Hepatitis C: Should I Try an Alternative Medicine?

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Hepatitis C: Should I Try an Alternative Medicine?

Some folks tout herbal remedies to treat liver disorders

So far, no form of alternative or natural medicine has been FDA-approved to treat hep C. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful to liver function and should be avoided by people infected with hepatitis C virus.

One herb that attracts attention for its touted liver-health properties is milk thistle. Proponents of milk thistle recommend the herb to treat jaundice and other liver disorders. But a clinical trial by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found milk thistle was no better than a placebo at lowering liver enzyme levels in people with hepatitis C. If you’re interested in trying milk thistle, discuss the benefits and risks with your physician.

Even though an alternative medicine might be called “natural,” that does not necessarily mean it is safe to take for certain conditions. Always talk to your health-care provider before you take any medicine, and make sure he or she knows about every supplement, vitamin, herb or other over-the counter medicine you might be taking.

BHM Edit Staff