(Notes sent to Michael from herbalist, Alan Tillotson, AHG)

Introduction

I have had 100% success in relieving elevated liver enzymes associated with hepatitis C and even advanced cirrhosis by using Planetary's Bupleurum liver Cleanse together with Dandelion root tea. --- Michael Tierra

Thanks for sending the articles to review. I am far from being an expert, but this is what I think is happening. I think that non A -non B (herein called nanb) hepatitis exists. I think that Hepatitis C as such does not exist. In the condition of nonb, the patient has damage to their liver in the form of a scarring or inflammation, which is localized to one or two areas in the liver, then slowly spreads whenever the liver is depleted or stressed. There may be another virus (not Hepatitis C) present or perhaps not. The condition is hot and dry, which slowly cooks the cells. Glutathione levels are probably down. Toxic dampness can also be present.

The stressed cells in the damaged hardened area leak out pieces of human RNA, which is what the test picks up. The numbers on the HCV RNA PCR test show how much leaking there is going on. This RNA leaking is a symptom, not a cause.

There is a chronic depleted condition (liver yin deficiency) as well as inflammation there. In this condition, the Yin depleted areas gradually get harder, and this hardness is what is called cirrhosis eventually. The areas that are not hardened function normally, dealing only with the inflammation, which they show on the liver enzyme numbers, which go up and down. If the inflammation gets low, and the nutrient levels gets up somewhat, the hardness remains, but does not spread much because there is enough moisture and lipids. If a stress appears resulting in more depletion, the liver begins to leak out the RNA, showing that soon some more hardening of the leaking cells, which gradually spread. If the stress causes only inflammation, the enzymes go up. The cells within the hardened areas do not get normal nutrition so they begin to change shape, and eventually can become cancerous.

This why the two sets of numbers, RNA PCR and liver enzymes seem to function independently at times in namb patients. It also explains why a severe stress like alcohol speeds up progression. It also explains why there is a long incubation time, with little symptoms (the rest of the liver not hardened functions pretty normally until the hardened area reaches critical size). Actually there usually is some fatigue and pallor and sexual weakness, the results not of the hardened areas, but of the mildly inflamed liver. Because the hardened areas, like scars, do not easlily go back to normal, even if the patient is treated well and the rest of his liver gets better, the RNA PCR numbers will jump up whenever a stress causes further stress leakage.

Milk thistle and other anti-inflammatory herbs help with symptoms, liver enzymes and slowing progression, but they do not repair the hardened areas. Cholagogue herbs also work only on removing inflammation. To deal with the hardness, I have been using, in addition to the above, flax oil and lipoic acid, to provide the softening omega three oils along with this lipid soluble. Dick Noble just sent me some info on SAMe/S-adenosyl-L-methionine, which seems to directly cause softening. I have no experience with it. From a TCM perspective you would use white peony, salvia, Turtle shell and Curcuma tuber, perhaps rhubarb for this aspect. Licorice is also useful, as a Japanese study showed halving of liver cancer with an extract.

Taking out the liver heat is easier, and everyone knows how to do that I think. It also may work to use some enzyme like herbs to soften, like bromelain and pippili. Eclipta is a deobstructant to the liver, and also nourishing as it makes hair grow. Silajatu nourishes the liver also.

Because all of us, patients and doctors, have been hypnotized by the PCR numbers, patients get spooked as do we, so we change or give up or they bolt. The Ayurvedic perspective makes it clear that the key is to use gently nourishing liver tonics over a long period of time, up to two years or more. Eventually the constant mild nourishing tonification, combined with strict avoidance of coffee and alcohol, perhaps will begin to soften the hardened cells. I've has two cases (one documented one undocumented) of Hep C return to normal. The one case, had a very healthy lifestyle prior to taking the tonics I got him from Nepal.

I am not impressed by the interferon and riboviran treatments. For all I know, riboviran (sic) may cook the cells further, like chemotherapy always does, and block leakage of the detectable pieces of genetic information.

The big queston is what is causing all this liver damage. I think we can round up the usual suspects - alchohol, (western and recreational), pesticides, chemical solvents, fatty diets etc., though probably from some chemical subset within them. With all this, why should we be surprised there is a epidemic of sick livers? What scares me is cholesterol drugs, which
knocks down glutathione like crazy. There may be a genetic predisposition for some people's cells to leak this piece of genetic material, further confusing the issue. In a phone conversation I had with Donna O. on the list, she revealed that the normal needle exchange controls which slow down HIV do not work with Hep C. This knocks one more tile out of the viral belief system. We all may still be pawns of our biochemical beliefs. I wonder if viruses, non-living but animated pieces of information, are not better understood from an electrical point of view. What about two years of acupuncture, magnets and diet?

