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Herbal Remedies to Cope with Chemotherapy

written by: Lisa Lambson • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 9/15/2010

Chemotherapy that is prescribed for cancer is a brutal treatment for the body to undergo. Herbal remedies can go a long way in helping decrease the side effects of chemotherapy and build up the immune system to keep you as healthy as possible during the difficult process

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    Chemotherapy is a widely used therapy of drugs prescribed by physicians to kill cancer cells in the body. The powerful drugs that are used to kill cancer cells are extremely toxic and in addition to killing the cancer cells, they kill healthy cells as well. There are many after effects of chemotherapy. The side effects of chemotherapy can be severe and debilitating with little from the medical field to counteract them. This in turn puts the body under even more stress. Some of the side effects of chemotherapy include pain, intestinal disturbances, anemia, malnutrition, hair loss, memory loss and severe immune deficiency.

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    Immune Deficiency

    One of the worst overall after effects of chemotherapy is severe immune deficiency. The immune system becomes so depleted that the body is no longer able to fight off infections on its own and is completely susceptible to every infection it comes into contact with. Vitamins and minerals help to strengthen the immune system by neutralizing free radicals. This means that a healthy diet while undergoing chemotherapy is crucial. Continuing to exercise to boost oxygen intake and strengthen the cardiovascular system is vital as well.

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    Echinacea

    Echinacea is one of the most effective and popular herbal remedies for strengthening the immune system. It will mobilize the immune system cells and stimulate their disease fighting activity. Siberian ginseng, wild indigo, thuja and chamomile will also boost the immune system. Dandelion root and red clover are effective herbs to help the liver get rid of toxins by protecting the liver and cleansing the bloodstream. Green tea contains polyphenols, which help kill cancerous cells and stop their progression. However, green tea should not be consumed while you are actually taking chemotherapy. After you have stopped the chemo, you can add green tea to your diet.

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    Additional Protection for the Liver and Kidneys

    Pau D'Arco is said to protect and promote healthy liver function. In fact, some South American hospitals even use Pau D'Arco to reduce the destructive process that chemotherapy exerts on the liver and kidneys.

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    Disclaimer

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