When training for a marathon, or competing in an event, an athlete must nurture his/her body with the correct supplements to produce the best outcome. Without the right amount of certain minerals, vitamins, or electrolytes, the body becomes weak and cannot function to the best of its abilities. This is the same with any scenario. One does not need to be running a race or playing a sport to eat healthy and aid function. This holds true with patients battling a chronic illness or cancer.
In my eyes, natural facilitators are to cancer patients like Gatorade is to athletes. Gatorade is not needed for an athlete to perform, but it gives them the nutrients needed to produce positive results. This is the same for cancer patients. Herbs and certain natural extracts are not needed to overcome cancer, but they do give the body added strength for the battle ahead. Normally patients diagnosed with an aggressive cancer or one with a low survivability rate, like pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma, or phyllodes tumors, adopt a natural compliment for conventional treatments.
The usage of tonic herbs functions as a fantastic complementary/alternative treatment protocol for cancer patients. Tonic herbs can also be consumed on regular basis. Panx Ginseng, Reishi mushroom, Rhodiola rosea root, and Schizandra berry are adaptogenic in nature and thus strengthen the homeostasis of the body and promote immune system health. In addition, hormonal and neurological balance is also achieved. These herbs work by strengthening your bodily systems so that the resulted weakness from conventional cancer treatments can be combated. This can improve the quality of life, physically and mentally.
Another fascinating tidbit about natural health is the use of mistletoe with cancer treatment. Iscador is probably one the most unknown, mostly used plant extract for cancer out there. For over ninety years this direct derivative from mistletoe has been used to boost the immune system and stop cancer cell growth. There have been many controlled studies and clinical trials that have shown remarkable outcomes. With the combined use of this extract and conventional treatments, patients live 40% longer.
Though this piece only exemplifies a small sample of holistic treatments for cancer, it sheds light on the importance of incorporating natural remedies with treatments and recovery. It is important to remember that the human body is made of nature, so replenishing it with its natural counterparts is the best way to allow it to function appropriately.
Allison Brooks studied at the University of Mississippi where she earned a degree in biomedical anthropology. She is currently studying in the field to complete an ethnography on the effects of biomedicalization on Bolivian cultures.