is the most common of all liver disorders resulting from an obstruction in the bile duct,
or the loss of function of the bile-producing liver cells. There are several forms of jaundice
of them are marked by yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
The liver, located under the diaphragm just above the stomach, is a vast chemical laboratory
which performs many important functions. It inactivates hormones no longer needed,
synthesizes many amino acids
used in building tissues, and breaks proteins
into sugar and far
when required for energy. It produces lecithin, cholesterol, bile and blood albumin, vital to the
removal of tissue
wastes. It also stores vitamins and minerals.
Bile is a vital digestive fluid which is essential for proper nutrition. It exercises a most favourable
influence on the general processes of digestion. It also prevents decaying changes in food. If the
bile is prevented from entering the intestines there is an increase in gases and other products.
Normally the production of bile and its flow is constant.
are extreme weakness, headache, fever, loss of appetite, undue
, severe constipation
,nausea and yellow coloration of the eyes, tongue, skin and urine.
The patient may also feel a dull pain in liver region.
is indicative of the malfunctioning of the liver. It may be caused by an obstruction of the
bile ducts which discharge bile salts and pigment into the intestine. The bile then gets mixed with
blood and this gives a yellow pigmentation to the skin. The obstruction of the bile ducts could be
due to gall stones or inflammation of the liver, known as hepatitis
, caused by a virus
. In the later
case, the virus
spreads and may lead to epidemics owing to over-crowding , dirty surroundings,
insanitary conditions and contamination of food and water. Other causes of jaundice
and certain disease affecting the liver such as typhoid, malaria
, yellow fever
The simple form of jaundice
can be cured rapidly by diet therapy and exercises. Recovery will ,
however, be slow in serious cases which have been caused by obstruction or pressure in the
bile ducts. The patient should rest until the acute symptoms
of the disease subside.
The patient should be put on a fruit juice fast for a week. The juice of lemon, grapes, pear,
carrot, beet, and sugarcane can be taken. A hot enema should be taken daily during the fast to
ensure regular bowel elimination, thereby preventing the absorption of decomposed, poisonous
material into the blood stream. The fruit juice fast may be discontinued after the severity of the
disease is over and a simple diet may be resumed on the following lines :
On rising :
A glass of warm water mixed with two teaspoons of lime juice.
One fresh juicy fruit such as apple, papaya,grapes, berries and mangoes . One cup
wheat dalia or one slice of whole wheat bread with a little butter.
Two small chappatis of whole wheat flour, a cup of strained vegetable soup, a steamed
leafy vegetable such as spinach, fenugreek or carrot and a glass of buttermilk.
Orange juice or coconut water.
Two whole wheat chappatis with a little ghee or butter, baked. Baked potato and one
other leafy vegetable like spinach and fenugreek, a glass of hot milk with honey if desired.
All fats like ghee,butter, cream and oils must be avoided for at least two weeks,and after that
their consumption should be kept down to the minimum. Digestive disturbances must be
avoided. No food with a tendency to ferment or putrefy in the lower intestines like pulses,
legumes,etc. should be included in diet.
The juice of bitter luffa (karvi torai) is regarded as an effective (home) remedy for jaundice
. It is
obtained by pounding and squeezing through cloth. The juice should be placed on the palm of
the hand and drawn upthrough the nostrils. This will cause a profuse overflow of the yellow
coloured fluid through the nostrils. The toxic matter having been evacuated in a considerable
quantity, the patient will feel relieved. It is, however, a strong medicine and may cause in the
patients will delicate nature, side effects
like giddiness, migraine and at times high fever for a
short duration. Its use should, therefore, be avoided by such patients.
If the green juice of bitter luffa is not available, it can best be substituted by two or three drops of
the fluid obtained by soaking its dry crusts overnight in water. This produces an identical effect.
Seeds of bitter luffa which are easily available can also be used for the same purpose after
rubbing in water.
Another valuable food remedy for jaundice
is the green leaves of radish. The leaves should be
pounded and their juices extracted through cloth. One pound of this juice daily is sufficient for an
adult patient. It should be strained through a clean piece of muslin cloth before use. It provides
immediate relief. It induces a healthy appetite and proper evacuation of bowels, and this results
in gradual decrease of the trouble. In most casse a complete cure can be ensured within eight or
Drinking a lot of water with lemon juice will protect the damaged liver cells. Alternate hot and
cold compresses should be applied to the abdomen. Maintain the hot compress for one minuteat 120 o F. Alternate with a cold compress at 60 o F for few minutes. The treatment may be
continued for an hour or 10 repetitions. The procedure should be repeated at five-hourlyintervals. A hot immersion bath at 104 o F for 10 minutes daily will be helpful in relieving the
itching which sometimes accompanies jaundice
and in the elimination of the bile pigment from
the system through the skin and kidneys. Cold friction twice a day will be beneficial for general
tone-up. Certain asanas such as uthanpadasana, bhujangasana, viparitkarani and shavasana,
and anuloma-viloma, pranayama will be helpful in the treatment of jaundice
patient can overcome the condition quite easily and build up his sickliver until it
again functions normally with the above regime. With reasonable care in the diet and life style,
and regular, moderate exercise and frequent exposure to sunshine and fresh air, a recurrence of
liver trouble can be prevented.