Q: Grandma, do you have any home remedy for hepatitis C? I know it’s a viral infection and all I need are suggestions to contain it. There are young members in our home that can get infected. Also, how do I minimize this sickness from getting any worse?
A: Dear V, as you may already know, the virus causing Hepatitis C (HCV) brings about an irreversible damage to the liver. What is more, the virus may be easily transmitted to others through sharing of drug paraphernalia (needles, pipes, straws, cookers, tourniquets, etc.). Other modes of transmission include body piercings, tattooing, and acupuncture. Sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail files is likewise a possible transmission route.
To this day, there is no immunization against Hepatitis C. But, the good news is, Hepatitis can be cured with treatment and managed at home using simple lifestyle modifications and some herbs. Of course, treatment requires the help of a medical professional. But, if you’re looking for simple yet effective home remedies for Hepatitis C, Grandma suggests giving the following a try:
HOME REMEDIES FOR HEPATITIS C
1. Healthy diet – Remember, the liver is responsible for processing and detoxifying everything that you eat and drink. A diet that is low in fat and sodium, has adequate protein, and high in complex carbohydrates help decrease the workload of the liver. In addition, eating organic fruits and vegetables helps avoid the consumption of pesticides and fertilizers that may further damage the liver.
2. Avoid alcohol – Several studies have shown that alcohol can speed up the progression of Hepatitis C. Check food labels before eating or drinking and steer clear from those that contain alcohol. 
3. Avoid self-medication – Certain drugs and herbal medicines have been shown to harm the liver. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter or herbal medicine.
4. Control stress – Many patients with Hepatitis C report flare-ups following episodes of stress, which is why many experts believe that controlling stress is essential in the management of the condition. To reduce stress, try to engage in exercise, meditation, and recreational activities, among others.
5. Manage fatigue – Easy fatigability is very common in people with Hepatitis C. But, this can be avoided with proper time management. When planning activities and household chores, allow time in between for relaxation (for example, naps). 
6. Milk thistle – Among the potentially helpful herbs for Hepatitis C, milk thistle is perhaps the most popular. Milk thistle contains the flavonoid silymarin, an antioxidant which has been shown to prevent free radicals from damaging the liver. Studies also show that it aids in the production of new liver cells and prevents the formation of harmful leukotrienes. 
7. Ginger – If you are currently on pegylated interferon and ribavirin (which are known to cause nausea and poor drug adherence in most patients), including ginger in the diet can help reduce episodes of nausea and ultimately increase your compliance to drug therapy. 
8. Licorice root – Licorice root, which is available in capsules and liquid extracts, contains glycyrrhizin, a substance which has been found to reduce the long-term complications of Hepatitis C. But, just like other herbs, licorice can interact with certain medications. As a general guideline, do not take any herbal medicine without first consulting the doctor.