Cyriac Abby Philips is an Indian hepatologist and clinician-scientist who is known for advocating against the use of homoeopathic and ayurvedic medicines for treating ailments. He has often been criticised for his stance on the traditional Indian treatment methodologies, particularly homoeopathy and ayurveda.
Cyriac Abby Philips was born on Saturday, 14 August 1982 (age 41 years; as of 2023) in Kottayam, Kerala, India. His zodiac sign is Leo.
After completing his primary schooling at Girideepam Bethany Higher Secondary School, Kottayam, Kerala, in 1992, he enrolled at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT) in Kochi, Kerala, where he completed his schooling. In an interview, he revealed that he failed twice in mathematics in class 10. He also revealed that after completing his schooling, he faced a choice between pursuing a BTech in Computer Science or going for an MBBS degree. Talking about it, he said,
After completing my schooling, in those days, I had two options – either engineering, preferably computer science, or becoming a doctor. Since I failed math twice in higher school, engineering was not an option.”
Choosing the latter, he started preparing for the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and cleared the exams on his second attempt. In 2007, he enrolled at St. John’s Medical College in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where he pursued an MBBS degree till 2012. In 2012, he joined the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, where he earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in Internal Medicine. Thereafter, he enrolled at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in New Delhi and pursued a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in Hepatology & Transplant Medicine. His field of specialisation is sepsis in cirrhosis, faecal microbiota in liver disease, and modulation of alcoholic hepatitis portal hypertension. Rajagiri Hospital
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Cyriac Abby Philips belongs to a Christian family in Kerala, which is involved in the field of medicine.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Philip Augustine, is a clinical gastroenterologist who founded the Philip Augustin Associates Pvt. Ltd. In 2010, he received the Padma Shri Award for his groundbreaking work in introducing Endoscopy in India.
His mother, Cicy Philip, is the executive director at the Philip Augustin Associates Pvt. Ltd. Abby is the third among two sisters and a brother. One of his sisters is a musician in Berlin.
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Teena Sara Cyriac. He got married to her on 4 January 2011. Together, they have three kids, two daughters named Alanna and Aideen and a son.
He follows Christianity.
He resides at 35/194, B Automobile Road, Palarivattom, Kochi, Kerala – 682025, India.
Once he finished his formal education, he started practising medicine in Kochi, Kerala. Later, he became a senior consultant and physician-scientist at the Department of Clinical and Translational Hepatology in the Liver Institute, Center of Excellence in GI Sciences, at Rajagiri Hospital in Kochi, Kerala.
In addition, he has been an expert member of the Center of Excellence in Microbiome Studies for the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He has also acted as a clinical advisor and a member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for the Department of Cell and Tissue Culture at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, a government institution in Trivandrum, Kerala.
As of July 2023, Cyriac Abby Philips has published more than sixty medical research papers. Some of his publications include Healthy Donor Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Steroid Ineligible Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis – A Pilot Study. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology (2016), Healthy donor faecal transplant for corticosteroid non-responsive severe alcoholic hepatitis (2017), Gut microbiome influences clinical events and severity in patients with alcoholic hepatitis. Hepatology (2017), Branch duct-type intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm presenting as paraneoplastic small plaque para-psoriasis (2018). and Rare cause of isolated severe coagulation failure in cirrhosis: Traditional healing with fenugreek (2018). Apart from writing research papers, he has also penned numerous chapters in different medicine books such as Textbook of Biochemistry and Human Biology, Biliary System – Dysfunction, Textbook of Biochemistry and Human Biology, Cirrhosis and its complications, and Textbook of Surgical Gastroenterology (2016). In 2014, he co-authored a book titled Diseases of Pancreas.
Social Media Influencer
Cyriac Abby Philips distributes medical information among the public through social media such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Through his social media handles, he debunks the medical disinformation being disseminated among the masses. In an interview, Abby said that he started making videos on social media after he came across many patients with liver diseases who had followed homoeopathy and ayurvedic methods that had worsened their medical conditions. He talked about it, in an interview, and said,
I started openly criticizing the traditional medicine system when diagnosing patients with acute hepatitis and acute-on-chronic liver failure, some requiring liver transplantation, all related to the unreasonable, misinformed use of traditional and proprietary Ayurvedic herbal drugs, became increasingly frequent. My journey started with being a good physician to my patients to transforming into the voice of reason for my patients and the community.”
The reality of "integrative medicine."
These are "drugs" prescribed by an MBBS + BAMS (modern medicine + Ayurveda) trained senior doctor for hepatitis B virus infection.
Total bilirubin (marker of jaundice) increases from 4.8 to 23.4 in three weeks time.
No actual… pic.twitter.com/iI8nLq9AvD
— TheLiverDoc (@theliverdr) August 1, 2023
On social media, he is known as the TheLiverDoc. Apart from debunking medical disinformation, Abby also posts content in which he raises questions over the authenticity of ayurvedic and homoeopathic medicines given to people with severe medical problems. As of 2023, he has more than 172k followers on Twitter and more than 15.3k subscribers on YouTube.
