Herbal medicine generally uses herbal plants, or combinations of herbal plants, to cure disease and promote good health. Unfortunately, there’s no sound scientific evidence to support its use as an effective cancer treatment. Herbal remedies may also have undesirable side effects and sometimes interact adversely with other medications. Herbal medications can’t be regulated, and what they contain will vary greatly if manufactured outside the United Kingdom. Here are some of the pros and cons of herbal treatments for cancer.
Cancer sufferers who are considering herbal medicine often wonder about its safety. There have been reports of serious adverse reactions, including allergic reactions to some ingredients in some herbal medicines. Some plant extracts have also been known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, bleeding, or stomach pain. However, these side effects tend to occur in very small amounts and may only occur during the first few days of taking the herbal medicines. In the vast majority of cases, such side effects will go away on their own or be temporary.
Some advocates of alternative medicine believe that chemotherapy and radiation therapy are too harsh and costly. They also argue that patients don’t get enough benefit from standard treatment for cancer. On the other hand, standard treatment includes drugs, surgery, and extreme weight loss, which can have disastrous side effects. A number of cancer patients turn to alternative medicine for a more gentle approach that doesn’t require drastic alterations to their lifestyle.
Herbs have also been used for centuries as herbal remedies for treating some common ailments. For example, herbs known as Chinese herbs have been used for skin problems, including warts, burns, eczema, and asthma. In Europe, these herbs are often combined with various ingredients in order to treat a wide array of ailments. It’s not uncommon to find Chinese herbal remedies for nausea, indigestion, arthritis, constipation, colitis, and other conditions.
While there is still much to learn about the role of natural herbs in cancer treatments, many people feel that herbal medicine might help cure cancer. The herb St John’s Wort has been widely considered beneficial for treating depression, but it hasn’t been proven effective for cancer. However, several studies have shown that men who took St John’s Wort had lower levels of testosterone in their blood, which could possibly explain why they had lower incidences of prostate cancer. Studies on women have also suggested that St John’s Wort can help prevent certain types of breast cancer. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness and safety of this alternative cancer therapy.
If you’re considering using herbal remedies for cancer, talk to your doctor first. He or she can provide you with further information about St John’s Wort, as well as other herbs and plants. You may want to visit an herbalist who practices in a clinic where medical professionals may be able to advise you about your condition and recommend herbal medicines that may help you. Many herbalists practice both traditional and alternative forms of medication, so you may want to speak with several before deciding on a particular therapy.