16 Home Remedies To Treat Jaundice + Prevention And What To Eat

Jaundice is common among babies - with the prevalence rates reaching 60%. But we sure can get that down with these proven remedies that aid treatment. *

Reviewed by Dr. Bhakti Kapse, General Physician
by Sucharita Mishra

Jaundice is the medical term used for yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. This yellowness is a result of high bilirubin levels in the blood. Although it is not a disease in itself, it may be an indication of an underlying medical condition. Wondering if there are any home remedies that may aid in treating jaundice naturally? Scroll down to find out.

Best Home Remedies To Treat Jaundice

1. Sunlight

Phototherapy is a widely used treatment to treat jaundice in infants. However, data suggests exposure to sunlight is 6.5 times more effective than phototherapy while treating jaundice (1).

2. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane juice has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antihyperglycemic, diuretic, and hepatoprotective effects (2). This may help in strengthening the liver and aid in treating jaundice.

You Will Need

1-2 glasses of sugarcane juice

What You Have To Do

Drink one to two glasses of sugarcane juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this daily.

3. Essential Oils

a. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil exhibits detoxifying and hepatoprotective effects (3). Hence, it may be suitable for treating jaundice.

You Will Need

  • 12 drops of rosemary oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or jojoba oil)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix 12 drops of rosemary oil with 30 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Apply this mixture topically to your abdomen and liver area and massage gently.
  3. Leave it on and allow it to be absorbed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day until you notice any visible improvement.

b. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is known for its protective action against liver injuries (4). It also exhibits antioxidant properties (5). These properties of lemon essential oil may help in treating jaundice and promoting liver health.

You Will Need

  • 12 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 30 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or olive oil)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add 12 drops of lemon essential oil to 30 mL of a carrier oil of your choice.
  2. Mix well and apply it all over your abdomen and right above your liver area.
  3. Leave it on until it is completely absorbed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

4. Goat Milk

Goat milk is rich in many vital nutrients that are beneficial to both adults and infants (6). The presence of antibodies in it helps in treating jaundice.

You Will Need

1 cup of goat milk

What You Have To Do

Consume a cup of goat milk.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this daily.

5. Green Grape Juice

Green grapes exhibit antioxidant properties and contain fiber (7). This can ease digestion and help prevent liver damage during metabolism. The liver-friendly nutrients in grapes can help in the treatment of jaundice.

You Will Need

1 cup of green grape juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a cup of green grape juice.
  2. You can feed infants with the juice extracted from two to three grapes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

6. Garlic

The allicin in garlic exhibits strong antioxidant properties (8). This may help in detoxifying the liver, speeding up the recovery from jaundice.

You Will Need

3-4 cloves of minced garlic

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a few cloves of minced garlic to your daily diet.
  2. Alternatively, you can also chew on the garlic cloves directly.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

7. Ginger

Ginger possesses powerful antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties (9). It boosts liver function and may help in treating jaundice.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 inches of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add an inch or two of ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Consume it while it is warm.
  5. You can also add ginger to your daily diet as an alternative.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

8. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice possesses powerful antioxidants that help in unblocking bile ducts (4). This may promote a healthy liver and protect it from further damage.

You Will Need

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the juice from half a lemon to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well and add some honey to it.
  3. Drink the lemon juice immediately.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this 3-4 times a day.

9. Vitamin D

Since newborn infants are hardly exposed to the sun, they are often deficient in vitamin D. According to a study published in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, jaundiced infants were observed to be deficient in vitamin D as compared to non-jaundiced infants (10).

Breastfed infants need up to 400 IU of vitamin D daily. They can be given drops of this vitamin, or the breastfeeding mother can consume more vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, cheese, and fish. Adults can also benefit from this remedy if they are deficient in vitamin D.

10. Yogurt

Probiotic yogurt may help bring down the serum bilirubin levels by regulating bacterial colonies in the body (11). Infants may also benefit from probiotic supplementation. Hence, breastfeeding mothers may increase their intake of probiotic yogurt to aid the recovery of their babies.

You Will Need

1 bowl of plain probiotic yogurt

What You Have To Do

Consume a bowl of plain probiotic yogurt daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

11. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene (12). Lycopene is a strong antioxidant and may help in the detoxification of the liver and treat jaundice (13).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the tomatoes in a saucepan.
  2. Strain the mixture and remove the tomato skin.
  3. Mix the boiled tomatoes with the collected water.
  4. Drink this juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day for a couple of weeks.

12. Amla

Amla is rich in vitamin C and many other nutrients (14). It is a potent antioxidant and may be used to treat jaundice (15).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 amlas (Indian gooseberries)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the amlas in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the amla pulp with the remaining water.
  3. Once the mixture cools down, add some honey to it and consume it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

13. Barley Water

Barley exhibits diuretic and antioxidant properties (16). These properties may help in flushing out toxins as well as bilirubin through urine. Hence, it may be one of the best and easiest remedies to treat jaundice (17).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of roasted barley seed powder
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a teaspoon of roasted barley seed powder to a glass of water and mix well.
  2. Add a teaspoon of honey to this and drink the mixture immediately.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

14. Holy Basil

Basil (Ocimum sanctum) exhibits hepatoprotective activities (18). This property may be beneficial for the liver and may help in treating jaundice.

