No alternative medicine therapies have been proved to treat liver disease. Some studies — notably of Chinese herbal medicine treatments for clearance of hepatitis B virus — have indicated benefits. But the quality of these research studies has been questioned.
On the other hand, some herbal supplements used as alternative medicine treatments can harm your liver. More than a thousand medications and herbal products have been associated with liver damage, including:
- Jin bu huan
- Pennyroyal oil
To protect your liver, it's important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks before you take any complementary or alternative medicines.
Jul. 15, 2014
- Curry MP, et al. Hepatomegaly: Differential diagnosis and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. When should cirrhosis be suspected? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Friedman LS. Approach to the patient with abnormal liver biochemical and function tests. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Woreta TA, et al. Evaluation of abnormal liver tests. Medical Clinics of North America. 2014;98:1.
- AskMayoExpert. What is magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and what are the indications for an MRE examination? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Larson AM. Hepatotoxicity due to herbal medications and dietary supplements. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Viral hepatitis: A through E and beyond. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/viralhepatitis/index.aspx. Accessed March 25, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.