(NaturalNews) There are approximately 180 million people worldwide that are infected with hepatitis C. Of those with access to conventional treatment approximately 20 to 50 percent do not respond to therapy. The likelihood of responding to treatment is largely determined by the genotype of the virus. Genotype 1 is the most common in the United States and it is also one of the most difficult to treat. The current standard of care for treatment of hepatitis C is interferon injections combined with ribavirin pills. There can be many side effects including flu-like symptoms, nausea, depression, injection site reactions, anemia, fatigue, headache and skin rash. There are a number of natural remedies that are helpful and their 'side effects' include things such as increased feelings of well being, better digestion and more energy.
Garlic is a tasty antiviral
Garlic improves the liver's ability to metabolize and neutralize carcinogens. The sulfur compounds in garlic - the most well known is Allicin - promote the body's detoxifying activities. Laboratory studies have shown garlic to be antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Garlic is helpful both raw and cooked but the most effective for viral control comes from eating it raw. Add it to baked potatoes, sandwiches, salads and fermented vegetables. Pesto is a common and delicious way to eat more garlic.
Turmeric tames inflammation
Turmeric is an antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antibacterial, and immune system stimulant. It also promotes production and flow of bile, protects against liver damage, reduces cholesterol and relieves arthritis. Turmeric is widely available as a dietary supplement as capsules or tinctures but it is most economical to buy the spice. Some stores have a bulk bin section for spices and this is the most cost effective option. One teaspoon is a good serving size which can be blended into into smoothies or simply stirred into a glass of water. Curry is a delicious way to add more turmeric into your diet.
Licorice supports digestive and immune systems
Licorice is an immune system stimulator, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-tumor, and anti-ulcer. Licorice has a long history of use for coughs, colds and ulcers. Scientific studies have reported licorice as a modulator of the immune system. If the immune system is overactive, licorice calms it down; if it's under active licorice pumps it up. It increases the number and aggressiveness of white blood cells, stimulates interferon production, and enhances antibody formation. Licorice has a sweet taste well-loved by some people. It can be used as a tincture, powder, tea, or capsule. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated) licorice is available as a tasty chewable tablet.
Castor oil improves lymphatic circulation
Castor Oil increases circulation, improves lymphatic flow and increases lymphocyte production and activity. A castor oil pack over the liver is effective for reducing inflammation, and relief of pain. It also relieves chronic fluid retention, and congestion in the gallbladder and liver. Castor oil can be effective in preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds. For a castor oil pack use a cotton or wool flannel cloth folded in several layers and a good quality, cold-pressed oil. Saturate the cloth in oil and apply it to the skin. Put plastic over the pack to keep the oil from dripping, then wrap an old towel around the pack for more protection. A hot water bottle placed over the pack will increases the effectiveness of the treatment. It can be left in place as long as all night. Because of the antimicrobial properties of the oil the same pack can be used over again many times before discarding.
Sources for this article include:
Herbs for Hepatitis C and the Liver by Stephen Harrod Buhner, 2000 Storey Books