Herbal medicine for treatment and prevention of liver diseases

Andrzej Prystupa 2  ,  
Research Students’ Association, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Lublin,Poland
Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Nephrology, Medical University of Lublin.
Institute of Rural Health, Poland
JPCCR 2014;8(2):55–60
The rising number of patients with liver dysfunction due to overwhelming usage of drugs and alcohol has paved the path for researchers in an interest in herbal medicine. This is because there are only a few universally effective and available options for the treatment of common liver diseases, such as cirrhosis, fatty liver and chronic hepatitis. Herbal treatment has been used to alleviate disorders related to liver and other internal organs for many centuries in the eastern world, and have currently become a favourable therapy internationally for pathological liver conditions. In recent years, researchers have used scientific methods to evaluate the effects of plants for the treatment of liver ailments, although in many cases the mechanisms and modes of action of these plants, as well as their therapeutic effectiveness, have not been confirmed. Several hundred plants have been examined to-date, but only a handful has been studied thoroughly. Among these, the current study discusses a compilation of herbal medicines used for liver protection, such as Silymarin (milk thistle), Liv-52, Camellia sinensis (green tea), Glycyrrhizaglabra (licorice) and FuzhengHuayu. The increasing use of herbal medicines reflects their perceived effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of disease, and the belief that these treatments are safe because they are ‘natural’. The presented study evaluates the effects of herbal extracts in the treatment of liver diseases, provides a general understanding of the actions of herbal medicines, a background for understanding the hepato-protectiveness of herbs, and the challenges that are faced by the scientific community in researching thoroughly of each and every compounds of the herbs.
Andrzej Prystupa   
Chair and Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University, Staszica 16, 20-081 Lublin, Poland
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