Before conventional medicines existed, people used plant-based medicines to address their various ailments. As science began producing more advanced therapies and chemical-based drugs, patients began moving away from herbal and botanical therapies.
Over the last 20 years, however, homeopathic remedies have experienced resurgence as part of integrative medicine. Research continually shows that complementary therapies may increase the body’s response to traditional treatments. Studies also show that they can help manage some of the side effects of allopathic medicines. As a result, modern patients are more frequently exploring homeopathy in conjunction with other clinical therapies.
Homeopathy as a Complement to Traditional Oncology
For cancer patients especially, complementary homeopathy can have wide-reaching effects.
After traditional therapies such as surgery and radiation therapy, patients may experience a number of severe side effects. These include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation. Many patients turn to homeopathic solutions to control these side effects. Some of the most common homeopathic remedies for these conditions include:
- Nux vomica
- Kali Hydroicum
Additionally, homeopathy can directly impact certain cancer-related symptoms, such as pain and anxiety.
Immune-modulating botanicals can also be diluted into homeopathic solutions. These herbs and plants can help boost the patient’s immune system and activate its own natural healing mechanisms.
While chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy induce necrosis (cancerous cell death induced by an external factor), homeopathic botanical solutions work to induce apoptosis. This natural cell death puts healthy cells in less danger.
Because these plant-based cancer therapies hold so much promise, The National Institutes of Health provides funds to six different research centers in the United States. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is just one of the renowned hospitals that conducts research on these immune-modulating botanicals.
Homeopaths choose remedies for their patient based on their overall condition – not just one specific ailment. This approach is much different than the approach taken by many traditional oncologists, whose primary goal is to quickly get rid of each symptom. To ensure that homeopathic medicine and traditional medicine are integrated as smoothly as possible, patients are encouraged to work with a multidisciplinary treatment team.
Integrative oncology programs often combine homeopathy with several other aspects of holistic treatment, such as nutrition therapy and supplementation. Many patients rely on several complementary therapies in addition to their standard treatment. Because these therapies are unlikely to cause adverse side effects or negative interactions, patients can safely integrate a combination of complementary therapies.
Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.