Many of us have tried supplemental/herbal/alternative measures to manage HCV.
Here are some of the issues that always pop up;
There are very few research supported studies or trails on these substances, and due to the costs of establishing these studies, don’t expect any soon. The costs involved do not support the outcome; big pharma will not be able to show return to shareholders, therefore the studies do not exist.
Because the US FDA is not inherently involved in supplements, the potency, purity and content of these products are not guaranteed to the consumer.
Additionally, some imported Chinese herbal remedies have been found to be adulterated with illegal, outdated Rx meds to give them an occasional “punch”. I can’t recall the substance, but I remember a report where a potentially dangerous antibiotic that had been pulled from the shelves was introduced to an otherwise basically harmless but ineffective Chinese herb. This will yield an “effect” to boost sales, regardless of the fact that the drug could cause harm. Be careful in this regard.
Any substance considered should be cleared *in advance* by a qualified medical doctor prior to use. This includes Rx products, as well as “natural” substances as well. Please remember that because something is considered natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Black widow spiders are quite natural, but you won’t find many folks ingesting them for therapeutic use.
We know that many Western Rx medicines are derived wholly or in part from herbs and plants. I believe Aspirin originally derived from the bark of the Slippery Elm Tree. Good stuff, no doubt. But these meds have been subjected to a long, tedious examination and been approved through clinical trail here and abroad. We desperately need to examine our environment for further resources; the cure to many diseases may already exist in nature. However, the approval process that’s involved to verify their safety is in place for a reason; use caution.
HCV is a difficult disease to quantify; many firms that market alternative products take advantage of the difficulty and make claims such as “the patients viral load was reduced by 50% after using our product”. The patients VL may have reduced by 50%; however VL is subject to occasional peaks and troughs with our without treatment… additionally, the Nucleic Acid Tests that we use to quantify Viral Load are subject to considerable (half-log) error intrinsically. This all lends advantage to potential snake oil salesmen.
If you want to use herbal remedies, do the following:
1) Discuss your wishes with your doctor prior to use.
2) Be realistic in your expectations. We know of nothing out there right now that will “cure” HCV; there may be substances that yield a palliative effect, i.e., sooth side effects, etc. Don’t expect to experience medical “cure”.
3) Ask yourself “can I afford this”. If you have money to burn, purchasing these products doesn’t detract from your ability to afford Rx meds, and you fully understand the rewards and risks involved, you might want to consider them.
Good luck with our decision, this will give you something to think about, I hope. I’ll go now, and let others give their own opinions :o).
Thanks, I don't believe I really have a desire to try herbal treatment. I'm just exploring every option before I go back to the doctor next week. I expect at that time I will be referred to a hepatologist in Portland.
Don’t blame you a bit. Ask your Hepatologist about the use of Silymarin in particular; this is derived from the milk thistle plant, and has been used for decades in Europe for the management of liver disease. Many western doctors are either ambivalent or even supportive of it’s use; however most of them discourage it during traditional treatment.
Good luck with your appointment, and let us know how things go.
TCM has been using ginseng for over 5000 years in treating the liver. Modern medicine has proven the immune system benefits and the liver cancer fighting properties of ginseng.
I use wild ginseng roots, this way you know the quality and quantity of the product.You can tell if the root was grown with fertilizers and pesticides, the size, shape, texture and taste change. Old wild roots have the most potency, cultivated roots use tons of chemicals and are 3 years old only. The cost difference is substantial but is worth it, knowing no chemicals are in the roots and the plant was allowed to mature to gain the proper potency.
Ginseng also has the ability to balance blood sugars something heppers need to watch.
silymarin was one of the herbs I used which slowed the damage down a bit for me.
I took another year than advised to spend with my daughter before starting tx when my liver was quite badly scarred didn't grow any worse that year but didn't cure me either .Silymarin builds the liver up it seems so I certainly didn't take it or any building up herbs while on pegasys took a few caiming herbs (not st johns wort) made a few of my own remedies which seemed to help a little and luckily didn't need to take anti depressants at the time (probably need them now) tho- the doctors really push that in OZ actually don't take no for an answer on that one here they say if your on meds you need anti deps.
Natural remedies cost a fortune as well, don't really know why,(apart from money to be made from peoples desperation) some things do take a long time to grow I guess (like Ginseng a good mans remedy I hear)
Once I started on meds I didn't want to do any thing that might of interfered with the interferance of interferon.(o:
Asprin was actually made from the bark of the willow tree I used willow bark fresh for fever and pain and it works for me.
Ive managed a pretty drug free life appart from trying to rort myself when I was young and managing to do that succesfully hence hep c, even found homeopathics and herbs helped me recover after a brain tumor I had some years back.
Iv'e fallen into appathy quite badly since finishing the meds but now feel a bit inspired again to try and get off my arse and do some thing for myself. Natural medicines have helped me in the past.
I really appreciated the pegasys and I don't have hep c no more it seems but I'm really finding it hard getting over the after affects
Tomorrow I'll try to get up and make me some stablised Aloe juice (yuck) and go roaming for some other healing herbs mm bitter herbs for the liver I guess Love it (o;
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