Hepatitis C and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Hepatitis C has been in the news a great deal over the past few years. It’s a debilitating disease and over 300,000 people in Australia are now living with the disease. It is spread by blood to blood contact and while the virus has been around for some time, the test to identify it has only been available since 1990. It can lead to general unwellness, lethargy, depression, and in more extreme cases Cirrhosis and also Liver cancer. There is no vaccine available.

The virus can therefore be spread by:

  • Blood to blood contact
  • Shared razors, toothbrushes
  • Body piercing
  • Tattooing
  • Sharing intravenous needles
  • Anal intercourse without condom
  • Intercourse during menstruation without condom

Allopathic Treatments

Traditional medical treatments for Hepatitis C are aggressive and extremely difficult. General Practitioners and liver specialists currently advise on a combination therapy of pegylated interferon and also ribavirin.

This is similar to chemotherapy and can have very serious side effects.[1] These include:

  • Flu symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Ulcers
  • Mood swings – depression, reactivity
  • Depression
  • Lethargy, exhaustion
  • Anaemia
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Altered sleeping patterns.

Hepatitis WA suggests individuals become fully briefed on the side effects and on the treatment regime before they undergo the combination therapy to rid the virus from the body.[2]

Chinese Medicine

Australia has already undertaken research into the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine for Hepatitis C. The trial, known as CH100 revealed Chinese herbs led to an improvement of Hep C symptoms and also an improvement in LFT’s. (liver function tests.)[3]

Other Natural Remedies

We also treat Hep C patients with a series of other natural remedies that help with symptoms and general wellbeing. We always suggest that any Hepatitis C management is undertaken with the supervision and guidance of a qualified practitioner. You may also want to consult with your doctor. Be aware some general practitioners now have a good understanding of both allopathic and natural therapies approaches.

Consider using the following in consultation with your naturopath:

  • St. John’s Wort – (hypericum perforatum) An effective treatment for Hep C related depression and viral symptoms such as lethargy
  • St. Mary’s Thistle – (Silybum marianum) Its active constituent silymarin is known to protect the liver from alcohol, chemicals. Also stimulates liver cell growth.
  • Licorice root – (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is used in Chinese Medicine as a great liver detoxifying agent. Helps with jaundice
  • Dandelion – (Taraxacum officinale) stimulates healthy liver function and acts as a general liver tonic.

It is also essential you alter your diet and eat well. Lots of green and leafy vegetables, lots of fresh juices, cut down on alcohol and refined foods, and also cut down on dairy products. You may like to talk with your naturopath or health food store about replacing dairy milk with a soy or rice milk alternative, if your liver is particularly bad.

Most of all, good luck from A Natural Self Clinic. We hope the information helps you on your journey.

[1] http://www.hepatitisaustralia.com/about-hepatitis/hepatitis-c/medical-treatments

[2] http://www.heaptitiswa.com.au/treatents/hepatitis-c-treatment-and-side-effects.html

[3] http://hep.org.au/index.php?article=content/about-hep/complementary-medicine