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Herbal Treatment Options for Bowel Cancer

written by: Lisa Good • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 4/13/2011

When thinking about herbal treatments for bowel cancer there are some things to consider such as side effects, cost, and insurance coverage. Come discover some natural remedies to help prevent or contain bowel cancer.

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    Bowel Cancer

    Bowel cancer is a form of cancer that affects the large intestine. It is thought that bowel cancer is mainly caused by diet, however genetics may also play a role. It is estimated that 40 to 50% of bowel cancers are considered curable if diagnosed at the appropriate time. Usually treatment modalities include chemotherapy and radiation, but some people also consider herbal treatment for bowel cancer.

    Patients do not always want to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Side effects of these modalities include hair loss, possible pain and burning at the site and surrounding areas, vomiting and fatigue. It is for these reasons some patients consider less invasive treatment such as herbal remedies.

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    Ginger

    Ginger is a root that is used to flavor foods but is also available in capsule or tablet form. It may also be available as a tea. Ginger is thought to have the ability to slow the growth of bowel cancer. In a study conducted on lab mice in 2003 by the Association for Cancer Research, ginger inhibited the growth of bowel cancer in the mice. This research has not been duplicated in humans, however. A compound in ginger known as 6-gingerol is the active ingredient believed to slow the ability of the cancer cells to multiply. Ginger is not without possible side effects such as heartburn or nausea, and the risk of side effects increases with the amounts consumed.

    Ginger is readily available and cost effective. It is not a drug so therefore insurance companies do not cover the cost of it, but it is an economical herbal treatment.

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    Green Tea

    Green tea is an herbal supplement that is thought to help in the herbal treatment of several types of cancers. Green tea is made from the leaves of a plant called a camellia sinensis. Green tea is usually taken as a tea, hence its name, but is also available as a supplement in pill or capsule form. Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants and contains an ingredient called epigallocatechin-3-gallate that is thought to suppress the growth of bowel cancer cells. Green tea does have side effects, and the risk of side effects is greater the more that is consumed. Side effects may include diarrhea and nausea. Green tea is also an economical supplement but is not covered by insurance.

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    Diet

    Diet can also be included in the list of natural or herbal treatments for fighting bowel cancer. A diet rich in green tea, antioxidants and garlic can improve the chances of developing bowel cancer and can help to decrease the chances of any cancer cells present of multiplying. Avoiding red meat is also recommended. A high fiber diet has also been shown to reduce the risks of developing bowel cancer as well.

    garlic 

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    Things to Consider

    It is important to discuss herbal options with your physician to determine what is right for you. This is particularly important because there are herbal options that can make medical treatment less effective. It is also important to carefully research any herbal option presented to you. The world and especially the internet is full of scammers and quick fixes at a high price. Be careful when researching herbal treatments to avoid being taken advantage of.

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    Sources

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/313505-herbal-treatments-for-bowel-cancer/

    http://www.cancervic.org.au/about-cancer/cancer_types/bowel_cancer/treatment_for_bowel_cancer.html

    Image source: www.publicdomainpictures.net

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