Herbal Medicines for Breast Cancer? Yes or no?
By Becky Merwin- Student Article
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
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 u 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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