Chronic Lyme & Your Liver: Support for Health Maintenance
With Lyme disease, liver support is a critical component to help your body get well. There are a number of natural ways to promote liver health. A clean green diet, herbs, and castor oil packs all can be part of your liver self-care regime.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness. It is based on an infection from borellia spirochete bacteria. People with chronic Lyme can be very sick to the point of being disabled. Chronic Lyme is where physical and psychological symptoms persist for years and do not respond well to antibiotics.
This form of Lyme disease is sometimes called Post Lyme Syndrome. Many chronic Lyme sufferers are also fighting other infections—babesia, bartonella, erlichia, anaplasma, to name a few. The detox pathways and immune system can be compromised, resulting in high levels of toxicity and autoimmune attack.
Why is liver care so key? Your liver is the large organ that sits on your right side up under your diaphragm at the bottom of your ribs. The liver is a multi-tasker in the body. It performs hundreds of different individual functions to clean up the blood stream.
The liver is the seat of ranjaka pitta and a primary clean-up organ. The liver recycles the components of red blood cells. It evaluates chemicals and emotions in the body, breaking them down for elimination.
In a healthy person, the liver works full time to break down toxins. With Lyme disease, the workload increases a lot and the liver needs extra support.
This extra burden on the body creates ama, which the liver has to process. In addition, the endotoxins associated with multiple, ongoing infections, as well as the likely anxiety and frustration, are added to the daily workload of the liver. Elimination pathways are compromised, clogging the natural exit routes. Because of these factors, people with Lyme disease need to support their livers.
Help Your Liver
- Cleanse a couple of times each year to unload the liver and support recovery.
- Eat greens. Kale, collards, and other greens contain chlorophyll, which helps cleanse the liver. Greens have bitter and astringent tastes, which help balance the pitta in the liver.
- Eat Beets. Beets support liver function. Betalins and Betaine are compounds in the beets that give it the rich color and help the liver detoxify.
- Nourish your body tissues with natural antioxidants found in amalaki.
- Add herbs like Banyan’s Liver Formula, milk thistle, and turmeric to your diet to support the liver. Milk thistle contains Silymarin, which helps promote a healthy liver.
- Soothe and restore your liver with a castor oil pack treatment.
Why Use Castor Oil Packs for Liver Support?
Castor oil contains fatty acids that relieve stagnation in the pelvis. The oil penetrates the skin and moves into the lymph. In the lymph, castor oil stimulates the natural cleansing process of the cells and they release toxins for elimination. The warm oil also helps release deep-seated emotions held in the pelvis and liver and provides comfort and grounding.
Castor Oil Pack Instructions
- One square foot piece of organic cotton or unbleached wool (three layers thick, about one square foot in size)
- Castor oil (organic)
- Shallow baking pan
- Hot water bottle
- Two old towels
- Plastic wrap
- Plastic bag
- Pillows for support
- Fill the hot water bottle.
- Tear off a sheet of plastic wrap.
- Put the fabric into the baking pan.
- Pour castor oil onto the fabric until the fabric is saturated with the oil.
- Lay on your back on one of the old towels.
- Arrange pillows to support your neck and elevate your feet.
- Place the fabric over your abdomen on your right side below your ribs.
- Cover the fabric with plastic (this protects the hot water bottle).
- Place the hot water bottle on top.
- Cover the whole thing with the second towel.
- Keep the castor oil pack in place at least 20 minutes and up to one hour. Start slow.
- Remove the castor oil pack.
- Store in the plastic bag for reuse.
- Do castor oil pack treatments once a week, on an as-needed basis, or as directed by your practitioner.
People who are working with an over-burdened liver sometimes have detox symptoms after castor oil pack treatments. Start slow! Here is a link to learn more on another way to use castor oil packs:
Elements of Ayurveda Castor Oil Pack PDF
With chronic Lyme your liver has to work hard to clear out the extra ama in order to support a healthy immune system. Diet, herbs, and castor oil pack treatments can really promote balance in the body. Healing requires a multi-pronged approach. Rebuilding liver function is one of the key ways to help yourself.