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Hepatitis C Alternative Treatments

Experts lay out the pros and cons of herbal remedies and other treatments for hepatitis C.

Complementary and Alternative Options for Hepatitis C continued...

St. John's wort has gained popularity for treating mild to moderate depression. Some patients with hepatitis C take the herbal remedy to counter the side effects of conventional treatment, but there is no evidence that it works.

Lactoferrin is a protein found in milk, as well as in the tears and saliva. A few small studies have found that when it is taken as part of a dietary supplement, lactoferrin may lower levels of the hepatitis C virus in the blood and improve liver function. It may be useful when taken together with standard medication, but this remains to be seen in future trials.

Other hepatitis C treatments include massage, acupuncture, and relaxation therapy. Although none of these treatments has been shown in scientific studies to work, there is anecdotal evidence that they may help relieve hepatitis C pain and ease some of the side effects of standard treatment.

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Reviewed on September 11, 2011

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