Herbal Medicines for Breast Cancer? Yes or no?
When we have clients who come to us, looking for help (I mean desperately looking for help) we are right away placed into help mode. The first thing on our minds as herbalists is “oh man, I have some research to do… where are my books? I got this!!!”…..but when we settle down a little, we wonder…..what are we comfortable dealing with? what are the do’s and don’ts? and how far should we go? I know I am not comfortable telling my client to forgo the treatments that her regular medical doctor is recommending….but what can I do to supplement these treatments, alleviate the symptoms she will experience after treatments, and I know a lot of Herbalists will struggle with this, as most of the clients with Cancer will be doing the usual chemo and radiation…. so how do herbs play a role in treatment? What about Essential oils?
These are some of the questions that went through my head when,
I recently had a client come to me, to my door, in tears, and begging for my help. She was not only a client of mine, but a life long friend since kindergarten. So I took this pretty personal and very serious. I had learned a lot through the years about immune building herbs, and lymphatic system treatments and cleanses. I figured that might be a good place to start. And I knew there were some essential oils that were known to kill cancer on contact….. maybe those would help? BUT WAIT……when we are involving radiation and Chemotherapy, that kind of flips the script a little bit. SO I started some research on the subject and what I found out will shock you. According to articles I read about this from the medical doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and those on that band wagon, it is not ok to interfere with their treatments. They claim that some vitamins and supplements will interfere with traditional treatments. They call our work “Quackery” (according to a breast cancer surgeon…this was his exact words) and say we have no right to step in! However, when you read articles and information from the alternative and complementary side, you will find a lot of articles explaining that the drug companies are the devil, the MD’s are criminals who support them and that there is no need for conventional medicine (some articles actually said that). In fact one article I read stated that there are actual natural cures for Breast Cancer, and women should rebuke the radiation and chemo, but the docs wont tell you that.
So this war on medicine left me feeling like I was smack dab in the middle of a campaign. Yep… a debate, like you would hear if someone was running for governor or even president….. UUUGGGGHHH! That did not help me much; so next I looked into my herbal books and although they offered some great insight into some awesome diet plans and herbs which are great for cancer, due to their blood cleansing, immune building, and just all over good for your body properties…. BUT…… how do I know if these will interfere with Radiation and Chemo? Because if they are cleansing, then won’t they work against the chemical radiation and chemo? Just like essential oils, which we are told to never give to clients during these treatments!
So what I came up with was truly and simply this. Until I know for sure and do a lot more research into the subject and feel completely comfortable that I will be truly helping this friend… for now, I will not worry so much about trying to cure this breast cancer she has, but rather work on complimenting the treatments by making her some good healing skin lotion that she can use after her radiation (as it literally burns her skin), some anti-nausea medicines, and doing whatever I can to keep her as comfortable as I can while she goes through this. I also truly believe that the power of prayer and meditations is CRUCIAL…. and I will work on this with her and myself!
Herbal Medicines for Breast cancer? So what is the answer? yes or no? I have to say this……
YES… if you are completely knowledgeable and feel comfortable in what you are doing……
NO….. if you are not experienced enough.
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