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Weakness, nausea, headache, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, drowsiness, dark urine, joint stiffness and pains, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, lightcolored stools, and often jaundice (a yellowing of the skin, which will first be noticed in the eyes and mucous membranes). Skin rashes and itching may also occur; the latter is caused by excess bile salts under the skin.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, and may be caused by a virus, bacterium, or toxic substance. But, in most instances, the cause is viral. There are actually several main types of hepatitis:
Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis): Transmitted by contaminated water, milk, or food, it has an incubation period of 15-45 days. The contagion is highest just before illness begins, so food workers can transmit the disease. Hepatitis A is contagious from 2 weeks to 1 week before the illness starts. It is easily spread by person-to-person contact and through contact with food, clothing, linens, etc. It can be transmitted from animals. Eating shellfish is a good way to get it, even if the waters they live in pass national standards. Recovery generally occurs within 4 weeks. Chronic cases are less likely to occur.
Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis): Found throughout the world and spread as HIV is—through contact with infected blood (contaminated needles, syringes, blood transfusions) and sexual contact. Six cases have been traced to contaminated acupuncture needles. About 5% of all Americans and 85% of gay men have it. Hepatitis B is very serious. It has an incubation period of 28-160 days (2-6 months), and recovery may require 6 months. All during that time, it can be passed from one person to another. In increasing numbers, cases are reverting to chronic active hepatitis, which can result in liver cirrhosis and death. Hepatitis B is the ninth major killer in the United States.
Hepatitis C: Contracted in the same manner as HIV and hepatitis B, hepatitis C may take 6 months to produce symptoms, yet all that time it can be spread from one person to another. Between 20-40% of all hepatitis cases are of this type. It accounts for 90-95% of all hepatitis transmitted by blood donations.
Hepatitis E, hepatitis non-A, and hepatitis non-B also exist, but are of lesser significance in North America. Hepatitis E is found worldwide and is in epidemic proportions in Africa and Asia, and is becoming a serious problem in Mexico. It is generally contracted from drinking sewage-contaminated water. Such water should be boiled before using.
All of the above are primarily viral forms of hepatitis. But there is also one which is caused by toxic chemicals. It is called toxic hepatitis. The amount to which the liver was exposed to the poisonous chemicals, fumes, drug, etc., determines the amount of damage to that organ. Overall, there are 40,000-70,000 reported, new cases of hepatitis each year in America. But the experts suspect that there are probably ten times that many which go unreported. It most often occurs in young adults, and is highest in teenage girls. Hepatitis A is decreasing, and hepatitis B is rapidly increasing. It is fourth among the 30 leading communicable diseases.
• Recent studies have shown that parsley has an unusual effect against viruses that attack the liver. Therefore it is recommended for patients with hepatitis A, B and C to make a cure time of four weeks with fresh parsley juice, fifteen tablespoons per day, taken preferably on an empty stomach, before meals.
• In case of hepatitis C, you should consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the most effective fruits and vegetables, having the quality to heal human liver are bitter gourd, radish, tomato, and carrots.
• Give hot fomentations over the liver area for 15 minutes, followed by a cold sponging, concluded by a shower. Do this 4 times each day. • Most cases of hepatitis are self-limiting and will heal with rest and supportive care.
• Avoid sugar, fat, and alcohol.
• Vitamins B12 and C are important.
• You should have bed rest until the acute stage is past; also he should have initial liquid fasting, followed by a light diet. The patient often has a poor appetite and does not feel like eating, even though he should.
• Drink plenty of water, avoid constipation. He should bathe frequently, and wash his hands with soap after every bowel movement. The toilet seat should also be washed after each usage.
• You should not prepare food for others, and your own utensils should be sterilized after each of his meals, and linen and clothes should be washed separately.
CARING FOR YOUR LIVER
There are few organs in your body as vital as the liver. It not only is the largest organ, it also performs more different functions than any other organ in your body.
Only God could make the liver. That relatively small structure (it only weighs four pounds) does literally thousands of different things; all of them are quite complicated, involving complex chemical changes.
