ABCEDFG – Hepatitis, "The Alphabet Disease"

By Ariana Estelle-Symons PhD.
Extracted from the
Kombucha Konnection newsletter

It’s a good thing there are 26 letters in the alphabet – because Hepatitis has already used up 7 of them. That’s right. When HCV (Hepatitis C virus) was discovered in 1987, it seemed to the researchers that ‘all the bases were covered’. Patients that were sick and suffering from NANB Hepatitis (nonA-nonB), now had an identifiable disease – Hepatitis C. Then came HDV, HEV, HFV, & now, HGV. Hepatitis F & G being identified in the last 3 years.

Hepatitis is an insidious, disabling, and often fatal virulent disease, behaving like a time bomb in the unsuspecting victim. The hepatitis virus is a specialized killer, a foreign invader on a search and destroy mission. In it’s deadly quest, the virus seeks out only liver cells. It shows no respect or particular interest in age, gender or social standing.

At the beginning of the 20th century, when first identified, it was called ‘infectious hepatitis’ and was divided into two classes: The fist being transmitted ‘person to person’, usually related to poor hygienic condition. The second, called ‘serum hepatitis, transmitted parenterally by blood and blood products.

All hepatitis is caused by a virus that attacks the liver. To understand the damage it can do, it helps to understand the function of the liver. Following is the job description of the liver:

Everything we eat, breathe and absorb through our skin must be refined and detoxified by the liver, so special attention to nutrition and diet can help keep the liver healthy.

Hepatitis means: ‘Inflammation of the liver’. Viral hepatitis refers to several common contagious diseases caused by viruses that attack the liver. The most well known types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Following are some facts provided by The American Liver Foundation:

Were it not for some very famous people like singer Naomi Judd, the late sportsman, Mickey Mantle, TV newsman Frank Reynold, or actors Larry Hagman and Jim Nabors - Hepatitis C would be virtually unknown outside medical circles.

The hepatitis virus continues to evolve and the search goes on for new testing, new drugs, and new treatment. In the meantime, some people have decided to try more ‘natural & alternative’ therapies

We’ve heard from many people who either did not respond to interferon – or have opted not to use it. Besides Kombucha, here are some of the alternatives that they are using:

GARLIC: New research finds that garlic will boost the levels of important enzymes, restoring the protective, detoxifying function of the liver.

MILK THISTLE: This remarkable herb has been hiding in plain sight for 2,000 years. This common herb'’ value against liver disease has been demonstrated in over 100 rigorous scientific experiments.

And, the strangest of all:

ANTS: Jingling Ant Research Center in Nanjing, China has been studying ants for over 30 years. They have developed the 'Ling’ formula, containing:

Kombucha Luv Letters


From Judeen (Texas)

This is from a phone call to Judeen, who had started drinking KT in June of 1996. I knew that she was experiencing many problems with Hepatitis C. She had undergone major surgery for a ruptured ovarian cyst in 1978, and received a blood transfusion. She was not diagnosed with HCV until 8 years ago. Some of her recent symptoms included diarrhea, nausea, headaches and joint pain. I phoned her to ask how she was doing – and this is what she told me:

"I have experienced many benefits from drinking Kombucha. I had been taking Immodium (over the counter drug) for diarrhea. I was taking 6 to 8 tablets a day. Now I am taking 5 to 7 tablets a WEEK. I regularly take Tylenol 3( with codeine) and Librium for the terrible headaches, joint pain and pain in the upper right quadrant of my body. I have cur the dosage of both of these medications - in half.

I have also found that Kombucha Teas has a therapeutic effect if I overeat or indulge in rich foods that would ordinarily make me very ill. I drink a little KT after the meal, and I feel fine.

I am now enjoying a better quality of life – thanks to Kombucha!

Oliver’s Story

"Man, I love this stuff"

Hi Ari,

Yep, I’m one of those people with Hepatitis C, and I’m happy to send you my short story for publication in the Kombucha Konnection newsletter. Maybe it’ll help someone else.

As close as I can figure, I’ve had this crappy bug since 1981. I was a cop and a guy BIT ME during an arrest. I didn’t think a whole lot about it until about five years ago when I got so dammed sick. I tested positive for HCV and the first thing the doc told me was to quit drinking. I felt better for awhile, then it hit me again.

Then I opted for Alpha Interferon. Damn, but that stuff is terrible. Six months at three million units which I injected three times a week. I didn’t respond well, so the doc upped it to five million units. Still not enough improvement to make it worth while. The side effects far outweigh the benefits, at least for me.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been trying everything ‘holistic’ that has shown to be of some value in treating HCV. Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and other herbal supplements. The Chinese doctor is the one that turned me on to Kombucha.

WOW! What a difference! Man, I really love this stuff! It has totally wiped out the nausea. And the headaches - man - I had heavy duty headaches! It has really helped me with those. The pain can pretty much be handled with an ‘Advil’. The doc took me off aspirin and Tylenol. I can eat stuff now that a couple of years ago would have wiped me out.

As you know, I took early retirement, and Mellie and I have bought a little place in the country and have turned our lifestyle around. No more a 2-car family, we get around in a beatup pickemup truck We grow most of our food and we love this life. Neither on of us realized the stress we were dealing with in the city.

Mellie was just tested again, and so far, we’ve lucked out. We may be one of the lucky couples. No HCV.

I’m currently drinking about 12 ounces of KT every day. Mellie drinks about half that. She takes it for the arthritis in her knees and back. It has helped her a great deal. She loves the stuff too, and she’s always making an extra batch for someone.

Best regards,
Oliver & Mellie
"El Rancho-Somewhere, New Mexico".


