Jaundice Remedies
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Yellow DockA yellow coloring of the skin and whites of the eyes. It is caused by the accumulation in the blood of bilirubin, a yellowish pigment in bile (which is produced in the liver).

When the liver is damaged, it can't easily perform its normal functions of maintenance. Thus, the bilirubin starts to accumulate in the blood and leaks into body tissues such as the skin and whites of the eyes, giving them a yellowish tint.

Jaundice can also be detected in the mucous membranes, such as under the tongue.

Jaundice is also a common condition in newborns, jaundice refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells.

Normally, bilirubin passes through the liver and is excreted as bile through the intestines. Jaundice occurs when bilirubin builds up faster than a newborn's liver can break it down and pass it from the body. Reasons for this include:

  • Newborns make more bilirubin than adults do since they have more turnover of red blood cells.
  • A newborn baby's still-developing liver may not yet be able to remove adequate bilirubin from the blood.
  • Too large an amount of bilirubin is reabsorbed from the intestines before the baby gets rid of it in the stool.

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Following are the major Jaundice symptoms:

1. Extreme weakness
2. Headache and fever
3. Loss of appetite
4. Severe constipation
5. Nausea
6. Yellow discoloration of the eyes, tongue, skin, and urine
7. Dull pain in the liver region

Jaundice is the yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally high blood levels of the bile pigment, bilirubin. The yellowing extends to other tissues and body fluids and also may turn the urine dark. Yellowing of only the skin also can be caused by eating too many carrots or drinking too much carrot juice. The urine is often dark because excess bilirubin is excreted through the kidneys. Other symptoms, such as itching and light-colored stools, may appear, depending on the underlying cause of the jaundice. For example, acute inflammation of the liver (acute hepatitis) may cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Blockage of bile may produce the symptoms of cholestasis.

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The liver is a very important organ. One of the functions of the liver is to ‘pick up’ and remove bilirubin (a yellow coloured substance) from the body.

Jaundice is caused by excess bilirubin

Bilirubin is produced when red, oxygen-carrying blood cells are broken down. The bilirubin is transported in the bloodstream to the liver which usually removes it from the blood so that it can be excreted (passed) from the body in urine.

If there is too much bilirubin in the blood or if the liver cannot get rid of it, the excess will cause jaundice.

Jaundice usually occurs as a result of a separate health condition which causes a build up of bilirubin, or prevents the liver from functioning properly and disposing of bilirubin.

These are some common conditions that can cause jaundice:

Acute hepatitis

Acute hepatitis is a condition that causes inflammation (swelling) of the liver, usually as a result of the hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E viruses.

Acute hepatitis can also develop as a result of drinking excess amounts of alcohol over a long period of time or by taking certain types of medication.

Obstruction of the bile ducts

If the bile ducts (tiny tubes in the liver that remove bile) become blocked (for example, by a gallstone) or if they are damaged (for example, by a condition such as cirrhosis which destroys healthy liver tissue), the obstruction or damage can result in a build up of bilirubin.

Haemolytic anaemia

Haemolytic anaemia can occur when a large number of red blood cells are destroyed, leading to an increase in the production of bilirubin.

Haemolytic anaemia may be caused by a blood-borne disease, such as malaria, or an autoimmune disease (where the body’s immune system, which helps prevent infection, attacks healthy cells and tissue).

Gilbert’s syndrome

Gilbert’s syndrome is a condition that affects approximately 3% of the UK population. It is an inherited condition (it runs in families) that adversely affects the ability of enzymes (proteins that cause chemical reactions between other substances) to function properly and process the excretion of bile. People with Gilbert’s syndrome will sometimes experience mild jaundice.

See the Useful links section for more information about Gilbert’s syndrome.

Neonatal jaundice

Neonatal jaundice is common with around 50% of all newborn babies being affected. It often occurs as a result of the baby’s liver not being fully developed, which means that it is unable to deal with bilirubin.

Neonatal jaundice often occurs 2-4 days after birth, and usually clears up without treatment, around 7-10 days. If jaundice lasts for longer than this, further investigations to find out whether there is another underlying cause will be needed.

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Home Remedies

Boil 1 cup of water, when it boils add 8-10 lemon leaves. Cover and leave for 4-5 minutes. Drink the mixture for 4-5 days.

