16 Home Remedies For Jaundice + Prevention And What To Eat

Learn the easiest ways to manage the symptoms and recover from jaundice at home.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bhakti Kapse, MBBS Dr. Bhakti Kapse Dr. Bhakti KapseMBBS
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology) Sucharita Mishra MSc (Biotechnology) Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Dipti Sharma MA (English) Experience: 2 years

Jaundice develops when there is an increase in the bilirubin levels in the blood. This can lead to a person developing yellow skin and eyes. Jaundice may be an underlying medical condition symptom and requires medical intervention to avoid further complications. You can also opt for some other traditional and holistic healing therapies like naturopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. This article explores the different natural and herbal remedies and therapies for jaundice management and a few tips to help you avoid it in the future. Read on.

Best Home Remedies For 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). It may be considered an alternative phototherapy source for the treatment of neonatal jaundice. However, more scientific studies are needed in this regard.

2. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane juice has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antihyperglycemic, diuretic, andhepatoprotectivei  A medication that protects against liver damage. NAC, MgIG, PPC, bicyclol, and silymarin are some examples. effects (2).  This may help in strengthening the liver, provide proper hydration, and also help in managing symptoms of 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 promoting liver health. However, since its effects on jaundice management are not well-studied, more research is required to substantiate the claims.

You Will Need

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 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 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

A jar and glasses of goat milk
Image: Shutterstock

Goat milk is rich in many vital nutrients that are beneficial to both adults and infants (6). The antibodies in it may help manage jaundice symptoms to some extent. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support this claim. Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor before consuming milk.

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 may help ease digestion, prevent liver damage during metabolism, and help with jaundice management. However, more research is required to establish the link between grape juice consumption and liver health.

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). It may help in detoxifying the liver, speeding up the recovery from jaundice. However, evidence regarding the effect of garlic on liver health is lacking. Therefore, more research is warranted to prove these claims.

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 hypolipidemici  A diverse array of medications that are used to reduce blood levels of lipids and lipoproteins, such as cholesterol. properties A study found that it might help reduce inflammation associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (9). This indicates its potential for preventing liver inflammation and promoting its health. However, more studies are warranted in this regard.

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

Animal studies found that the antioxidants in lemon juice may have hepatoprotective effects (4). While there isn’t enough evidence regarding its effects on jaundice management, the antioxidants in lemon may help manage liver health, which might help manage jaundice symptoms. However, more research is required in this regard.

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Lemon juice may cause tooth decay and dentinal hypersensitivity due to its acidic nature. This can happen when it is consumed frequently and in excess.

9. Vitamin D

Foods rich in Vitamin D can assist in speedy recovery from jaundice
Image: IStock

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 animal studies found that it may help in the detoxification of the liver (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 has been used in Ayurveda for managing jaundice as its potent antioxidants help keep the liver healthy (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. Moreover, animal studies found that it may help enhance liver function, thereby reducing the risk of associated conditions, including 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 enhance its function.

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 contains tocopherol and other powerful antioxidants (19). These antioxidants may help reduce oxidative stress, which is crucial for maintaining live health Therefore, it might help in managing liver-related issues like jaundice. However, more studies are required to support these claims.

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.

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. Also, it is important to always see a healthcare provider when dealing with severe medical conditions like jaundice. Therefore, do not rely only on home remedies and seek medical intervention to avoid potential complications.

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 and exercise daily.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Manage your cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain hygiene.
  • Drink clean and boiled water and eat fresh food.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Consult a doctor and get the hepatitis vaccine (or booster) to prevent jaundice. Additionally, it is advised that you get vaccinated if you plan on places where this disease is endemic or if your profession requires you to work in a high-risk setting, such as a hospital or a laboratory.

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

Foods To Avoid

Avoid meat dairy salty and sugary food when you have jaundice
Image: IStock

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. Pris, a blogger, shared her newborn infant’s journey with jaundice. He was diagnosed soon after his birth with a high level of jaundice that increased after consuming breast milk. She writes, “My doctor was perturbed as to why the level increased with breastmilk. They came up with some explanations ranging from breastmilk being harder for baby to digest compared to formula milk to hubby having a different blood group from me, so baby might have a blood group that would have to “fight” the antibodies from 2 different blood groups, resulting in a higher jaundice level (i).”

