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Do Home Remedies for Hepatitis C Work?

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. February 28, 2011

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Determining if home remedies for Hepatitis C actually work depends on which remedies are being used and what the treatment goal is.

Natural approaches to fight the Hepatitis C virus are gaining more and more attention, especially as the rising cost of healthcare collides with the significant number of non-responders to antiviral treatment. In fact, many alternative healing methods have valid scientific evidence substantiating their claims to help those with Hepatitis C. As anyone who has dabbled in complementary healthcare can attest, some do-it-yourself remedies are better than others. Regardless of what approach is considered, anyone wondering if home methods for Hepatitis C work must first understand the difference between elimination of the Hepatitis C virus and helping the liver cope with this virus.

The currently approved Hepatitis C treatment can successfully treat hepatitis; however, success is only achieved in about half of Americans with the virus. To date, no form of alternative medicine has been proven to successfully treat Hepatitis C. Despite this fact, many home remedies and natural substances have been found to offer other important benefits to those with chronic Hepatitis C.

Curing vs. Helping

The current standard treatment for Hepatitis C consists of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, a combination that yields a sustained viral response in approximately half of those who are eligible for this treatment. According to Schering Corporation, a sustained viral response is the inability to detect Hepatitis C genetic material for at least six months after Hepatitis C therapy is completed. A sustained viral response is:

  • the best measure currently available for evaluating the elimination of Hepatitis C
  • considered the same as a cure by many physicians, although some are wary of proclaiming someone can be cured of Hepatitis C

Doubtfulness exists, because there is no way to be sure that a sustained viral response is permanent. Hepatitis C tests examine the blood for viral particles, but they are not yet sophisticated enough to test for this virus in other organs, the lymphatic system or other parts of the body where the virus is believed to hide. Thus, it is difficult to know if Hepatitis C is truly eradicated or if a microscopic virion has found a good hiding place.

The pharmaceutical industry is heavily invested in its attempts to completely eliminate the Hepatitis C virus from someone’s body. However, therapeutic actions falling outside of Western medicine function differently. In general, these alternative methods are aimed at helping people manage chronic Hepatitis C, not viral elimination. Most home remedies for Hepatitis C attempt to:

  • strengthen the liver’s ability to battle Hepatitis C
  • reduce the damage this virus can do to the liver
  • assist the liver with its functions
  • ease symptoms of liver inflammation or damage

Top Helpful Home Remedies

While remedies that don’t require a doctor’s prescription may not deliver a sustained viral response, they can be extremely helpful to anyone living with chronic Hepatitis C. Based on safety profiles, clinical studies and empirical data, the following three home remedies are widely regarded as some of the best for Hepatitis C:

  1. Castor Oil Packs – Despite their potential for making a mess, applying a castor oil pack over the liver area can help reduce inflammation, activate immune cells, ease pain and facilitate detoxification.
  2. Supplement With Milk Thistle – The most highly regarded herb for supporting the liver, milk thistle offers benefits to someone with Hepatitis C, such as strengthening liver cell walls – which prevents liver cell damage and inflammation while also promoting new, healthy liver cell growth.
  3. Take N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) – An amino acid that metabolizes to glutathione, the body’s most potent antioxidant, NAC helps neutralize toxins. This function supports the liver’s role of detoxification, reducing toxin-induced liver damage. In addition, NAC appears to improve the likelihood of achieving sustained viral response during Hepatitis C antiviral treatment.

Assessing whether or not home remedies work for Hepatitis C depends on your goal. If the desire is to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus then, no, home remedies do not work. However, if the desire is to help minimize the damage Hepatitis C can cause then, yes, certain home remedies – such as castor oil packs, milk thistle and NAC – are worth the extra effort.

References:, Is There a Natural Hepatitis C Cure?, Cathy Wong, Retrieved November 23, 2010,, 2010., Alternative Treatment for Hepatitis C, Retrieved November 23, 2010,, LLC, 2010., Hepatitis C: Curable or Incurable Disease?, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved November 26, 2010, Natural Wellness, 2010., The Top Three Alternative Treatments for Hepatitis C, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved November 27, 2010, Natural Wellness, 2010., Lifestyle and home remedies, Retrieved November 23, 2010, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2010., Hepatitis C Alternative Treatments, Stephanie Watson, Retrieved November 23, 2010, WebMD, LLC, 2010.



