Ginseng, Licorice Root, and Hepatitis C

People continue to search for natural products to help in their fight against the Hepatitis C virus. This infection, that eventually seriously damages the liver, is seeing more and more people turn to natural treatments. These natural alternatives are to either help with the side effects of the normal hepatitis treatment or sometimes to work on liver repair.

People with Hepatitis C should know that the treatment therapies prescribed by their health care providers are the ones that are best known to show success with eliminating or diminishing the infection. It s not suggested that you stop those to use an alternative therapy.

Licorice Root

Licorice root is one herb that has shown some major benefits to those who have liver disease because of the hepatitis infection. This is because it seems to have both an anti-inflammatory and an antiviral component. For over twenty years the Japanese have used this herb to treat those who have chronic hepatitis.

Their studies showed that the use of licorice root, the active ingredient of which is glycyrrhizin, not only diminishes the effects of the ongoing liver disease but also appears to improve some of the tissue that was already damaged. The studies really show proof of improved liver function. There is even proof that the use of glycyrrhizin may prevent liver cancer in chronic Hepatitis C patients.

Unfortunately despite all this good news, licorice root, and glycyrrhizin, can have some nasty side effects. Prolonged use has been shown to cause, in some patients, high blood pressure, water retention, low potassium, sodium retention, and the upset of the electrolytes levels in the body. All of these are very serious.

So, if you are trying this herb and you notice that you begin to feel tired, have an increased number of headaches, notice swelling in the ankles, feet or hands, all of which are signs that of something going wrong because of the glycyrrhizin intake, stop taking it immediately! Perhaps this is the reason that this herb is not often recommended despite the obvious benefits it also holds. If you choose to try it do so under the watchful eye of your health care provider


Another herb that has a reputation for taking a tough line with disease is ginseng. Studies have shown that it can help improve liver function, and diminish tissue damage to the liver. Italy has studied its use on seniors with liver conditions with an outcome of satisfactory results. But all the American studies so far have only been on animals.

So researchers are still reluctant to make a recommendation on using this herb. There are two types of ginseng, American and Asian. There are also several imposters. You must be cautious when purchasing this herb as consumer studies have shown that many ginseng products for sale often do not even contain any ginseng in them.

Trying herbs in conjunction with your drug therapy is often recommended by those who believe that you must try all alternatives you can to fight this viscous infection.