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CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER

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Causes and Symptoms: When the healthy tissues of the liver become fibrous and resemble scar tissues, cirrhosis is the result. The color of the liver turns from red to yellow and it contracts. The blood vessels are depressed and dropsy results because there is less than normal blood in the veins. It is of many types: among children it is known as infantile cirrhosis, but among the adults, it is generally associated with too much of liquor consumption.

The first symptom of cirrhosis of the liver is anorexia or loss of appetite; the liver is congested and diarrhea and flatulence follow. Later, there is pain in the region of the liver. Since the liver has a tendency to expand due to its tissues becoming fibrous, it presses the diaphragm (the muscular wall separating it from the lungs and the heart) and there is difficulty in breathing and even cough.



Among children it is the faulty diet that gives rise to cirrhosis of the liver; among adults, it is generally due to too much of alcohol. Since the liver helps neutralize the toxic effects of all substances ingested into the system, it may fail to meet the demands made on it if such substances are taken in excess, as in the case of alcohol. The first thing to be done in the case of cirrhosis of the liver among adults is to ban all intoxicating substances like liquor; even tea and coffee should be prohibited.

Remedies: The best remedy for cirrhosis is Bhringaraja (eclipta alba) a small marshland herb. The juice of all parts of the plant should be taken in one teaspoonful doses thrice a day with honey. Katuki is, of course, the drug of choice for cirrhosis. The powder of the root of the herb should be given in one teaspoonful doses mixed with honey three times in 24 hours. Katuki increases the flow of bile which relives congestion of the liver. Drugs advised for patients suffering from jaundice help in dealing with cirrhosis also.

Regimen: Drugs apart, the best remedy for cirrhosis is a diet free from fats and condiments. Skimmed milk or goat's milk, juice of sugar cane, butter milk and garlic should be taken freely. If there is dropsy (fluids present in the region of the abdomen) the patient should live on a salt-free diet. If the bile ducts are obstructed (the skin in that case would be yellow like Turmeric) and all bile pigments are mixing with the urine, a diuretic should be administered. A piece of bark or Peepul tree (about 1 inch, 1 inch and 6 inches) should be steeped in water at night and the water taken in the morning. It helps the opening of bile ducts. A salt-free diet helps in recovery.

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