The liver is the main detox hub. It works hard to eliminate toxins and prevent metabolic waste in the body before they do much damage. Many natural supplements support liver health, but a variety of these do exactly the opposite. Continue reading for a complete list of supplements and foods you should avoid preventing liver damage.
32 Herbs and Supplements Which Might Be Bad for Your Liver
We have already discussed foods and supplements that are beneficial for the liver. In this post, we will hone in on the ones that you should avoid.
Natural Medication can go a very long way in enhancing liver health, even in people with liver disease. It generally works much better for prevention, therefore the sooner you know what things to do and what to avoid, the better.
Some Chemicals are downright bad for your liver and you need to be sure that you’re not taking them. Study this list carefully, especially if you’re at risk of liver problems. You may only take these supplements if your physician decides that the benefits outweigh the risks in your situation. Remember to monitor your liver enzymes and also seek medical attention if you notice any signs of liver damage like jaundice, abdominal pain, or vomiting.
Fo-ti (Polygonum multiflorum, PMT) Ranks among the best five of herbaceous plants toxic to the liver, especially if used alone or in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulations.
According to multiple clinical trials, this herb may harm the liver, cause acute harm, and even death.
The Processed roots of fo-ti might be less toxic, based on animal studies. But since their consequences could differ in people, we recommend avoiding this herb completely, especially if you currently have liver problems.
2) Cassia Cinnamon
Cassia Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is Chinese cinnamon. It’s higher amounts of coumarin when compared with the routine, Ceylon cinnamon. Taking in a lot of this herb may lead to liver damage.
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment cautioned against consuming Considerable Amounts of Cassia cinnamon in 2006.
3) Gotu Kola
According to a study, three girls (61, 52 and 49 years old) developed jaundice after accepting Gotu kola. All of these improved after quitting this nutritional supplement. Gotu kola also induced liver toxicity in one child.
Hepatitis and cirrhosis also have been reported. Avoid this herb or use it with extreme caution.
4) High Doses of some Vitamins
High doses or prolonged ingestion of moderate amounts of vitamin A may cause liver damage.
Long-term or high doses of niacin (time-release preparations) have led to liver failure or hepatotoxicity in some individuals. It’s possible that niacin is changed into NAD, which can harm the liver in excessive amounts.
High levels of beta-carotene worsened alcohol-induced liver injury in rats, while lower doses were protective.
To sum it up, most vitamins aren’t dangerous in normal doses. Avoid megadoses, especially of niacin and beta-carotene.
Chaparral is a tree that grows in California and Mexico. Clinical and animal research reveals it is poisonous to the liver.
In 1 study, patients taking chaparral endured acute to chronic irreversible liver damage with sudden liver failure.
1 review reported 18 toxicity cases after ingesting chaparral, together with jaundice as the major indication of liver disease.
In the united states, kava is usually sold as pills. These tablets may contain various toxic solvents.
Traditional kava beverages are prepared differently, after grinding The roots by chewing and spitting them out. Needless to say, this not an option for business preparations. It is likely that enzymes in saliva inactivate kava’s liver-toxic chemicals — or that something else in the process produces this herb less dangerous.
What is worse, Some people report using kava with alcohol, which stems out of its traditional applications and may amplify its liver-damaging potential.
The Studies that point to liver toxicity following kava intake comprised patients having a history of alcohol consumption. In other scenarios, kava Data was taken with other prescribed drugs, so the particular participation of kava into the damage is uncertain.
In the early 2000s, 11 cases of kava kava-related liver injuries are reported, four of which resulted in death. Because of this, kava was banned in Canada and a variety of European countries.
There was one case of acute hepatitis associated with kava-kava in a 14-year-old woman. She recovered following a liver transplant.
All In all, it’s still unknown if kava itself induces considerably liver damage. But until more research are outside, individuals with liver problems are much better off avoiding it.
7) Red clover
In one study on 20 guys, oral administration of 60 mg of red clover (Trifolium pratense) improved liver transaminases by 30%, maybe because of its high levels of isoflavones.
According To a different study, red clover might interact with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially aspirin, and cause adverse reactions. Such adverse events are common in herbal supplements that contain coumarin.
8) Greater Celandine
Liver toxicity brought on by greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) was reported in 16 patients.
1 person developed acute hepatitis after swallowing an herbal preparation of this plant.
Surprisingly, more celandine shielded rats and mice out of liver damage in several research.
More study is necessary, but evidence indicates this herb is toxic to the liver.
Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) can lead to hepatitis and even liver cirrhosis, as was reported in certain case studies.
In 1992, germander powder-containing capsules were banned from the French marketplace after an epidemic of 30 cases of hepatitis.
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) Petroleum was classified as a liver carcinogen of low grade due to the main component safrole. A derivative of this compound also caused liver toxicity in mice.