The liver is truly a special gift from God.
There are six fundamental things which tend to damage the liver:
1 - Overeating. This is an excellent way to ruin your liver. Just eat all you want, and you will wear it out.
2 - Eating and drinking the wrong things. Here are some of those items which your liver does not wish to face: refined white flour-products, processed foods, junk foods, white sugar products, imitation foods. Beware of potato chips and corn chips.
What is an imitation food? It is a food made to appear like the original, yet which has been stripped of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and most everything else that might be worthwhile while carbohydrates, sugar, fats, protein, synthetic colors, flavors, and odors are there to give the appearance and taste of real food.
3 - A low protein, high carbohydrate and fat diet. To make it even worse, make sure it is full of saturated or hydrogenated fats. All kinds of snacks in the stores consist of this. Fried foods may be a devilish delight, but they only add to the eventual misery.
4 - Take the specialty food poisons: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, theobromine, and hard drugs.
5 - Take medicinal drugs. Select from over-the-counter items or those which are prescribed. They will provide you with a real witch's brew of physical horror, much of it not known and realized until later. With hardly an exception, medicinal drugs are poisons. The liver has to work overtime in order to try to excrete these dangerous chemicals. Some substances which are called "drugs," such as charcoal, are not drugs. They are natural substances which help your body. It is true there are some poisonous herbs, but these will be readily found in the drugstore. The rest, found in the meadow and forest, are for the healing of the nations.
6 - Associate closely with insecticides, preservatives, and other cumulative poisons. Some poisons directly damage the liver (alcohol, oral contraceptives, caffeine, etc.); others damage organs which the liver relies on for help (the pancreas, kidneys, etc.).
Here are some dietary suggestions:
Do not use nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, fish, fowl, meat, salt, soft drinks, sugar foods, tea, or fried foods. Avoid foods which tend to constipate. When there is a backup in the large colon, toxins
are reabsorbed into the system, and the liver labors to eliminate them. Make sure you obtain foods high in potassium. This includes rice, bananas, blackstrap molasses, wheat bran, almonds, seeds, kelp and dulse, brewer's yeast, prunes, and raisins. Drink lots of water; and, if at all possible, drink only pure water. Drink a little every hour.
Emphasize raw foods in your diet.
Drink fresh vegetable juices, especially carrot and beet. Only eat raw nuts and seeds. They must be fresh and not stale!
Use only cold-pressed vegetable oils,—and no other type of oils and no grease (margarine, butter, shortening, or meat fat).
Vitamin K is important, to help prevent cirrhosis of the liver.
Do not take too much vitamin A. For the same reason, do not eat fish more than twice a week. Avoid cod liver oil. Better yet, stop eating fish. Meat eating is also harmful to the liver. Anyone taking over 50,000 IU of vitamin A for over a year should either reduce intake or switch to natural beta-carotene, which is safe.
Do not drink milk or eat pastries, stimulants, white rice, black or white pepper, fried or fatty foods, cheese, and refined or processed foods.
Never eat raw or undercooked fish, meat, or poultry. There is a serious risk of infection from doing this. Meat eating is a major source of bacteria parasites, viruses, and various malignancies.
When taking supplements, either chew them up well or take them with a glassful of water.
Use celandine and silymarin (which is milk thistle extract) every day to help maintain good liver function. But do not use celandine during pregnancy.
The lemon and the liver are sweethearts. The lemon is one of the best friends that the liver has.
Coenzyme Q10 helps supply oxygen to the liver. Lecithin helps prevent fatty buildup in the liver.
In addition to taking care of your liver, treat your kidneys well also. Poor kidney function results in damage to the liver. Drink water! (See "Kidney problems.")
Do not use harsh laxatives. But do keep the colon clean. Take no drugs if you want your future years to be happy ones. Be good to your liver, and it will help you in years to come. It is a well-known fact, among natural healers, that, if the liver is all right, cancer can be eliminated. But if the liver is too far degenerated, the hoped-for solution may not be achieved.
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