Hepatitis C is primarily spread by contact with blood. In the past it was transmitted by blood transfusions, but that is rare today because our blood supply is screened for the virus antibodies. Today it is spread by sharing needles, and less commonly, from contaminated needles used in tattooing and body piercing. In rare cases, hepatitis c may be transmitted sexually or through childbirth. Hepatitis C is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease. About large percentage of people who have acute hepatitis c go on to develop chronic hepatitis.
Paul Bergner describes 4 cases of patients with chronic hepatitis C successfully treated. All were given Milk Thistle, and prescribed an alternative tea: equal parts, Burdock, Dandelion, Barberry, Liquorice, Cinnamon and Fennel. Chologogue action is important in chronic liver disease. Not used in acute inflammation. All patients felt better within 2 weeks, and had liver function tests at 3-monthly intervals, showing a gradual decline in elevated values until normal or almost so. All patients became symptom-free. (Medical Herbalism, Vol 6, No 4)
Risk Factors for Hepatitis C:
- Health care worker who has been exposed to infected blood.
- Having an organ transplant before 1992.
- Sharing needles.
- Receiving clotting-factor concentrates before 1987 or have the clotting disease hemophilia and received blood before 1992.
- Receiving hemodialysis for kidney failure.
Hepatitis C Prevention
To avoid contracting any of the hepatitis viruses:
- Don’t share needles or other drug paraphernalia. Contaminated drug paraphernalia is responsible for more than half of all new hepatitis C cases.
- Practise safe sex. Use condoms and ask your partner whether he or she has any of the viruses or has been tested.
- Avoid body piercing and tattooing or if you do undergo piercing or tattooing, be absolutely certain the equipment is sterile.
Herbs for Hepatitis C
Lobelia (Lobelia spp.): Lobelia is helpful in meningitis, hepatitis, peritonitis, nephritis, etc. (Malstrom:94). Used in very small doses, frequently given it can increase perspiration, being a diaphoretic, after which a long sleep of ten to twelve hours often follows. When the patient awakes, he is either cured of his illness or feels greatly improved (Thomson: 138). [NL 6-9&10]
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis): There are reports that schisandra lowered serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) levels in 87– 98% of 5,000 cases of hepatitis. Patients with kidney and/or liver problems such as chronic renal failure, mildly elevated liver enzymes, hepatitis, cirrhosis.
Bartram encyclopedia of Herbology by Thomas Bartram
The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Sherry Torkos, B.Sc. Phm.