Looking for the best natural remedy for the liver? In this article, find 10 healthy herbal supplements that have been proven to improve liver health.
Many people around the world live with conditions that affect the liver in some way, including cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, liver cancer, liver failure and hepatitis.
Every year, liver disease causes nearly 2 million deaths globally.
Risk factors for liver disease include high alcohol intake, high blood sugar levels, obesity, high blood pressure, viruses, elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and more.
Liver diseases are treated in a number of ways, including medication, nutritional therapy, immunotherapy, lifestyle change, surgical resection and even liver transplantation in the final stages of liver disease.
In addition to standard treatments, many people turn to alternative therapies, such as herbal supplements, in the hope of improving and protecting the health of their liver.
In fact, about 65% of people in Europe with liver diseases take natural herbal remedies.
Check out below for the 10 best natural home remedies that have been shown to improve liver health.
The best herbal remedies for the liver
1. Milk thistle (silymarin)
Silymarin is a plant extract consisting of a group of compounds extracted from the seeds of the Herbaceous plant, better known as Thistle (Silybum marianum), including silbin, silicristine and sildianine.
The burdock plant has been used for more than two millennia to treat the bile ducts and liver, and research shows that it can have protective properties.
It is assumed that silymarin has powerful antioxidant effects and can help stimulate the regeneration of liver cells, reduce inflammation and benefit those who generally suffer from the liver.
For example, some studies have shown that taking a silymarin supplement can help protect against the progression of liver disease, prolong the lives of people with alcoholic cirrhosis, and improve the overall quality of life in people with liver disease.
Nevertheless, some other studies show that silymarin is no more effective than placebo treatment, highlighting the need for additional research.
Nevertheless, silymarin is considered safe and not associated with harmful side effects, even when used in large doses.
Ginseng is a popular herbal remedy known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Numerous studies have shown that ginseng has an antioxidant effect and can help protect against liver injuries caused by viruses, toxins and alcohol. In addition, it can promote the regeneration of liver cells after surgery.
Moreover, some studies have shown that ginseng treatment can improve liver function and reduce fatigue and inflammation in people with liver disease and dysfunction.
For example, a study conducted on 51 men with elevated levels of “alanine transaminase” (ALT), a marker for liver damage, showed that those who took 3 grams of ginseng extract per day for 12 weeks experienced a significant decrease in ALT compared to the placebo group.
Also, levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), another marker for liver damage, decreased significantly.
Although these results are promising, more research is needed to investigate the effects of ginseng on liver health.
When used independently, ginseng is considered to be relatively safe for liver health. However, ginseng can react with other medications, which can lead to liver injury and other potentially dangerous side effects.
3. Green tea
Although technically not a plant, green tea and its main polyphenolic compound “epigallocatechin-3-gallate” (EGCG) are often included in literature that focus on herbal remedies for liver disease.
Some studies have found that the addition of green tea extract may help treat sufferers.
A study of 80 people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) found that adding 500 mg of green tea extract per day for 90 days significantly reduced markers of liver damage ALT and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
Although the placebo group also noted a decrease in AST and ALT levels, they were not significant.
Another 12-week study of 80 people with NAFLD noted that those who took 500 mg of green tea extract per day experienced significant improvements in AST, ALT and inflammatory markers, compared to placebo.
Green tea intake has also been shown to protect against various liver conditions, including liver cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver (liver steatosis) and chronic painest liver.
Although drinking green tea is considered safe for most people, in rare cases, green tea extract supplements have been linked to acute liver injury.
Although chewing sweets often come to mind when you think of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), it is indeed a plant with powerful healing properties.
In scientific studies, it has been shown that licorice root has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and protective effects on the liver.
The main active component in licorice root is the saponin compound “glycyrrhizin”, which is commonly used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat many diseases, including liver diseases.
Some studies have shown that licorice extract treatment can have a beneficial effect for those with certain liver diseases.
A study of 66 people with fatty liver disease found that adding 2 grams of licorice root extract per day for 2 months significantly reduced ALT and AST compared to placebo treatment.
Moreover, some people are more susceptible to licorice, and chronic use of licorice products can result in dangerous side effects, including high blood pressure and low potassium levels in the blood.
Turmeric and its main active component curcumin are associated with a number of impressive health benefits.
It is well documented that turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties, which makes this plant a popular choice for those who suffer from liver.
