraswatarishta, Nardiya-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Kutki, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Vacha (Acorus calamus). Drug toxicity and food poisoning can be treated using medicines like Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Saarivasav, Arogya-Vardhini, Shankh-Vati, Chitrakadi-Vati, Lashunadi-Vati, Laghu-Sutshekhar-Ras, Kutaj-Ghan-Vati, Praval-Panchamrut-Ras, Kutaj-Parpati and Panchamrut-Parpati. Metabolic disorders which are responsible for liver failure can be treated using medicines like Amalaki, Yashtimadhuk, Haridra and Daru-Haridra.
In addition, medicines are also given to reduce or undo the damage to the liver cells so that the liver can function properly. Medicines used for this purpose include Suvarna-Sutshekhar-Ras, Suvarna-Parpati, Punarnava-Mandur, Rasayan-Churna, Suvarna-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma, Tamra-Bhasma, Amalaki, Kutki and Guduchi. Abdominal swelling can be treated using medicines like Punarnava-Mandur, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Jaypal-Ras, high doses of Arogya-Vardhini, and Ichha-Bhedi-Ras. In this condition, a predominantly milk diet is advised while water intake is restricted or prohibited.
Thus, both acute and chronic liver failure can be successfully treated by using a judicious combination of Ayurvedic medicines. Timely use of these medicines can help to prevent irreversible liver damage and complete liver failure. These medicines can therefore control liver failure and improve the chances for survival and recovery in patients affected with this condition.