“How can I sup­port my body dur­ing chemo?”

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - B+S NATURAL SOLUTIONS -

ques­tion: I’m about to start chemo­ther­apy for breast cancer, and I’ve been told the side ef­fects are nasty. Is there any­thing I can do to lessen them? an­swer: Chemo­ther­apy is of­ten used to treat cancer, along­side surgery and ra­dio­ther­apy. Al­though it is of­ten a life­saver, it takes its toll on the body. Nat­u­ral reme­dies can help, but ask your on­col­ogy team for ap­proval first.

Most chemo­ther­apy drugs tar­get fast-di­vid­ing cancer cells. The prob­lem is that other fast­di­vid­ing cells are also in the line of fire, in­clud­ing the hair fol­li­cle cells and the lin­ing of the di­ges­tive tract. This ex­plains two com­mon side ef­fects of chemo­ther­apy – hair loss and di­ges­tive prob­lems.

Sadly, nat­u­ral ther­a­pies can­not save hair loss, but they have much to of­fer an ail­ing gut. Slip­pery elm powder is a friend to the gas­troin­testi­nal tract. One tea­spoon, taken twice daily with ba­nana, yo­ghurt, por­ridge or warm wa­ter, will soothe the di­ges­tive tract lin­ing.

Psyl­lium husks are of­ten rec­om­mended for con­sti­pa­tion, but they can also help re­duce di­ar­rhoea from any cause, in­clud­ing chemo­ther­apy. Take one or two ta­ble­spoons daily. As slip­pery elm powder and psyl­lium husks are types of fi­bre and are not ab­sorbed into the blood­stream, they should not in­ter­fere with in­tra­venous chemo­ther­apy treat­ment.

Mouth ul­cers are an­other com­mon side ef­fect of chemo­ther­apy. Suck­ing on vi­ta­min C and zinc lozenges three to four times a day can re­duce and elim­i­nate them. Res­cue Rem­edy will help calm anx­i­ety be­fore and dur­ing treat­ment.

Af­ter the chemo­ther­apy course is over, give the liver and kid­neys some love. Detox­i­fy­ing herbs in­clude dan­de­lion root, cleavers, St Mary’s this­tle, schizan­dra, bur­dock and echi­nacea. Veg­etable and fruit juices are also good, such as car­rot, spinach, green ap­ple, cel­ery, pars­ley, wheat­grass, gin­ger and lemon. + Learn about five ways to ease the side ef­fects of cancer treat­ment in Mim Beim’s ar­ti­cle at bodyand­soul.com.au

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