Q&A: Herbs for Chemotherapy

Question: Discuss some herbs that may be helpful for someone taking chemotherapy. Explain why they may be recommended.

Answer: Three herbs that are helpful during chemotherapy are:

  1. Echinacea – is an immune booster during chemotherapy where the immune is compromised due to the chemicals used.
  2. Eleuthero – chemotherapy was shown to be less toxic and increased tolerance when used with eleithero. Improves the immune system as shown in studies with women with breast cancer that were treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
  3. Milk Thistle – The major flavanoid in milk thistle is silymarin has shown synergistic actions with the chemotherpay drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin. Silymarin offsets cisplatin toxicity on the kidney.

Sources
Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, by Francis Brinker, N.D.
A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions, by Alan R. Gaby, editor.

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