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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » milk thistle alternatives?

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Author Topic: milk thistle alternatives?
cottonbrain
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After taking mepron for a couple weeks, I learned that milk thistle should not be taken while on mepron (LLMD did not mention this).

here's a site for more info:

www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/hepC/mthistle.html


I'd love to know if anybody knows some good alternatives to milk thistle for liver support.

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feelfit
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N-Ac I think is a good liver support
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cottonbrain
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interesting about the NAC -- I have been taking it to protect my hearing from minocycline. I started taking it AFTER my liver enzymes were slightly elevated.

i get my liver tests back any day now -- but i was taking both NAC and milk thistle, of course, making it impossible to tell which was doing what.

another lyme yikes!

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Keebler
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Yes, NAC is good - and if you are on mino, nearly vital (as is B-6 if mino is taken).

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Can you ask your doctor or a naturopathic physician who is familiar with mepron?

there are probably over a dozen additonal choices, but someone who knows your body would offer the best recommendation.

Also, most NDs would have a formula of herbs that balance each other's actions.

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/

This book is not at all about lyme, however, it has wonderful sections about how various herbs work.

Some herbs of interest would be schizandra (schisandra); bupleurum; kudzu (pueraria); dandelion; licorice; ligusticum, etc.

I prefer schizandra and will come back and post a bit about that.
Still, you would need to ask about its use with mepron.


You would still have the same question, though. If a liver protective herb will wash out medicine too soon. Someone trained in herbs would know best.

Both Dr. Zhang and Dr. Buhner's books would be good to consult as well as Dr. Singleton's.


-

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/

PubMed Search:

liver-protective, herbs - 2 abstracts

One of those explains some of what is considered when a ND considers treatment:


: Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2004 Nov;2(6):412-4. Links

[Treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis with integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine]

[Article in Chinese]

Zhu DZ.

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China. [email protected]

Intrahepatic cholestasis results from the disturbance of the structure and function of bile secretory apparatus in hepatic cells.

At present, the mechanism of the disease is still not clearly understood.

The currently used Western medicine for liver-protective, cholagogic and immuno-suppressive treatment are not effective enough.

According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, moisture, heat, stasis and toxin are the main factors of the etiology and pathogenesis of the jaundice in patients with intrahepatic cholestasis.

Therefore, clearing away heat to drain dampness, cooling blood to remove toxin, activating blood to resolve stasis, soothing liver and invigorating spleen should be adopted in the treatment.

In order to increase the therapeutic effects, rational application of traditional Chinese herbs combined with Western medicine should be emphasized in treating the disease under the doctrine of integration of syndrome differentiation and disease differentiation.


PMID: 15539015

----

Not only do we need more LLMDs, I think we also need more expertly trained NDs. It's a very complex field of study.


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Keebler
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--

NewsTarget.com printable article
Originally published July 3 2005

Chinese medicine: Schizandra berry a potent adaptogenic herb


Instead of starting off your day with a cup of coffee, try some schizandra berry supplements to wake up your mind. And if you're too stressed at night to sleep, don't stay up watching late night television; take some schizandra berry supplements to calm you down.


How can a single item have such apparently contradictory effects? According to thousands of years of traditional Chinese medicine, schizandra is an "adaptogenic" herb.

In 1958, Russian holistic doctor I.I. Brekhman and his colleague I.V. Dardymov coined the term "adaptogenic" to refer to any herb that "usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state."


In other words, it doesn't matter whether you're too sleepy or too nervous; either way, schizandra will redirect you from an extreme to an ideal, balanced state. Schizandra may also provide additional medicinal benefits.

Around 2,000 years ago, Shen Nong first referred to schizandra as a valuable adaptogenic tonic.


. . .

In Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer, Donald R. Yance Jr. lists many of schizandra's uses, which include increasing mental and physical exercise capacities, as well as improving adaptability to darkness and other environmental stresses.

Yance points out that, unlike caffeine, schizandra stimulates the central nervous system without creating an excitatory effect. Schizandra provides a mental boost without the jitteriness caused by caffeine.


Recent studies suggest that schizandra may offer some additional health benefits.

According to Dr. Sheldon Saul Hendler's Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia, some research studies demonstrate that substances extracted from schizandra may help treat liver disorders.


Other studies show that schizandra extracts may have cortisone-like effects on the immune system.

These benefits definitely deserve more research interest, as schizandra may someday provide safer alternatives for traditional pharmaceutical medications.


The Chinese refer to schizandra tonic as the "five-flavored seed" because it tastes sour, bitter, sweet, acrid and salty.
. . . .

The experts speak on schizandra:

In the Far East, everyone from Chinese emperors to family herbalists has long recognized the remarkable powers of the herb schisandra to promote longevity and increase stamina.

Its strengthening effect (see Chapter 4) is combined with system-balancing properties, making it ideal for such conditions as fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and lack of energy.

