371- Hepatitis C : Complementary Treatments for Hepatitis C
Silymarin to treat hepatitis C.
This extract of the milk thistle plant is the most popular herbal remedy for hepatitis C. Some people use it to bring down inflammation and remove toxins from the liver.
In animal and cell studies, silymarin blocked the hepatitis C virus and protected the liver from damage. But research on people hasn’t been as positive. In one study of nearly 400 people with hepatitis C, it didn’t improve liver function or reduce levels of the virus.
How you take silymarin could matter. There’s some evidence that it has antiviral effects when a doctor puts it in your vein with an IV.
Side effects of silymarin are usually mild, such as:
- Upset stomach
Green Tea Extract.
It contains antioxidants called catechins that may help protect liver cells from damage. Some of these catechins may help block the hepatitis C virus from infecting the liver and help prevent liver cancer.
Drinking green tea in moderation appears to be safe, but there have been reports of liver damage in people who took supplements. Green tea extract is an ingredient in many popular weight loss products, some of which have been linked to liver failure.
Naringenin to cure hepatitis C:
This natural compound gives grapefruit its bitter taste. It may work to help reduce inflammation. In lab studies, naringenin helped block the hepatitis C virus from infecting new cells. Whether it’s a useful treatment for hepatitis C is still not clear.
Glycyrrhizin to cure hepatitis C
This licorice root extract has been part of Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine for centuries. More recently, it’s been studied as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Glycyrrhizin has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, and it may help protect against liver cancer.
Colloidal silver contains the same metal found in earrings or tableware, only it’s suspended in water.
It’s been promoted as a hepatitis C treatment, but there’s no evidence that it works. It’s not a safe alternative. It can cause permanent, serious side effects, including argyria — a bluish color to your skin, eyes, and organs.
Zinc: Complementary Treatments for Hepatitis C
This element is essential for many bodily functions, including a healthy liver. Zinc levels often drop as your hepatitis C gets worse. Some research suggests zinc supplements might help protect the liver from damage and prevent liver cancer.
Zinc can cause side effects like:
- Stomach upset
- Nausea and vomiting
It’s common for people with hepatitis C to have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Along with keeping your bones strong, this vitamin helps your body fight off the virus. People who are low in vitamin D are more likely to have severe liver scarring.
Your doctor can do a blood test to check your vitamin D level. If it’s low, taking a supplement can bring it up to normal, though research doesn’t show that it helps improve how well standard hepatitis C treatment works.
Turmeric: Complementary Treatments for Hepatitis C
This spice gives curry powder its vibrant yellow color. In supplement form, some people use turmeric to treat several health conditions, from arthritis to stomach ailments.
In lab studies, curcumin stopped the hepatitis C virus from copying itself. It might also help clear toxins from the liver. More research is needed to confirm whether it’s useful as a treatment for hepatitis C.
Ginseng: Complementary Treatments for Hepatitis C
Some studies suggest this herb protects the liver against the effects of disease and injury. But there is some serious concern about its safety for your liver.
- Imatinib (Gleevec)
- Raltegravir (Isentress)
Before you use ginseng, discuss it with your doctor and go over your whole list of medications with them.
Herbal Remedies to Avoid
Some herbal supplements are dangerous for people with hepatitis C because they cause liver damage. These include :
- Atractylis gummifera
- Bush tea
- Gordolobo herbal tea
- Valerian root
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