The Liver in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, liver is believed to be the cause of even some of the unrelated disorders such as acne or acid reflux.  It is believed that when the liver is suffering or is not as healthy as it should be, it manifests in these ailments plus a hundred symptoms more.  It is believed that liver has many different functions and is one of the extremely active organs in our body.  Some seemingly unrelated disorders and symptoms are its way of manifesting that it could be breaking down.  With a malfunctioning liver, the human body could be in great danger because of the multitude of jobs that it does which include:

  • Filtration of the blood to remove harmful and even toxic substances.
  • Metabolism or breaking down of fats, proteins, carbohydrates that the body intakes that provide energy and nutrients to the body.  Thus if the liver malfunctions, digestive disorders including acid reflux could be the result.
  • Storage of vitamins, minerals and sugar thus a person with diabetes has a malfunctioning liver.
  • Production and regulation of cholesterol
  • detoxification of drugs and other toxins that could otherwise harm the body.
  • production and maintenance of heat for the body that’s why if the liver is malfunctioning, TCM believes that you could either be too much on yang which results to being very hot or too cold which is excessive yin.
  • A distressed liver could also be manifested in suffering from frequent headaches usually related to stress and tension.  Skin disorders such as psoriasis and acne, weak tendons, muscles and ligaments could also be a manifestation of a weak liver.

Other functions of the liver includes breaking down and eliminating of excess hormones from the body.  This is why it is also linked to excessive estrogen or testosterone.  If estrogen levels are not properly regulated, some of the possible symptoms and disorders include:

  • Risk of gall bladder ailment
  • Inflamed blood vessels and blood clots
  • Hypertension
  • Female cancer including breast, uterine and cervical cancer
  • Food cravings and emotional or mood swings

Excessive testosterone on the other hand results to

  • Mood swings
  • Over aggressiveness and abnormal sexual energy levels
  • Reproductive organ dysfunction

The common herbs that are prescribed for the healthy functioning of the liver includes the combination of Reishi Mushroom, Shiitake Mushroom, Hiricium, Milk Thistle Milk Thistle, Cordyceps sinensis, Poria Cocos and Maitake Mushroom.  These herbs that enhances the liver have the capability of balancing fat metabolism and the blood sugar in the body.  Healing properties include promoting the immune system and protection from infections like the hepatitis virus.