Liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. Its malfunction can have a disastrous effect on the functioning of the whole system. Approximately 1 in 10 people suffer from some form of liver disease which is high odds, if you think about it. One of those diseases is liver enlargement or liver swelling, the topic of this article today. We are going to take a look at the importance of the liver, the causes of liver enlargement, treatments and home remedies for liver swelling.
Liver Enlargement or Liver Swelling
To get an idea of what kind of problems liver enlargement can cause it is important to remember the functions performed by the liver:
- Liver helps in cleaning the blood from harmful chemical substances and toxins.
- Produces and secretes bile which is very important for the digestion and breakdown of fat.
- Stores glucose which gives a back up energy boost when the body needs it.
- Stores vitamins and iron.
- Breaks down hemoglobin, insulin and various other hormones.
- Converts ammonia into urea which is vital for body metabolism.
Liver in an average adult human weighs about 3 pounds. It is the largest solid organ in the human body and is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdominal cavity below the diaphragm and to the right of the stomach. It is wedge-shaped with its base to the right and apex on the left. It is grossly divided into two lobes.
Liver enlargement or swelling happens when the liver is swollen beyond its normal size. The medical term used for liver swelling or enlargement is Hepatomegaly. Whatever the cause of this liver enlargement, a swollen liver is a diseased liver and will not be able to perform its functions normally. Whether it be clinical treatment or home remedies for liver enlargement you need to take care of this asap.
Causes of Liver Enlargement
Before diving into the home remedies for liver swelling let’s take a look at the most common causes of liver enlargement:
- Viral Hepatitis ( including Hepatitis A, B, C D & E )
- Alcoholic Hepatitis
- Liver abscess
- Alcoholic Fatty Liver
- Non – alcoholic fatty Liver.
- Metabolic diseases like Glycogen storage disease, Hematochromosis.
- Liver cancer
- Metastasis to the Liver from other organ malignancies.
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Thallasemia and certain other blood disorders.
- Drugs or toxin induced Liver injury
Symptoms of a Swollen Liver
A patient with a swollen liver may have following signs and symptoms depending upon the underlying cause of enlarged liver:
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and the sclera of eyes)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Treatments and home remedies for liver swelling or liver enlargement are not only useful against the disease itself, but they will help combat the symptoms too.
Home Remedies for Liver Swelling
While clinical treatment is an option, home remedies for liver swelling are pretty useful and very effective. There are different home remedies for liver swelling that you can use. You can use them as standalone remedies or use them in conjunction with each other.
Some home remedies for liver swelling include:
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water keeps the body hydrated and helps flush out the harmful toxins. The importance of drinking water cannot be stressed enough and not only can it help with liver swelling, it can actually help with a host of other problems you might be suffering from.
2. Avoid Caffeine
Avoid drinking coffee, tea, mocha chocalata ya ya and other products that may contain caffeine.
Caffeine is a primary trigger of liver swelling and you would be best served avoiding it for a while
3. Avoid High Fat containing Foods
Refrain from taking food rich in high fat content or fried food as a diseased liver is unable to digest fat in the diet. As far as home remedies for liver swelling are concerned, this one should be a priority.
4. Eat Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Split your daily meals into four or six. It should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables which help provide almost all the essential vitamins. They also boost the body’s immune system.
5. Bitter Gourd Juice For Liver Swelling
Drinking half a cup of bitter gourd juice mixed with a little salt every day can do wonders for liver swelling.
6. Leaves And Stem Of White Radish
Extract juice from 50 grams of the leaves and stems of white radish. Mix it with sugar . This is one of the more effective home remedies for liver swelling.
7. Dandelion root
Dandelion root is a medicinal plant and a natural detoxifier. Studies have shown that it protects the liver cells and drinking dandelion root tea could help a fatty liver. It also helps in reducing amount of fat stored in the liver and decreases cholesterol levels.
8. Green Tea
According to many researchers, green tea is the healthiest drink a person can drink. It is known to help with liver swelling as well.
9. Limit or Stop Alcohol Intake
Alcohol intake is a major factor responsible for damaging the liver. It is also a cause for fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. Avoiding or reducing alcohol intake can help prevent further liver enlargement and swelling.
10. Licorice and Honey
This home remedy for enlarged liver is one of our favorites. Add 1 tbsp of licorice powder to 2 tsp of honey and mix it well. Taking this mixture daily works quite well.
Garlic is a superfood that not only purifies the blood but also eliminates toxins from the body. Taking 1-2 peeled garlic cloves early in the morning on an empty stomach will do wonders for liver swelling.
12. Spearmint Juice
Have spearmint juice with sugar for 10 days. It is great for a number of liver problems including liver enlargement.
13. Lime Juice and Papaya Seeds
One of the better home remedies for liver swelling is lime juice with papaya seeds. Just squeeze out some lime juice and add a handful of papaya seeds to it. Drink at least once a day for best results.
14. Indian Aloe, Ginger and Black Salt
Indian aloe vera can be used in the treatment of liver swelling or enlargement as well. Take the pulp of a single leaf and add a pinch of black salt and ginger. Take this regularly every morning for 10 days for best results.
It is necessary that you maintain regular physical exercise and your body weight. Make sure you design your exercise programs with an eye on maintaining body metabolism and also preventing accumulation of excess fat that can cause liver swelling.
Liver swelling or enlargement can be a huge pain, and lead to a plethora of problems going forward. You need to try and nip the problem in the bud. One or more of these home remedies for liver swelling will do wonders in the long run.