Cancer in itself is bad enough, but cancer treatments often cause the need for additional medical care. But, there are natural remedies that can help treat and even prevent the side effects of chemotherapy. If you find yourself in the position of needing chemotherapy, be sure to eat enough calories and protein and consider trying natural cures for chemotherapy side effects like ginger, baking soda, caraway seed, acupuncture, and probiotics.
What Exactly Is Chemotherapy?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) define chemotherapy as the use of drugs to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer cells; however, the term is most often used to refer to cancer-killing drugs. The treatments are typically given by mouth or via injection so that the medicine is able to travel through the bloodstream throughout the entire body.
For treating cancer, chemotherapy is often given in cycles and may be combined with radiation therapy. Cycles may last one day, several days, or even a few weeks or more. Typically, patients are given a rest period between cycles during which their bodies can recover and their blood counts return to normal.
What Are the Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is considered a cytotoxic drug as it actually kills cells to treat the underlying condition. While chemotherapy “targets” cells that divide quickly to make new cells or in other words cancer cells, some of your other bodily cells, like those in your bone marrow, hair, and gastrointestinal tract, also divide quickly. With that, these “healthy body cells” are also often damaged or killed when you are undergoing treatment.
As chemotherapy is such an aggressive treatment that has the potential to damage healthy body cells, it often causes a number of side effects. The NIH lists the following as some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy:
-Impaired immune function
Can Natural Remedies Help with the Aftereffect of Chemotherapy and Radiation?
While chemotherapy treatment is often unavoidable, you can utilize natural remedies to help your body cope with the side effects of chemo and other cancer treatments. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and to get regular exercise to preserve your energy levels. Additionally, you can use supplemental treatments, such as ginger, baking soda, caraway seed, acupuncture, and probiotics, to combat the aftereffects of chemotherapy.
One suggestion offered by the Cancer Cure Foundation is to take ginger to help fight nausea. Ginger contains specific compounds that help calm and soothe your stomach so that you do not feel nauseous. If you have trouble with nausea during treatments, try holding a slice of fresh ginger in your mouth during treatment and chew on it whenever you become nauseous.
2. Baking Soda
Another symptom that many individuals struggle with is mouth sores. A baking soda rinse can help cleanse and relieve mouth sores. This treatment also helps to balance your body’s pH so that you are actively supporting cancer treatment as well. Gargle a rinse of 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 8 ounces of water.
3. Caraway Seed
Caraway seed is another option for supporting digestive health and treating nausea. This treatment helps promote the effective function of your digestive tract as well as the maintenance of your immune system. Use caraway seed to make tea to sip following your treatment.
Acupuncture is a supportive treatment that helps relieve pain and prevent nausea. The system uses pressure points throughout your body to target and relieve pain.
It is especially important to maintain your immune system to combat the various side effects of chemotherapy. Probiotics serve as a supplement to the natural “good bacteria” in your body, so they support immune health and prevent illness. You can take a daily probiotic supplement or eat foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut to boost your natural intake of probiotics.
Keep reading for more natural cures for chemotherapy side effects from our readers below.
Chemo Side Effects – http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/ treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-chemo-side-effects
Chemotherapy – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002324.htm
Dealing with the Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation – http://www.cancure.org/ help_side_effects.htm
Understanding and Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects – http://www.cancercare.org/ publications/24-understanding_and_managing_chemotherapy_side_effects#possible-side-effects