Here is what I have heard from Shree Mataji from various talks, direct advice to me and a sprinkling of mainstream medical knowledge thrown in:-
- The liver is represented by right nabhi and right swadhisthana.
- The role of the liver is to
a. Support the attention, ie right side.
b. Remove toxins from the body.
c. Convert fats and proteins to glucose for use by the brain.
- Toxins in the body are converted by the liver into heat.
a. At a subtle level this occurs by the movement of the swadhisthan around the nabhi, during which time the fire element consumes the toxins.
- Everything we eat goes to the stomach and small intestines where it is broken down into its basic constitutents. These constituents pass through the walls of the gut straight into a special set of blood vessels (called the portal circulation) that transport this blood directly to the liver. Hence everything we swallow goes to the liver to be further broken down and processed before it is sent to the rest of the body.
- When fats or proteins are converted to glucose by the liver, heat is also generated, that’s why the liver gets hot when we eat fatty, rich or “liverish” food. It has to work a lot to process fats and proteins but not as much for carbohydrates.
- This is also why the liver gets hot when we consume toxic stuff such as alcohol, drugs, preservatives and colouring agents.
- The heat is then radiated out of the body by first transferring it to the blood which is then circulated to the surface of the body which then emits it via usual physical mechanisms. At a microscopic level the liver is designed very similarly to a car radiator ie massive surface area to blood exposure ratio to maximize heat transfer out of the liver cells into the blood.
- When the liver becomes overwhelmed by toxins (ie bahdhas) it stores them in fat globules in and around the liver cells.
- When these toxin containing fat globules accumulate, the vibrations of the liver are reduced because it fills up with badha. Strangely enough these fat globules can even be seen with a microscope in liver biopsy samples.
- As the toxins (badhas) build up, the liver has less capacity to support attention and hence the attention (and hence right side) becomes weak and ultimately “impure”, the person’s behavior becomes ill-tempered and “liverish”. The heat in the right side manifests as too much thinking, poor attention and general difficulty in meditating.
- This is also why the liver overheats more quickly when it is full of toxins and the fat globules that contain them. Junk food= junk attention!
- When the liver’s ability to remove heat reaches its limit, other chakras are recruited to help remove the heat, especially vishhudhi. Hence people with very hot livers also have red complexions, and “hot under the collar” behavior.
- The excess heat travels up to the Vishuddhi. When the vishuddhi is overwhelmed it travels to the agnya and radiates out of the head, hence the term “hot head”.
- Too much heat in the head eventually puts pressure on the back agnya, making it much easier for left sided negativities to affect it despite the fact that the person is right sided. This is why an ice pack on the back of the head can sometimes help back agnya problems- because it reduces the pressure of the overheated right side on the back agnya.
- Excess heat can also travel down from right swadhisthan to right mooladhara, causing problems such as haemorrhoids.
- When the heat crosses from right mooladhara to left, the whole mooladhara can get affected. This explains why very right sided people can develop “anti- mooladhara” behavior patterns.
- The connection between overheated liver and ill tempered behavior is the basis for the old fashioned term “colicy” behaviour
- A liver diet and other treatments reduces the strain on the liver by
a. reducing the amount of work it has to do on food, by eliminating fats and proteins for a few weeks.
b. increasing the amount of sugar intake, which acts like a detergent on the fat globules, thereby flushing the badha-containing fat globules out thereby reducing the amount of toxins that it has to work on
c. reducing the amount of other heat containing foods (such as spices, salt, additives, caffeine, tanin etc) so that the liver is able to remove its own residual heat rather an accumulate more
d. cooked food contains heat as well, so raw fruits and vegetables are the ideal “liver diet” food
e. the ice pack accelerates removal of heat, thereby facilitating destruction and removal of more toxins and helping the liver recover normal levels of function
f. footsoak also facilitates removal of heat from the body, helping the liver to work more effectively
g. Egg white is made from a protein called albumin. By coincidence the liver also manufactures this protein which is needed for various body functions. Therefore eating a little egg white actually helps the liver because it reduces the need for the liver to manufacture its own, therefore reducing strain on the liver. That is why egg white, despite being a protein, can be a legitimate part of the liver diet.
h. Cooling of the liver is greatly accelerated by consumption of large amounts of water. Vibrated water is particularly good because the water molecules have a slightly different “bond angle” that allows for more heat absorption.
i. Similarly, vibrations directed into the liver area assists in cooling and normalizing liver function.
j. Cool showers, swimming in rivers, oceans etc also assist in cooling the liver and therefore improving its physical and subtle functions
k. “craving” for rich (liverish) food is a sign of overheated liver. When the liver has cooled down and cleared out these cravings will stop. Strictly speaking, when the cravings stop that is the authentic indicator that the liver diet has been successful and it’s time to finish the diet.
l. Generally , speaking the liver diet shouldn’t be done for more than a month or so
- These principles explain why the liver diet, footsoaking, ice packs and other sahaj treatments work so effectively.
- It also explains why what you eat and drink can have such a direct impact on the quality of your meditation.
- Hence the value of daily footsoaking, avoidance of alcohol and moderation in food intake.
Hope this helps!