Dear Stephen,
I had hepatitis C and was treated in 2003 for one year and had a sustained viral response. My bloodwork showed no HCV until I started your protocol for lyme disease. I was using the Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw and andrographis. Are you aware that knotweed can reactivate hep C? I am wondering if you have this posted on your website? People who have a history of this virus should be aware of this herb’s ability to reactivate the hep C virus.


Stephen’s response:
Yes, you are right, that under certain circumstances knotweed root may have an impact on hep c viral loads. Thanks for the reminder.
UPDATE 3/17/14 I have spent some time on this question since it was first posted and need to revise my initial response. The material suggesting that some of the components of Japanese knotweed root might, under certain circumstances, reactivate hepatitis C virus really did not pan out over time.
There seem to be two aspects to the potential reactivation of hepatitis C by Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) root: 1) Hepatitis C viruses, when the immune health is high, retreat to relatively untestable numbers, if the immune function falls, for instance, when another disease becomes dominant, may begin to increase in numbers; 2) Polygonum multiflorum, a related species, can in fact, under some circumstances, cause liver inflammation, that is, hepatitis. This can exacerbate any underlying liver diseases that may be present.
After several years of looking at this issue, I do not see that Polygonum cuspidatum will actually reactivate hepatitis C virus levels in the body. The herb is often used in China to treat hepatitis diseases of various sorts, including HCV. I no longer consider the herb a potential problem for former sufferers of HCV (which includes myself).
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