Alan Keith Tillotson, MA, AHG - Medical Herbalist
Naixin Hu Tillotson, OMD, LAc - Chinese Medicine
Chrysalis Natural Medicine Clinic
1008 Milltown Rd., Wilm., DE 19808 USA
(302) 994-0565 (302) 995-0653 fax
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Website: www.oneearthherbs.com

One of several cases of Hepatitis C treated at Michael's East West Herb and Acupuncture Clinic 912, Center St., Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060, (831)429-8066

In support of the proposition that Hepatitis C is not a virus but represents a condition of general liver failure, possibly due to environment or lifestyle causes I submit the following recent case:

Man, age 52, he was diagnosed with Hep C at least prior through antibody test, confirmed with a high viral load test. For two years he was asymptomatic and then a series of blood tests dating from March, 19, '99 revealed seriously elevated liver enzymes as follows (the normal range is SGOT 0-45 and for SGPT 0-50. On 3/19/99 it was 662 and 1315, on 3/25 it was 564 over 1248, on 4/30 they were 182 and 386. He was taking sylibum seeds on his own before I saw him on 7/29. He had just seen a liver specialist who said that if his liver enzymes were not down by November he would recommend interferon (ugh!). He also said that he could be infecting his wife and others who came in contact with him, etc. When I saw him he had classic liver symptoms, tightness on the abdomen under the liver, no coat on the sides of his tongue (sometimes relevant indication), a deep and tight pulse, serious fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, prone to anger, tiredness, feeling of heaviness in the legs, and a sallow complexion. Though he was a Vietnam vet, he had never used needles nor did he ever have a blood transfusion.

He was generally trepidatious of acupuncture, so I gave him the commonest and simplest treatment of liver 3 and colon 4, called the 4 gates, because this releases internal toxic heat from the organs. I also added Kidney 3 to support the endocrine system. The treatment seemed to immediately have a very positive effect on his well being, feeling the characteristic euphoric release that is a sign of an especially effective acupuncture session. I gave him my Shitake Mushroom Supreme Formula and Bupleurum Calmative which is modeled after the Chinese Bupleurum and peony formula to relieve moodiness and liver qi stagnation. I told him to continue with Milk thistle. He had a propensity to drink alcohol to relieve stress and he also would drink a pot of coffee daily. I gave him a tea of roasted dandelion root, camomile and fennel seed to accompany the other supplements.

The next week he said that he was much less prone to anger but still complained of low energy. He commented how is stool was more formed. He was also given a quality am and pm vitamin and mineral supplement to take. I repeated the treatment, but added more acupuncture points including associated effect points on the back to the liver, spleen-pancreas and kidney-endocrines with moxabustion. I also added St. 36 below the knee to increase vitality (I call it the ginseng point). I also added Panax ginseng to his treatment. His next visit on 8/12 continued to show improvement with more energy and feeling calmer generally. I added about 12 grams of Twin Lab EPA and DHA fish oil fatty acid supplement. One 8/19 he brought in the most recent results of his liver enzyme test which was 93 over 160! He said he is feeling much better, his energy is almost completely returned.

At this point he continues to follow the same herbal and supplement program I have given him and we agreed that he is moving in the right direction and I referred him to my daughter, Shasta, who is also an acupuncture and herbalist with an office closer to him for ongoing treatment and monitoring.

This is a man who was definitely diagnosed with HEP C and put on notice for interferon treatment (less than 40% effective with terrible side effects) and possible eventual liver transplant.

What do I think? I think Hep C is not a virus but a sign of generalized liver failure from environment and dietary compromise. The fact that there are over 44 million people diagnosed with it in the US makes it a major epidemic of frightening proportions. These people are told that they have a potentially highly contagious disease (at least in relation to any intimate contact), that may or may not erupt in 25 years, is a very creepy sentence to have placed on one's head. Again there is no financial incentive to look at it in any other way, let alone recommend that they stop alcohol and coffee (which the doc did not do) and perhaps try some dandelion tea. Medical testing for this disease is expensive and very profitable thing, even though the tests are often very inconclusive. Be that as it may, this is the first of several hepatitis cases that I could use blood tests to demonstrate progress with what is a relatively simple herbal and supplement program.

Dr. Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D.

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