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Can Herbal Treatments Help With Prostate Cancer?

Posted by Anna on April - 14 - 2013

It’s an unfortunate fact that the most medical prostate cancer treatments, at least in the Western world, almost exclusively rely on heavily invasive and harsh methods: surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy or combination of each one. While being effective in killing cancer cells, they also kill healthy cells. That is why patients experience extreme side-effects that compromise their immune systems: nausea, vomiting weight loss, loss of appetite, etc. However, people suffering from ailments as serious as prostate cancer are becoming aware the role of herbs can play in treating the disease and are turning to such alternative therapies to do so. This article will provide you with an in-depth description of herbal treatments that have shown promise in alleviating the side-effects and slowing down further development of the disease.

Keep in mind, however, that herbal treatments have not been used in randomized clinical trials to prove their effectiveness (which doesn’t prove they are not beneficial) and one should consult with his or her own doctor before proceeding with this type of treatment. Also keep in mind that, although most herbs don’t have significant side effects, more is not better and they should be used responsibly and within prescribed dosages.
Herbs which have shown to benefit men with prostate cancer include:

Curcumin – yellow pigment in turmeric providing significant anti-inflammatory properties. It should be taken at 400mg dose, 3 times per day.

Fractionated citrus pectin – ideally 2 doses of 6g each per day should be administered. Citrus pectin powder needs to be dissolved in water. It discourages cancer growth by interrupting cancer cells’ aggregation and their ability to attach to healthy cells.

Genistein – a powerful antioxidant which has cancer-inhibiting properties. 200 mg per is to be taken daily.

Green tea – take a standardized green tea extract. It is suspected that cancer is least prevalent in Asian countries since green tea is part of their staple diet. In addition to being an anti-oxidant, it also inhibits the development of cancer cells.

Lycopene – a caretenoid well known for promoting healthy prostate function. Plenty of it is found in tomatoes.

Saw palmetto  – herb beneficial in treating prostate cancer by discouraging the production of  5-alpha reductase (which converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), that  is responsible for driving  the growth of prostate cancer cells). It should not be used in combination with certain medications.

Other herbs that deserve a mention include:
 
– Damiana and licorice root which improve hormonal balance and glandular function, and are recommended for use in treating prostate cancer.

– In addition to having powerful anti-oxidant properties and improving immune function (essential if suffering from cancer), fresh garlic cloves may also slow down growth of cancer cells.

Anson Burke is a regular contributor to Health92.com where he regularly blogs about men’s health issues such as prostate health, prostate cancer and prostate supplements such as Super Beta Prostate. You can connect with him here