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Chinese Medicinal Herbs for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 1 in 4 adults and many children worldwide. It covers a range of liver conditions in which excess fat is stored in the liver, and affect people who drink little to no alcohol. It is a silent disease that presents few or no symptoms, and can lead to serious liver damage when it worsens. Risk factors include:

  • Genetics/ family history

  • High cholesterol

  • High levels of triglycerides in the blood

  • Obesity- especially with increased concentration of abdominal fat

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Hypothyroidism


Current conventional management for NAFLD includes weight control, reducing cardiovascular risk factors, and frontline western medicines. However, where the condition remains persistent and when western medications causes side effects such as weight gain, dizziness and irregular bowel movements, Chinese medicinal herbs can offer some promising results through Chinese medicine's holistic therapeutic approach to treating the condition.


Research has shown that the following top 8 Chinese medicinal herbs contain anti-NAFLD active compounds, that when in herbal formulae, target the gut-liver axis and adipose tissue-liver axis, to resolve the inflammation in NAFLD:

  • Hawthorn berry (Shan Zha)

  • Salvia root (Dan Shen)

  • Poria (Fu Ling)

  • Water plantain (Ze Xie)

  • Bupleurum (Chai Hu)

  • Atractylodes root (Bai Zhu)

  • Cassia seed (Jue Ming Zi)

  • Turmeric tuber (Yu Jin)


With more clinical studies and application of modern technology being carried out to investigate the role of chinese herbal formulae for the treatment of NAFLD, this will help us discover more new herbal treatment approaches for this prevalent health condition. For more information, feel free to contact us at 9635 1715 or email yli.tcmclinic@gmail.com.

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