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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

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Herbs and Hepatitis C

The liver is the largest organ in the body, occupying the entire upper right side of the abdomen. Hepatitis C virus is a small, enveloped, single stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae, which mutates rapidly. Changes in the envelope protein may help it to evade the immune system. Many people with chronic Hepatitis C have no symptoms of liver disease. If symptoms are present, they are usually mild, nonspecific, and intermittent. When cirrhosis develops symptoms and signs are more prominent.

Ninety percent of chronic hepatitis sufferers in Japan are taking herbal preparation, some 1.5 million people. Using herbs to treat Hepatitis C in the United States is still unknown. Studies have shown that herbal formulas strengthens the immune system, reduces viral loads, and can stop the progression of chronic viral hepatitis into serious liver damage, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. There are reports describing hepatitis in the literature of traditional Chinese medicine going back thousands of years. This problem was first reported between 300 BC and 300 AD. During the American Civil War 70,000 soldiers had infectious hepatitis.

According to the Hepatitis Foundation International, Hepatitis B and C viruses have infected 520 million people worldwide. Other viruses can activate sleeping hepatitis viruses lying dormant in liver cells. Hepatitis can also be chemically induced. Once infected any number of factors may set off a dormant hepatitis virus, such as a drinking binge, exposure to toxic chemicals, over the counter pharmaceuticals, stress, and a depleted immune system. A trans-activation, caused by another virus such as Epstein Barr, is also how a dormant virus in the liver can become activated.

The conventional medical establishment is successful in fighting bacteria infections with antibiotics. But, viruses are very different from bacteria. Bacteria are independent living things and can reproduce without the host participation. Using antibiotics to kill them does not greatly harm the host. Viruses, on the other hand, are dependent living things. They become part of the host they infect. Their replication requires the host participation. Using drugs to interfere with their replication will eventually harm the host.


Conventional medicine reduces a complicated disease like Hepatitis C to a virus, and then they focus therapy solely on eradicating the virus. In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees viral hepatitis as a complicated disease that progresses to immune dysfunction, liver damage, bile retention, fibrosis, and portal vein hypertension. Sometimes these factors have deeper and more profound effect on the disease development than the virus. Traditional Chinese Medicine also looks at the body in balance and within that balance a body can fight pathogens more effectively.

So, in treating chronic viral hepatitis, the most important task is to restore normal liver function and the overall health of the patient. With the aid of herbal remedies, a healthier body can coexist with the Hepatitis C Virus and eventually eradicate it.

Using Traditional Chinese Medicine, a course of treatment takes about 18 months. During this 18 months my goal is to use herbal remedies to strengthen immune function, repair and heal damage caused by liver inflammation, suppress viral replication, suppress auto immune reactions, improve liver microcirculation, increase bile secretion and improve quality of life. When this is accomplished liver function tests will show improvement, and liver area pain, fatigue, upper abdominal discomfort, skin rashes, diabetes, nausea and loose stools will be gone.

There are seven different types of Hepatitis.

  1. Hepatitis A - once known as infectious hepatitis, it is short term and self-limiting. It is the least dangerous of the hepatitis viruses, with an incubation period of 2 - 6 weeks. It is spread by direct contact from an infected person or through fecal infected food or water. It can be stopped with an injection of gamma globulin.


  2. Hepatitis B - is more serious and like Hepatitis C is known as the silent killer. It was clinically distinguished from hepatitis A in the 1930's, and has an incubation period of 6 weeks to 6 months. There is a vaccination for Hepatitis B. It is classified as a venereal disease, it can be passed by seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, contaminated blood, and blood products, using an infected needle or even toothbrush, body piercing, dental work or childbirth. Before routine testing of the US blood supply in the 1990's Hepatitis B infected and killed thousands of people. It is 100 times more infectious than HIV, and every year 5,000 Americans die from cirrhosis and 1,000 from liver cancer caused by Hepatitis B.
  3. Hepatitis C - is transmitted through tainted blood, sharing of needles, personal care items, or transplant of infected tissue. It is not easily spread through sex. It is responsible for up to 4 million infections nationwide with 30,000 new cases and 8,000 - 10,000 deaths reported each year. Hepatitis C infection is expected to triple in the next 10 to 20 years. It is expected that 75% of those infected will be infected for life. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), between 20% and 50% will go on to develop cirrhosis, and 20% will develop cancer.
  4. Hepatitis C is called the hidden epidemic because it can go undetected for many years. When symptoms do appear, often the damage is already done. Early detection is very important.
  5. Hepatitis D - only thrives in the presence of Hepatitis B, worsening its symptoms. It survives and thrives off the Hepatitis B virus coating material.
  6. Hepatitis E is rare in the United States, confined to tropical areas after flooding, producing similar symptom pattern to Hepatitis A.
  7. Hepatitis F is very rare, it is passed from primates to humans.
  8. Hepatitis G is mild and does not commonly cause serious liver damage, yet it accounts for 9% of all hepatitis infections.

Hepatitis B and C are the most serous of the hepatitis viruses.

If you have any questions or comments please email me at,

Roberta Costisick