At a recent lecture at the Centre for Integrated Healing, a Vancouver clinic that combines conventional and alternative therapies, Paul tells me he’s been cancer free for more than six months. While undergoing chemotherapy for stomach cancer, Paul alleviated the side effects with homeopathy.
Homeopathic remedies can help manage drug side effects without drug interactions. The quantity used is minute yet strong enough to produce symptoms similar to those the illness presents and so stimulates the body’s immune system and strengthens the body’s vitality to minimize the toxic side effects of chemotherapy.
Here are a few of the remedies that cancer patients have used successfully during a cycle of chemotherapy.
The Core Remedies
Cadmium sulphuratum is used routinely during chemotherapy to relieve persistent nausea, vomiting, and utter exhaustion. The patient feels burning or cutting pain and pervasive coldness. Dizziness may also be a problem. They can only tolerate lying quietly. Choose Cadmium unless another remedy better suits the patient’s symptoms.
Arsenicum album is similar to Cadmium, but the patient feels tremendous fear and restlessness in addition to vomiting, weakness, and burning pain. Choose Arsenicum when the patient wants someone nearby at all times, craves warmth, and takes frequent sips of warm drinks. Symptoms are worse at night.
Nux vomica is indicated when the patient feels hungover because of drug toxicity. Typically, the patient retches and is frustrated in a desire to vomit. The patient experiences insomnia and is irritable, particularly in the morning. He or she feels hypersensitive to all stimuli, may be impatient, and takes offence easily.
Sepia is yet another excellent remedy for the nausea, weakness, and irritability of chemotherapy when feelings of depression, despair, and indifference are dominant. The patient needing Sepia feels disconnected, even to close family, and is happiest when left alone. Other indications are sensitivity to smell, a feeling of emptiness in the stomach, and cravings for vinegar or sour things.
When Nausea Overwhelms
Ipecacuanha is a good choice when nausea seems so unbearable that nothing alleviates it, not even vomiting. Also if nausea is associated with bright red bleeding or a rattling cough, Ipecacuanha is sure to help. The tongue is typically clean, an unusual sign during stomach distress.
Tabacum can be considered along with Ipecacuanha for incapacitating nausea and vomiting. In this case the patient feels deathly ill, cold, clammy, looks pale, and craves fresh air.
When Exhaustion Lingers
China is usually useful if a nervous weakness persists, especially if fluid has been lost through vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding. China strengthens the constitution in cases of anemia associated with nervous irritability and can help with excess gas, bloating, and diarrhea accompanied by weakness.
The choice to use chemotherapy is individual and is but one of many difficult decisions a diagnosis of cancer brings. However, as Paul can tell you, homeopathy lessens the suffering associated with drug toxicity and can be used with other natural therapies to strengthen the body’s constitution to fight cancer and withstand relapses.
How Much to Take
Choose one remedy in a 30c potency, giving 2 to 5 pills, 2 to 4 hours apart for 3 or 4 doses; then stop and use only as needed. Always let the symptoms guide you and repeat only if symptoms worsen again. If no change occurs, or if the remedy stops working, choose the next best choice as recommended.
For More Information
Anyone seriously considering using homeopathy for cancer care should read Laura Fanton’s Coping with Chemotherapy Using Homeopathy (B. Jain Publishers, 2005).