Alternative Cancer Treatments: Herbs

This next series of posts is for everyone who has cancer or is supporting a loved one who has cancer.  It’s also for anyone in the health care industry who takes care of cancer patients – if you just want to know what natural alternatives there are to support cancer patients then you’ll be interested in this too.  When you are considering alternative treatments to support cancer therapy it’s critical that there is scientific evidence to show that the therapies actually work.  I’m only interested in real stuff – there’s so much bad advice out there even if well intentioned- but it does you no good if it doesn’t work.   This past week I attended a webinar sponsored by the Integrative Practitioner and Gaia herbs.   The webinar “Evidence-Based Use of Green Tea Extract, Curcumin, and Astragalus in Cancer Treatment” was presented by Michael Traub, ND, FABN. As a health professional I am required to undertake professional development to keep learning and updating my knowledge base.  I tell you this so that you will know that the research I am passing on to you is evidence based scientific research that has appeared in peer reviewed scientific journals.  It is not dubious science or quackery.  It just may help  you out some day.

I’ve been interested in this topic for a while because cancer treatments are harsh and toxic to the body but when a person and their family are faced with a life threatening condition and the knowledge that if it isn’t treated the body will die what are the real alternatives here?  Usually we go with allopathic medical treatments of chemotherapy and/or radiation.  I’m not opposed to these treatments because they do have value and save lives, but on the other hand there are times when they don’t – and sometimes a person’s quality of life is so greatly reduced from the effects of the treatments that the ‘cure’ is as bad as the disease.  I have known of people who choose to die rather than continue with the treatment.   And THAT is what these posts are about – bringing information to people to help them make decisions to support their body and to allow the best chance for healing.

This discussion of alternate therapies for cancer treatment focuses on the evidence for Green Tea, Curcurmin and Astragalus. Recently I posted about green tea and weight loss where I cautioned against supplements.  Where-ever possible I do believe in food over supplements  – usually because of safety, dubious benefits  and the cost of supplements.  But there are circumstances where food alone won’t do it and supplements are not only recommended but necessary if you want results.  And this is the case with cancers.

I’m going to talk about green tea and green tea extracts in my next post. I will continue with the evidence of which cancers it shows effects for and which drugs it works well with and which it doesn’t. After that I’ll get on to curcumin and Astragalus but if you can’t wait for me to get through all of that and want to know what the recommendations are, then they are briefly outlined below.   

As always Consult Your Primary Health Carer And Oncologist before you begin. You are an individual and need to be monitored and you have a treatment regime which needs to be reconciled with any alternate therapy you decide to embark on.  It would be a good idea to seek out an integrative practitioner also to assist you in this effort.   

This information is given for your education purposes and is not intended to treat any cure or prevent any disease.

Green Tea and Green Tea Extracts:
300mg capsule is equal to 3 cups of green tea
**If you take Velcade (Bortezomib) do not take green tea or green tea supplements or creams**

 

To help prevent ovarian cancer: drink 1 cup of good quality green tea per day.

If you have ovarian cancer and want to support current therapies drink 6-9 cups daily or take 2-3 capsules of green tea extract per day

For breast cancer stage 1 or 2 take 2 to 3 green tea extract capsules per day or drink 6-9 cups per day

If you have cervical cancer use one green tea extract capsule per day and use one green tea extract capsule twice a week vaginally as a suppository.

For prostate cancer 4 capsules of 12 cups per day

Curcumin:
**If you take Cyclophosphamide, Anastrozole Exemastane Letrozole Erlotinib do not take Curcumin**

Tip: These meds may have several different names.  If you might be taking one of them, please look here http://www.drugs.com to see if your drug is listed by a different name

**Not to be used during radiation treatments, but can be used following radiation treatments**

The therapeutic dose is 4000 to 8000mg per day in divided doses

Take it on empty stomach with coconut oil and black pepper to increase uptake (start with 4000mg)

Used for the following cancers:
Colon, Cervical, Melanoma

Astragalus
**If you take immuno-suppressant agents it might be contraindicated for you**
Currently there is no consensus about which compounds of astragalus root are effective at the standardized rate:  therefore the recommendations are to use a full spectrum profile astragalus where the compound markers and measured and validated.  To be sure about what you are getting,  the recommendations from Michael Traub are to use Gaia products which are full spectrum standardized.

Used for colon cancer to reduce nausea from chemotherapy, lung cancer to increase the effects of platinum drugs and decrease chemo toxicity  and to assist with increasing white blood cell count and anemia.

The dosage is: 2 capsules 2 times daily between meals with a small amount of warm water

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One Response to “Alternative Cancer Treatments: Herbs”

  1. [...] As mentioned, I posted recommendations and contraindications on an earlier post. [...]

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