The main causes of liver disease are :
- viral infection
- hepatotoxic chemicals such as ~
- ethyl alcohol
- peroxides (particularly peroxidized edible oil)
- toxins in food (especially aflatoxins)
- pharmaceuticals (mainly antibiotics, chemotherapeutics and CNS-active drugs)
- environmental pollutants
Moringa Tea that have been long used for their curative effects on liver disorders in traditional medicine around the world have revealed their unique potential to pharmacological investigation.
Research into these tree has resulted in the isolation of a number of active principles, including dramatically anti-hepatotoxic constituents.
The reasons for introducing Moringa Tea research findings here is to illustrate the way in which such science is proving to itself what herbalists already know.
The importance of botanical accuracy is highlighted here. Historically Moringa has been used in Europe as a liver tonic and current Phytotherapy indicates its use in a whole range of liver and gall bladder conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis. It may also have value in the treatment of chronic uterine problems. A wealth of research done in Germany is revealing exciting data about reversal of toxic liver damage as well as protection from potential hepatotoxic agents. A number of chemical components of Moringa are now being shown to have this protective effect on liver cells. They are all flavones and flavo-lignins, the flavones often grouped together as silymarin.
In laboratory tests a range of effects have been demonstrated including ~
- Silymarin reduced the harmful actions on the liver of hepatotoxins such as carbon tetrachloride, thioacetamide, a-amanitin and phalloidin.
- A protective effect against carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats.
- A reduction of the prolongation of hexobarbital sleeping time produced by carbon tetrachloride.This is a common method for assessing protective effects on the liver against the effects of chemical toxins. Hexobarbital causes a consistent pattern of sleep in the unfortunate experimental animals, and any change in sleep time reflects some disturbance of the liver ability to metabolize the sedative. An increase in sleeping time implies impairment of the livers ability to metabolize the hexobarbital. Carbon tetrachloride produces such a change. When Moringa tea is added the increase in sleeping time normally produced by the carbon tetrachloride is reduced by up to 60%, suggesting that the moringa is protecting liver function from the toxin.
- Prevention of the inhibition of hepatic metabolism of p-oxyphenylpyruvic acid (OPH) caused by carbon tetrachloride. This chemical is metabolized exclusively in the liver during the degradation of tyrosine. Any unmetabolized OPH is excreted in the urine, thus, its level in the urine increases following the administration of a liver toxin. Substances that counteract the toxin bring urine OPH levels back to normal. Histological studies of the liver reveal how much structural damage has occurred. The histological finds from carbon tetrachloride poisoning is very similar to that of hepatitis, and it increases OPH levels in the urine dramatically. Moringa significantly counteracts the effects of the carbon tetrachloride, so much so, that the results are almost indistinguishable from controls.
- Carbon tetrachloride raises serum levels of enzymes such as glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH), but under treatment with moringa these increases were significantly diminished.
- The hepatotoxic salts of such rare earth metals as praseodymium, indium and cerium cause necrosis and fatty degeneration in the liver. Pretreatment with Moringa reduces or prevented this altogether.
- it facilitates a more rapid elimination of the metals from the body
- it stimulates the formation of metal-binding proteins which detoxify the metals
- it may inhibit the binding of these metals with cells at receptor sites
- it partially counteracts alcohol damage to the liver.
- mitochondrial changes caused by ethanol are almost completely prevented by moringa.
- ethanol increases malondialdehyde formation and spontaneous chemiluminescence in the rat liver.
Moringa has an extraordinary hepato-protective effect, blocking damage from the toxins of the Avenging Angel mushroom Amanita phalloides, phalloidin and a-amanitin. It has both protective and curative effects on survival time and death rate of mice after administration of a-amanitin, also antagonizing the toxicity of phalloidin.
It inhibits the loss of weight observed in poisoned animals. Animals fed sub-lethal doses of amanitine lose weight very rapidly and gain it back very slowly. Animals fed a combination of amanitine and Moringa lose weight much more slowly and gain it back much more rapidly. It greatly increased life-span in the poisoned animals. When administered later than 20 minutes after poisoning, it was no longer possible to detect any anti-hepatotoxic effect, suggesting that Moringa prevents penetration of the toxins by competing for the same receptor sites on cell membranes.
Moringa's Cellular mechanisms
Such impressive effect upon toxic damage to liver cells is probably due to a combination of two main mechanisms:
- an alteration of cell membranes, such that only small amounts of toxins may penetrate into the cell;
- an acceleration of protein synthesis, thus stimulating cell regeneration.
