Six Alternative Treatments For Fatty Liver

If you're following one of these alternative treatments for fatty liver, check with your doctor before taking these remedies to make sure there aren't any adverse effects.
Six Alternative Treatments For Fatty Liver
Karla Henríquez

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Fatty liver, known as hepatic steatosis in medical terminology, is a condition becoming more common in today’s society due to our high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle. It’s produced when fatty acids and triglycerides accumulate in liver cells, forming up to 5 to 10% of the total weight of the organ. Do you suffer from fatty liver? Good news. There exist several alternative treatments for fatty liver.

While the fatty liver is a reversible condition, if it gets out of control it can lead to serious complications and affect other systems in your body. The problem is that it doesn’t show any obvious symptoms at first and usually progresses silently.

Luckily, there are several alternative treatments available that, if regularly implemented, can help fight this condition before it affects your quality of life. Below, we’d like to share 6 of the best natural treatments to keep in mind if you’re concerned about this illness.

Alternative treatments for fatty liver

Its appearance is directly related to metabolic syndrome, but also may occur due to damage caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

As mentioned, fatty liver is usually a silent disease. In case there are symptoms, the National Library of Medicine of the United States explains that these can be confused with a wide variety of pathologies since they are, mainly, discomfort in the upper right area of the abdomen and tiredness.

If the presence of this disease is suspected, your physician will take a medical history and perform various tests, including blood tests, imaging tests, and even a biopsy.

Once the diagnosis is obtained, the professional will determine the best treatment to follow. Generally, this includes modification of eating habits, as well as weight loss and increased physical activity. In addition, some of the following alternative treatments for the fatty liver may be used to accompany the treatment prescribed by the physician.

1. Ginger tea

Some ginger which is one of many alternative treatments for fatty liver.

Ginger root contains active anti-inflammatory agents and detoxifying ingredients that can be useful in treating fatty liver alongside the treatment your doctor has given you. Remember that this discomfort may be accompanied by inflammation, especially in the case of non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis.

Gingerol is the substance that gives ginger its spiciness, acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-lipid that helps with any fat accumulation in your liver. Gingerol fights particles that cause oxidative stress, which is linked to a higher likelihood of getting this condition.

What to do

  • Make a tea out of fresh ginger and after letting it sit, enjoy up to 3 times a day
  • Take for 2 straight weeks if your doctor says it’s ok

2. Boldo tea

Boldo is a plant valued for centuries for helping not only your digestion but also your liver, too. Its cleansing abilities foster proper liver and gallbladder function while making them better at digesting fat.

WebMD data indicates it’s recommended for dissolving gallbladder stones and cleaning the channels that carry bile to the intestine. Moreover, this herb also has antioxidant properties.

What to do

  • Find boldo leaves in your favorite herbal supply store and use them to make a tea
  • Consume twice a day for one week straight if your doctor approves

3. Radish juice

Some sliced radishes in a wooden spoon.
Radish slices are the most common way of eating them, but there are many other preparations.

The great number of antioxidants in radishes help break down built-up fats in your liver ,  as evidenced by some studies in rats. Eating radishes encourages controlled cholesterol and triglyceride levels, two lipids that make treating fatty liver more difficult. Of course, research in humans would be necessary to corroborate this.

What to do

  • Put a few radishes in a blender and blend with a cup of water until all lumps are gone
  • Strain and consume every other day

4. Alternative treatments for fatty liver: chard tea

Consuming chard in tea form concentrates its antioxidants and detoxifying agents, which support liver function, especially the digestion of fatty compounds. The active substances in chard manage inflammation caused by the fatty liver while stimulating the elimination of toxins. Specific research is needed to determine the accuracy of these beliefs.

What to do

  • Put chard leaves in a pot with water, simmer for 5 minutes, and then strain
  • Have 2 or 3 glasses a day for two weeks

5. Grapefruit juice

Some grapefruit juice which is one of many alternative treatments for fatty liver.

One of the main compounds in grapefruit, naringenin, works as a potent antioxidant, according to experts at Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Therefore, it serves to prevent this condition and, also, from getting worse.

What to do

  • Squeeze six grapefruits into a container and sweeten the juice with a teaspoon of honey
  • Drink on an empty stomach, without any other food, for at least 2 weeks straight

6. Alternative treatments for fatty liver: milk thistle tea

Milk thistle tea is one of the most popular alternative remedies out there for fatty liver. It has liver-protecting and anti-inflammatory abilities that help protect liver cells, reducing lipid accumulation.

What to do

  • Firstly, make a tea with milk thistle seeds or, alternatively, get milk thistle supplements from your herbalist
  • Take once a day, every day

Things to keep in mind

Although popular beliefs indicate that many of these alternative remedies contribute to the recovery of hepatic steatosis when included in a healthy lifestyle that also takes into account your doctor’s indications, they don’t substitute treatments.

Since several of them may have contraindications, it’s essential you consult your doctor before starting to take them. This way, you’ll avoid adverse reactions and interactions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Melzer, O. A., Rothkopf, M. M., & Ganjhu, L. (2014). Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In Metabolic Medicine and Surgery.
  • Nguyen, P., Leray, V., Diez, M., Serisier, S., Le Bloc’H, J., Siliart, B., & Dumon, H. (2008). Liver lipid metabolism. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition.
  • Sahebkar, A. (2011). Potential efficacy of ginger as a natural supplement for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • Fernández, J., Lagos, P., Rivera, P., & Zamorano-Ponce, E. (2009). Effect of boldo (Peumus boldus Molina) infusion on lipoperoxidation induced by cisplatin in mice liver. Phytotherapy Research.
  • Miyata, M., Takano, H., Guo, L. Q., Kiyoshi, N., & Yamazoe, Y. (2004). Grapefruit juice intake does not enhance but rather protects against aflatoxin B1-induced liver DNA damage through a reduction in hepatic CYP3A activity. Carcinogenesis.
  • Madrigal-Santillán, E., Madrigal-Bujaidar, E., Álvarez-González, I., Sumaya-Martínez, M. T., Gutiérrez-Salinas, J., Bautista, M., … Morales-González, J. A. (2014). Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects. World Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • MedlinePlus. Hígado graso.
  • Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr; 4(Suppl 1): S36–S42. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence.
  • WebMD. Boldo.
  • Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs & Natural Supplements.
  • Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015; 8(9): 15910–15919. Published online 2015 Sep 15. The effect of radish sourced 4-(Methylthio)-3-butenyl isothiocyanate on ameliorating the severity of high fat diet inducted nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in rats.
  • Zobeiri, Mehdi & Belwal, Tarun & Parvizi, Fatemeh & Naseri, Rozita & Farzaei, Mohammad Hosein & Nabavi, Seyed & Sureda, Antoni & Nabavi, Seyed. (2018). Naringenin and its Nano-formulations for Fatty Liver: Cellular Modes of Action and Clinical Perspective. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 19. 10.2174/1389201019666180514170122.
  • StatPearls [Internet]. Milk Thistle. 27-04-2020. Milk Thistle.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.