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 Herbal Medicine: Hepatitis 
 
An inflammatory process in the liver characterized by diffuse or patchyhepatocellular necrosis affecting all acini.

Pathologically this can be due to a range of causes:

  • viruses infection, often extremely contagious
  • bacteria or other micro-organisms
  • parasitic infestation
  • toxic damage due to alcohol or other drugs (both recreational &therapeutic), as well as some plant poisons such as pyrolizadine alkaloids.
The differential diagnosis between viral hepatitis, chronic non-viral hepatitis and alcohol induce liver disease is crucial. However all forms of active hepatitis are characterized by malaise, anorexia, fatigue, sometimes initiated with `flu like symptoms, and often associated with a range of specific signs from vomiting to jaundice.

Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease
Hepatics have a positive effect upon liver metabolism and functioning.
Anti-microbials will be crucial if there is an ineffective basis to the hepatitis. Even if the herbs cannot deal with the specific virus, they will be helpful as surface immune support.
Bitters will contribute there unique brand of whole body toning.
Cholagogues are remedies that have a direct upon the secretion and release of bile, and so might be indicate if jaundice is present.
"Eliminative support" must be given to help the body as a whole deal with the systemic problems caused by the liver dysfunction. Laxatives, diuretics and diaphoretics are the most important ones to consider.
Alteratives/Tonics will support the body as a whole in its healing work.
Lymphatics support the tissue drainage work of this important system.
Nervines may be needed for symptomatic support.

Specific Remedies
As there are a whole constellation of pathologies potentially present, it is problematic to talk of specific herbs. The hepato-regenerative potentials of Chickweed make this the closest to a text book specific. The tonic hepatics are all relevant, and include Dandelion root, Boldo, Fringetree Bark, Black Root & Balmony.

One possible prescription:

Dandelion root 2 parts
Milk Thistle 2 parts
Echinacea . 1 part
Mugwort 1 part
Fringetree Bark 1 part as tincture to 2.5ml three times a day, building up to 5ml three times a day.
The Mugwort has been added as a bitter nervine, but could have been Vervain or other appropriate nervines.
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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
 
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