As they say, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Many alternative therapies, once believed by conventional medical practitioners to be merely placebos, have now been shown to have proven therapeutic value (eg, acupuncture, numerous botanical extracts, meditation).
This review provides a brief recap of the history of medical quackery and an overview of the various types of unproven or disproved cancer therapies popular now in the United States and elsewhere.
We still have much to do to fully understand the potential of complementary therapies as important elements in cancer treatment and health. Mind-body and body-based interventions may be able to improve health and prevent disease as effectively as pharmacologic agents—without the toxicities associated with pharmacologics, and as adjuncts to pharmacologic therapies they may help to maximize health and diminish disease with less toxicity.
The active constituent of green tea extract is EGCG, which accounts for 40% of its total polyphenol content. Regular consumption of green tea may reduce the risk of hypertension and positively affect mood.
Flax, an annual plant believed to have originated in Egypt, is cultivated around internationally and is among the world’s oldest crops.
Conference Calendar for Fall 2011 - Spring 2012
During the 1970s and 80s, several researchers in Canada and in the United States, including those at the National Cancer Institute, studied Essiac. All failed to find any evidence of effectiveness.
Ginkgo biloba, one of the oldest living tree species, is cultivated worldwide for its medicinal properties and aesthetic appeal. The leaves and seeds are used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory diseases, circulatory disorders, sexual dysfunction, and loss of hearing.
Mangosteen is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asian countries, including India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Its reddish to dark purple fruit, with white juicy edible pulp, is considered one of the best tasting tropical fruits. Mangosteen has a long history of medicinal use to treat skin infections, wounds, and dysentery; in ayurveda, it is used for inflammation, diarrhea, and cholera.
Acupuncture is a therapeutic modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), developed over the millennia. Treatment involves the placement of needles at selected points on the body, followed by manipulation with physical forces, heat, or, in modern times, electrical stimuli.