Natural Remedies for Serious Liver Conditions
See also this page about The Hepatic System: Symptoms & Suggestions

Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver are two serious liver problems.


Both are common in modern civilization, and both involve inflammation of the liver. Although the specific causes and symptoms associated with each of these conditions are different, they both tend to respond to the same natural remedies. These remedies have been successfully used by many people to help the liver cleanse and rebuild itself. However, since both hepatitis and cirrhosis are serious health conditions, appropriate medical assistance should be sought when dealing with them, and ideally, these remedies should be used under proper medical supervision.

Hepatitis is a word from Latin roots which means inflammation of the liver.
The different types of hepatitis are named according to the source of the inflammation, which may be viral or chemical.

Hepatitis A
is an infectious hepatitis that can be transmitted through poor sanitary conditions such as food handlers or child care workers not washing their hands.

Hepatitis B
, or serum hepatitis, is also infectious and is passed through a blood transfusion or other contact with blood. It is often transmitted through dirty needles or sex. The causes of other types of hepatitis are less clear, but the result is always the same inflammation of liver tissue.

Cirrhosis is a scarring of the liver tissue.

This happens through repeated inflammation and damage to liver tissue. So, cirrhosis is the result of continual liver damage over a long period of time. Cirrhosis is a serious, degenerative condition of the liver and is usually caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Drugs, autoimmune conditions, and chronic inflammation are typical causes. Cirrhosis of the liver is a leading cause of death in people between 45 and 65.

In all cases of liver damage and inflammation, the liver needs a chance to rebuild and repair itself. This is accomplished primarily through giving the digestive system a rest, since the liver is responsible for filtering and processing all blood being absorbed from the intestines. This is done through fasting and/or the use of juices and mild foods.

A mild food diet is a semi-fasting state in which only raw foods (fresh fruits and vegetables) are eaten. Fresh juices made from carrots, celery, beets, chard, and other vegetables are particularly beneficial. Lemon water and black cherry juice are also helpful. This diet gives the liver a lot of natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to effect repairs, without having to process any heavy starches, fats, or proteins.

Avoid all chemicals

Avoiding chemicals of every kind is also essential to giving the liver a break. This means avoiding all food additives (dyes, flavorings, preservatives, etc.), environmental chemicals (cleaning products, solvents, etc.), drugs, and alcohol. With this goal in mind, it is ideal to use organically grown food during the mild food diet and to wash all produce with NSP Concentrate to remove any chemical residues prior to consumption.

In addition to this dietary therapy, certain supplements can be very helpful for both of these conditions. Milk thistle is particularly effective because this remedy acts as a liver tonic and hepatoprotective agent. It strengthens liver tissue in its ability to deal with environmental toxins without suffering damage. Blessed thistle and dandelion are also gentle liver cleansing agents.

Milk Thistle Combination is an excellent formula for helping the liver protect and repair itself. It contains milk thistle, N-acetylecysteine, dandelion, choline, inositol, vitamin A and vitamin C. Large doses of vitamin C have been shown to help hepatitis, and N-acetyle-cysteine recycles glutathione, an important intracellular antioxidant. This helps liver cells cleanse and protect themselves. The other ingredients have similar effects.

Other liver herbs such as dandelion, reishi mushrooms, Oregon grape, pau darco, red clover, yellow dock, and beet root can also be helpful in strengthening the liver's ability to eliminate toxins. Some combinations which have been used to help the liver detoxify and repair itself include Liver Cleanse Formula and Red Beet Root Formula.

Licorice root can be very helpful for inflammatory liver diseases. It is both antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

Sam-e can be very effective in helping the liver heal. It opens detoxification pathways in the liver.

Helicrysum essential oil applied topically over the liver will help to heal scarring. It will also help to reduce inflammation.

A very effective program that has helped many people is to take Sam-e and Milk Thistle Combination internally, while applying helicrysum topically. Ideally, this should be done in conjunction with a mild food diet or juice fast. It is possible to help these conditions naturally, but again appropriate medical attention should be sought so that progress can be monitored.

The best course of action, however, is to take steps to prevent these conditions. Appropriate sanitation, avoiding alcohol and other liver-damaging substances, and a healthy diet are all important. If a person is exposed to chemicals or an environment where they may be at risk for hepatitis, Milk Thistle Combination can be taken regularly to strengthen the livers ability to resist damage.

About the Liver

Liver

The liver is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. Shaped like a cone, the liver is a dark reddish-brown organ that weighs about 3 pounds.

There are two distinct sources that supply blood to the liver, including the following:
* oxygenated blood flows in from the hepatic artery
* nutrient-rich blood flows in from the hepatic portal vein

Did you know?
The liver can lose three-quarters of its cells before it stops functioning.
In addition, the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself.


The liver holds about one pint (13 percent) of the body's blood supply at any given moment. The liver consists of two main lobes, both of which are made up of thousands of lobules. These lobules are connected to small ducts that connect with larger ducts to ultimately form the hepatic duct. The hepatic duct transports the bile produced by the liver cells to the gallbladder and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

Functions of the liver

The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile, which helps carry away waste products from the liver. All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down the nutrients and drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body. More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver.

Some of the more well-known functions include the following:
* production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
* production of certain proteins for blood plasma
* production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
* conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy)
* regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins
* processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content (the liver stores iron)
* conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine)
* clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances
* regulating blood clotting
* resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream

When the liver has broken down harmful substances, its by-products are excreted into the bile or blood.
Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in the form of feces.
Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys, and leave the body in the form of urine.

Selected References
Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, MD, and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC


Distributed by: For Educational Purposes
Only Seek appropriate professional assistance for all serious health problems.
Handout prepared by Tree of Light Publishing P.O. Box 911239, St. George, UT 84791 (www.treelite.com) 2003 - May be reproduced provided it is not altered in any way.