Hepatitis A causes an inflammation of the liver. It is caused by Hepatitis A virus. The disease is highly contagious and mainly spread after consuming the food or water contaminated by the stool of an infected person. It is also spread by fruits and vegetables contaminated during handling, and by eating raw shellfish harvested from a contaminated water source.
The virus doesn’t cause any long-term complications and the disease is curable in most of the cases; except very rare ones where a liver transplant might be required. The symptoms are yellow eyes, skin, and urine, pain in the abdomen, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, and diarrhea. The treatment is usually symptomatic and the doctor keeps a check on the liver function.
Natural supplements strengthen the liver and support the immune system. It is, however, important to check with your doctor on the consumption and dosage of the supplements you are planning to take. Mentioned below are the same.
Natural Remedies For Hepatitis A
1. Milk Thistle
The seed of milk thistle is used as an effective remedy for Hepatitis A. The active ingredient, Silymarin, in the seed, inhibits the inflammation of the liver. It also prevents the toxins from entering the cells of the body. The antioxidant properties present in this ingredient avoids any damage the free radicals could cause to the liver.
It is available in tincture as well as tablet forms. The dosage varies from 70–200 mg depending on the severity.
2. Uncaria Gambier
Catechin, a flavonoid present in the plant Uncaria gambier is a therapeutic nutritional supplement. As flavonoids are antioxidants, the anti-inflammatory properties they impart prevent any damage caused to the liver due to the HAV virus.
3. Indian Mulberry
Indian mulberry herb is mainly found in tropical geographies. The extracts, however, are available across the world. The therapeutic properties of this herb are beneficial in treating various ailments from malaria to skin parasites, and hepatitis is one of them. The active phytochemicals work by protecting the liver from any damage caused by the virus.
4. Golden Shower
Golden shower is a traditional herb used in Ayurveda to treat various disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract. Studies show that this herb has hepatoprotective (liver protecting) properties, which can potentially reduce the liver damage caused due to Hepatitis A virus.
Popularly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in southeast Asian cuisines, turmeric is a wonder herb. Its therapeutic benefits range from treating cough to managing cancer. The antiviral properties present in turmeric kill the virus, thereby stopping the further damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to remove toxins out of the body.
It can be used either as a part of the food as a spice or in the form of capsules which are commercially available.
Apart from the natural supplements, Hepatitis A disease can be managed well by making minor lifestyle tweaks.
Lifestyle Changes To Manage Hepatitis A
- Make sure your diet contains fresh fruit and vegetable juices, lesser fat, low glycemic index carbohydrates, and minimal amounts of proteins.
- Keep yourself sufficiently hydrated. Having ORS often is also suggested. This doesn’t just maintain the lost fluid balance but also regains the lost electrolytes.
- Mild physical activity like jogging, milder forms of yoga, and meditation help in faster recovery.
- Washing your hands after using the toilet is the first tweak to be incorporated. As the virus is mainly spread through contamination by stools, maintaining good sanitation can prevent the chances of spreading the virus.
- The virus is also spread through sexual contact. Avoiding intercourse during this time is strongly recommended as even condoms fail to give 100% protection.
- If your infection is active, do not cook a meal for others. There are higher chances that you might contaminate the food.
The disease is not severe in most of the cases and with proper management and treatment, you can get back to daily chores within a week or two. It is important to consult with your doctor about any herbal medications you are planning to take, in order to avoid complications.