Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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
  • Ma-huang
  • Germander
  • Valerian
  • Mistletoe
  • Skullcap
  • Chaparral
  • Comfrey
  • Kava
  • 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.

July 15, 2014