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Complementary Medicine

Are There Any Herbal Supplements That Cause Liver Problems?

01/31/2003

Question:

I had some blood work related to my liver recently come back slightly askew, and my doctor said until we see what the matter is (if anything), I`m not to take any medications that affect/are metabolized in the liver, or any alcohol. I`m asymptomatic aside from fatigue that`s been persistent over the last few months, so neither me or my doctor think it`s anything serious, but the restrictions are there just in case. Are there any herbal preparations I should avoid if something could be wrong with my liver? I`m most likely to use teas such as chamomile, raspberry leaf, jasmine, and orange spice.

Answer:

Kava Kava has been found to have a potentially dangerous effect on the liver. Milk Thistle has been found to have a positive effect on the liver.

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University