Main Functions of The Liver
The liver has a size in accordance to its importance. It is the Largest and Heaviest Gland or Organ in the body. Its weight is about three pounds i.e. a little more than the brain. It buds off from the food tube just below the Stomach, so that its waste tube, the bile duct – about the size of a goose quill – opens into the upper part of the Intestine.
Liver is The Biggest Poison Filter
The main function of the Liver is to receive the blood from all over the body and to act upon its waste substances, burning them up so that they can be taken up, and got rid of, by the glands of The Skin and The Kidneys. In the process it very frequently changes these waste substances from poisonous into harmless forms; and even when disease germs get into the Body and infect it, The Poisons, or Toxins, which they pour into the Blood are carried to The Liver and there usually burned up, or turned into harmless substances.
The liver is, therefore, to be regarded as a great Poison Filter for the entire body. So long as it can deal with the poisons as fast as they are formed, either by the body itself, or in the food, or by disease germs, the body is safe and will remain healthy. But if the poisons come faster than the liver can deal with them, as, for instance, when we have eaten Tainted Meat or Spoiled Fruit, or have drunk Alcohol, they begin to poison our Nerves and Muscles, and we become, as we say, “Bilious” Our head aches, our tongue becomes coated, we have a bad taste in the mouth, we lose our appetite and feel stupid, dull, and feverish.
Liver as a “Care Taker” of The Heart
The blood which comes from the Stomach and Bowels is carried by the Portal Vein to the Liver first and then to The Heart, instead of going directly to The Heart. This is because, in part, to the fact that this blood, made of freshly taken Food is very likely to contain poisons. Indeed, as a matter of fact, if the blood taken from these veins on its way to The Liver, and injected directly into the blood vessels of an Animal, it will act like a Mild Poison.
Liver as a Blood Maker
In part, however, this blood goes first to The Liver, because The Liver, besides being a Great Blood Purifier, is a “Blood-Maker” in the sense that it changes Raw Food-Stuffs in The Blood from the Intestines into forms which are more suitable for use by The Brain, The Muscles, and the other Tissues of the Body. Some of the sugars, for instance, the Liver turns into a kind of animal starch (glycogen), which it stores away in its own cells. It also turns both Sugars and Proteins in the portal blood into fat, part of which it pours into the blood, and part of which it stores away also in its own cells. Thus the liver owes its great size partly to the large amount of Blood-Purifying, Filtering, and Poison-Destroying work which it has to do, and partly to its acting as a storehouse of Starch and Fat, which the body can readily draw upon as it needs them.
“As all poisons formed in, or entering, the body are brought to the Liver for destruction, it is in an extremely exposed position, and very liable to break down under the attack of these poisons, whether of Infectious Diseases, or Chloroform, or Alcohol, or those formed by Putrefaction in the Stomach and Intestines. This is why those who have lived long in the tropics and suffered from Malaria, Dysentery, and other Infectious Diseases, and those who drink too much Alcohol, or have Chronic Indigestion, or Dyspepsia, are likely to have Swollen and Inflamed Liver”