I have had an interest in Hepatitis C since my brother was diagnosed with this condition in 1995. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage to the liver cells resulting in scarring of the liver. It can ultimately lead to cirrhosis of the liver (even if the person never had an alcoholic beverage in their life) and liver cancer. It is often found incidentally on routine yearly physicals or when donating blood because it can cause no symptoms at the time of initial infection. It is transmitted blood-to-blood as in transfusions, sharing razor blades or drug needles, needle-stick accidents in health care facilities, and lack of use of disposable needles in tattooing or body piercing. Transmissions via sexual contact and from mother to baby during delivery are rare. To date, there is not a really effective medical treatment for this disease.

One of the best approaches to handling the effects of Hepatitis C is to support the liver nutritionally and with medicinal herbs. It is very possible to naturally decrease the blood test liver enzymes indicating liver inflammation. To accomplish this, some of the foods that should be included in the diet are garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus and beets. It is wise to keep as many chemicals out of the foods eaten as possible which will help to decrease the toxic load on the liver. Therefore, organic foods are the better choice. They also contain higher levels of nutrients. For example, eating a cup of organic brussels sprouts is roughly equivalent to eating 3 cups of commercial brussels sprouts…and who wants to do that! (Just kidding. I love brussels sprouts!) There are also some very effective herbs to support liver function and cellular healing. The most well known is Milk Thistle. This herb has both a protective and restorative effect on liver cells. Another herb not often thought of as antiviral is St. John's Wort. The primary function of St. John's Wort is as a defense against envelope viruses (viruses that have a covering around them, of which Hepatitis C is one). The immune system herb, Echinacea, is another very effective herb for chronic diseases such as Hepatitis C. It is false information that Echinacea should only be used for acute problems and short-term. In actuality, the best use of Echinacea is in chronic conditions and as a preventive. It is an immune modulator as it will strengthen a weak immune system or dampen down an overactive immune system. A word of caution is that all herbs chosen should be held to pharmaceutical GMP ("good manufacturing practice") standards as these will guarantee quality and effectiveness.

In short, Hepatitis C can successfully be controlled by supporting the liver and its functions so that this virus does not damage the liver to the point of cirrhosis or cancer.


By Piro

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