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The Practical Herbalist


A diagnosis of cancer is a particularly frightening experience. Many people with cancer turn to herbal medicines when they know that there are few good options for treatment. The unfortunate part of this is that there are many people prey on this situation to make money. There are many anticancer herbal "cures" around. Some are blatant marketing scams. Some are sold with all of the best intentions but are not backed by the knowledge of how they should or should not be used.

The basis of the problems and misunderstandings, is the nature of herbal diagnosis. There really is no herbal diagnosis for cancer. Herbal medicine is prescribed based on the symptoms of the patient at that time. The prescription is expected to change through out the progression of treatment. Treatment will also change in relation to the types of Biomedical treatments are employed.

The big mistake made by many people is to put all their faith in one herbal formula for "cancer" and stick to it. Herbal medicine is about helping the body, not treating a disease. Many hyped and even classic "cancer cures" are harsh herbal formulas that disperse the stagnation pain or feelings of heat that often accompanies cancer. These may be appropriate at the early stages of treatment. They are generally not appropriate after chemotherapy when a patient is weak, or when the digestion has been compromised to the point where the patient can not digest the herbs. The herbal formulas always have to be specific to the needs of the patient. Harsh herbs after chemotherapy, radiation or surgery only causes further harm to the patient.

It is very important whenever there is a serious medical condition, that patients get advice from knowledgeable, reliable sources. If it sounds like hype, it probably is, and patients should not be risking their lives on hype and marketing.

David Bock C.Ac. Dipl.OM,FABORM

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David Bock

This article was from David's LakeCountryOnline.com column, "The Practical Herbalist"

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David Bock, C. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Wisconsin Certified Acupuncturist
National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine
Fellow American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Bock Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
888 Thackeray Trail #206
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066