By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 24, 2018, Last updated April 22, 2019
What is Jaundice
Jaundice is a disease which causes yellowish discoloration of one’s skin, mucous membranes and eyes. Even urine can turn yellow. Strictly speaking, it is not a disease itself but a sign of an underlying disease. Icterus is another name for jaundice. Before we talk of the 5 best homeopathic medicines for jaundice, let us understand the problem a little better.
Jaundice occurs due to increase of bilirubin in the blood. It is yellowish-orange in colour. Bilirubin is a by-product of normal breakdown of the RBCs in the body. The liver processes it from the blood after breakdown of the RBCs. Increased destruction of RBCs can cause increased bilirubin levels. At the same time, the inability of the liver to process this bilirubin can also cause it to collect in the body.
What causes Jaundice
As I have mentioned earlier, jaundice means yellow discoloration due to the increase of bilirubin. This increase of bilirubin can be due to the various causes or diseases. This may occur due to increased destruction of red blood cells. In such a situation, the liver may not be able to process all the bilirubin. In another condition, the destruction of RBCs is not increased but the liver is not able to process even normal amounts of bilirubin. This can occur in many liver related diseases. In the third condition, the body is not able to excrete the processed bilirubin and it collects in the blood. Some of the common causes of jaundice are given below-
- Malaria- Malaria can cause destruction of the RBCs resulting in increased bilirubin.
- Blood disorders- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia can cause jaundice.
- Hepatitis- Infection of the liver can cause jaundice as happens in various forms of hepatitis like hepatitis A or hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Mostly, these infections are viral in origin. They may be acute or chronic.
- Alcoholic Cirrrhosis- Consuming too much alcohol for prolonged periods can cause cirrhosis of the liver. In such cases, the liver is unable to perform its normal functions.
- Blockages of bile ducts- Bile ducts are thin tubes that carry bile from the liver and gall bladder to the intestines. In some cases, they may get blocked. This may be due to gall stones or some cancers.
- Medicines- Certain medicines like steroids, birth control pills or pain killers can also damage the liver and increase bilirubin levels.
Neo Natal Jaundice
Neo natal jaundice is a common occurrence in children in the first few days of life. This is because the liver of the new born may take some time to develop its functions fully. At the same time, there is destruction of the fetal hemoglobin, which the underperforming liver is not able to process fully. The bilirubin levels increase quickly. In most cases, the bilirubin levels are controlled with simple phototherapy. This is a common occurrence and mostly resolves on its own.
Symptoms of jaundice
- The main presenting symptom of jaundice is the yellowish discoloration of the eyes. It is usually the first symptom. Later on, this yellowness spreads to mouth, chest, stomach and skin all over the body. There are some other symptoms too-
- Yellowish discoloration of eyes, mouth and skin. This yellow discoloration spreads down the body. In severe cases, the eyes may even turn brownish.
- The urine also becomes dark yellow.
- Stools may become pale yellowish instead of the normal brownish colour.
- There may be itching all over the body.
- Sense of fatigue may be felt and one tends to become tired easily.
- There may be nausea or vomiting.
- Pain in the abdomen is present in some cases.
- Weight loss happens though this does not happen in all patients.
- Some patients may have fever also along with the other symptoms of jaundice.
Treatment of jaundice
The prevailing allopathic system of medicine hardly has any treatment for jaundice. They do not prescribe any medicine. The real reason why they do not prescribe any medicine is that the allopathic system of medicine does not have any treatment for jaundice. The liver processes all the allopathic medicines. When the liver is already not performing, giving any allopathic medicine may even further aggravate the problem.
Therefore, the doctors advise just rest for the digestive system. They feel that the liver will start functioning normally again on its own. It is just a matter of time and giving rest to the liver. Therefore they advise not to take heavy food, spices and non veg. Doctors also recommend foods that are light on the stomach and cane sugar juice. This advice works in some cases but not all.
Homeopathic treatment of jaundice
As opposed to the allopathic system of medicine, homeopathy has a good treatment available for jaundice. There are a number of homeopathic medicines that can revive the normal functioning of liver. These homeopathic medicines are very effective and restore the liver function quickly. The bilirubin levels start reducing soon after starting treatment. The choice of the right homeopathic medicine rests on the symptoms of the patient. There is no fixed treatment for jaundice in homeopathy. As in other cases, one has to individualize the treatment for each and every patient. One has to take into account all the symptoms that are present in a patient.
5 best homeopathic medicines for jaundice
There are a number of homeopathic medicines for the treatment of jaundice. As I have mentioned in the previous paragraph, the final choice of the right medicine depends on the complete symptom picture of the patient.
For the sake of illustration, I am giving a brief description of the commonly indicated medicines. This does not in any way mean that there are only these 5 homeopathic medicines that are available for the treatment of jaundice. One often has to go beyond this short list. That depends on the presenting symptoms of the patient.
- Carduus Marianus- Best homeopathic medicine for jaundice with gall bladder disease
- Chelidonium- Best homeopathic medicine for jaundice with pain below shoulder blade
- Nux Vomica- Best homeopathic medicine for jaundice due to abuse of alcohol
- Bryonia- One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice with increased thirst
- Podophyllum- One of the best medicines for jaundice with pain better by rubbing
Carduus Marianus- One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice with involvement of gall bladder.
St Mary’s Thistle is the common name of this medicine. There is pain in the liver region. The liver is enlarged. There is persistent nausea and retching. Vomiting of green acidic fluid is also seen. Constipation alternates with diarrhea. There may even be swelling of the legs, feet and other dependent parts along with liver disease.
Chelidonium – One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice with pain just below the right shoulder blade
This pain is constant and does not change with change of posture. There is a sense of constriction across the abdomen and around the liver region. This sense of constriction is as if a string is tied across the abdomen. There is desire to eat and drink warm or hot things. The taste of the mouth is bitter. Pain in the abdomen is temporarily relieved by eating.
Nux Vomica – One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice due to abuse of alcohol
The liver becomes deranged due to this chronic alcoholism. There is regular use of other stimulants or rich food too. The patient is usually short tempered. There is intolerance to cold and feels chilly all the time. There is pain in the stomach which is usually aggravated after eating. Nausea is worse in the morning time. The liver seems sore. There is stitching pain in the liver region.
Bryonia- One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice with increased thirst
There is increased dryness of mucous membranes. This dryness is reflected in increased thirst. The patient seems to be always thirsty. He or she takes large quantities of water. This dryness also causes constipation. The stool is dry and hard. There is pain in the liver region. This pain is stitching type of pain. The stitches are worse from pressure. There is pressure in the stomach region as if a hard stone is lying there.
Podophyllum- One of the best homeopathic medicines for jaundice with pain in liver region better by rubbing
This is characteristic of this medicine. There is sensation of weakness or sinking in the stomach region. Patient complains of pain in the abdominal region. Lying on the stomach relieves this pain. There may be diarrhea along with jaundice. Stools are greenish, profuse and have fetid odor.