I treat a lot of cancer patients. As you can imagine, anything I can do to make chemotherapy less toxic is important. This is especially true if the therapy is healthy and natural. Here's a simple little study that shows how a readily available herbal tonic can prevent two of the most common side effects of chemo - nausea and oral mucositis.
With today's chemo drugs, nausea is close to a certainty. In patients with serious cancers, who are already weak and may have lost weight, it can be serious. Oral mucositis is another problem that doesn't happen as much, but is very disabling when it does happen. This is a condition in which the inside of the mouth breaks out into painful sores. It's miserable.
In this study, the research team was looking to see if an herbal tonic called Curcumall could prevent or decrease the chance of oral mucositis in patients getting chemotherapy. Curcumall is a very special liquid form of the herb curcumin. It is a patented process that contains extracts of turmeric, curcumin, ginger, and aloysia. You can buy it online.
The researchers had originally designed a placebo-controlled study in which some of the patients were taking Curcumall and the other half a placebo. But shortly into the study, it became apparent that the only patients suffering from nausea and vomiting were the ones getting the placebo. So they did the right thing and stopped the study and gave everyone Curcumall.
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Here's what they did. Five patients put 10 drops of Curcumall into some water and rinsed their mouths with it twice a day while they took chemotherapy. Four of the five developed oral mucositis. But in each case, the severity was much less than what generally is seen. In fact, the researchers referred to all four cases as "mild." There were, of course, no side effects from the herbs.
At the clinic, we treat all kinds of cases of cancer in all phases. I always used curcumin extract because of its potent anti-cancer properties. But this study shows another important use for treating nausea and oral mucositis. You can take turmeric both as a capsule, a liquid, and intravenously.
One final note. The dose that the researchers used was very small. This is probably because the patients they treated were children. Here's what I would recommend for adults. Take one teaspoon of Curcumall about 30 minutes before a meal. Swish it around for about 30 seconds and then swallow. Do this three times daily. On chemo days, do it right before and right after the treatment.
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