Herbs for cancer patients

images-22Herbs; Some patients use herbs for relief of anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms. These products are readily available as dietary supplements. Indeed, many botanicals contain biologically active substances that can effectively change mood or relieve pain.

Although the use of CAM by patients with cancer is high, patients frequently fail to disclose its use to their health professionals for reasons emanating from both sides of the dyadic patient-doctor relationship (Davis et al., 2012).

There is a potential risk of herb-drug interactions. Patient-doctor communication about CAM is necessary to maintain patient safety and well-being.

It has been proposed that herbs and other botanical products should not be used during chemotherapy, or radiation, because they can interfere with prescription medications, alter coagulation, modulate the level and activity of drug-metabolizing enzymes, and produce herb-drug interactions (Deng et al., 2005).