For those undergoing medical treatment due to different types of cancer, radiation therapy is often prescribed. Radiation uses high potency X-rays to try and kill cancer cells, though often this treatment can have detrimental side effects and greatly lower the body’s immune defenses. There are quite a few natural remedies shown to combat the effects of radiation therapy and help the body maintain vitality and strength, here are six.
1- A Positive State of Mind and Healthy Attitude: First and foremost, no matter what trial you are facing, it is critical to approach it with a positive attitude. It has been found that the way we feel about something affects the outcome we experience. This can be seen with the very simple placebo effect. When we know that we are healthy and whole, no matter what we are enduring, we may still experience discomforts – but we will be setting a healthy foundation on which our immune system can stand. Attitude creates a field or vibration around our bodies and effects not only our own being, but all those around us. You have been around someone with a negative attitude before and felt as though they were rubbing off, yes? You just want to get away from this type of energy. It’s the same in your body, except you can’t get away from YOU. It is vital to healing that we maintain a clear vision of the body in it’s whole, healthy state. This will more easily facilitate the process of moving into health… and it doesn’ hurt to have some back up. So here are 6 other tools to support you.
2- Reishi Mushrooms: Long referred to as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ and ‘medicine of the kings’ reishi mushrooms have been renowned for their healing benefits. Reishi greatly benefits the immune system and can actually helps immune cells bind to tumors. “Research shows that the polysaccharide beta-1,3-D-glucan in reishi boosts the immune system by raising the amount of macrophages T-cells.“
Reishi is shown to have chemopreventative effects alleviating chemotherapy induced nausea, enhances efficacy of radiotherapy, and increases the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin. It was also effective in preventing cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity.
(Cisplatin is a platinum-containing chemotherapy drug and nephrotoxicity is the a poisonous effect induced by chemicals or medications on the kidneys)
3- Blue-Green Algaes and Marine Phytoplanktons (including spirulina and chlorella): These different types of algae have been shown to reduce heavy metals and radiation in the system as well as boost over all health and immune functions. They have chemoprotective and radioprotective effects. Blue green algae and phytoplanktons are also huge oxygen producers which have an extremely neutralizing and healing effect on any type of acidic environment – which radiation most certainly is.
There are many documented testimonials all over the web about people who have undergone radiation therapy and greatly benefited from the use of spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella and marine phytoplanktons to reduce negative side effects and experience greater health.
4- Astragalus: A Chinese herb in the pea family, part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It has long been used to ‘restore the capacity of a suppressed immune system.’ Astragalus is extremely beneficial for those who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments in order to bring their immune systems back on-line. It is an adaptogen, helping the body to adapt to stresses and can be taken over long periods of time without any side effects or worry.
5- Bentonite Clay: Known as the ‘great detoxifier’, and called by the Sioux ‘the mud that heals’, bentonite clay can effectively carry the toxic bi-products of radiation therapy out of the body. Russian scientists would apply a layer of bentonite clay to their skin before putting on their regular radiation uniforms in order to increase their protection from radiation. The U.S. army has also found that bentonite clay protects against many types of chemical warfare.
To use clay for radiation exposure, internal as well as external application is recommended. One can take baths with clay in it as well as applying to key areas of the body exposed including lymph nodes and over organs.
6- Ginkgo Biloba: Used in Chinese medicine as far back as 3000 B.C., Ginkgo trees have been described as ‘living fossils’ with ancestry traceable as far back as 200 million years. Ginkgo is known to protect cells against radiation. A study published in the International Journal of Low Radiation in 2009 showed that lymphocytes pre-treated with ginkgo biloba and then exposed to radiation resulted in decreased cell death than those lymphocytes not pre-treated, therefore “demonstrating radioprotectant effects.”
According to the European Society of Radiation and Oncology: “Ginkgo biloba extract enhances radiation effect on tumor without increasing acute normal tissue radiation damage in this model system probably by increasing tumor blood flow and further investigation for this possible radiosensitizer is needed.“
7- Kombucha Tea: A fermented black tea mushroom concoction used to alkalize the system, increase enzyme activity and provide a healthy lot of probiotics. Kombucha is all the rage these days and can be home-brewed. Research for kombucha and cancer come mostly out of Germany and Russia, though collective wisdom in the U.S. include people like Ronald Regan claiming to have cured himself of stomach cancer with kombucha and Dave – founder and owner of GT’s Kombucha, who started the company after his mother used kombucha to heal from cancer.
The International Journal of Biological and Life Science reports of the benefits of kombucha on irradiated rats. Their findings were stated as such: “According to the results obtained in the present study, it appears that KT ferment(kombucha) administration to rats would decrease the toxicity associated with oxidative stress and thereby reducing the damage induced by exposure to cadmium and/or radiation.“
As you can see, there are many herbs and natural remedies that can be helpful in combating negative effects of radiation therapy, these are just seven. As we continue to find gentler methods to cure the body and the mind of dis-ease, it’s wonderful to discover those foods and medicines that can ease the transition from harsh medical intervention to nature’s blessings. In this world we are finding that a synergestic blend of alternative and traditional therapies can be most beneficial on the path to realizing health and wholeness.
Written by: Stasia Bliss
Sources: KlamathBlueGreen.com; Livestrong.com; Gaia-health.com; Natural News; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Society; About.com Alternative Medicine; HerbWisdom.com; About Clay; Natural News; Livestrong and Gingko; The Green Journal; Yahoo Voices – Kombucha; Kombucha study; Kombucha Kamp; Anchorage Radiation Therapy Center;