The Liver Doctor’s Statements Against Ayurveda
Abby has made headlines on several occasions due to the filing of cases against him for his remarks about Ayurveda. In June 2021, Abby Philips, in an interview with a Malayalam YouTube channel named Lucy, criticized the use of herbal medicines for treating diseases, stating that they can cause harm to the liver. Following his remarks, a complaint was lodged against him with the Prime Minister’s grievance redressal cell by Sadath Dinakar, general secretary of the Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI). The complainant accused Abby of spreading misinformation about Ayurveda and tarnishing the reputation of the Ayurvedic treatment method. The complaint was then forwarded to the National Medical Commission (NMC), which subsequently passed it on to the Kerala State Medical Council (KSMC). Thereafter, the KSMC issued a letter to Abby Philips seeking an explanation for his statements. In June 2022, the KSMC recommended dropping the charges against Abby Philips. The News Minute KSMC’s recommendation read,
On examination of the explanation, it is found that the doctor has only spoken about liver disease caused by a particular medicine and has not misrepresented the ayurvedic system as a whole. As the doctor was found to have no intention of defaming alternative medical practices, we recommend the Council of Modern Medicine (another council of KSMC) to close the case.”
In September 2021, AYUSH Ministry sent a warning letter to Abby and threatened him with a defamation case over a YouTube video in which he questioned the effectiveness of Ayurveda. The ministry in its letter emphasized that spreading such misleading information amounts to intentionally damaging the reputation of AYUSH systems (traditional Indian systems of medicine) and undermining people’s trust in these traditional forms of medicine. After receiving the letter, Abby took to Twitter and tweeted the letter sent by the AYUSH Ministry to him. ThePrint
Ministry of AYUSH, the watchdog of alternative systems of medicine in India
WARNS me to SHUT UP and NOT talk about herbal drug toxicities and quack medical practices
So they send letters of concern against me to most medical authorities in India and my State
4 the people💯👍 pic.twitter.com/HHK9Ex4UzR
— TheLiverDoc (@theliverdr) September 18, 2021
Liver Doctor vs Himalaya Wellness
On 24 September 2023, a civil court in Bengaluru issued an order to suspend Abby’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter. This decision came in response to a complaint filed by the Himalaya Wellness Company, accusing Abby of making defamatory statements about the company. The complaint specifically challenged Abby’s assertion that Himalaya’s products were harmful, claiming that these allegations were unfounded. Abby, however, in an interview, said that he had substantial evidence to support his claims. Newslaundry Abby Philips said,
Everything that I have put out on social media, even about the adulteration in the products, I have done so after testing it in government certified labs. It is no hearsay.”
Awards & Honours
- Liver Care Foundation Investigator Travel Award (March 2015)
- American Association for Study of Liver Disease Award (2015, 2016, and 2017)
- Honorary Trainee Membership to The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) in San Francisco (November 2015)
- AASLD Foundation Young Investigator Travel Award (November 2016)
- Best Poster-Paper Award (FMT in SAH) at ISGCON (December 2016)
- AASLD Alcoholic Hepatitis: Young Investigators Award (September 2017)
- AASLD Foundation Young Investigators Abstract Award (October 2017)
- National Best Paper Award by The Indian Society of Gastroenterology (2018)
- Gold Medal for Academic Excellence in Hepatology by President Pranab Mukherji (14 January 2019)
- P. Kesavadev Kerala Puraskar (7 June 2023)
He owns a Volvo XC40.
He got a tattoo inked on one of his biceps.
- He has also worked as a columnist with The Morning Context.
- Abby Philip is a travel enthusiast and has been to many countries.
- He has discussed the negative impact of Ayurvedic medicines on the human body in several news channel debates.
- Philip is an avid dog lover. He owns many dogs including four Dalmatians and a pug named Penny.
- He likes to play video games and owns an expensive range of video gaming consoles.
- He follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- He consumes alcoholic beverages occasionally.
- In an interview, Abby said that he wanted to become an artist; however, he decided to become a doctor as back in the 90s, there were limited opportunities available in the field of art.
- In 2017, Abby gave the presidential plenary speech at the Liver Meeting, organized by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in Washington, D.C. The speech was delivered to an audience of 3,000 people.
- On 16 January 2024, Abby shared a story on X about saving a man’s life during his flight from Kochi to Mumbai with Akasa Air in the same year. He noticed that a fellow passenger was having trouble breathing, so he used his stethoscope and found out the man’s left lung was filled with fluid. Abby mentioned that he quickly gave him an injection to stabilize his blood pressure and keep him alive until the flight landed in Mumbai, which was about an hour away.
As a doctor, the first time I actually used a stethoscope after three and half years was on a mid air flight, two days ago.
On my flight from Kochi to Mumbai via @AkasaAir the man sitting next to me became breathless.
I was tired from work and it was a late evening flight and… pic.twitter.com/Doyl4Yyjin
— TheLiverDoc (@theliverdr) January 16, 2024