Herbs and Supplements
Milk Thistle has been used traditionally for liver disease. It cannot cure HCV, but the verdict is mixed on whether it helps with symptoms.
IMPORTANT, TAKE NOTE!
Most of us here at HepCBC have taken various herbs and supplements over the years for our symptoms, and are sympathetic to traditional and alternative health practices. However, this is really important; pay attention.
Please consult with your liver disease specialist before taking any herb or supplement, even if it says it is ‘good for the liver’! This is because…
Some Herbs and Supplements can actually CAUSE LIVER DAMAGE, even FAILURE, especially if your liver is already compromised by HCV. Most herbalists are not liver specialists, and do not realize how vulnerable people with HCV are. It’s just not worth it to experiment with your health when it is easy to cause irreversible damage very quickly. “Googling” an herb or supplement can give incorrect information by linking to sites which want to sell you something, not to protect you.
Herbs and supplements, especially those which are specifically recommended for the liver such as milk thistle, grapefruit, or licorice, CAN INTERFERE WITH TREATMENT, actually causing treatment not to work properly. Consult with the doctor who is treating you about this. Usually they will ask you to go off these herbs or supplements for 3-6 months before commencing treatment, and to avoid them until treatment is completed.
For more on Herbs & Supplements, check out Part V of Peppermint Patti’s FAQs.