There are many effective home remedies for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. People who have been heavily consuming alcohol for years have risk of liver problems such as alcoholic liver disease. But, even those who don’t consume a lot of alcohol have risk of the liver disease called NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The severity of the disease often ranges. When there’s inflammation on this organ, it is known as NASH, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and this disease stage is serious since it can lead to cirrhosis and even end-stage liver disease.
NAFLD is considered to affect more than 20% of the U.S population, while 2 to 3% of these people will be also affected by NASH. Most sufferers from NAFLD show either few or no symptoms at all. The present symptoms include malaise, pain in the upper right abdomen, fatigue, and weight loss.
Fat deposited in liver causes NAFLD, which is not a problem from alcohol consumption. NAFLD is also caused by high cholesterol, rapid weight loss, diabetes or insulin resistance, malnutrition, viral hepatitis, and some medications like aspirin, corticosteroids, amiodarone, tetracycline, diltiazem, or antiviral drugs.
10 Home Remedies for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
So, what are the treatments of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? The purpose of the treatment of NASH or NAFLD is to eliminate potential risk factors or causes of this disease. The most common methods to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is losing weight, stopping some drug treatments, and controlling diabetes.
Although treatments with drugs are often ineffective, they include metronidazole, glutamine infusion, glucagon, and ursodeoxycholic acid. It has been also proven that homemade remedies can be effective in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and we give you the top 10 in continuation.
The best natural way to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is to lose weight. In 2012, the Journal of Hepatology has published a systematic review which shows that a valid, low-cost NAFLD therapy is exercise. There were 12 studies in this review which measured progressive resistance training and aerobic exercise to help control NAFLD in adults.
NAFLD patients could have great benefit from at least 40 minutes of moderate to strenuous aerobic exercise, 5 days in a week. Exercise will aid in the balance of the enzyme values as well as in the improvement of their liver quality.
2. Low-glycemic diet
To prevent and treat NAFLD, people should exclude high GI (glycemic-index) foods from their diet. High-glycemic-index foods include brown rice, watermelon, potatoes, and processed foods such as beer, sweetened cereals and chocolate bars. In 2008, the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology has published a study which showed that 80 percent of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients drank enough soft drinks and juices that equaled 12 tsp of sugar. The study also pointed out that NAFLD can be also caused by sugar-laden drinks.
Foods with low glycemic-index of 55 or less is recommended, and they include onions, garlic, eggs, legumes, pears, apples, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, artichokes and cabbage.
3. Milk thistle
Silybum marianum (Milk thistle) is regarded as the number one herbal remedy to improve the function of liver, and to prevent and treat NAFLD. It contains flavonoids which protect from liver damage, improve the detoxification process, increasing the hepatic glutathione.
A key component for the low function of the liver in patients with NAFLD is glutathione. Further researches have shown that milk thistle is as well beneficial for other liver-related diseases, like cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, chemical toxicity, and viral hepatitis. The recommended daily dose of milk thistle is 900 milligrams twice a day, taken with meals.
The root and leaf of dandelion is often used to support proper function of the liver, and it’s an effective cleansing herb for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This herb detoxifies and metabolizes build-up fat in the liver. Food and Chemical Toxicology journal has published a study which discovered that extract from dandelion leaf can aid in the prevention and treatment of NAFLD related to obesity. The leaf extract from this herb dramatically suppresses fat build-up in the liver, and reduces the insulin resistance.
Prepare a tea from dandelion roots by adding a tsp of dried roots to a cup of hot boiling water. Cover, the cup and let it stay for up to 10 minutes. The, just strain the decoction and your tea is ready. Drink 3 cups of this tea a day in a period of 3 weeks.
5. Amla or Indian gooseberry
Amla (Indian gooseberry) is an herb popular for its rejuvenating properties, widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of fatty liver disease and diabetes. It is also known as amalaki fruit, and contains essential antioxidants which can aid in the proper liver function, such as ellagic acid, vitamin C, gallotanin, galic acid, and corilagin. Furthermore, studies have found a connection between Indian gooseberries and hepatotoxin-induced liver inflammation which is a NASH sign.
6. Licorice root
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root) is one more efficient NAFLD remedy used in Ayurvedic medicine. In 2002, Phytotherapy Research journal has published a study, which showed that extract from licorice root significantly lowered liver enzymes in 66 NAFLD patients. Prepare a tea from licorice root by pouring boiling water in a cup with a tsp of licorice root powder, and allow it stand for 10 minutes. After that, strain and your tea is ready. Drink this tea once or twice a day.
Curcuma longa (Turmeric) contains the powerful compound called curcumin, used in medicine in the treatment of jaundice and more liver diseases. Since it minimizes oxidative stress, lowers the release of inflammation, enhances insulin sensitivity, and alters fat metabolism, turmeric decreases liver injury and NAFLD. Moreover, curcumin can aid in the fight against liver fibrosis and hepatocarcinoma (liver cancer). You can add turmeric in the preparation of your meals, or use it in tea.
Flaxseed contains phytoconstituents which aid in the prevention of strain on the liver caused by harmful hormones. In 2013, Lipids in Health and Disease journal has published a study which discovered that flaxseed oil combined with alpha-lipoic acid can help in the prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, by ameliorating the oxidative stress and the accumulation of liver fat. To preserve the freshness and prevent rancidity, ground the flaxseed in a coffee grinder. Flaxseed oil is excellent addition to many salads.
Cinnamomum seylanicum (Cinnamon) is regarded as a warm herb which aids digestion, and improves the liver health. In 2014, Nutrition Research has published a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, according to which daily dosage of 1,500 milligrams of cinnamon can effectively improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The study took 12 weeks to test 50 patients with NAFLD, who randomly received either 2 placebo capsules a day, or 2 capsules of cinnamon a day.
Coriander or cilantro is another beneficial herbal remedy for the protection of liver. It is mostly used for NAFLD-related conditions, especially diabetes. This herb contains antihyperglycemic and antioxidant properties, as shown by studies conducted on diabetic rats.
Advices for Liver Disease Prevention
We list several advices for prevention of liver disease, and precautions to take for those with a liver transplant.
Exclude all processed foods. Besides processed foods, you should also avoid ingredients like corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which can produce uric acid and lead to increased blood pressure, gout, and liver damage. Corn and other harmful genetic modified foods will kill the good gut bacteria and impede digestion, which will make the liver work harder.
Limit the consumption of saturated fat. Consume nutrient-dense diet with whole foods to improve immunity and prevent liver disease.
Avoid dangerous drugs. Tylenol ( acetaminophen) in large quantities is regarded as a harmful drug for the liver.
Avoid consuming alcohol. The best thing is to stop consuming alcohol even if your fatty liver disease is not the alcoholic variety. Have in mind that some cough syrups and other drugs contain alcohol in their content.
Avoid live virus vaccines. These vaccines shouldn’t be given to liver transplant patients.
Check your liver enzymes. Undergo liver enzyme tests if you have fatty liver disease.
Pregnancy precaution. Those who have undergone a liver transplantation should avoid staying pregnant for at least 1 year after the transplantation. Also, when these women give birth, they shouldn’t breastfeed their babies in order to avoid potential risk of the baby to immunosuppressive drugs in the milk.
Other Natural Remedies for NAFLD
More natural remedies to treat NAFLD include carnitine, green tea, folic acid, choline, betaine, vitamin B6, B12, D3, and E, pine bark extract, bile salts, cascara sagrada, barberry, southern ginseng, grape seed extract, goldenseal, S-Adenosyl methionine (SAM-e), papaya, and ginger.