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 Herbs for Acetaminophen Overdose 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Finding a Healthy Balance: Insights into Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine by . View all columns in series
Did you know that Acetaminophen toxicity is the most common cause for Liver Transplant in this country?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever present in many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. It is broken down, or metabolized, in the body into byproducts - one of which can be very toxic to the liver. At normal, therapeutic levels, this byproduct is easily deactivated when it binds to a naturally occurring, protective molecule called glutathione. But the body's glutathione stores are finite, and are quickly depleted when the recommended doses of acetaminophen are exceeded.

Unfortunately, the prevalence of acetaminophen makes it easy to accidentally exceed the recommended levels, which can occur by dosing more frequently than indicated or by combining two or more acetaminophen-containing products. However, severe liver damage can occur at even two to three times the recommended dose (the maximum adult dose is 4 grams per day; toxic daily levels range from 7 to 10 grams). Medical News Today

A study from Stanford University School of Medicine shows results for an herbal derivative S-methylmethionine in preventing this liver damage. S-methylmethionine is found in many herbs and flowering plants.

The best known of the herbs for protecting the liver is Milk Thistle. Many studies have shown it as an antidote for chemical poisoning and even that from Amanita phalloides Death Cap mushrooms. It is also very effective in reducing the side-effects of alcohol indulgence. This is a supplement I include in my daily herb regimen at a low dose. It is good preventative medicine.

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 About The Author
Byron Russell, recently named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the top 3 acupuncturists in the Bay Area, is an acupuncturist licensed to practice in California, as well as being a nationally certified diplomate......moreByron Russell LAc
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