Cirrhosis refers to a group of chronic liver diseases
that cause abnormal changes in the interstitial cells
of the liver, in turn causing hardening and inflammation
of the liver itself. As a result of cirrhosis, the liver
becomes damaged and cannot perform its many functions,
such as storage and filtering of blood, production of
bile (which helps digest fat and fat-soluble vitamins),
production of bilirubin (which gives stool its color),
and many metabolic actions like the production of sugar
into glycogen (the form in which carbohydrates are stored
in the body for energy; thus, another classic symptom
of liver disease is extreme fatigue).
Cirrhosis can also refer to any organ that has chronic
What To Consider
Cirrhosis of the liver usually has a very long period
in which there are no overt symptoms. Early possible
signs of cirrhosis include fatigue, itching, rashes
of unknown causes, constipation or diarrhea, alternating
color of the stools, fever, and indigestion.
When cirrhosis does finally manifest overtly, its symptoms
include abdominal swelling, pain, vomiting of blood,
swelling of the body in general, and jaundice (yellowing
of the skin). Advanced stages of cirrhosis can lead
to very severe symptoms that may result in coma and
Another form of cirrhosis, known as biliary cirrhosis,
first affects the bile ducts, then moves into the liver,
and is a disease of unknown causes. It is most frequent
in women 35-60 years of age; 30 percent have no symptoms
but the condition is discovered through abnormal blood
tests. 50 percent have symptoms of itching, rash, and
fatigue as the initial signs, which can occur months
or even years before the actual disease is identified.
Fifty percent of people at time of diagnosis have enlarged,
excessively firm but non-tender livers, and enlarged
spleens. Ten percent of people have patches of darkness
on the skin and less then 10 percent have jaundice.
Other possible signs of biliary cirrhosis include clubbing
of nails, yellow stools, and kidney, bone, and nerve
Most pharmaceutical drugs, if taken on a consistent
basis, can also cause liver disease. If you are on such
medications, be sure to have your liver function monitored
regularly (every 3-6 months) by your physician, and
consider other healing alternatives that might reduce
or eliminate your need for medications.
Liver function can also be impaired by a toxic bowel.
For this reason, bowel cleansing and rejuvenation techniques
may be very important. In severe cases, repeat the bowel
cleanse once a month, or as needed, and stay on bowel
nutrients for up to one year depending on the severity
of your condition and your response to treatment.
All cases of cirrhosis require immediate medical attention.
is extremely important in preventing and reversing all
forms of liver disease, including cirrhosis. Eat a low-protein,
whole foods diet of organic foods, including seeds,
nuts, whole grains, beans, nuts, and goat or rice milk,
and also eat plenty of leafy green vegetables. Avoid
all alcohol and processed fats such as margarine, hydrogenated
oils, and foods with these oils added, rancid oils,
and hardened vegetable fats. Instead, use cold-processed
oils such as olive. Also increase your consumption of
foods high in amino acids and potassium, such as nuts,
seeds, bananas, raisins, rice, wheat bran, kelp, dulse,
brewer's yeast, and molasses, and drink plenty of pure,
filtered water. Avoid animal protein as well as raw
or undercooked fish, and limit your overall intake of
Also avoid all stressors on the liver, such as overeating,
drugs of any kind, a highly processed diet (especially
one high in processed fats, additives and preservatives),
and foods high in animal protein, and accumulation of
toxins from chemicals that have to be processed by the
liver such as alcohol, drugs, acetaminophen, insecticides,
and chemicals from rancid and processed oils. Toxins
from Candida yeast organisms within the body
can also contribute to liver stress, as can the use
Lipotrophic factor nutrients are essential for aiding
liver function. These include vitamin C, vitamin E,
silymarin, lipoic acid, and raw liver tablets. Other
useful nutrients in this regard include vitamin B complex,
vitamin B12, folic acid, niacin (in small doses such
as 10-30 mg. three times), liver glandulars, digestive
enzymes with hydrochloric acid (HCl) and ox bile extract,
and the amino acids L-methionine, L-carnitine, L-cysteine,
L-glutathione, and L-arginine. Caution:
For all cases of liver disease, do not use more than
10,000 IU of vitamin A daily and avoid cod liver oil
Juniper, rosemary, and rose essential oils can all help stimulate liver
thistle is an excellent herb to help in the treatment
of cirrhosis because it helps liver cells regenerate.
It may be taken in the form of tablets or the non-alcohol
extract called a glycerate. The dose is based upon the
content of silymarin (the active ingredient of milk
thistle) and so standardized extracts are preferable.
The typical dosage range is 70-200 mg of silymarin daily.
The herb Picrorhiza kurroa is not as well-known
as milk thistle, but may have similar effects. Licorice
can also be helpful. The Chinese herb bupleurum (chai-hu)
may also be helpful, as can the herbal mixture of kutki
(200 mg), shanka pushpi (500 mg), and guduchi (300 mg),
with is used by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine
to boost liver function. Take 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture
taken twice a day, after lunch and dinner, with aloe
Constitutional hydrotherapy: if illness is severe, apply two to seven
times weekly. Contrast application or cold friction
to stimulate liver function: apply daily.
The following juices can help the liver eliminate toxins that cause stress
on it: beet and carrot juice and wheat grass juice.
To either juice, you can add raw flaxseed oil and garlic
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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