11) Usnic acid
The Daily oral ingestion of a fat-burning supplement with usnic acid (300-1,350 mg/day) over weeks has led to acute liver toxicity in a number of persons.
Usnic acid may cause oxidative stress and inhibit adrenal function in liver cells, which may contribute to its hepatotoxicity.
Comfrey (Symphytum spp) introduces a”substantial health hazard” to the liver. It caused various levels of harm, possibly resulting in liver failure in several cases. The effects were potential because of its pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
13) Aloe vera
Liver injury associated with oral administration of Aloe vera Was initially reported in 2005. The accident, which occurs in rare cases only, typically arises between 3 and 24 months of beginning oral aloe.
To one report, three girls (aged 55, 57 and 65) suffered acute hepatitis after taking aloe vera for months. Liver enzymes returned to normal upon discontinuation of the oral aloe vera.
In two other cases, two girls (27 and 73 years old) were admitted to The hospital for acute hepatitis after taking aloe vera preparations for several weeks.
Mistletoe (Viscum album) has been reported to cause liver injury (increased amounts of the mark AST and ALT) and hepatitis in several people.
In South Africa, impila (Callilepis laureola) Has been associated with a few cases of hepatitis and kidney damage. In 1 instance, a mother who absorbed impila died of liver necrosis. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, but it would be best to avoid this herb due to the absence of safety data.
Valerian Is usually safe when taken at typical doses for 4-8 weeks. However, some chemicals in valerian are toxic and can cause cell damage. Keep away from long-term use and large doses.
Not Many studies speak to its liver-damaging consequences. Nonetheless, there is enough information to urge against it in people with liver issues.
In 1 individual, valerian caused severe hepatitis. In others, it caused liver damage. Lastly, high doses of valerian petroleum had toxic effects on rat liver and cultured hepatoma cells in one lab experiment.
17) Black cohosh
Liver damage has been reported in a few individuals taking black cohosh (Actaea racemosa). But a meta-analysis concluded that there is no such evidence that it hurts the liver.
According to one study, two women developed acute liver necrosis following taking black cohosh.
Another case study, a 44-year-old woman developed liver injury within a month of using black cohosh to solve her hot flashes.
All these Cases are uncommon. If you’re taking black cohosh for hormonal issues, speak with your doctor about checking your liver enzymes frequently.
18) Saw palmetto
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) trainings have generated cholestatic hepatitis in some patients.
One Man, a former alcoholic, acquired acute hepatitis and pancreatitis after taking the herb. In another case record, saw palmetto caused abrupt liver damage.
19) Pau D’arco
The Pau d’arco tree Is indigenous to the Amazonian rainforest and has a long history of traditional use. Even though the evidence is sparse, it might also be toxic to the liver. A 28-year-old guy developed jaundice after accepting Pau d’arco and skullcap for 6 weeks for multiple sclerosis. His illness progressed to liver failure.
A 37-year-old man suffered from severe cholestatic hepatitis triggered by corydalis (Corydalis speciosa Max). He complained of jaundice and mild abdominal discomfort.
One patient had a transient increase in liver transaminase action after utilizing calcium sodium EDTA. The toxicity resolved after its discontinuation.
22) Yerba Mate
Consumption of considerable quantities of yerba mate tea over a period of decades caused liver disorder in one young woman.
A 52-year-old girl developed severe liver failure from regularly drinking tea containing senna (Cassia Angustifolia). The poisonous effects of senna are ascribed to its major components, sennosides.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) was toxic to the liver in mice with liver impairment and has also been reported to induce hepatotoxicity and anxiety within an 18-year-old student who used it for recreational purposes.
Because nutmeg is normally utilized in tiny quantities as a spice, it’s normally safe.
25) Clove oil
Ingestion of coconut oil caused coma, fits, blood clotting difficulties, and severe liver damage in a 2-year-old boy.
Coltsfoot Is a plant of the daisy family widely utilized in folk medicine for lung cancer problems. A baby developed the reversible liver disease after being awarded coltsfoot tea, maybe because of its pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
According to animal studies, coltsfoot is probably safe in adults on average doses. Exercise some caution when using it, though.
Borage (Borago officinalis) seed oil Has complex molecules called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are poisonous to the liver. Their focus must be lower than 200 ppt or 0.001% to the safe utilization of the oil. However, no liver toxicity instances from accepting borage seed oil have been reported.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) Oil can also be called spraw mint. It is supposed to be very poisonous, and animal studies have reported its toxicity to the liver — possibly because of the existence of pulegone, a highly poisonous chemical.
29) Coleus forskohlii root extract
Forskolin has some potential benefits like raising energy levels and promoting weight loss but might lead to liver damage. In a study in mice, Coleus forskohlii root extract with 10% forskolin caused liver injury, as found by increased markers of liver damage.
