Throughout history, herbal remedies and other complementary medicines have been used to treat cancer. There are many types of cancer, and many different causes. This page will be developed over time to try and address as many as of the relevant issues as possible. This is a huge subject so please bear with us as we add more information
Modern medicine can be successful in the treatment of cancer, however the treatments can also be very aggressive, with many side effects. Complementary treatments can also be useful in helping to deal with those side effects.
Lets start with some general dietary and lifestyle advice; there are a lot of foods you should avoid and if you visit the lifestyle section of this website you will find some general advice that can be useful in helping to prevent the onset or spread of cancer.
In particular read the green vegetables page, this demonstrates how vegetables such as broccoli can help in both preventing and curing cancer and also gives some information about the Gerson Institute approach which concentrates on using diet in the fight against cancer. Also read the information on watercress which may help smokers in the fight against cancer
Another natural way to treat cancer through diet is with Turmeric. The active ingredient Curcumin
has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies.
Laboratory data indicate that curcumin can inhibit tumour initiation, promotion,
invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. Further information can be found at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre
There is quite a lot of
research on the benefits of Black seed oil for
blog details some of that research
Research published in 2009 by Min Zhang of the University of Western Australia indicates eating fresh mushrooms daily can reduce breast cancer risk by 30%
Other Lifestyle factors can also be important. A study in America is currently being
sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. It aims to find out if a
yoga-based cancer rehabilitation program can help reduce the physical and
emotional side effects of living with cancer and its treatment.
Herbal treatments for cancer
astragalus is widely used in the treatment of cancer, both as a primary treatment
and as an adjunct to conventional therapies. Astragalus has been used in conjunction with ligustrum to treat breast cancer, cervical cancer and lung cancer.
Essiac, Essiac is an
herbal mixture that has been widely used in Canada for more
than 70 years. The 4 main herbs in Essiac are burdock root (Arctium lappa),
Indian rhubarb (Rheum almatum), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
and the inner bark of slippery elm (Ulmus fulva or U.
rubra). Proponents of Essiac claim that it strengthens the immune system,
improves appetite, relieves pain and improves overall quality of life. They
also claim that it may reduce tumour size and prolong the lives of people with
many types of cancer. Research into essiac is not currently conclusive although
some animal studies have been positive and further research is under way. More information
can be obtained from CMAJ (The Canadian Medical Association journal).
vera has also been recommended for preventing radiation-induced skin reactions,
however a systematic literature review found no evidence to support this
although the research was thin and its key recommendation was that more
research was required. Cancer Research UK do state that many cancer sufferers find it useful.
Mistletoe is also widely used by herbal practitioners for the treatment of cancer. A number of studies have been conducted into its efficacy but again they are inconclusive by modern medical standards and recommendations for further research is recommended. a full review can be found at the Cochrane Library
Some immune boosting herbal treatments such as echinacea are also useful to cancer patients who often find their immune systems are under attack from aggressive conventional treatments.
Other naturopathic treatments and cancer
treatments look at the whole person and treat holistically, often individual
aspects of the treatment do not stand up to conventional clinical trial using double blind sampling techniques.
Acupuncturists and Homeopaths often help treat the symptoms of cancer. Acupuncture
has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on peripheral neuropathy
symptoms. Homeopathy has not been clinically proven to help treat cancer but
there are numerous anecdotal references where individuals have reported distinctive benefits.
Naturopath's treat the whole person not just the disease or condition. That's why you cannot use this site for diagnosis or treatment. The information we
provide should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
We recommend that you visit a qualified naturopath or find a GP who is
sympathetic to a naturopathic approach. Click here for our full disclaimer.