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

  • Medical conditions like malaria, sickle cell anemia, cirrhosisi  A severe form of liver disease when good liver tissue is permanently damaged and replaced by scar tissue. , 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?

Woman checking her eyes to look for signs of jaundice
Image: Shutterstock
  • 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

Lab worker checks bilirubin levels to determine the level of jaundice
Image: Shutterstock

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.

Pris shared that her son’s jaundice level was 18.5 which fell to 18 after formula feed and phototherapy. However, the level increased to 19.5 after he fed on breastmilk. She mentioned, “After one day of formula feed and phototherapy, the jaundice level fell to 18. However, this level was still too high for him to be discharged, so stay another day we had to (i).”

As per this report, jaundice is more commonly seen in newborns and the elderly. In newborns, around 20% may develop jaundice due to an immature liver function. Among children, hepatitis A is the primary cause of jaundice, whereas, in elders, it is either due to bile duct block or liver damage.

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. Let us find out more about it in the next section.

Medical Treatment For Jaundice

Clinical treatment for jaundice depends on its underlying cause and is different for adults and children. For instance, for jaundice-induced pruritus, cholestyramine is often prescribed by doctors as the first line of treatment. They may also prescribe rifampicin, naltrexone, and sertraline as the second, third, and fourth line of treatment, respectively (22). However, you should avoid consuming these drugs on your own.

In case of infants, the doctor may use conventional phototherapy or exchange transfusion for treatment, depending on the severity of neonatal jaundice (23).

Infographic: 5 Home Remedies To Treat Jaundice

Jaundice can be dangerous to one’s health, and recovery can take weeks. Relying solely on medication during your illness may not be the best option. Because jaundice affects your liver and metabolism, you need nutrition rest to help your body heal over time. Certain remedies, in addition to medications, can aid in your treatment. We have listed the same in the infographic below. Scroll down to check.

a complete guide to 3 types of braids you can try at home (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Jaundice is a medical condition in which there is an excess of bilirubin, a waste product, in the blood. Both adults and infants can get jaundice, albeit for different reasons. However, in either case, jaundice, if left untreated, can lead to severe complications as it generally is an indication of underlying health conditions. Some common signs of jaundice include yellowing of skin and eyes, pale stool, dark urine, weakness, and inability to gain weight or weight loss. While medical treatment is essential for this condition, you may follow some home remedies to manage jaundice, such as exposure to sunlight, natural foods like papaya, tomatoes, sugarcane juice, barley water, and the application of specific essential oils.

Frequently Asked 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 to treat 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.

Is banana good for jaundice?

No, bananas are not recommended for individuals with jaundice. Bananas, especially when consumed with milk, may increase bilirubin levels in the body, which is counterproductive during jaundice (24).

Can vitamin B12 deficiency cause jaundice?

Yes, long-term jaundice may be a result of a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, it is rare (25).

Is jaundice an emergency?

Yes, jaundice is an emergency and should be treated by a professional healthcare provider right away.

What turns yellow first with jaundice?

Generally, the white of the eyes is the first part to turn yellow with jaundice.

Key Takeaways

  • Jaundice is caused due to increase in levels of bilirubin and involves yellowing of skin, weakness, and loss of appetite
  • Some of the most effective home remedies to treat jaundice include increasing fluid uptake, sunbathing, and massaging the abdomen with essential oils, as they have hepatoprotective effects.
  • Consuming papaya leaves, grapes, tomatoes, amla, and lemon juice helps treat jaundice as they have antioxidant properties.

remedies to treat jaundice

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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Dr. Bhakti Kapse is a General Practitioner with over 10 years of experience in family medicine. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S) from Government Medical College, Nagpur. She is skilled in diagnosis and treatment of asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and infectious diseases and is well-known for patient service and clinical skills. Dr. Kapse is skilled in...read full bio

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