Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, eventually preventing the liver from functioning properly. The scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver and slows the processing of nutrients, hormones, drugs, and naturally produced toxins. It also slows the production of proteins and other substances made by the liver. Causes of cirrhosis of the liver include hepatitis C, fatty liver, alcohol abuse, chronic viral infections, inherited disorders, reaction to drugs and prolonged exposure to environmental toxins.
The Ayurvedic treatment of cirrhosis of the liver focuses on treating the cause, reducing or reversing the damage done, and preventing further damage to the liver. Medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Shankh-Vati, Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpuria), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba) and Tamra-Bhasma are used to reduce swelling, inflammation and blockage in the liver cells . Medicines like Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Aparmarga (Achyranthus aspera) and Sahinjan (Moringa pterygosperma) are used to reduce fluid retention and help in the blood circulation. Medicines which act on the 'Rakta' dhatu (tissue) of the body are useful in this condition. These medicines include Indrayav (Holharrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki, Saariva, Patha (Cissampelos pareira) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).
Medicines like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) and Gokshur are used to prevent fibrosis and partially reverse the damage to the liver. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Bala (Sida cordifolia) and Nagbala (Sida humilis) are used to reduce immune dysfunction of the body. Inherited disorders like hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, glycogen storage disease, and cystic fibrosis are treated specifically with different herbal medicines. Panchamrut-Parpati, Suvarna-Parpati and Suvarna-Sutshekhar-Ras are used to stabilize the liver and prolong life.
It is important to avoid known offending causes of cirrhosis of the liver. A total abstinence from alcohol; avoiding potentially harmful drugs; and preventing exposure to environmental toxins, are necessary steps before commencing treatment. Diet modifications, and a reduction in salt intake are also helpful.