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163305 tn?1333668571

herbal supplements I take, no debates, please

Since, I originally was determined not to use interferon, I sought out an herbalist who is also an MD. The first thing she told me, is herbs will not get rid of Hep C. What herbs can do is help with side effects and once the hep C is gone, help the liver to heal.  She encouraged me to see a GI/heptologist to be more informed.  She said the one most important thing I could do, nutritionally was to eat organic food.
     These are the initial herbs and supplements she prescribed for me, particular to my having Hep C and cirrhosis:
    Milk thistle, omega-3 fish oil, Alpha-lipoid Acid, gota kola (reduces scarring in the liver), bromeliad, (reduces swelling), turmeric (anti-inflammatory). She prescribed a glycerite mix of reishi mushroom, shizandra, and buplueram.  I had an emotional reaction to the bupluerum,(severe bitchiness) and stopped taking it.
    Reishi should not be taken with interferon.

    I spoke with her since beginning the Pegasus/copegus tx.  The main herb that has helped her Hep patients during tx is boneset. It must be drank as a tea. It is very bitter but ginger, cinnamon, honey, etc can be added for flavor.  The other herbs she suggested were ashwaganda and redroot ( not bloodroot).   She stressed taking hot Epsom salt baths for achy muscles, 4cups of Epsom salt dissolved in the bath.
        I am not here to debate whether these things really work or not. I will say, I spend my days swallowing pills, gulp!  
23 Responses
Avatar universal
I was told not to take milk thistle on tx.

Do you have any research info or sites on the bromeliad, boneset or gota kola? The others you mention I have read about.
Avatar universal
No debate...so be it.

Avatar universal
Geeeesh! Not a debate - just an opinion, and if you want to soap box without rebuttle you may want to post in another place. The last I heard this is a discussion board. Not a good place to speak with your hands over your ears.

If all these erb, vitamins, noni juice, and tree bark dust was any good at all CNN would have it in the news as a major medical miracle break through and the world would be saved. Then the big drug companies would step in a financially devour the patents and rights to farm and manufacture it.
Mean while some spend the money to sit and drink stuff that tastes like ****, then spend again to jam honey or lemon into it so they can get it down, and try and believe these farmers are smarter than the doctors researching drug development.

No Debate?
Avatar universal
i believe the herbs and vitamins can reduce the VL & symptoms but can not cure hcv, especially oximitrine. sounds like orphanedhawks herb doc is very good by telling right up front that herbs can not cure but can help and to see a hepatologist. i think it is great to add supplements if they will help. after all we will never know unless we try them.  i have not started tx yet but in the last 6 months while waiting to start i watched my vl go from 8 million(1st pcr) to 12 million then to 20 million. started a regimen and now down to 3 million and feel better! whatever it takes to get as low a vl as possible before i start i will do. i know vl's jump around but all i saw was mine going up every test until i took the supplements! maybe just a coincidence but for the $100 it cost me well worth the try.
Avatar universal
It'S hard to say that VL goes up or down because of herbs because it goes up and down and up and down before you are on treatment you know?  

Supplements like herbs BEFORE treatment is one thing but as Kalio had said since so little has been studied about them it's best NOT to take them DURING treatment.  Nobody knows if they could hurt the process or not.  It's just not worth the chance.
Avatar universal
Your VL fluctuates on it's own. It seems like 3 mil compared to 20 mil. is a "big drop" but it isn't. Very little dif. between the two. It could be fluctuating regardless of the herbs. If they make you feel better that's great, but if you'd not taken them and tested the VL chances are good you would have had similar results.

Im trying the Oxymatrine with tx to add another layer of antivirals. From what I have read it won't do harm and might help.

I can't keep everyones' stat straight, do you mind running yours by me again?
163305 tn?1333668571
My no debate remark came up as I felt timid sharing this information as I didn't want to get jumped on. I thought some people might be interested, and could do further searches, if desired.
   My own conlcusion about Hep C is that there is more unknown than known. I have a GI who has no problems with my taking supplements. I feel I am giving my body assistance dealing with the toxicity of tx.  I also have an organic garden, try to meditate and drink beet juice. Again, it can't hurt.  And if drinking something bitter will help me not have body and joint aches, then I will drink it. Am I flushing my $$ away?  Maybe but I feel good taking these things. (I don'take them all).
  There is more than one way to do anything. This is what I do.
  You put more faith into CNN than I do. I think its nothing but a propaganda machine.

