Liver diseases and herbal drugs:-A review

Signs and symptoms of drug induced hepato -toxicity :

It can be as mild as a change in liver function tests presenting no viable symptoms in the patient, to full blown hepato-toxicity and liver failure. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, the greater enhance of survival for the patient. There is usually an increase in the liver function tests when hepato-

toxicity is present. The problem with this is that many drugs on the market increase

the Aspartate aminotransferase AST and Alanine aminotransferase[ALT] levels in patients, knowing when the increase is substantial enough to have to discontinue the drug is essential. A drug should be discontinued if the ALT levels are elevated more than two times the normal limit while the AST levels

remain within normal limits or slightly elevated. An increase in bilirubin levels will follow the increase in ALT levels as the condition worsens.

Many drugs present the symptoms of rash, fever and an increase in eosinophils in the blood when ALT levels are increased (this happens in about 30% of cases). The symptoms usually occur within 4 weeks of starting a drug and can seize 8 weeks out.

25 Replies

  • Thanks for posting!

  • Good post.

    Just because it's 'herbal' people assume it's natural and harmless - not trusting pharmaceutical company's (often with good reason). Foxglove is a herb - leading to the discovery of the heart drug digitalis, but fool around with it and you're history. If you want another potent hepatotoxin try Ragwort - the horse killer.

    One other notable over the counter herbal remedy is St. Johns Wort to treat depression. Again, fool around with that at your peril if you are taking any other meds:

  • You know MikePollard contarary to west .......Ayurveda has got very long tradition.....

    each and every herb used in Ayurveda is debated for various researchers...

    As it is owing to colder climate herbs are very less in west... plus they never had such long traditions I think freedom of thought was a big hindrance.

    I wish you to read some day charak samhita...(it is available on net-English translation) Plz read the discussions of various Rishis had about cause of various diseases..

    I do agree certain herbs are toxic... but tell me which modern medicine is not toxic?? even so called tonics are also toxic.

    However,I don't go by Bhasmas/oxidized the process which was described in scriptures is hardly followed by present manufacturers.

  • MikePollard

    here is something very interesting for you.....

    European black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) or locally just black nightshade, duscle, garden nightshade, garden huckleberry, hound's berry, petty morel, wonder berry, small-fruited black nightshade, or popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia, and South Africa. Parts of this plant can be toxic to livestock and humans. .....

    ...... Solanine levels in S. nigrum can be toxic. Children have died from poisoning after eating unripe berries.


    ....In India, the berries are casually grown and eaten, but not cultivated for commercial use. In South India, the leaves and berries are routinely consumed as food after cooking with tamarind, onion, and cumin seeds.[16] The berries are referred to as "fragrant tomato". Although not very popular across much of its growing region, the fruit and dish are common in Tamil Nadu (மணத்தக்காளி in Tamil),[17] Kerala, southern Andhra Pradesh, and southern Karnataka.

    In Ethiopia, the ripe berries are picked and eaten by children in normal times, while during famines, all affected people would eat berries. In addition, the leaves are collected by women and children, who cook the leaves in salty water and consume them like any other vegetable. Farmers in the Konso Special Woreda report that because S. nigrum matures before the maize is ready for harvesting, it is used as a food source until their crops are ready.[18] The Welayta people in the nearby Wolayita Zone do not weed out S. nigrum that appears in their gardens since they likewise cook and eat the leaves.[19]

    In Ghana, the unripe green berries are called kwaansusuaa or abedru, and are used in preparing various soups and stews, including the popular palm nut soup commonly eaten with banku or fufu'.[20]

    In South Africa, the very ripe and hand-selected fruit (nastergal in Afrikaans and umsobo in Zulu) is cooked into a beautiful but quite runny purple jam.[21]

    In Greece and Turkey, the leaves are called istifno, and in Crete known as stifno. They are one of the ingredients included in the salad of boiled greens known as horta.[22]

    In Indonesia, the young fruits and leaves of cultivated forms are used and are known as ranti (Javanese) or leunca (Sundanese). The fruit and leaves are eaten raw as part of a traditional salad lalapan, or the fruit is cooked (fried) with oncom.[23]

    It was imported into Australia from Mauritius in the 1850s as a vegetable during the gold rush,[15] but S. nigrum is now prohibited for trade as a food by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.[24]

    S. nigrum is an important ingredient in traditional Indian medicines. Infusions are used in dysentery, stomach complaints, and fever.[31] The juice of the plant is used on ulcers and other skin diseases.[31] The fruits are used as a tonic, laxative, appetite stimulant, and for treating asthma and "excessive thirst".[31] Traditionally the plant was used to treat tuberculosis.[32] It is known as peddakasha pandla koora in the Telangana region. This plant's leaves are used to treat mouth ulcers that happen during winter periods of Tamil Nadu, India. It is known as manathakkali keerai in Tamil Nadu and kaage soppu in Karnataka, and apart from its use as a home remedy for mouth ulcers, is used in cooking like spinach. In North India, the boiled extracts of leaves and berries are also used to alleviate liver-related ailments, including jaundice. In Assam, the juice from its roots is used against asthma and whooping cough.

    Ayurveda knows each and every herb in is discussed and studied in depth...there is procedure decided in preparing herb for medicinal use...even for food...quantity of each herb is also fixed...

    Generally elder lady in house knows all such traditions....and she passes down same to next generation...

    One more example about withania somnifera...(ashwagandha) said herbs grows as road side shrubs in my city....(and in many other places in India)....botanical nomenclature is just withania difference....but if you use that road side is toxic....

    And withania somnifera-nagori....(Nagori town in Madhya Pradesh) is cultivated variety...and the said variety is not toxic and used for medicinal purpose...

    Now some person who is not aware of such difference starts taking Ashwagandha...instead of getting some benefit he will be harmed....

