Hepatitis

An inflammatory process in the liver characterized by diffuse or patchyhepatocellular necrosis affecting all acini.

Pathologically this can be due to a range of causes:

  • viruses infection, often extremely
    contagious
  • bacteria or other micro-organisms
  • parasitic infestation
  • toxic damage due to alcohol or other
    drugs (both recreational &therapeutic), as well as some plant poisons such as pyrolizadine alkaloids.

The differential
diagnosis between viral hepatitis, chronic non-viral hepatitis and alcohol induce liver disease is crucial. However all forms of active hepatitis
are characterized by malaise, anorexia, fatigue, sometimes initiated with `flu like symptoms, and often associated with a range of specific signs
from vomiting to jaundice.

Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease

Hepatics have
a positive effect upon liver metabolism and functioning.

Anti-microbials will be crucial if there is an ineffective
basis to the hepatitis. Even if the herbs cannot deal with the specific virus, they will be helpful as surface immune support.


Bitters
will contribute there unique brand of whole body toning.

Cholagogues are remedies that have a
direct upon the secretion and release of bile, and so might be indicate if jaundice is present.

“Eliminative support”
must be given to help the body as a whole deal with the systemic problems caused by the liver dysfunction. Laxatives, diuretics and
diaphoretics are the most important ones to consider.

Alteratives/Tonics will support the body as a whole in its healing work.

Lymphatics support the tissue drainage work of this important system.

Nervines may be needed for
symptomatic support.

Specific Remedies

As there are a whole constellation of pathologies potentially present, it is
problematic to talk of specific herbs. The hepato-regenerative potentials of Chickweed make this the closest to a text book specific. The
tonic hepatics are all relevant, and include Dandelion root, Boldo, Fringetree Bark, Black Root & Balmony.

One possible
prescription:

Dandelion root 2 parts
Milk Thistle
2 parts
Echinacea . 1 part
Mugwort 1 part
Fringetree Bark
1 part as tincture to 2.5ml three times a day, building up to 5ml three times
a day.

The Mugwort has been added as a bitter nervine, but could have been Vervain or other appropriate nervines.

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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