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Chinese Herbal Medicine and cancer treatment
Well, this is very exciting! Researchers at Yale have just concluded a study showing that an herbal remedy called Huang Qin Tang may curb the negative side effects of chemotherapy and actually increase the efficacy of the treatment: Huang Qin Tang is one of the oldest known Chinese Herbal remedies. It appears in one of the earliest Chinese medical texts (the Shang Han Lun) and has been used by doctors and patients for 2,000 years. It's a very simple remedy consisting of four herbs: 1. Huang Qin, or Skullcap root 2. Bai Shao, or White peony root 3. Zhi Gan Cao, or Prepared licorice root 4. Da Zao, or Jujube fruit The formula is often prescribed for various digestive ailments, which explains why it may help cancer patients get through chemotherapy. But it's especially exciting to learn that the formula can enhance chemotherapy's cancer-fighting effects. I'm looking forward to seeing more studies on herbal medicinals!
User: Dr. Sachi
Posts: 28

Herbs as well as acupuncture are very effective adjuncts for cancer patients. I have used them successfully for children as well as adults with great success. I am glad there are now studies that support their efficacy. I ask my patients to talk about their alternative treatments and to ask their doctors if I can call them to discuss what I am doing with them. I believe one way to get the info out there is to ask patients to talk about it and to bridge communication and understanding between the doctors and alternative practitioners.
Post Date:04-15-2011 09:57 am
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User: Ziki Dekel, LAc
Posts: 10

I think the #1 reason why MDs tell their patients not to take herbs is because they don't know enough about them. We are an over-medicated population, so naturally they worry about drug interactions. Herbal medicinals are potent and some of them interact adversely with certain pharmaceuticals, but a Chinese herbalist has extensive training in drug-herb interactions and in pharmacology. MDs have no training in herbal medicine so they can't in good faith advise their patients to take herbs. I think the best thing we can do is let our patients now that we are trained health-care professionals who take pharmaceuticals into account when we prescribe herbs. I hope some day MDs get training in herbal medicine, but until then patients should rest easy knowing their acupuncturists and herbalists are taking their entire medical history into account when prescribing herbs.
Post Date:08-24-2010 1:47 pm
Quoted By: Michelle Gregg

Thanks for clarifying that Ziki. I worked for an herbalist for several years and we always had our patients bring in all of their actual medications. That way the doc could see what they were taking and in that way know what was safe to give them. Very good point to bring up.
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User: Michelle Gregg
Posts: 28

This IS very exciting news! It's great that the study was done at Yale. However, I've been to doctors who say never to take herbs for several different reasons, which always is a turn off to me. What do you think is the best way to get this information out to main stream health care providers so that more people can benefit?
Post Date:08-20-2010 08:31 am
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