  • Good info cure



    What about influence of diet on liver disease? kindly read

  • Thank you ragivrao

    But I was followingup same earlier....And I was disgnosed with NAFLD....

    Now I am eatinglots of butter....fresh coconut meat.....reduced carbs... And My liver ishealing....

    What to say????

  • Because you stopped overwhelming your liver with the duty of converting excess carbs to fat. Dietary fat not to be confused with Lipogenesis generated fat.

  • i have no comment on your can continue as you say.No problem .

  • hmmm sorry....but thisis what is my is said cause NAFLD is IR....may be this could be reason... as at the time of diagnosis i had IR of about 4...which is now around 1.5

  • cure

    what ever is your diagnosis,it is okay.I am quoting one more link below .you may read it but i have no dispute even if you disagree with this

  • It's all about triglycerides to begin with:

    I keep talking about getting the TG down to 100 or lower and TG is elevated because of carbs/fructose/alcohol. But for NAFLD:

    Why short term. Once liver is back to good health, why start eating High carbs all over again and get back to where one started from.

    Key is -- Get the TG down. It's one of the worst culprits for metabolic syndrome.

  • ragivrao I trust words... 'Vade vade jayate tattvabodhah' (Every debate brings forth understanding of principles)

    So there is no dispute .... further accepting own experience is more valuable than the words written by some one else....

    I like to experiment....and take what is called as 'Prachiti'

    Though knowledge gain by experience is costliest knowledge....

  • The British Liver Trust does not recommend the use ofr herbal remedies for those with any liver problems as these have to be processed by the liver and can actually damage the liver and lead to severe illness.

    More research needs to be done on the use and safety of such remedies and therapies.

  • Hmmm...may be they do not have data to accept the remedies....

    Further we have been using many of these herbs for centuries... out of these few are regular food cinnamon ,kalounjee etc...though we have restriction on usage of same...we can not use then we have set rules to process same with other herb...or cooking process like boil roast etc.

    for example kalunjee/nigella sativa should be always used as roasted..

    You must be aware about Alu chi Bhaji' alu is not potato ....those big leaves..colocasia leaves/arbi ke patte/taro leaves ....

    Very popular among Gujjus... as 'Patra'

    read here

    those has to be processed with tamrind or ambat chuka or else it will give irritation in throat... read here...

    and being Punekar I am sure u must have had this sabji many times in life :)

    so goli maro what British says.... they do not have that many herbs and experience in processing herbs to human benefit.....

  • What ever is the view point on use of condiments in Indian food , understanding and interpreting blood report on SGOT and important since all herbs may not be condiments such as milk thisle etc.,

    Liver is a vital organ plays a major role in metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics from the body. Liver cell injury is generally caused by various toxic chemicals (certain anti-biotic, chemotherapeutic agents, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), thioacetamide (TAA) etc.), excessive alcohol consumption and microbes is well-studied. The available synthetic drugs to treat liver disorders in this condition also cause further damage to the liver

    . SGOT stands for serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase or can also be known as AST for aspartate aminotransferase whereas SGPT stands for serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase or can also be known as ALT for alanine transferase. These two enzymes are highly sensitive markers that are used to determine the liver's ability to function in an efficient and effective manner.

    Normal levels of SGOT is approximately 5 to 40 units per liter of serum whereas normal levels of SGPT is approximately 7 to 56 units per liter of serum. The ranges may differ slightly depending on the technique and protocol that is used and implemented.

    Elevated SGPT levels indicate liver injury, they do not necessarily mean liver damage. For example, muscle damage may also cause elevated levels. Prognosis of a disease cannot be determined from high SGPT levels alone

    Both of these enzymes can be found in the bloodstream when the liver is damaged. As a result, its presence and its level indicate the severity of the amount of damage that the liver has sustained. Both of these enzymes are responsible for catalyzing chemical reactions that involve amino acids within the body. While the presence of both of these enzymes in the bloodstream indicate that the liver is damaged, the liver can still function properly.

    Hepatitis viruses represent such an example. High SGPT levels are present in those with hepatitis A, but most people affected by the disease fully recover. SGPT levels are not significantly elevated in those with hepatitis C, but the condition is chronic.

    High levels of SGPT in the blood may indicate liver problems and damage, but they may also be elevated due to strenuous activity. If you’re concerned about consistently high SGPT levels, the right diet and lifestyle modifications – and medical treatment, if desired – can bring your numbers down to normal.

  • Great.... but what is the point???

    So should we go as per what British says or not???

    Milk thistle is not mentioned anywhere in Ayurveda.... as per Ayurveda for liver Kutki-Kalmegh-Daruharidra-Curcuma amda/curcuma longa etc. are useful.

    However these are not regular herbs...and except curcuma longa/tumeric are not used as spices....

    So it is better to study them and use.

    In order to measure results/harm It will be highly suggested to check SGPT/SGOT levels after and before tretment.

    However, there are many members here who are benefitted with use of Daruharidra/beberine.

    I myself is using Curcuma Amada andLiv 38 by patanjale..which contains Kutki and Kalmegh.,,I will let u know my results when I check next time.

  • i have highlighted what i know.It is upto you to decide what is good .

  • hmmm ragivrao gaveall that information you have... Thank you...

    But as I said... I trust more in 'Prachiti'...the self experience...

    Let me experiment...and I promiseto letuknow the results....

    It I am wrong... I will accept ....

  • Reduction of carbs

    Cutting out sugars totally would do the trick

    Along with some herbal support

  • Good one cure always ...

  • thanx karch where are u now days?? seems busy with some fermentation experiments.... :P

  • :) all fermentation experiments are stopped for now :) job hectic schedule ...

  • hahaha ...ok all the best.....Give your best to your work...

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