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October 2021

Altern Med Rev. 1998 Dec; 3(6): 410-21.

A review of plants used in the treatment of liver disease: part 1.

Luper S.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine: 2140 East Broadway Rd. Tempe, AZ 85282, USA. [email protected]

Botanicals have been used traditionally by herbalists and indigenous healers worldwide for the prevention and treatment of liver disease. Clinical research in this century has confirmed the efficacy of several plants in the treatment of liver disease. Basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which some plants afford their therapeutic effects. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) has been shown to have clinical applications in the treatment of toxic hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, ischemic injury, radiation toxicity, and viral hepatitis via its antioxidative, anti-lipid peroxidative, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, and liver regenerating effects. Picrorhiza kurroa, though less well researched than Silybum, appears to have similar applications and mechanisms of action. When compared with Silybum, the hepatoprotective effect of Picrorhiza was found to be similar, or in many cases, superior to the effect of Silybum.


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