Liver Support with TCM
This information is
for educational purposes only.
Materials regarding herbs have not been evaluated by the
U.S. Food & Drug Administration and are not in any way a
replacement or substitute for professional medical diagnosis and
treatment. Persons with specific medical illnesses are advised
to seek professional care.
The liver is the only place albumin is synthesized. When liver functions
are compromised and damage accumulates, the level of albumin drops.
Thus, the level of albumin and other laboratory markers can also be used
as a predictive indicator in the prognosis of cirrhotic patients.
However, a low albumin level alone is not a specific indicator for
chronic liver disease. Albumin leakage into extra-vascular, inadequate
nutritional intake, poor absorption in the digestion system,
over-catalysis of albumin caused by infections, fever, cancer, and
abnormal loss from chronic diarrhea and kidney dysfunctions are among
some of the other causes.
In cirrhosis, the increase of g-globulin can also suppress albumin
synthesis. Therefore, it is important to observe the overall “picture”
and other lab markers of the patient to choose the correct protocol.
consists of two routes: direct supplementation of albumin and functional
improvement of liver albumin synthesis.
Direct supplement can be
done with TCM remedies made from animal sources, such as, Ze He Che
(dried animal placenta) Guong di long (Pheretima aspergillum), LiYu (Cyprinus
carpio), Bai Jiang Can (Bcauveria bassiana), Gui Ban (shell of ahinemys
reevesii), E Jiao (Skin gelatin made from Equus asinus).
To improve the albumin
Dong Cuon Xia Cao (Cordyceps sinensis), Dang Gui (Angelicae Radix)
Dang Shen (Codonopsis Pilosulae Radix), Huang Qi (Astragali Radix)
Ling zhi cao (Ganoderma japonicum)
Gou qi zi (Lycium barbarum)
Nu Zhen Zi (Ligustrum lucidum Ait)
Di Haung (Rehmanniae Radix)
Dan Shen (Salviae Miltiorrhziae Radix)
Ji Xue Teng (Mucunae Caulis)
San Leng (Sparganii Rhizoma)
E Zhu (Zedoariae Rhizoma)
Xian mao (Curculiginis rhizoma)
Ba Ji Tian (Morindae officinalis radix).
For cirrhotic compensated stage without ascites, aside from regular
cirrhosis treatments, low albumin support with the above herbs must be
used with care.
The stomach stimulating and lapactic effects of Dang Gui and Di Haung
must be carefully monitored.
The heat of the following herbs should also be carefully balanced: Dang
Shen, Huang Qi, Gou qi zi, Xian mao, and Ba ji tian. Among these herbs,
Dang Gui, Huang Qi, and Dan Shen have the best therapeutic effects.
For de-compensated cirrhosis patients, direct supplementation of albumin
is recommended. At the same time, diuretic herbs should also be used.
The herbs commonly used are Ze He Che, Guong di long, Dang Gui, Huang Qi,
and Dan Shen, and formulas such as Wu Ling San (Hoelen Five Herb
Combination) and Wu Pi Ying (Decoction Containing Five Types of Peel).
[Liu YL et al., Premary Discusion on the Use of Chinese Medicine
According to Blood Tests, CJITWM, Jan 2003, 23(1):54-55]