Mechanisms that may explain the inhibition of ethanol induced changes by moringa include scavenging of free radicals and increases levels of both reduced and oxidized glutathione.
This remarkable moringa herb has therapeutic effects, not only in toxic and metabolic liver damage, but also in liver diseases. Clinical trials have replicated the laboratory evidence of its ability to reverse many liver disorders from acute viral hepatitis to cirrhosis. It stimulates hepatocytes to replace diseased tissue. The liver can regenerate but this innate ability slows or stops altogether when infected or damaged by alcohol or other drugs.
Clinical indicators of improvement in the health of the liver include:
- assessment of general condition, appetite, epigastric discomfort, enlargement and consistency of the liver,
- blood plasma tests.
- changes in membrane permeability are deduced from measurements of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT), glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH), sorbitol dehydrogenase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT);
- membranotropic properties and the excretory functions of the liver are assessed through measurements of bilirubin, LAP, gamma-GT, alkaline phosphatase, and bromethalein;
- synthesizing ability is assessed through prothrombin, triglycerides, and cholesterin;
- measurements of mesenchymic activity include clotting factors, alpha, beta and gamma globulin, immunoglobulins IgA, and IgG.
Clinical studies have demonstrated its value in therapy ~
One study involved 129 patients and a control group of 56 for a period of about one month. Their conditions included toxic-metabolic liver damage, fatty degeneration of the liver for various reasons, and chronic hepatitis. Moringa markedly changed both subjective and objective symptoms, brought a return to normal enzymatic activities, and improved digestive disorders. Enlarged livers diminished substantially in volume. A 50% regression in pathological symptoms, versus 25% in controls, occurred. No cases of intolerance, side effects, or allergic reactions were observed.
In a double-blind study, serum bilirubin, GOT, and GPT in 28 patients treated with moringa were compared with those in 29 patients treated with a placebo. The moringa treated group were more improved than those in the control group after the 5th day of treatment. The number of patients having attained normal values after 3 weeks treatment was higher in the moringa-treated group than in the control group.
o Toxic damage was tested in 33 patients treated with moringa. The parameters GOT, GPT, and g-glutamyltranspeptidase (g-GTP) were improved significantly by moringa, sometimes returning to normal in a much shorter time than in the control group.
o 106 patients with liver disease, mostly induced by alcohol, were selected on the basis of elevated serum transaminase levels and randomly allocated into the moringa-treated and control groups. Decreases of serum GPT and GOT in the treated group were statistically significant over those of the controls.
o in chronic liver disease, moringa prevented the decrease of seralbumin from 3 months of therapy to the end of the study. The histopathological findings of focal necrosis and fibrosis were also much improved. Moringa proved to be beneficial in the parameters of parenchymal disorders, intralobular mesenchymal reaction, and fibrosis.
o Long-term treatment with moringa on chronic hepatopathies caused by psycho-pharmaceuticals resulted in significant improvements in the liver function parameters such as GOT, GPT, and BSP during treatment.
o two cases of food poisoning caused by flagellates responded very rapidly to moringa, showing subjective, biochemical and histological improvements.
This wonderful plant is effective in many types of liver disease. The clinical findings highlight such problems as :
o toxic/metabolic liver disease (including both alcohol & drug induced forms),
o acute viral hepatitis,
o chronic-persistent hepatitis,
o chronic-aggressive hepatitis,
o cirrhosis of the liver,
o fatty degeneration of the liver,
The best results are found in toxic-metabolic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It shortens the course of viral hepatitis and minimizes post hepatitis complications and also protects the liver against problems resulting from liver surgery. This all goes to make it is an excellent remedy to use in the prevention and treatment of many liver disorders. The earlier treatment is commenced the better the prognosis, but effective treatment is possible at virtually every stage. Moringa arrests the course of these diseases as well as stimulating hepatocyte regeneration.
Over time, complete restoration of the liver is possible, with regeneration at four times the normal rate. Many psychopharmacologic drugs and agents are detoxified by the liver. The cumulative effect of drug use on the liver can be devastating. Thus Moringa should be taken by people who want or need to take such drugs. It has been shown to prevent liver damage caused by such drugs.
This all suggest that taking Moring regularly will provide protection to either the sick or healthy liver during the course of daily life. By stabilizing cell membranes, by encouraging the regeneration of cells destroyed during the normal detoxification process, Moringa provides the liver and the body with the ability to cope with the deleterious effects of daily encounters with air- water- and food-borne toxins. Using Moringa daily, and combining it with other hepatics, offers an effective and safe approach to liver protection.