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Malignancy in the colon and rectum is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in the United States and has claimed the life of more than 600,000 people at a rate of 17 per 1000 in recent years. Treatments range from surgery to chemo and radiotherapy, immunotherapy and other drugs still under clinical trial. As part of alternative therapy or as a supplement to other forms of therapy, homeopathy is being promoted as an option by its advocates.
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What is Homeopathic Treatment?
Homeopathic remedies are based on the principle that little amounts of substances that usually cause disease in large doses can be therapeutic to the disease. These substances may be derived from various chemicals, minerals, plants or animal products. They are often used as part of holistic and alternative treatment or natural remedies for pains and aches, colds, flu, constipation and other common disturbances in the body.
The use of homeopathic treatment for cancer is based on various medical claims, although there are little reliable scientific studies that can prove their absolute benefit. Natural remedies to increase the body’s resistance, to fight cancer and boost the healing process are believed to be the homeopath’s answer to cancer cure.
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What Are the Homeopathic Treatment Options for Colon Cancer?
A well known homeopathic principle of preventing and treating cancer of the large intestine is to address diet as a major risk factor. Therefore, since diets rich in red meats, animal fats, alcohol and salt are closely associated with the development of colorectal cancer, homeopaths advocate modification of the diet to avoid these possible causative factors. Instead, people are advised to consume a diet low in calories and sugar but high in fiber content.
Obesity and diabetes are also known risk factors in colon cancer. One can address these problems by having a diet which contains less calories and sugar, and more on fruit, vegetables and whole grain foods that contain more fiber.
Yeast and parasitic infections decrease the body’s resistance. By eating garlic as food or in tablet form one can eliminate these infections which also allows the growth of pre-malignant polyps.
Reducing salt from the diet can be achieved by avoiding consumption of processed foods, canned foods, salted peanuts, sausage, bacon and soy sauce. Instead, foods that are rich in magnesium, calcium, folic acid and potassium must be taken in the form of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
A colon and liver cleanse or detoxification can be achieved by having a diet as stated above. In addition, homeopaths recommend eating organic foods, preferably whole foods and small portions of fish, meat and chicken. These should not be fried or grilled but instead they should be boiled or broiled. Trans-fats and saturated fats should be avoided; instead one should take foods high in omega 3 (from fish) and omega 6 oils (from olive and grape seed oil).
Curcumin, a chemical found in the popular Indian spice turmeric, is believed to have antioxidant and anticancer effects in the gastrointestinal tract, although clinical studies are lacking as to the dosage needed to produce these effects. It is available as an OTC diet supplement in the form of tablets.
Other homeopathic recommendations:
- Avoid tobacco or cigarette smoking.
- Drink only a few cups of coffee; green tea is a better alternative.
- Recommended Vitamins: B-vitamins, vitamin E and C, glutathione, carotenoids, glutamine, glycine, taurine, methionine
- Recommended herbs: garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric, parsley, fennel, cilantro
- Avoid preservatives like nitrates, food colorings, artificial sweeteners and additives in the diet.
- Avoid sea foods that may be high in mercury content.
- Avoid junk foods and beverages like soda which may contain phosphorus.
Homeopathic remedies to treat symptoms of colon cancer:
- For constipation, abdominal pain and colic - Bryonia alba or wild hops, Lycopodium or wolfsclaw
- For diarrhea - Arsenicum album
Homeopathic treatment for colon cancer is considered safe although its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms and curing the disease still has to be demonstrated by more research. Medical advice is recommended in choosing the best therapy for colon cancer, as in all other diseases.
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American Cancer Society, “Homeopathy" accessed 2/21/11
Colon Cancer, “Homeopath and Colon Cancer" 2/21/11
National Cancer Institute," SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Colon and Rectum" accessed 2/21/11
Herbs2000, “Herbs", accessed 2/21/11