No complementary or alternative medicine treatments have proved helpful in preventing or treating hepatitis C infection.
One herb that continues to attract attention for its touted liver-health properties is milk thistle. Proponents of milk thistle recommend the herb to treat jaundice and other liver disorders. People take milk thistle as a capsule, extract or infusion.
A clinical trial by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found milk thistle was no better than a placebo at lowering liver enzyme levels in people with hepatitis C.
If you're interested in trying milk thistle, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
Aug. 13, 2013
- Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed June 14, 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed June 14, 2013.
- Diagnosis, management and treatment of hepatitis C: An update. Alexandria, Va.: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. http://www.aasld.org/practiceguidelines/Pages/guidelinelisting.aspx. Accessed June 13, 2013.
- Hepatitis C FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/C/cFAQ.htm. Accessed June 13, 2013.
- CAM and hepatitis C: A focus on herbal supplements. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/hepatitisc/hepatitiscfacts.htm. Accessed June 13, 2013.
- An update on treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus infection: 2011 practice guideline by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Alexandria, Va.: American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. http://www.aasld.org/practiceguidelines/Pages/guidelinelisting.aspx. Accessed June 13, 2013
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Recommendations for the identification of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among persons born during 1945-1965. MMWR. 2012;61:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6104a1.htm?s_cid=rr6104a1_w. Accessed June 17, 2013.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. June 30, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.