The information below comes from patients and family members who are
using it successfully to control their hepatitis C in spite of the fact that
it may or may not agree with established medical protocol.
It works for me!
The most important part of my regimen is a good
healthy dose of prayer; prayers offered by others, and prayers of my own.
I don't drink tap water..........I used to buy the purified stuff from the local store and now drink water we run through a purification filter. The more I drink the better I feel - remember that detoxification is vital and water works wonders!
Those with liver disease that eat a lot
of red meat might want to consider cutting back on it because it makes the liver
work harder to process it and
can often be high in iron. Those with cirrhosis or folks with high iron levels
might also want to consider avoiding as much additional iron as possible
because it's believed that the hep C virus thrives in an iron-rich
environment (even cooking in an iron skillet can add iron
to food because of the leeching that occurs). I avoid red meat, eat low fat
and feel better because of it. Here's a good link that discusses diet
and hep C, it's not mine but I believe this page is a good start. Remember: NO
alcohol, and moderation is the key with most things. Oh yeah, here's the link:
In addition to all of the above, I also take the following:
Milk Thistle (Siliphos) - In my opinion this herb is one of the best available in America for those with liver disease. Although no herbs carry the FDA stamp of approval (because it's not considered economically feasible for a company to spend the required massive amounts of money to gain FDA approval for a non-patentable product) Milk Thistle is used extensively in Europe as a liver protectant and asset to liver healing, and gaining reputation here in the United States as one of the better "liver herbs". There are a few different types of Milk Thistle available on the market, and the main differences seem to be in the bioavailability of the product (ability to be absorbed and used by the body). Herbs vary in potency from one plant to the next and because of this, proper dosing of some herbs used to be a problem. In recent years the herbal companies have developed methods to standardize the active ingredients of the plant and market them as "standardized extracts". Not all herbs are so critical on dosages so they may not require the standardization process to be as effective, but this one does. This was the best type of Milk Thistle available on the market when I was first diagnosed in 1994, and helped me when I was at my worst. I was taking the dosage as listed on the bottle of 300 mg. 3 times per day. ( 80% standardized silymarin active ingredient).
Now, we have "new and Improved" types of Milk Thistle available to us that have been developed in recent years that are far superior and which studies indicate are much more beneficial to the liver. This is largely because of the fact that they're designed to be more bioavailable to the body than the more familiar "standardized extracts" (in other words, the very best of the active ingredients from Milk Thistle is used by the body rather than eliminated as waste). Scientists have been able to isolate the most effective parts of the Milk Thistle seed called "silybin" and have created a patented compound called "Silybin Phytosome", also known as "Siliphos" (depending on the manufacturer). After being extracted from the Milk Thistle seeds, the silybin then goes through another process ("phytosome") which basically binds it with a carrier substance (phosphatidylcholine) that helps more of this natural substance to be absorbed into the system and used by the body.
There's a really good article on hep C and alternatives that originally appeared in GNC's "Let's Live" magazine a few years back which discusses the phytosome process and more. We've received permission to reprint the article and you can read it at the following address:
I truly believe that Milk Thistle is one of the very best "liver herbs" on the planet and I know that this newer process greatly improves its effectiveness (after seeing concrete improvement in my own health because of using this far superior type of Milk Thistle, I certainly won't be going back to the regular standardized extracts any time soon!) The newer stuff can be purchased in two different potencies: 240mg. per cap, and 360mg. per cap (the stronger dose is recommended for those with considerable liver damage like I have).
DOSAGE: As recommended on the bottle, I take 1 360mg. capsule 3X daily.
Cat's Claw - The need to boost immunity seems to be an area that a lot of folks with Hep C forget about. Let me assure you from personal experience that with this disease especially, it is VERY IMPORTANT to do everything you can to strengthen and boost your immunity. There are lots of herbs on the market that can help with this, but I prefer an extract of the herb "Cat's Claw", because of the positive impact it's had on my liver function numbers since I started using it in 1996.
This rain forest herb has not only helped keep the hep C manageable, but I've had very few cases of the cold or flu since I started taking it.
DOSAGE: I prefer one 500 mg standardized extract gelcap capsule daily (as recommended on bottle).
CAUTION: Cat's Claw is NOT recommended for anyone taking immunosuppressant drugs (as with transplant patients). It is also NOT recommended if pregnant or nursing.
Liverite Liveraid - A really good liver detoxification product that helps tremendously with the "brain fog" and overall feeling of well-being. When I first started taking this product in 1999 I noticed it helping me to feel more like my old self again. I now spend much less time in bed, and it's definitely had a positive effect on my motivation to want to get out and do things. I believe the amino acids etc. in this product help to heal my liver while the vitamin B12 helps with my energy. I really can't say enough good things about this stuff and most people I know who try it, love it.
DOSAGE: I take two tabs, 3 times daily.
Dandelion Root (made into a "tea") - Those who've progressed to cirrhosis often find fluid retention in the lower abdomen and ankles to be a problem. This is basically liquid waste that's prone to infection and usually controlled by the use of prescription diuretics such as "Lasix" and "Aldactone". In my own case, my fluid retention was in the area of the abdomen (called "ascites") and my doctor prescribed both of the above mentioned diuretics to control it. These drugs can damage the kidneys and have other undesirable side effects on the body when used for extended periods of time and it wasn't long before I started experiencing them myself.
