Herbs have been being used since long to treat dreaded diseases including cancer. Many alternative care practitioners used herbal and vitamin supplements for treating cancer. These supplements come in form of pills, gels, powder, tea, capsule, or liquid to be added to bath water. Though all the herbal supplements are not safe some herbal and vitamin supplements can help patients undergoing conventional cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
It is claimed that there are a variety of herbs and vitamins that can prevent, slow down, or fight cancer. Some of them block natural bodily processes including spread of cancer and inflammation. Some herbs can help in killing cancer cells. Different vitamins and herbs may prevent cancer development by blocking mutagens, carcinogens, and tumor promoters.
There are number of herbs possessing anti-tumor properties. There is little scientific evidence supporting few herbs and there is no proper information about others. A lot more research is needed in this field. Though one cannot rely solely on herbs and vitamins for cancer treatment, they can definitely be used to fight cancer symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment.
Some vitamins, minerals and herbs, that are said to be beneficial for cancer patients are:
Aloe, Arnica, Black walnut, Bromelain, Clove, Essiac, Flaxseed, Folic acid or folate, Germanium, Ginger, Asian ginseng, Green tea, Peppermint, Photochemical compounds produced by plants, Pine bark extract, Pokeweed, Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Red clover, Saw palmetto, Selenium, Sodium bicarbonate, St. Johns wort, Strychnos, Nux-vomica, Tea tree oil, Thuja, Turmeric, Venus flytrap, Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, White birch, Wild yam, Wormwood, Yohimbe, Graviola, Ashwagandha, Berries and berry extracts, Broccoli, Mangosteen, Melatonin, Mushroom and Zinc.
Risk of Using Herbal and Vitamin Supplements
There is no proof that taking vitamins can help to prevent or treat cancer. But large doses of vitamins can be toxic and prove harmful. Water-soluble vitamins are generally considered to be safe but they can prove harmful in some cases. High doses of Vitamin C increases the risk of oxalate kidney stones. Vitamin B6 could cause nerve damage, if taken without medical supervision. Fat-soluble Vitamins such as Vitamin A can be toxic if taken in large doses and can cause bone malformation, liver enlargement, anemia, and hair loss. High doses of Vitamin D can lead to calcification in the kidney and blood vessels and osteoporosis. Some herbs can also interfere with conventional cancer treatment. Some herbs can even cause miscarriage if taken in large quantities by pregnant patients. Patients should consult their oncologist before using any herbal or vitamin supplements. It is not safe to rely solely on herbs and vitamin supplements for cancer treatment, as they are not proved to treat the disease.
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