Herbs for Hepatitis C
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Lisa
Posted on: May 27, 1998

Would like to know of herbs that help individuals with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C virus, commonly caused by blood transfusions before blood donor screening tests, and from infected needles of drug abusers. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, lack of energy, headache and jaundice.

The most effective herbal remedy is Milk Thistle (Silybum marianus), which has liver protective and liver cell regenerating properties. This remedy is most effective in the form of 400mg capsules of powdered silymarin extract. For more information, see Christopher Hobbs’ book "Milk Thistle: The Liver Herb" (available at Richters).

In order for a herbal remedy to be effective, the body’s systems need to be functioning effectively. Depending on symptoms experienced, herbs may be required to support the digestive system (e.g. Fennel, Ginger), the urinary system (e.g. Dandelion leaf), to give energy (e.g. Ginseng), to allow relaxation and sleep (e.g. Passionflower). Because of the liver infection, nutrients are not well absorbed. A good diet of fresh, whole, non-processed, fat-free foods, with no chemical additives, and regular supplementation with nutrient-rich herbs such as Alfalfa and Spirulina, will help the liver to recover. Dandelion coffee, available at health food stores, is a good substitute for coffee, and helps liver function.

Sleep is important to recovery. Daily activities should be arranged to allow for a good, long night’s sleep.

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