Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

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Liver Disease: CAM Therapies for Specific Conditions

  • Licorice is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat many conditions, including hepatitis. It is present in about one-third of all Chinese herbal preparations, and is thought to enhance the effectiveness of many herbal formulas.

 

  • Bupleurum, one of the most frequently used herbs in Japanese herbal medicine, is often used to treat liver disease.

 

  • Ginseng, an herb, is believed by some botanical researchers to be of value in helping to prevent liver toxicity.

 

  • Milk thistle has a long history of use in the treatment and prevention of liver problems. It contains a substance called silymarin, which is used to treat toxic liver damage, and is used as a supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis. It also stimulates formation of new liver cells.

 

  • Ayurvedic preparations are sometimes used to treat liver disease.

Caution: Acetaminophen has been linked to sudden liver failure.

Caution: In large quantities, cinnamon can irritate the liver and should not be used by people with inflammatory liver disease.

Caution: Comfrey, an herb, contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which have been associated with death and illness among livestock that graze on them. They are particularly toxic to the liver, causing a blockage of the hepatic veins (veins in the liver), which can lead to fatal reactions. Comfrey cannot be recommended for internal use. Comfrey products for internal use may still be available in some stores, but have reportedly been removed from the market.

Caution: Chaparral, an herb, may cause liver damage, but its liver toxicity is not well established.

 

 

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From THE BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.


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