The Silent Giant: Supporting the Intelligence of Your Liver
By Mark Toomey, Ph.D.
In the ayurvedic view, a long list of ailments start in the liver, including acne, cold sores, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, constipation, digestive problems and fatigue. This silent giant plays a multitude of important roles: digesting, metabolizing and manufacturing essential compounds. Perhaps this is how it earned the title, "the engine of the body."
But that's not all. Your liver is responsible for converting clear plasma to blood, and for screening toxins — a critical role in our chemical-laden toxic world.
We find the key to balanced cholesterol production located in this amazing organ. The liver secrets bile, using it to break down and digest fatty acids to synthesize cholesterol and proteins. The liver maintains normal energy levels by converting sugar into glycogen and storing it for use by the muscles. Finally, your liver is the place where your body stores valuable trace elements such as iron, copper and Vitamins A, D and B12.
Because so many essential bodily functions rest on the liver, Maharishi Ayurveda provides recommendations for diet, daily routine and herbal formulas to ensure its healthy functioning. The Liver Balance formula stimulates cleansing of the liver and its microchannels (called shrotas in ayurveda) to flush out undigested impurities (called ama), thereby clearing the path for vital nutrients to reach the liver. It also strengthens the first important step of digestion, which involves breaking down food in the stomach and small intestine. The ancients of ayurveda held that by keeping your liver healthy, you enjoy greater mental and physical energy, clearer skin, and increased immunity.
Liver Balance works simultaneously to:
- Support balanced digestion, assimilation and good appetite
- Stimulate the cleansing of the liver to flush out undigested impurities (ama) that block the assimilation of nutrients and protein
- Improve the first step of digestion and metabolism, which involves breaking down food and forming nutrient fluid that nourishes every cell in the body
- Re-stabilize the intelligence of the liver for the production of healthy blood cells, bile and nutritional fluids
- Support the functional efficiency of the liver and promote cellular regeneration
- Help protect the liver from hepatic damage
An authentic ayurvedic herbal formulation works on a number of levels to produce the most powerful balancing effect. Liver Balance not only supports digestion, a critical component of health in ayurveda, but it also helps remove impurities and it nourishes the intelligence of the liver. In this regard, Maharishi Ayurveda distinguishes itself by honoring the traditional "intelligence value" of the herbs, beyond their botanical biochemical values. Maharishi Ayurveda holds that plants embody specific values of intelligence, and that this intelligence level of the plant is of value to the body and the mind. To borrow an analogy from computer technology, it's as if the body uploads this intelligence. This is why great care is taken in the production of the formulas, how and where they are grown, when they are harvested, etc. These criteria are the quality control points dictated by the ancient texts of ayurveda — stipulated in detail, to protect not only the botanical value of the plant, but the intelligence value (or devata value in the language of Sanskrit) as well.
Ayurvedic herbs can play a role in a health, but in ayurveda, nothing is in isolation. Herbs should always be understood as one of many tools — a part of a healthy lifestyle that utilizes many regular inputs of balancing nourishment through foods, aromas, meditation, seasonal purification, spices and exercise.