Your body’s prime detoxifying organ, the liver constantly filters blood to strip away any chemicals or toxins that enter the bloodstream. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and can cause heavy damage to this crucial organ, which can lead to fibrosis (scarring of the liver) and cirrhosis (chronic liver failure).

Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world, but other infections, toxic substances (such as alcohol and certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also trigger it.

Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Acute infection may occur with limited or no symptoms, or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.[13]

However, there are several natural herbs that can be beneficial in managing hepatitis and protecting the liver.  In keeping with this year’s theme of #preventhepatitis on #WorldHepatitisDay (July 28), here are four home remedies that support the liver and keep the immune system healthy.

1) Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms are beneficial in treating hepatitis, especially in people who have an impaired liver function.[1] In a study, in which 355 people with hepatitis B were treated with reishi mushrooms, 92.4 percent had positive results and improved liver function.[2]As a general tonic and immune modulator, reishi mushroom helps balance the immune system (fights autoimmune disorders), improves liver functioning and blood circulation.
How To Take It: Boil 2tsp dried mushrooms in a cup of water. Simmer for two to three minutes and drink once cool. You can also sprinkle powdered mushroom over your soups. Click here to buy the capsules and liquid extract online.

2) Milk Thistle
A renowned liver tonic, milk thistle prevents liver damage resulting from hepatitis. Rich in silymarin, a group of bioactive ingredients that protect the outer membrane of liver cells, it stops toxins from entering the cells.

Silymarin also has strong antioxidant properties that reduce damage to liver cells caused by overuse of prescription drugs. It stimulates protein synthesis in the cells that repair and regenerate the liver. It can also offer protection from hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol damage and pollutants.[3,4,5]
How To Take It: Take a capsule of milk thistle extract twice daily to obtain relief from hepatitis. You can buy it here.

3) Licorice
Glycyrrhizin in licorice prevents the hepatitis B virus from binding to liver cells and also inhibits the growth of the hepatitis A virus. Physicians in Japan have been using licorice for the treatment of hepatitis B for several years. Licorice also boosts the functioning of the liver and protects it from damage resulting from chemotherapy.[6,7,8] When administered in low doses, it stimulates the liver to manufacture cholesterol and excrete it in bile.
How To Take It: Steep a tea bag of licorice in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drink this tea twice daily to find relief. You can buy licorice tea bags here.

4) Black Seed Oil
An exceptional herb for improving immunity, black seed improves liver functioning and corrects other digestive problems. Black seed oil contains thymoquinone—a compound packed with anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in fighting the hepatitis infection. Its efficacy is backed by 3,000 years of folklore and the burgeoning amount of scientific data further supports its renowned healing properties.[9,10,11,12]
How To Take It: Have a teaspoon of black seed oil once daily to curtail hepatitis infection.

Source: Shutterstock

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

Read More:
All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Liver Healthy
#PreventHepatitis: Here’s How You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Viral Hepatitis
6 Herbs Your Liver Will Love
Keep Your Liver Healthy With These 5 Natural Remedies
Hepatitis Vaccines: What You Need To Know
Is Hepatitis An STD?
Prevent Hepatitis The Yoga Way

1. Chang & But, 1986

2. Van et al, 1987

3. Saller R, Meier R, Brignoli R. The use of silymarin in the treatment of liver diseases. Drugs. 2001;61(14):2035-63. Review. PubMed PMID: 11735632.

4. Wagoner J, Negash A, Kane OJ, Martinez LE, Nahmias Y, Bourne N, Owen DM, Grove J, Brimacombe C, McKeating JA, Pécheur EI, Graf TN, Oberlies NH, Lohmann V, Cao F, Tavis JE, Polyak SJ. Multiple effects of silymarin on the hepatitis C virus lifecycle. Hepatology. 2010 Jun;51(6):1912-21. doi: 10.1002/hep.23587. PubMed PMID: 20512985; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2909978.

5. Seeff LB, Curto TM, Szabo G, Everson GT, Bonkovsky HL, Dienstag JL, Shiffman ML, et al. Herbal product use by persons enrolled in the hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) Trial. Hepatology. 2008;47:605–612.

6. Matsumoto Y, Matsuura T, Aoyagi H, Matsuda M, Hmwe SS, Date T, Watanabe N, Watashi K, Suzuki R, Ichinose S, Wake K, Suzuki T, Miyamura T, Wakita T, Aizaki H. Antiviral activity of glycyrrhizin against hepatitis C virus in vitro. PLoS
One. 2013 Jul 18;8(7):e68992. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068992. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23874843; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3715454.

7. Ashfaq UA, Masoud MS, Nawaz Z, Riazuddin S. Glycyrrhizin as antiviral agent against Hepatitis C Virus. J Transl Med. 2011 Jul 18;9:112. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-9-112. PubMed PMID: 21762538; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3169469.

8. Sato H, Goto W, Yamamura J, Kurokawa M, Kageyama S, Takahara T, Watanabe A, Shiraki K. Therapeutic basis of glycyrrhizin on chronic hepatitis B. Antiviral Res. 1996 May;30(2-3):171-7. PubMed PMID: 8783808.

9. Padhye S, Banerjee S, Ahmad A, Mohammad R, Sarkar FH. From here to eternity – the secret of Pharaohs: Therapeutic potential of black cumin seeds and beyond. Cancer therapy. 2008;6(b):495-510.

10. Barakat EMF, El Wakeel LM, Hagag RS. Effects of Nigella sativa on outcome of hepatitis C in Egypt. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2013;19(16):2529-2536. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i16.2529.

11. Hassan AS, Ahmed JH, Al-Haroon SS. A study of the effect of Nigella sativa (Black seeds) in isoniazid (INH)-induced hepatotoxicity in rabbits. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2012;44(6):678-682. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.103239.

12. Hamed MA, El-Rigal NS, Ali SA. Effects of black seed oil on resolution of hepato-renal toxicity induced bybromobenzene in rats. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Mar;17(5):569-81. PubMed PMID: 23543440.

13. World Health Organisation