The liver is truly the engine of the human body. It plays multiple roles, which include aiding the digestive system, metabolism and manufacturing the compounds that are essential to keep the body healthy. In fact, the liver is responsible for converting clear plasma (Rasa Dhatu) present inside the body into blood (Rakta Dhatu). It scans and identifies all the toxins that might be present in Rasa Dhatu and separately stores them in the body so that they do not enter the blood and cause impurities (ama) in it.

The liver also plays a vital role in producing and secreting bile so that it can be used to break down and digest fatty acids with ease. It also performs the complicated job of creating the blood clotting factors and the protective elements simultaneously to ensure that blood clots do not pose any blockage in the normal blood circulation inside the body. Besides, it acts as a storage hub for keeping the important trace elements such as copper, iron, Vitamins A, B12, and D.

In the books of Ayurveda, the liver is known as “Yakna” or “Takima”. In fact, there are many synonyms that are used to describe liver in the ancient literature which includes Raktadhara, Kalakhanda, Yakritkhanda, Raktashaya, Jyotisthana, Yakritpinda. Also, in AshtangaHridaya, the word used to describe the illnesses which are an indication for the lobes of the liver is Yakritkhanda.

Yakrit is a site that stores the blood in Rakta Dhatu. Hence, the words Raktashaya and Raktadhara are also used as a synonym for the liver in the Ayurvedic Samhitas.

Color (Varna) of Yakrit in Liver Disorders

  • In the classics of Ayurveda, the color of Yakrit when the signs and symptoms of liver diseases begin to appear changes to reddish-brown (Krishnalohitam).
  • Acharya Vagbhata has compared the color of PittajaArsha with that of the tongue of the parrot. According to him, the most critical condition of the patient during diarrhea (Atisara) is when the color of the stool begins to start looking like Mansadhovana or Yakritpinda. It is then that one should know that the patient will not be able to survive.

Appearance (Svarupa) of Yakrit in Liver Disorders

  • As stated by Brihadaranyanka Upanishad, the Pleeha and Yakrit looks like solid structures in the form of mountains.

Site (Sthana) of Yakrit

  • As per Acharya Arundattahas, the liver is located at the below right side of the heart.

Physiology (Karya) of Yakrit

  • It has been the opinion of many Acharayas in Vedas that Yakrit acts as the Ranjana of Rasa Dhatu, that is, it provides red color to the Rasa Dhatu.
  • As per Acharya Vagbhata, the function of providing red color to Rasa Dhatu is actually carried out in the stomach (Amasya). As per Sushruta, the pitta, which is located in the spleen and liver, performs the function of providing its characteristic pigment Ragakrit to the lymph chyle (Rasa Dhatu) and that is why it is known as Ranjakagni. In fact, Acharya Sharangadhara also hold similar views about the formation of blood inside the body.

Development (Utpatti) of Yakrit

As mentioned by Acharya Charaka and Sushruta in ShariraSthana, Yakrit is generated or developed from Matrijabhava as compared to the other body parts.

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Author's Bio: 

Dr Nitesh Khonde, MD, BAMS is a world-renowned Ayurvedic Healer for the patients who are struggling through various medical conditions. He owns an Ayurvedic Clinic in Nagpur called Parijatak Ayurveda. Being Ayurvedic Expert in a wide array of specializations, Dr Nitesh Khonde strives hard to treat patients with care and also offer a free consultation. You can connect him on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. You can even reach him by email at info@parijatak.com.