Chemotherapy and Alternative Medicine
Chemotherapy is a variety or combination of anti-tumor drugs used in the treatment of cancer. While surgery and radiation therapy treat localized tumors, chemotherapy treats the entire body by destroying malignancies throughout the systems. These drugs are given in the highest dosages a patient can tolerate. However, these chemicals kill healthy cells as well as tumor cells by attacking rapidly growing cells. This is a fast-changing field of therapy: therefore, route and length of treatment vary as well as the drugs used.
There may be side effects with this treatment method: low red and white blood cell counts, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, lowered resistance to infection, and sore mouth. This can lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, damage to the digestive tract, malabsorbtion, and malnutrition
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Vitamin B1, 2, 3, vitamin K, and folic acid can become deficient in patients using chemotherapy. Vitamin K has been found to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs. Vitamin A enhances the anti-tumor effects of chemotherapy in animals.
AVOID: Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, animal products including dairy except yogurt, fat, refined products, and sweeteners including sugar because they may weaken the immune system. Soft spots on fruits, which may contain mold and increase susceptibility to yeast overgrowth. Foods that have been smoked, barbecued, or preserved, and hot, spicy foods may increase nausea.
INCREASE: Fresh juices are a concentrated source of energy and may increase weight. Coconut milk is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides to help with fat malabsorption and for ready energy. Eat foods rich in beta-carotene such as carrots and yams, liver cleansing foods like beets, parsnips, and dandelion greens. Blender drinks with yogurt, fruit, molasses, or carob can be nutritional and easy to digest. Licorice tea will support the adrenal system. Vegetables and whole grains boost B vitamins. Foods having the anti-oxidents vitamin E, seenium, and Coenzyme Q10 include wheat grass, nuts and seeds, and salmon. Coenzyme Q10 is used with chemotherapy to protect non-dividing cells from free radical damage. Shiitake mushrooms and garlic contain germanium, which is said to be anti-tumor. Yogurt will aid in the growth of the good bacteria in the intestines which have been destroyed by chemotherapy.
FOR NAUSEA: Eat small, frequent meals. Avoid high fatty or fried foods. Eat foods at room temperature. Blender Drinks may be soothing. Ginger tea is beneficial for nausea, indigestion and cramps.
AFTER CHEMOTHERAPY: Liver detoxification will help to clear the toxins from the body. Decoctions with burdock root, dandelion root, milk thistle, or fennel are useful.
Immune Boosting Pasta Sauce
from Vegetarian Gourmet Magazine
2 cups diced onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp hresh minced rosemary or a pinch of dried rosemary
2 cups diced raw sweet potatoes
1 ½ cups plus 2 Tbsp water or vegetable stock
1 cup rice milk, soy milk or coconut milk
2 Tbsp hazelnut butter
1 ½ cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 ½ Tbsp tamari
Pinch of black pepper
1. Saute onions in oil until lightly browned
2. In a large saucepan, combine half of the onions with salt, ½ teaspoon rosemary, sweet potatpes and 1 ½ cups water. Cooc until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool mixture to room temperature and blend with milk and hazelnut butter until very smooth. Set aside.
3. Combine remaining onions, mushrooms, tamari, pepper, remaining ¼ teaspoon rosemary and 2 tablespoons water. Cook for 5 minutes, add to sweet potato mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Serve over pasta.
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