Avatar universal
I would check into milk thistle on tx further as there are many of us who have been told it is contraindicated on tx and it is one you mention you take. You don't want to reduce your chances of success. I think it might help, but not on tx from what I have been told and read.
Avatar universal
Hi Kalio, you say: "Im trying the Oxymatrine with tx to add another layer of antivirals. From what I have read it won't do harm and might help"

So you are saying not to take milk thistle and other things while on tx and i agree, but on the other hand you are going to chance taking oxymitrine and trust "what you read" that it wont harm your chances of svr. you kind of contradicted your beliefs. i would wait until you are done tx, why take the chance on "what you read".

I take oxy and other sups so i think it is a great thing but i will not do anything when i start tx.
Avatar universal
Cetain things you can take on tx and they will enhance tx. Oxy and other antivirals should not be taken WITHOUT being on tx as you can cause the virus to mutate around them without the "protection" from the IFN. Believe me, I am not doing this without knowledge. Milk thistle is a different story, that I would not take on tx.
Avatar universal
According to my doc, milk thistle can lower ALT and AST and is therefore helpful for those not treating, but never take it during tx.
Avatar universal
Thanks for sharing wih us ! I follow a similar alt. med regimen and only regret is that I didn't try it sooner. I also take Natcell TLM daily and remain convinced of it's benefit. I stopped taking it for about 9 days because it's so expensive but edema in ankles and feet returned almost immediately after I stopped taking.

I too only wish to share experiences and have no vested interest in anyone elses Tx decisions. I can see why some may wish to comment to the contrary on alt. meds. but c'mon, some of the verbal attacks get to be a bit much.

86075 tn?1238115091
there's a member here who took TCM and (anti-virals) all through her treatment and svr'd, she'd extended SOC treatment by some weeks though...

If you go to Zhang's site you'll see many people who have taken TCM with SOC and SVR'd.....Some claiming some of these alternatives helped them with their blood counts, etc and they didn't have to rely on the blood boosters as much, or at all...In europe many treaters use alternatives as well as SOC for this very reason, if you go to the british site on hep c on the Delphi Forums you'll encounter this phenomenon.....I just think that there are many unknowns about this disease and it's treatments, with many differing opinions from the docs and researchers alike.....Because, dang it, there isn't a lot of studying of these types of things....I guess, in the final analysis, we each have to go to the experts and docs we have faith in, and make our own conclusions re much of this stuff...I don't like to advocate anything to anybody, too much goes along with that...
Avatar universal
Yes, while ON SOC it's ok. The issue is using them while NOT on SOC, that you really want to avoid from what I understand.
Avatar universal
well i see your point and i respect your opinion especially how i know you feel about sups. for you to be this up on a sup then something must be good. i know from i see here that you "do your homework" with this type of stuff. i will ask HR when he gets back to elaborate on this subject. i saw the post where he said oxymatrine looked promising but i dont recall him really going into detail. but i know you have seen him with the fibroscan and talk to him so you know more about it then me, i'm sure. what do you think about any of the other suppliments besides oxymatrine i'm taking? would you take any of them when not on tx? do you think any "could" help someone? what would you take while waiting to tx? sorry for all the questions. thanks
Avatar universal
For instance in your case, the milk thistle might help reduce inflammation, but I would not take oxymatrine if I was not on tx and had the virus.
Avatar universal
well, thanks for your input about not taking it without being tx. but i also did extensive research on it before i went on it and have come to a different conclusion. my regimen was reccomended by a TCM doc that has other HCV NON treaters on this. please read what this says about oxy and how it will help without being on tx.