Drink lemon juice regularly. It will help to cure jaundice naturally.

Tomatoes are also helpful in jaundice. A glass of fresh tomato juice, taken early on in the morning, is considered an useful remedy for jaundice.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven home remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Herbal Remedies

1/4 tsp of Turmeric powder mixed in a glass of hot water taken 2-3 times a day.

Add 2 teaspoons of Oregano to one cup of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes, filter and drink.

Dandelion Root, ubiquitous in lawns and gardens, is widely-used for cooling and cleansing the liver; it is excellent in formulas for hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver toxicity. It increases the flow of bile and has been used for cholecystitis, gallstones, and jaundice.

Yellow Dock (rumex crispus - A member of the Buckwheat family with long lance-shaped leaves and a tall spike of greenish flowers turning to rust-colored seeds) is a bitter bowel tonic that can remove excess heat associated with over-indulgence in heating foods (such as sugar, stimulants, red meat, and alcoholic drinks). It is also a very mild laxative, which because of its astringent properties, can also help stop chronic diarrhea, accompanied by heat, not deficiency conditions with fatigue. Because of its mild astringent action, the overall effect is one of normalizing the bowel movements and clearing heat. The herb is often recommended as a blood-cleansing remedy used for acne or psoriasis, perhaps in conjunction with Oregon grape root. It promotes the flow of bile and is used for jaundice, hepatitis, and swollen lymph. Yellow dock is often used by pregnant women to raise the blood iron levels and prevent iron deficiency. The root is not rich in iron itself, but it probably helps the body assimilate iron, so the tincture of yellow dock should be taken with a good herbal iron supplement, such as one rich in sea vegetables like nori, or nettle herb. It is also a good idea to add at least 1 serving of green leafy vegetables daily, such as collard greens, to the diet.

Milk Thistle (silybum marianum - A tall stout, spiny thistle with bright purple flowering heads. The glossy leaves are covered with wavy milky bands, thus the name milk thistle. An Aster family member) is known for its excellent liver-protectant properties, milk thistle has proven effective in scientific studies for hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice. This herb is used to protect the liver from toxins and drugs, such as alcohol, aspirin, acetominophen, and pharmaceutical drugs. It enhances liver regeneration after exposure to heavy metals, radiation, or toxic chemicals. Milk thistle stimulates the growth of new liver cells, builds liver health, and is a strong antioxidant. The ground seeds can be sprinkled on food; besides the liver-protective compounds (called silymarin), they also contain a substantial quantity of essential fatty acids, starch, and protein. The young greens are among the most tasty of all wild foods, after the spiny leaf margins are removed with a scissors.

If you have suggestions or know of a proven herbal remedy add it here in the comment area.

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Wellness Program

- Avoid non-vegetarian foods at least till the effects of the jaundice last on the skin. Do not take even heavy vegetarian foods. The reason is that the liver needs to produce more bile to digest these heavy foodstuffs and this could alleviate the pigmentation of the skin.

- Completely restrict your intake of junk food such as chocolate, cakes, pastries, potato chips, ice-creams, colas and other aerated drinks, etc.
- Always drink water that is filtered or boiled. Do not drink raw milk.

- Do not eat sea foods especially oysters, unless you are sure they have come from a reliable source.

- Take simple food for the first three days of the jaundice affliction. Have a meal of porridge, especially rice gruel (kanji). You can flavor it with jaggery syrup or honey.

- There must be a complete abstinence of salt as it is a mineral and requires a difficult digestion process. .

- Do not give cereals and pulses to the patient as they cause inflammation in the liver. Grapes, black soya beans, nuts, sweet potatoes are the fruits that are beneficial in jaundice.

- Vegetable salad of tomato, carrot, radish and its leaves, and two-three slices of lemon are very good for health and very effective in curing jaundice in a natural way.

- It is advised for the patient suffering with jaundice to take proper rest and drink fruit juices.

- Bitter vegetables like bitter gourd and the bitter variety of drumsticks are beneficial to the jaundice patient.
- Alcohol is very harmful to the jaundice patient. It can complicate the disease with fatal consequences. Hence say a strict no to alcohol.

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