Herbal Remedies for Chemotherapy Side Effects

Cancer is associated with uncontrolled growth of cells, coupled with malignancy and invasiveness. Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with chemical substances (chemotherapeutic agents) such as cytotoxic anti-neoplastic drugs.

Its ultimate objective is to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy may use drugs one at a time or several at once. That depends on the needs of the individual and may differ from person to person. These dosages may be administered in a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Treatment may last for varied time periods; from several weeks to several years.

These medications are important for the patients in their fight against cancer in order to suppress, if not remit, cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also prevent or delay the return of a cancer, after a tumor has been surgically removed. However, it may have some very harsh side-effects.

The specificity of these side-effects will vary depending on the exact nature of medications that will be used for chemotherapy. Some common side-effects include loss of hair, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting tendency, sores in the mouth, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and infection.

Many of these side-effects can be dealt with herbal remedies. However, it is extremely important to be aware of the fact that many herbal treatments can interfere with the ongoing treatment prescribed by doctors, and therefore, must be disclosed to the doctor before going on with them. In fact, the patient should check with the doctor before administering any of the suggestions provided in this article.

Some of the herbal ingredients that maybe helpful are listed below:

Ginger: This reduces nausea and vomiting, which in turn helps reduce loss of appetite. Other foods that reduce nausea are diluted non-acidic juices, broths, oatmeal, rice, fruit smoothies without dairy, mineral water with lime, mashed banana and so on.

Spirulina: Available in powder, flake and tablet form, this is a kind of bluish green algae. Its richness of protein and vitamin contents makes it helpful for chemotherapy patients. It directly helps to reduce loss of appetite.

Soy Products: Some soy products can have a positive impact on appetite as well as a reducing effect on the risk of infection. This is because they can improve the immune system and aid the increase in blood counts.

Caraway seeds: These also have a helpful effect on reducing nausea and vomiting tendencies.

Taking Vitamin E supplements can help reduce the effects that result in hair loss and even mouth sores. However, it may also interfere with current treatments, so consult a doctor first.

A mushroom called Ganoderma Lucidum is known to have the ability to reduce loss of appetite, fatigue, and hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Extracts of olive leaves act as good substance to improve immunity.

Aloe juice consumption is also a good way of improving immunity in the body.

Foods with potassium are a good solution for people undergoing chemotherapy since potassium is drained out during the chemotherapy sessions, which leads to fatigue. Examples include bananas (medium sized ones without spots), butternut squash, avocado, prune juice and so on.

Foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and black tea without sugar are helpful for diarrhea conditions. Foods that should be avoided in such a condition include dairy products, fatty or fried foods, dried foods, seeds and nuts, caffeinated drinks, spicy foods, gravies and so on.

Foods such as raw vegetables, nuts, low-fat popcorn, dried prunes and so on can help during constipation. On the other side, foods such as rice milk, bananas, calcium, black teas and so on should be avoided.

It is important to remember, as aforementioned, that many of these suggestions may be contrary to the recommendations of the doctors, which can be very dangerous. Therefore, it is very crucial that the doctors be made aware of everything before in-taking the substance. Also, it is important to keep in mind that half the battle is that of the mind.

So it is very important to stay positive and be able to find silver linings even when times are dark. Remember, negative emotions will do nothing but make things worse. It is your duty to keep yourself happy, no matter what the situation.