By the way my regimen is this until i start tx:

Avatar universal
I've read that, but the thing is this: if you take antivirals without being on tx, you risk rendering them useless because they can/will mutate around the virus. You can then never benefit from them again, they won't help you. They could cause mutation in your virus, something you want to avoid if possible, you certainly don't want to encourage mutation. This is never/rarely mentioned with TCM unfortunately.

this is why I say I'd use antiimflammatories and antioxidants but I would not use antivirals because I might need them down the road and I don't want to render them useless. This is an issue with alinia too. We have very few tools at our disposal to fight this disease, we don't want to limit them. While ON IFN, you are protected agaisnt that mutation factor.

163305 tn?1333668571
After reading the comments, I am going to look more into the milk thistle.  I know the claim that milk thistle can heal the liver on the cellular level. I have wondered if it does any good while on tx. Duringour recent conversation my herbalist seemed mostly concerned about my taking herbs that would help me with sx of tx.  She didn't mention milk thistle.
   I know  bromelian and tumeric are to reducing swelling, a good thing when you aren't using ibuprophen. Bromelian is made from the pineapple plant. Boneset is supposed to help with flu symptoms.  
Avatar universal
Since I am not there at this point and on tx still, I can't quote a regimen to you off the top of my head. I do have a regimen suggestion from HR. It is important to remember he does not advocate a specific path but rather provides info. and detailed explaination but the decision is yours. I dont want to give the impression or suggest in any way he says to do any certain thing because he never does. He gives the wheres and why fores and you go from there.

I would take antiinflammatories, milk thistle,green tea pills, etc. and I'd take the ones with antifibrotic properties too. I will look it up and send it to you, I have so many papers and studies I need to weed throuh to find it. Im a bit slow but I will get it to you.
HR also speaks to the importance of nutrition and what you eat, that is the best "supplement" avoid sugar, dont salt your food,no processed foods period,no red meat, limit carbs. eat small meals more often over larger meals at one sitting. I can not overstress the importance of nutrition for a damaged liver to have the opportunity to heal. Daily whey protein, fresh fruit ( any kind of berry is best, I use frozen ones, they make a good smoothie)and yogurt with soy milk is very good plus tasty. It has a bit of fruit sugars in it but it's good, you can use those even twice a day. I do them religiously in the morning and have another for "dessert" Berries and pomegranants are excellent antioxidants but any fruit can be added.
I said to him once "you mean eat like a rabbit?" and he laughed and said yes! meaning eat lots of veggine. artichokes and tomatoes are particularly good liver wise. Lemon on your food is great, very healing for your liver. Fish, especially wild salmon is good, other types of fish are good too. careful of carbs, they turn into sugar.
Even fruit has sugar, so veggies beat fruit but fresh fruit is better than other choices. A wide variety of fresh organic veggies is tops. Obviously we eat carbs, but keep it small, if you do have carbs, say pasta for instance eat it WITH lots of spinach because your liver will process it easier. Food combos are necessary for the metabolic processes to occur.Eating just carbs at a sitting is much harder on your liver than carbs with a veggie. Remember your Grandma saying "eat your veggies!" clear your plate! well some of that has a scientific basis, and they "help" each other be metabolized.
For instance, he talks about alinia for people on tx BUT only with lacobacillusGG because the alinia can wipe out all the "good" bacteria in your intestines so you need the lacobacillus. You get the picture. He does not recommend alinia if you aren't on tx for the reasons I gave earlier.

It is best to get your "supplements" from your food, adding some is not bad, but isn't the best "delivery system" good food is.
I will get that list and post it to you as soon as I can. Im sure what you are doing is fine, are you following Zhang? Misha Cohen?
Avatar universal
thanks for that info :-) no i was givin my regimen from an herb doc at that ITM site with the oxy article i posted link to earlier today. hey i was wondering if i could email you sometime? i saw your email addy you posted earlier.
Avatar universal
You can indeed.
131817 tn?1209529311
I saw the salad HR eats. It does look like rabbit food! He told me to eat "colorful foods", meaning lots of veggies and fruits. The fat we need with the Riba is a problem though, since we apparently need like 700 calories with the Riba, twice a day. I have a REALLY hard time with that, so I just don't. I do what I can. My diet will have to wait until tx is over.
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