Chandigarh :2 April :Hepatitis C is becoming a major health problem of North India, which accounts for one-fourth of all cases of chronic liver diseases in the region and public concern is escalating. The liver damage caused by Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is checked by looking for an elevation of SGOT (Serum Glutamic-Oxalocetic Transaminase (AST) and SGPT (Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase – ALT) – enzymes which leak out of the damaged cells into the
bloodstream. The majority of patients are asymptomatic (don’t show symptoms). After a few years patients develop discomfort, weakness, anorexia, and some develop jaundice in the whites of their eyes.
Antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV) almost invariably become detectable during the course of illness. HCV antibodies can be detected in 50-70 percent of patients at the onset of symptoms and in approximately 90 percent of patients in 3 months after onset of infection. The disease is not casually spread. It can be transmitted through the transfer of infected blood either by sharing intravenous drug paraphernalia or hospital workers accidentally being stuck with a needle used on an infected patient.
At present the Pegylated Interferon Injections in combination with Ribavirin, is the only treatment available in the entire world to eradicate virus of Hepatitis-C. Unfortunately, relapse occurs in most of these cases when this treatment is stopped. No other treatment option is available for patients suffering from chronic hepatitis-C.
Both interferon and ribavirin are not only expensive but can also have serious side effects. In a developing country like India the cost of ‘Interferon and ribavirin combination therapy’ for chronic hepatitis C patients may cost something around Rs 5–10 lac. Since a majority of the population is not covered by health insurance, financial constraints become a major obstacle for many patients to initiate this ‘Interferon and ribavirin combination therapy’.
According to internationally renowned Ayurvedic consultant Dr. Harish Verma, there is a need to explore the scope of cost-effective natural products in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. He said three groups of Ayurvedic herbs should be given to patients of Hepatitis C in one go.
In group first antiviral herbs like, Andrographis paniculata, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Phyllanthus niruri, Raphanus sativus, Achyranthes aspra, Swertia chirata etc. are given, and in group second hepatoprotective herbs Boerhavia diffusa, Eclipta alba , Solanum nigrum etc and in group third immunomodulating herbs like Embelica officinalis, Ocimum sanctum, Withania somnifera, Terminalia arjuna, Piper longum, Cyperus rotundus, Tribulus trestris, Commiphora mukul are given to provide quick relief if a person is anti-HCV positive with elevated liver enzyme levels.
According to Dr. Verma, the new approach to Ayurvedic Therapy is based on ancient and classic traditional Ayurvedic formula and has shown promising results in hepatitis C. He said he has successfully treated appox. 200 positive cases of Hepatitis C, whose blood was positive with HCV. Dr Verma said the blend of effective herbs start acting synergistically to produce its powerful and amazing effects. In most of the cases, liver enzymes (SGOT/ SGPT) became normal within two to four weeks of new Ayurvedic therapy. After treatment only a few patients could be subjected to investigations like Viral load etc. because these tests are very expensive. In many patient of Dr. Verma the virus has become negative and they are leading normal life after Ayurvedic Therapy.
Dr Verma said there are many factors such as duration of a person’s HCV infection, their HCV viral load, age, grade of liver inflammation or stage of fibrosis may play an important role in determining response to Ayurvedic Therapy. Recent studies have suggested that a person’s HCV subtype1b appears to be at the greatest risk for increased risk of development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis. The following patients record shows that HCV virus became negative after Ayurvedic therapy. Inderjit Singh and Bhinder Pal Kaur w/o Inderjit Singh, Near Old Bus Stand, Sunam Road , Bhikhi (01652 – 276027) Mr. S K Jain, Jain Street Tohana Distt. Hissar (09416048714) Bikramjit Singh VPO: Mallowal Teh. Baba Bakala (Distt. Amritsar) (09915918094) Harpreet Singh s/o Sukhvir Singh VPO: Bunga Teh. Malerkotla (09855859313). Proper evaluation of these herbal preparations for treatment of Hepatitis C by scientific methods require immediate attention.