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Herbal Medicine and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 28 October 2021
Herbal Medicine and Cancer Treatments

Cancer is a terrible disease and while medical oncology is the first line of recommended treatment, it suffers from several limitations.

Surgery can be the initial treatment and is often recommended.

One of the consequences of surgery is the increase in inflammation. i.e. inflammatory cytokines, which have been shown to promote tumour growth and stimulate angiogenesis.

Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is another standard protocol which shrinks tumours, but we recognise ionising radiation is cancer causing.

Lastly, chemotherapy is the recognised treatment for metastatic cancer, but chemo can have a diminishing effect after the initial cycle due to multi-drug resistance (MDR) as well as terrible side-effects.

Botanical oncology is not an alternative cancer treatment but seeks to work with biomedical oncology to support the patient.

This is called naturopathic integrative oncology and is evidence based.

Many botanical substances have good anti-inflammatory properties, can increase healing and stimulate immune response.

Botanicals can make tumours more radio-sensitive, as well as protect healthy cells from the radiation.

Lastly, botanicals have extensive properties to manage side effects, overcome multi drug resistance and even increase the efficacy of chemotherapy.

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsEvidence Based ResearchCancerHerbal Medicine


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia