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Hepatitis C

Alternative Treatments

Alternative Treatments for Hepatitis C generally involve herbal relief either from hepatitis itself or from side effects of interferon. Some herbs widely used in treatment of Hepatitis C are described below:

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle's scientific name is Silybum marianum. It is mainly used to minimize the damage to the liver that the Hepatitis C virus may cause. The active ingredient in the plant is called silymarin and, in addition to having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it blocks toxins from entering and damaging liver cells and even appears to promote the growth of some types of liver cells.

Licorice Root

The scientific name for it is Glycyrrhiza glabra. Some studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. However, regular prolonged use of large quantities of licorice root may result in side-effects such as headache, high blood pressure, water retention, sluggishness and even heart failure or cardiac arrest.


The following herbs may be helpful in alleviating interferon's side-effects:

Ginger

Ginger tea has been used for thousands of years to treat nausea. Thus, it may be useful for Hepatitis C patients who suffer from nausea from the interferon drug therapy. Its scientific name is Zingiber officinale.

St. John's Wort

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) may be used to treat symptoms of depression that sometimes results from taking interferon. It is generally available as tea or in capsules and is less expensive and has fewer side effects that prescription anti-depressants.


Other alternative medicine approaches such as acupuncture, yoga and holistic approaches may be useful in treatment of chronic Hepatitis C.

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