Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Cirrhosis

Nutrition and Supplementation

Experts recommend a mix of high quality animal and vegetable proteins as well as high-fiber foods such as whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables. Use high quality cold-pressed vegetable oils, and include in your diet almonds, brewer’s yeast, grains and seeds, and goat’s milk products. To make up for the vitamin K deficiency, eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. Detoxify with fresh vegetable juices such as beet and carrot, and “green” drinks as well as legumes. Avoid all fried foods and ydrogenated/saturated fats. Limit your intake of fish to twice weekly, and do not eat it raw or undercooked. Eliminate candy, milk, white rice, sugar products, pepper, salt, spices, and stimulants of any kind.

Brewer’s yeast, rice, and molasses are beneficial. Sesame seeds are especially good for maintaining liver health. Carrots and wheat grass are also good for the liver.

It is extremely important to avoid any sub. stances that are toxic to the liver, including alcohol, insecticides (choose organic produce), drugs, oral contraceptives, food preservatives, and aspirin substitutes (acetaminophen). People with  cirrhosis  should also avoid taking more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily.

Follow this daily supplement regimen to treat  cirrhosis  of the liver:

Most Important

vitamin B complex (100 mg, 3 times daily), supplemented with vitamin B12(1000 mcg twice daily)-prevents anemia and protects against nerve damage; use lozenge form

folic acid (200 mcg)-corrects deficiencies

evening primrose oil (500 mg twice daily with meals)-prevents imbalance of fatty acids

Also Recommended

vitamin C (3000 to 8000 mg in divided doses; use a buffered form)

vitamin E (400 IU)

liver extract (70 mg)-promotes regeneration of liver tissue and prevents anemia

L-methionine, L-cysteine, L-glutathione, L-carnitine, and L-arginine (as directed on product label)-aid in detoxification

coenzyme (100 mg)-promotes oxygenation

digestive enzymes (as directed on product label)-lessens strain on the liver

free-form amino acid complex (as directed on label)-a good source of protein that is easy on the liver

garlic (as directed on label)-detoxifies the liver and bloodstream (Consult your healthcare provider regarding the duration of treatment.)


The essential oils of thyme(linalol), geranium, rosemary, and rose are sometimes used in treatment of  cirrhosis  of the liver. Consult a qualified therapist for instructions.

Ayurvedic Medicine

As an overall liver tonic and treatment for  cirrhosis , Ayurvedic practitioners advise taking a kutki-guduchi-shanka-pushpi herbal formula twice daily after meals and washed down with a little aloe vera juice.


Try soaking in a neutral (body temperature) bath for an hour or two to lower excess body fluid.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Acupuncture can help; strengthen and restore energy balance to the liver, kidney, and heart, which are impaired by excessive drinking. It can also curb alcohol cravings and symptoms of withdrawal, making the individual’s recovery more comfortable. Because of the complexity of the disease and its underlying causes, the practitioner may focus on up to 25 acupuncture points on the body, along with related auricular points.

Chinese Herbal Therapy In  cirrhosis , Chinese herbs are used to help cleanse and strengthen the liver and associated organs, and to improve circulation within the meridians.

Formulas that may be given in cases of  cirrhosis  include Bupleurum and Tang Gui, Ginseng and Longan, or Bupleurum and Dragon Bone.