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A Little Natural Advice

Liver Problems

Acute and chronic hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease are the problems I see most frequently in my practice. Regardless of the cause, liver ailments have a common treatment. Since this organ has great regenerative potential, the goal of therapy should be to eliminate as many stresses on the liver as possible, while encouraging it to heal. If your liver function is abnormal for any reason (usually indicated by elevated liver enzymes in blood test), you should follow these recommendations:

Eat a very low-protein, low-fat diet. Avoid concentrated protein foods at any given meal. You can have lots of starches, vegetables, and fruits.

Strictly avoid alcohol and tobacco.

Try to avoid all drugs, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, legal or illegal. Most drugs are metabolized by the liver.

Avoid all protein and amino acid supplements.

Avoid exposure to chemical fumes and vapors (gasoline, solvents, etc.).

Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.

Take steam baths or saunas frequently, being careful to drink plenty of pure water when you do. Sweating helps the body eliminate toxins and takes some of the workload off the liver.

Drink dandelion-root tea as often as you like. You can find it in health-food stores, and it is good for the liver.

Take extracts of the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum). This herbal remedy is nontoxic, and European research shows that it stimulates regeneration of liver cells and protects them from toxic injury. Most health-food stores stock this product under the names milk thistle, silybum, or silymarin. Take two capsules two or three times a day until liver function returns to normal.

Together with milk thistle, take schizandra berries, the fruits of a Chinese medicinal plant (Schisandra chinenis;). The dried berries look like red peppercorns and have a fruity, peppery taste. You can either eat them whole or, better, make them into a tea. Add two teaspoons of berries to a quart of cold water, bring to the boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer twenty to thirty minutes. Strain and drink throughout the day. Or look for capsules of this herb. Schizandra berries promote healing of the liver, especially with hepatitis and other inflammatory conditions.

Taken from ASK DR. WEIL WEBPAGE; Natural Health, Natural Medicine

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