 "I May Die "with" Hepatitis C, but I Won’t Die "from" it!

Author: Anonymous 47 year old woman who resides in the Midwest - published with her permission

Dear Ariana,

My husband, (who spends much of his life in front of the computer) told me that you were going to do a newsletter spotlighting Hepatitis C, and he said to me "Hey, Honey, why don’t you write to her and tell her your story?" My reply was…"no way! It’s bad enough to have it, I don’t want the whole world to know the details of my life". Then he reminded me that I spend a lot of time networking with other people that suffer from various forms of Hepatitis, and I openly share my story with them. That’s true, now that the children are away at school, I have the time to help others. So, we talked about it and I mentioned it to my support group and they all encouraged me to ‘go public’ and write to you. So, here goes. It’s not a pretty story, and I hope that all will forgive my anonymity.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I was the original party animal. I was the ‘rock n roll’ groupie you see portrayed on TV and in the movies. And I did everything (and then some) that you’ve ever heard about a groupie. I was a runaway at 15. I hooked up with a drummer in a rock n roll group and within 3 months I was sleeping with him and the rest of the group. We did it all. We traveled around the country in a big bright purple bus. We drank Jack Daniels by the quart, we smoked pot every waking hour, we dropped acid, we took uppers & downers and were convinced that we had a handle on happiness.

When I ended up pregnant at a month short of my 16th birthday, my wonderful drummer arranged and paid for my first abortion. Then, he said ‘let’s go on down to Mexico for a couple of weeks and you can get your strength back’. We did - and he abandoned my there, in a dingy hotel in Matamoros. Well, I hitched a ride over the border and latched on to another group. These guys were into heavy drugs, and much of that time is a hazy memory. One night in a town on the Mexican border they took me to a tattoo parlor and I had the name of the group emblazoned on my shoulder. I stayed with them for 2 years, and the lead guitarist and I were a ‘couple’. One night in April of 1973, he and I were driving in a bad storm after a gig in Jacksonville, Florida. We were swigging from a bottle of vodka, and passing a joint back and forth, laughing about living the ‘good life’. The good life came to an end when we swerved in front of a semi, and went careening off the road. I woke up 5 days later in a hospital and was told that my boyfriend and the driver of the truck were both killed in the accident, and ‘didn’t I feel lucky to be alive?’ I’d gone through the windshield and suffered head injuries, a broken pelvis, broken shoulder, and a broken hip. I’d lost a lot of blood and they had to give me blood transfusions. I was in the hospital as a ‘charity case’ for 4 months. My parents had been killed in a car accident the year before, and I had no one.

So, when I recovered, I did what I knew best. I latched onto another musician that was also a drug dealer. We actually got married, but by this time I didn’t care what happened. I had no self-esteem, and my life was just a drugged haze. We bounced around from town to town, and he’d pick up a ‘gig’ here and there, and the drug money was good. When he was busted for dealing, and sent to prison, I was alone again. This time, I decided to clean up my act. I actually went out and got a job as a clerk in a department store. I got a divorce, I got an apartment, and then I got really sick. I had pains in my stomach, I had headaches from hell, and sometimes I itched so bad I couldn’t stand it. After about a month, I was so sick that I ended up in the hospital. They ran dozens of tests and while doing so, discovered that due to a botched abortion, I had severe scarring and would probably not be able to bear children. I had a wonderful young doctor that was understanding and caring, and when he told me I had ‘non A-non B’ Hepatitis, I didn’t know what he was talking about. Of course, he knew my history, and I was often embarrassed to look him in the eye when he would ask me about my lifestyle during the past few years.

God smiled on me. This wonderful young doctor fell in love with me and a year later, we were married.

I’ve been so lucky. We adopted 2 beautiful little Asian children, and my life with my wonderful family is truly heaven on earth. I feel pretty good these days. Last year, I went on interferon, but for some reason, I’m not one of the fortunate few that it helps.

Sure, I have Hepatitis C. When and how did I get it? Who knows? Was it when I got that ugly tattoo? Was is during one of my three abortions? Was it from the blood transfusions? Was if from a shared needle?

At this point, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’m getting on with my life. Recently, I started a support group that is a safe haven for people with stories like mine. Often, people are ashamed of where and how they were infected. We help each other and reach out to new people that sometimes just need someone to talk to.

My husband (the good doctor) is the one that got me started drinking Kombucha Tea. He has retired now and does a lot of volunteer work with the unfortunate homeless and poor people in our city. Early this year, a naturopath that works with him in the volunteer group told him about Kombucha Tea, and at first he was very skeptical - he is, after all, an MD! He began reading about it and bought the book by Guenther Frank, and the next thing I knew, we had jars of Kombucha growing in our kitchen. We started drinking it and I started feeling better. It has helped tremendously with my ‘killer’ headaches. Also, it has helped to relieve the joint pain that started about two years ago. I have cut my pain medication in half. The ‘good doctor’ also has me taking garlic capsules, and we both take other supplements and are slowly but surely adopting a vegetarian diet. For Christmas we bought each other one of those ‘monster’ juicers. You name it, we juice it!

At this time I am drinking 16 ounces of Kombucha Tea every day. I split it up into 4 doses of 4oz. each, spread out during the day. I believe that it’s working some kind of magic for me - but then - my new life is filled with magic. Nearly all of the members of our support group are drinking Kombucha now. Most of us have tried everything else, including interferon.

Keep up the good work. We really do appreciate the Kombucha Konnection. We three hole punch them and keep them in a big binder for reference.

Harmonic Harvest Products

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UpDt 10/25/1999