This is when I decided to search for an alternative to these medications and learned about dandelion root. This herb has been reported to be a natural alternative to the diuretic prescriptions I was taking, and after being on the meds for close to a year, my doctor agreed to go along with my desire to wean myself from both and switch to dandelion root. I did this by gradually decreasing my dosage of the pills while increasing my intake of the herb (which I make into a tea). Over a period of a few months I was successful at completely stopping the prescriptions and by drinking the tea I was able to keep my ascites under control. For a number of years I'd make up a pot in the morning, and drink between one to two quarts per day.
I'm happy to say that since late in the year 2000, my condition has improved to where I've been able to reduce my daily intake of dandelion root to about 16 oz. per day and as long as I remain on my low-sodium diet I no longer have a problem with ascites. Dandelion root can be purchased in pill form or as raw herb which can be made into a "tea". I prefer the latter and here's how to make it:
Using one teaspoon of raw dandelion root per cup of water (or 3 tablespoons per 2 quart pot), bring your water to a boil, turn down to a slow roll, and add the dandelion root. Leave covered at this temperature for about 20 minutes, then let it cool and enjoy.
It tastes a little different, but herbs usually do, and I think it's really enjoyable once you get accustomed to it. (Now you can't tell me that some of you haven't consumed some "different" tasting things before!) You can even buy it roasted which changes the flavor a bit, and it's fine to sweeten or flavor it with lemon, or whatever. I order my dandelion in bulk which is the cheapest, and I believe the most potent (Teabags are much more expensive). Dandelion root is healthy for the entire digestive system and is a really good herb even for those who don't have cirrhosis. Many health food stores don't carry bulk dandelion root though and if you have a problem finding it, ask them to order it for you.
It is important to remember that the effectiveness of herbs is directly related to personal sleep habits, nutrition, and exercise. Many herbs take a while to get into the system before they start to work. The way I see it, it took a long time for my body to get in the shape it was in when I was diagnosed, and it's certainly worth a bit of patience on my part, knowing that this time I am being healed, and in the way my body was designed - with God's own medicine.
A final word of caution: As with any other suggestion offered to you by anyone (yes even a licensed physician!):
DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!
I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what goes on with and into our bodies. Don't just take someone else's word for anything, (including mine). Do your OWN research!!! Do NOT assume that because a person claims to be an herbal specialist that they know about liver disease or hepatitis C. MANY DO NOT!!!! Herbs were put here by God for us to use as food and medicine, but when used incorrectly they can be just as harmful as anything else on the planet.
This is the regimen of which I credit for helping me avoid the liver transplant that my doctor at Vanderbilt Medical Center believed I'd need within a year- back in 1994. Since then, by the grace of God and a whole lot of determination, my condition has improved to where I am no longer considered in need of liver transplantation and I live each day thankful to be alive, living with my own liver intact. In spite of the fact that I remain disabled from the damage caused by hepatitis C prior to my diagnosis, by being dedicated to the daily regimen discussed above, my liver function numbers have consistently remained in the normal ranges or very close since 1996. Although my continuing survival (and the multitude of others who use this or similar alternative therapies) verifies that the virus CAN be controlled without the toxicity and potential harm of chemical treatments like interferon, we know that anyone who chooses this approach to controlling hep C will probably need to continue with some sort of herbal therapy for the rest of their lives (unless a cure is found, along with an accurate test to measure it). Just because you start to feel better, don't make the mistake of thinking that you no longer need to take whatever was helping you. As long as the virus exists, we have to continue fighting back. Period.
One last word for
anyone who might get the wrong impression here: since 1995 when I first started
using my regimen it's helped to
improve my condition, helped me keep my hepatitis C under control, and helped me
to avoid the liver transplant that my doctors believed I'd need back then. However, I AM STILL NOT CURED OF HEPATITIS C and this
potentially deadly disease continues to reside within me.
Although the majority of plant medicines used today
are probably those taken in some sort of oral
pill form, many are still used in other forms from
liquid concentrates to those that are
smoked. The main problem with the latter though is the risk to
our lungs because smoking anything isn't really a good idea.
Fortunately, in recent years modern science has learned how to
heat plant material at a low enough temperature to vaporize
it instead of causing it to be burned. This allows a
person to then inhale the vapors and reap the same
benefits of the plant without the dangers of smoking!
If you'll check out the links above, you'll see that the company makes two types of what I call "table top" models of vaporizers. One is digital with a very LARGE and easy-to-see readout which is especially wonderful for those of us that aren't getting any younger and notice that we don't see as well as we used to, while the other unit employs an easy-to-adjust knob that's used to regulate the heater's temperature according to need.
I've used both units and by vaporizing instead of smoking my herbal medicine, I can enjoy the natural flavor of the herb without it tasting like I licked an ashtray because there's no smoke involved or anything being actually burned.
None of the benefit is lost when using the vaporization process either. It simply turns the herbal material into vapors, retaining all the benefits without releasing tars and nicotines that get inhaled into our lungs when smoked.
Volcanoes are made in Germany, which has always had a reputation for producing the finest in engineering. The vaporizers last a long time, and I have no doubt that they can definitely help save our health if we use one.
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Copyright © 1997 - 2012 National Hepatitis C Coalition, Inc.