30) Peppermint Oil
At 2–3 times the recommended human dose, peppermint oil (Mentha× Piperita) could be toxic to liver cells.
Chronic Treatment with peppermint oil resulted in some level of liver impairment in animals, although no other parameters of liver function were diminished.
In 1 study, high doses of peppermint oil raised bile and markers of liver damage (ALT) on rat liver and cultured human liver cells during a lengthy period of time.
Low Doses probably will not do much harm, but it’s still better to stay on the safe side and avoid oral peppermint oil if you have liver issues.
31) Bitter melon
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extracts increased markers of liver damage in mice (ALP) but didn’t result in any other liver changes.
32) Olive leaf extract
An olive leaf infusion is very safe in general. However, high doses of induced liver changes in mice.
5 Compounds in Foods/Supplements Which May Be Bad for Your Liver
The Following chemicals are found in certain foods and nutritional supplements, being responsible for some of the liver toxicity cases previously mentioned. Be certain you minimize your intake of these chemicals, monitor your liver enzymes, and then go over the potential toxicity of any food/herb/supplement that contains them with your health care provider.
Coumarin Is a natural chemical found in several plants. It’s moderately toxic to the kidneys and liver with a lethal dose (LD50) of 275 mg/kg — this is very high, of course. At high doses, coumarin causes liver damage in mice and rats.
This compound is simply somewhat dangerous to individuals in moderate doses and secure at low doses.
European health agencies have cautioned against the high consumption of Cassia cinnamon bark due to its high coumarin material.
Coumarin Is found naturally in several other edible plants like strawberries, black currants, apricots, and cherries. Its levels in those fruits are almost negligible, though.
According To a single study, coumarins might also damage the brain. They could cause mild neurological dysfunction in children after prenatal exposure. The content of coumarin in meals is controlled in Europe.
34) Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids are made by plants as secondary metabolites. You will find over 600 PAs and PA N-oxides identified in over 6,000 plants and over half of them are toxic to the liver.
Herbal Remedies containing PAs can harm the liver. There’s an ongoing controversy over whether the use of these herbs for small spans of time is safe. Their negative effects certainly accumulate over time, and long-term use should be avoided.
Luckily, A number of businesses today make pyrrolizidine-free comfrey. Such products can be used safely and confidently for longer periods of time.
Eugenol is a pale yellow oily liquid extracted from particular essential oils such as clove leaf oil (80-88%), nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet basil, African basil, Japanese star anise, and bay leaf. It is poisonous to the liver and might lead to liver damage.
Furano-diterpenoids, Which are poisonous to the liver and might lead to hepatitis and even liver damage, are present in certain herbs like germander.
Whole valerian includes liver-toxic substances called valepotriates. Nevertheless, these compounds are regarded as absent from many commercial Valerian solutions. Case reports indicate that even high doses of valerian don’t harm the liver.
A Note About Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is directly associated with liver disease.
It is safe to state that alcohol is possibly the most dangerous substance out there, based on the number of deaths it causes every year.
In Advanced nations, mortality due to liver diseases is directly proportional to alcohol consumption (30 grams of pure alcohol per day is seen as a”safe dose”). Serious alcoholic hepatitis has a mortality record of around 50 percent.
The fatty liver grows in 90 percent of individuals who drink more than 16 g of alcohol/day but resolves once they stop drinking.
Many Reports have promised that the liver toxicity of paracetamol (acetaminophen) is raised in chronic alcoholics. Individuals do not just carry an elevated risk of acute and fatal liver damage after acute overdoses, but liver damage can also occur at therapeutic doses.
This All goes to say that you need to avoid alcohol if you would like to look after your liver. An occasional drink is probably fine if you are healthy, but equally binge drinking and alcoholism may harm your liver faster than anything else.
Additionally, many of the supplements listed above become dangerous only when combined with alcohol or drugs.
Herbs and Supplements to Use Only With Caution
As you can see, many natural products have the capacity to harm the liver.
Plus, some herbal products on the market don’t go through adequate quality control. Some may include heavy metals, poisonous solvents, and additives, or other contaminants — even if the real herbs recorded on the label are safe.
Herbal products are occasionally adulterated with additional toxic herbs of similar appearance (for example, germander utilized in skullcap goods ).
Blue-green algae species like spirulina could possibly be contaminated with liver-toxic compounds called microcystins, for which no greatest safe level is understood.
Some articles claim echinacea Is potentially poisonous to the liver, which is not true. Echinacea contains substances in the pyrrolizidine alkaloid family. However, its pyrrolizidine alkaloids in echinacea are benign.
If you have Liver disease, you have to be particularly careful of what you are taking. Ask for quality certificates, monitor your liver enzymes, and Talk to your physician about all of the supplements you’re taking to avoid drug interactions.