A study in people with NAFLD showed that daily treatment of 500 mg of curcumin products for 8 weeks significantly reduced liver fat content and AST and ALT levels compared to the placebo group.
Another study in 70 people with NAFLD found that those who added 500 mg of curcumin and 5 mg of piperine per day for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in ALT, AST, LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammatory markers, compared to the placebo group .
Piperine is a compound found in black pepper that enhances the absorption of curcumin.
It was also observed that curcumin treatment significantly improved the condition of NAFLD, compared to the placebo group.
The addition of turmeric and curcumin is generally considered safe. However, some cases of acute liver injury have been reported. However, it is not clear whether these cases are due to contamination of curcumin products or the products themselves.
Although garlic is botanically considered a vegetable, it is a popular component of many herbal remedies. It is equipped with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds, such as allicin, aliin and ajoen, which can help support liver health.
A study of 98 people with NAFLD found that those who took 800 mg of garlic powder daily for 15 weeks experienced significant reductions in ALT, AST, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, compared to the placebo group.
Moreover, 51% of participants in the garlic group showed an improvement in the severity of fat accumulation in the liver, compared to only 16% of the control group.
Another study of over 24,000 adults found that men who consumed raw garlic more than 7 times a week had up to a 29% reduced risk of developing fatty liver disease. Although the intake of raw garlic was inversely related to NAFLD in men, this association was not observed in women.
In addition, the study linked raw garlic intake to a lower risk of liver cancer. Eating raw garlic twice or more per week was associated with a 23% reduced risk of liver cancer, compared to consuming raw garlic less than twice a week.
Although raw garlic is generally considered safe, concentrated garlic supplements can cause liver injury in some.
Ginger root is a popular culinary ingredient and is also often used as a healing treatment for many health conditions, including liver disease.
A 12-week study of 46 people with NAFLD found that the addition of 1,500 mg of ginger powder per day significantly reduced ALT, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood sugar to the test and inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), compared to placebo treatment.
Another study noted similar results. People with NAFLD who added 2 grams of ginger for 12 weeks experienced significant reductions in ALT, GGT, inflammatory markers and fat accumulation in the liver, compared to the placebo group.
Ginger root contains powerful compounds, including gingelers and shogaols, that help inhibit inflammation and protect against cellular damage, which can help with liver health. In addition, ginger can help protect you liver from toxins such as alcohol.
Ginger is generally considered safe, even for those who have liver disease. However, you should always check with your doctor before adding ginger supplements in high doses.
8. Red sage
Red sage or Dan shen is a substance that is often used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is the dry roots of the Plant Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. Studies have shown that danshen can have positive effects on liver health.
Also, studies suggest that danshen may protect against alcohol-related liver disease and promote liver tissue regeneration, while some studies in humans suggest that danshen injections may help treat liver fibrosis when used in conjunction with other herbal remedies.
9. Double-breasted ginkgo
Double-breasted ginkgo or Ginkgo biloba is a popular herbal supplement that has been linked to improved liver health.
For example, a study has shown that ginkgo biloba injections reduce liver fibrosis and improve liver function.
Although ginkgo biloba is associated with mild adverse side effects, it is not particularly associated with liver injuries.
Kozlinac or Astragalus is an edible plant commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It contains medicinal compounds, including saponins, isoflavonoids and polysaccharides, which have powerful therapeutic properties.
It is generally considered safe and not associated with a liver injury. However, it can interact with certain medications.
Studies show that astragalus can help protect against fibrosis and fatty liver caused by a high-fat diet when used alone or in combination with other herbs.
Be careful with herbal remedies
While some herbal treatments can help treat or prevent liver conditions, it’s crucial for anyone who wants to use natural herbal remedies for liver health first talk to a qualified doctor.
This is because many herbal treatments have been shown to be toxic to the liver and dangerous to take, especially for those who seriously suffer from liver or other health conditions.
Moreover, herbal supplements can be contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, drugs and bacteria that can harm your liver.
In addition, many herbs can interact with the usual drugs, which can lead to liver injury.
Although certain herbs may be safe for you to use, many others are not, so you should always check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement.
Certain plants are associated with improved liver health, making them a popular natural remedy for those who suffer from liver, as well as those who want to support the health of their liver.
Although some herbal natural dietary supplements are considered safe and can even treat certain liver diseases, many others can harm liver health.