Schisandra is one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs in China, where it is taken to beautify the skin, strengthen the sex organs, and promote mental function. Its use has more recently spread to Russia, Scandinavia, Western Europe, and the United States.


Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 292

(An adaptogenic herb) must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism, it must have a nonspecific action, and it usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state.

Brekhman, I.I. & Dardymov, I.V. "New substances of plant origin which increase nonspecific resistance," Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology,

as quoted in Edward C. Wallace's Adaptogenic Herbs: Nature's Solution to Stress (The Chiropractic Research Organization)


The dried berry of schizandra, like astragalus, bupleurum, ginseng, and ligusticum, is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for its adaptogenic properties and as a restorative remedy for immune enhancement.


Schizandra is referred to as the five-flavored seed because its taste includes the five tastes of sour, bitter, sweet, acrid, and salty.

In Shen Nong's Herbal Classic (written about two thousand years ago) and in the Compendium of Materia Medica (written by L.I. Shizhen in 1596), schizandra was referred to as a valuable tonic-- an adaptogen with a diversity of indications for its use.

It has a stimulatory effect on the central nervous system without being excitatory and enhances both mental and physical capabilities.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 108

Substances have been isolated from schizandra which appear to have protective effects against liver toxins in mice. And there are reports that extracts of the herb are beneficial in the treatment of various liver disorders in experimental animals.

Immunomodulating substances have also been isolated from the herb, some of which have cortisone-like effects. Schizandra may prove to have some role in modern medicine yet, but it's doubtful that it will be a miraculous one.

Vitamin And Mineral Encyclopedia by Sheldon Saul Hendler MD PhD, page 326

Schizandra is also considered adaptogenic and a tonic, according to a review of its traditional use as well as a review of the scientific studies that demonstrate its ability to increase work capacity, exercise capacity, mental capacity, and adaptability to darkness and other environmental stresses in both animal and human studies.


Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 109

---------------------

The formula contains schisandra, zizyphus, cistanche, and juglans, used to enhance energy; tang kuei and lycium, which nourish blood;

acornus, to improve circulation;

arisaema, to resolve phlegm;

and gastrodia and succinum to calm anxiety, seizures, forgetfulness, and insomnia.

In addition, the formula contains "dragon tooth," a calcium source, along with biota seed and polygala root acting as nourishing sedatives.

It is interesting to note in this formula that both anxiety and forgetful-ness are treated with blood- and energy-building herbs. This proves again that having adequate yin and yang normalizes physical and mental processes.

Asian Health Secrets by Letha Hadady DAc, page 452

. . .

Mind Boosters by Dr Ray Sahelia MD, page 187

--------------------------
Panax ginseng, and Siberian ginseng. brain Power Plus also contains red-date extract, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the activity of ginseng;

schizandra, a powerful antioxidant that assists with mental clarity and increases your body's level of the detoxifying enzyme glutathione;

and the traditional Indian "brain tonic" gotu kolu, which is used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve mental agility and reduce anxiety and depression.

See the "Guide to Sources and Availability" on page 151 for the source of brain Power Plus.
Underground Cures by Health Sciences Institute, page 153

-------------------
The combination of ginseng root and schisandra berries reportedly improves memory (reported in Huang, 1999).


(in Tillotson's book ,also states that schzdr helps the C P450)

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook by Alan Keith Tillotson, page 198 - http://tinyurl.com/37uvrh

home: http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com


Schisandra

excerpt:


* Male mice that received diets containing 5% schisandra berries exhibited a threefold increase in the important liver cytochrome P-450 antioxidant system (Hendrich et al., 1983).


Equally important is the enhancing effect of schisandra on the status of liver mitochondria in rats (Ip et al., 1998).


--

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Keebler
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-

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

PubMed Search:

Schisandra - 207 abstracts

Schizandra - 282 abstracts

Schisandra, liver - 39 abstracts

schizandra, liver - 60 abstracts


-

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cottonbrain
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wow, Keebs, this is great info. thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting it. Educating ourselves just a little about herbs can make a huge difference in our treatment success --

you are so right -- this herbal stuff is complicated!

I will definitely check out schizandra, and will reread your post when my head is clearer in the a.m. (hope against hope).

i do have buhner's book, so thanks for reminding me to look there too.

feelfit, good to know that you and keebler concur on the NAC --

anybody know what a good dose is?

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LymeMECFSMCS
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Alpha Lipoic Acid! Yellow dock! Yellow dock is my favorite herb for liver support. Also, cabbage juice is great for supporting the liver.
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cottonbrain
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[hi] LymeCFIDSMCS, your handle describes me too. thanks for the info on yellow dock -- i'm gonna check it out.

as for cabbage juice -- tried it....woweebanowee that's horrid!!...how do you do it? [Big Grin] it's the worst stuff i ever tasted! (except for a raw garden snail once, by accident)

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dg0207
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I take a product called "Liv52"

I bought it from a fibro center in Connecticutt.

DG

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