Hepatitis Awareness: 10 Liver Cancer Risks

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Hepatitis B and C Research Awarded Funds in Asia

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Comments provides information regarding hepatitis and liver disease. Comments are available to the community in order to discuss these topics and obtain answers to questions through community members. The Editors at will not be responding to questions or comments posed in article comments.

  • Ms kitty ryan

    i have hepatitis c with grade 2 fibrosis… the castor oil packs are just applied on the outer skin area?

    • Loripdx

      I use organic castor oil over my entire belly and lift up my t-shirt to apply a hot water bottle directly to the skin. I used to put a heating pad on top of the t-shirt, but it’s too easy to fall asleep with it on and that’s dangerous.

  • reg

    Has anyone heard of using Food grade Hydrgen Peroxide with crocadile peptide as a remedie?

  • Sharon Turtle

    Is it common to get heptic cysts when you have hepatitis c 2?

  • Geo

    Is chocolate harmful to Hepatitis C carriers.

    • ChristieRobinson

      Never heard that one…..I’m curious to know.

  • mike

    I’ve been taking milk thistle an iron tabs for about 7 months now, my energy seems to be much improved.I haven’t herd about the caster oil till now.not much gutt pain at this time.Gonna give it a try anyhow,Thanks for the info.Its been a scarry road.

    • carol

      you should not be taking Iron. Hepatitis C causes your liver to not be able to process the iron so it builds up in your joints, heart, and other organs, and it can be fatal.Also the virus multiplies faster in iron rich blood.

  • I n
    i noticed almost all the people i know with liver problems from Hep c start meds and get real sick real fast and need a transplant. From what i see meds distroy your liver a lot faster then not taking them. [email protected]

  • geranimo1028

    we all have a different make up, but the same disease hepc, we just dont know what works and what dont work for each other, i believe there is a way to rid hepc, but i feel that the pharmaceutical wont let the public know. only a chosen few will be able to buy the drugs. i am sure that we all should be taking vitamins, excercising, etc. we dont have die so early from liver dieases, i know we need to fine turn our life to live better.

  • geranimo1028

    this is sound rather scary and dangerous at the same time. sorry but i dont think i would go that route, like you are proposing here.

  • ahmed

    I deeply appreciate if you let me know the max. dose of milk thistle for hepatitis c. now I use 840 mg./day silymarin .pl. your advice.
    best regards for you all.

    • John

      I take 360mg tid (1080mg total/day). Take care & Good Luck!

  • Big Al

    I would hope more people would post and share their wisdom. I am 55yrs old today, and got infected at 20yrs old. Living with this for 35 yrs. I’ve taken Milk thistle and Selenium for over 15 yrs. Also B-6 B-12 and vitamins D and C.So far I’ve beat the odds..Had a liver biopsy and test showed minor scares, the physician told me that, he doesn’t recommend any other treatments because the liver functions are pretty good. Lots of water, and no alcohol helps.
    Good luck and Gods blessing.
    Big Al

  • Evelin Sabina

    I was told I had hepatitis C, and was so devastated. What I finded out is, if there is treatment out there with 96 to 100 percent cure rate. I wasn’t talking about a temporary treat to the disease, but a permanent cure. It was very sure and guaranteed with natural treatment pulling for me, I was able to get the herbal medicines which I used to eliminate hepatitis c, wow! So, there is a medicine out there, yes! It’s natural herbal medicine from Dr galiga herbal clinic It work perfectly and 100% cure, I have a very concrete sure that herbal treatment is the best treatment for hepatitis c. I have been taking it for about 2 weeks now and looking perfectly grate. Don’t give up, to any and all of your fighting this horrible disease. I dropped this email kindly contact the herbalist through his email address. [email protected]