Do you know someone who started to appear yellow suddenly? It might be a possibility they had pale/yellow eyes or nails. The most probable reason for this may be jaundice.
Jaundice is one of the most common liver disorders. It involves excess bilirubin circulating in the body. Bilirubin is a yellow-orange coloured bile pigment produced when the haemoglobin breaks down from the red blood cells. Jaundice is associated with yellow discolouration of mucous membrane, skin, nail beds and the whites of the eyes. 1
Jaundice is quite common in newborns since their liver is not completely developed to eliminate the accumulated bilirubin. It usually goes away with time.2
We want to tell you more about the symptoms and causes of jaundice. We would also explore the preventive measures and home remedies that may be helpful. It is recommended to take a professional consultation for proper diagnosis and treatment when jaundice is suspected. Meanwhile, keep reading to know which home remedies may provide relief in managing symptoms.
What causes the condition:
Jaundice can be caused at three stages.
They are: before, during and after the production of bilirubin. Problems associated with any of the three phases may cause jaundice.
The three stages where jaundice can occur along with their causes are:
- Before the production of bilirubin (unconjugated jaundice):
- Reabsorption of a large hematoma or haemolytic anaemia may cause jaundice.
- During the production of bilirubin:
- Infections due to viruses like Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis A, chronic hepatitis B and C
- Rare genetic metabolic defects
- Autoimmune diseases
- Medicines like acetaminophen, oral contraceptives, penicillin, chlorpromazine, estrogenic or anabolic steroids.
- After production of bilirubin:
- Gallbladder cancer
- Pancreatic tumour
- Inflammation of gall bladder
Symptoms of Condition:
At times when jaundice is present, but without any visible symptoms, severity is predicted by finding the underlying cause of jaundice.
- Various causes of jaundice may have a particular set of symptoms as given below: Jaundice caused by infections may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Flu-like symptoms include fever and chills
- Abdominal pain
- Yellowish skin
- Dark coloured urine and/or clay-coloured stools
- If infections do not cause jaundice, you may have symptoms like:
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Jaundice due to liver disease may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Inflammation of joints
- Liver inflammation
- An early stage of hepatitis A, B and C
- Certain skin diseases
Home Remedies for Jaundice:
Some of the natural remedies for jaundice are as follows:
1. Natural Sunlight for neonatal jaundice:
Natural sunlight may be beneficial to neonatal jaundice. Sunlight includes a wide spectrum which includes the bilirubin absorbing range. Natural sunlight may be a replacement for phototherapy for neonatal jaundice.4
2. Restriction In Diet:
During the acute stages of jaundice, porridge without salt and tamarind or cooked rice is recommended. Oil, ghee and spices shall be avoided in jaundice. Non- vegetarian food should also be avoided. Meals may include vegetables without seasoning or tempering.5
3. Sugarcane Juice:
Sugarcane juice may keep bilirubin levels in control and may help in jaundice. Sugarcane juice is good for liver diseases. For making sugarcane juice, the sugarcane is washed well, and the outer layer is removed. It is then cut into pieces, and the sugarcane extract and the juice are taken out. Squeeze the extract to remove any remaining juice.6
4. Papaya Leaves:
Enzymes like papain present in papaya leaves may help cure jaundice. Grind chopped papaya leaves using a mortar and pestle to extract the paste from the leaves. You can add honey to it and consume it.7
5. Black cumin:
Black cumin is traditionally known as jeera. The phytoconstituents present in black cumin may help to cure jaundice. Black cumin may be lightly toasted, then grounded and consumed.8
Mint, commonly known as pudina, may be used for jaundice. According to folk medicine, mint tea may help cure jaundice. The juice from the mint leaves is mixed with honey and then consumed to treat jaundice.8
Babul may be used for jaundice due to phytoconstituents like flavonoids and alkaloids. The whole plant or the flower of babul may be useful in jaundice. Babul powder is mixed in water and consumed.9
Amla is known as Indian gooseberry in English. The fruit, leaf and bark of the amla plant may be used to manage jaundice. The bilirubin level may return to normal by consuming amla. The consumption of amla juice may cure jaundice.9 Dice three to four Indian gooseberries into small pieces. Add some water and black salt into a blender and blend till it is smooth. Strain the pulp obtained and extract the juice. Amla juice is ready to be consumed.
Though studies show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies for jaundice, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken cautiously and never as a substitute for medical treatment.
When To Seek Medical Help:
It is recommended to consult a doctor immediately for proper treatment for jaundice.
- If you feel unwell while you have jaundice, seek medical help as soon as possible.10
- For new-born babies, you can seek medical help when:
- If the baby is constantly cries with a high pitch.
- If the body is arched.
- If the body becomes stiff, limp or floppy.
- If the baby has strange eye movements.
- If the baby refuses to breastfeed.
- The baby does not urinate enough or pass enough stools.
- Skin of the baby is yellowish11.
You must not rely on home remedies alone to treat the condition. Instead, you should consult a qualified doctor if the symptoms do not improve.
Jaundice is a liver disease with an increased bilirubin level in the bloodstream. The mouth, skin and sclera turn yellow. It is found to be common among infants. Breastfeeding may be an effective at-home treatment for jaundice in new-borns. A few common symptoms of jaundice may include yellow discolouration and flu-like symptoms.
Natural sunlight may help cure jaundice in adults and infants both. In addition, dietary modification, consuming sugarcane juice, papaya leaves’ paste, black cumin, amla, babul, and mint tea may be some natural remedies for jaundice.