Can herbal medicine can damage my liver and kidney?




When I was interning at UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine, someone brought this question to the Center’s director Dr. Hui. The person had read a news article that some herbs can damage people’s liver and kidney. Dr. Hui’s response was remarkable. He said, “there will be no news article reporting liver and kidney damage due to pharmaceuticals… why? because almost all pharmaceuticals cause some liver and kidney damage.”

Liver and kidney is the body’s organ of eliminating waste. Everything ingested must go through them. Therefore, any substance has the potential to damage them. In Morgan Spurlock’s “Super-size Me”, he successfully induced liver damage by simply eating at McDonald’s everyday. So to say herbal medicine may cause liver or kidney damage is very disingenuous. Overall, herbal medicine is milder and safer than modern pharmaceuticals. Some herbs have the potential to cause liver and kidney damage if used improperly. Modern pharmacological researches in China have extensive record of those herbs and the dosage limit. A well-trained physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine should be familiar with those research and practice safely.

If herbal medicine is practiced by a well-trained TCM physician, not only is it safe, it can be used to treat kidney and liver diseases and restore some of their functions. Here is a case of Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease I treated. With the use of herbal medicine, the patient reversed the progression of her Chronic Kidney Disease and avoided dialysis in the future.

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6 responses to “Can herbal medicine can damage my liver and kidney?”
  1. Yip, Gary Avatar
    Yip, Gary

    你有經驗 處理 腎功能的 病患嗎?

    1. victor cheng Avatar
      victor cheng


  2. Frances Harriman Avatar
    Frances Harriman

    Hello. I got your name from Fran Laughton. I am due to take a second infusion of Prolia in January for osteoporosis, but, due to the side effects, I have decided to seek a different treatment path. I would prefer to use TCM, herbs, acupuncture instead–assuming it is a condition you can treat. Can you? I see that you are not accepting new patients until April. Please advise. Thank you, Frances Harriman, harrifri215@gmail.com or 707-477-0937

    1. victor cheng Avatar
      victor cheng

      Hi Frances, we cannot discuss your condition publicly over internet. Please call our office for further information thanks.

  3. Tamara Connaughton Avatar
    Tamara Connaughton

    Herbal medicine has the potential to cause harm to your liver and kidneys, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using them.

  4. Tamara Connaughton Avatar
    Tamara Connaughton

    While herbal medicine can offer natural remedies, it’s important to be cautious as certain herbs have the potential to harm the liver and kidneys.

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