You Will Need

A few holy basil leaves

What You Have To Do

  1. Chew on a few holy basil leaves (10 to 12).
  2. If the flavor is too strong for you, grind the leaves and add the paste to your favorite juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day.

15. Oregano

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant (19). This may help in breaking down bilirubin molecules. This, in turn, may help in combating jaundice naturally.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add one to two teaspoons of oregano leaves to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Once the tea cools down a little, drink it immediately.
  5. You can also add some honey to the tea for added flavor.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day.

16. Papaya

Papaya leaves have been used in fold medicine for ages to treat jaundice (20). The leaves are rich sources of enzymes, like papain and chymopapain (21). These enzymes may support digestive health and treat liver problems like jaundice.

You Will Need

  • Papaya leaves
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Grind the papaya leaves to form a paste.
  2. Strain this mixture to obtain the juice.
  3. Mix half a tablespoon of this juice and a tablespoon of honey.
  4. Drink this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

Note: Consult a doctor before following any of these remedies.

Apart from these remedies, there are a few other tips you can follow to prevent jaundice. They are listed below.

Prevention Tips

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Manage your cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain hygiene.
  • Drink clean and boiled water and eat fresh food.

Given below are some foods that may further aggravate your condition and must be avoided.

Foods To Avoid

Avoid these foods if you have jaundice:

  • Sugar
  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Salt

These foods are quite hard to digest and end up aggravating the condition. Hence, steer clear of them to facilitate faster recovery from jaundice.

Let us now look at the leading causes of jaundice in both adults and newborns.

Causes And Risk Factors For Jaundice

Jaundice occurs due to excess bilirubin in the body in both adults and infants. Bilirubin is a waste product that is produced as a result of the breakdown of your red blood cells. This compound is broken down and excreted through the stools.

Prior to birth, babies have a different form of hemoglobin that starts to break down rapidly after they are born. This generates high levels of bilirubin that need to be excreted from their body.

An underdeveloped liver cannot excrete bilirubin as fast as it is being produced, and hence, this might result in hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice in infants.

Other causes and risk factors for jaundice in infants are:

  • Breastfeeding jaundice that occurs when the baby is not fed well in the first week of life.
  • Breast milk jaundice that occurs when certain compounds in breast milk interfere with the breakdown of bilirubin.
  • Medical conditions like sickle cell anemia, liver disease, and sepsis.
  • Premature birth
  • Bruising during birth
  • Blood group incompatibility between the mother and the infant.

The causes and risk factors for jaundice or high bilirubin levels in adults are:

  • Medical conditions like malaria, sickle cell anemia, cirrhosis, cancer, gallstones, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Certain medications
  • Parasites like liver flukes
  • Exposure to different types of viral hepatitis
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Alcohol consumption

The following are some of the signs and symptoms that surface with jaundice in adults and infants.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Jaundice?

  • Pale stool
  • Dark urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bleeding (in the rectum)
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pains and headaches
  • Swelling (legs and abdomen)

The signs of jaundice in infants include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor feeding
  • Pale stools
  • Dark urine
  • Yellow abdomen and limbs
  • Weakness
  • Inability to put on weight
  • Irritability

Jaundice may be divided into three major types, depending on its cause.

Types Of Jaundice

  • Pre-Hepatic Jaundice: This type of jaundice results from an excessive breakdown of red blood cells, which overwhelms the liver’s ability to metabolize bilirubin.
  • Hepatocellular Jaundice: When your liver loses its ability to metabolize bilirubin, it results in hepatocellular jaundice. This type is often a result of liver dysfunction.
  • Post-Hepatic Jaundice: When there is an obstruction in the drainage of bilirubin from your body, it results in post-hepatic jaundice.

Let’s now take a look at the levels of bilirubin in adults and infants that determine the onset of jaundice.

Jaundice Level Chart

The most common way of testing the bilirubin levels is through a blood test, though an amniotic fluid test and a urine test can also give reliable results. The test measures the levels of both conjugated and unconjugated bilirubin.

The normal bilirubin levels in adults range from 0.2 mg/dL to 1.2 mg/dL. Any levels above this are considered high, and the individual has an increased risk of developing jaundice.

Newborns should not have bilirubin levels above 5 mg/dL. Infants whose bilirubin levels rise above this level after a few days of birth are also at the risk of developing jaundice.

High bilirubin levels are not favored, and they must be kept in check to avoid health complications that may lead to jaundice.

Consult a doctor as soon as symptoms arise as jaundice can be a presentation of many severe diseases like hepatitis, liver failure, and certain hematological conditions.

Jaundice may take an ugly turn if the treatment is delayed for too long. Hence, it is best to start treatment while also following these remedies.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long does jaundice last in babies?

Jaundice in babies, especially breast milk jaundice, may last anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks.

Why are babies born with jaundice?

Babies develop jaundice when the bilirubin levels in their bodies are more than the kidneys can flush out. High bilirubin could be a result of the rapid breakdown of red blood cells.

What are the best foods for jaundice patients?

A diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts may be great for those with jaundice.

How long should your baby be exposed to the sun for treating jaundice?

For treating jaundice in your baby, you may expose him/her to sunlight through a closed glass window for about 15 minutes, four times daily.

21 sources

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Sucharita Mishra

Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.
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