Colon cancer may occur in people with colon polyps, a condition that may lead to cancer. To diagnose colon cancer, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy, a procedure that takes a look inside the colon and allows a gastroenterologist to remove colon polyps if present while you are under general anesthesia. Most gastroenterologists recommend a routine colonscopy after age 50; earlier, if you have a family history of colon cancer or are symptomatic. Many people choose herbs to shrink colon polyps instead of conventional treatment. However, herbs' safety and effectiveness are not scientifically proven. Check with your doctor before taking herbs.
Due to its antioxidant properties, garlic may be a beneficial adjunctive therapy in patients with colon cancer. Identified phytochemicals in garlic include allicin and allicin-derived organo-sulfur compounds such as diallyl disulfide may have very potent properties in reducing colon polyps by blocking nutrients such as glucose and oxygen, according to Stephen Fulder, author of "The Garlic Book: Nature's Powerful Healer."
Green tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It has an inhibitory effect on human colon cancer cell lines, says Herbal Safety. However, clinical trials are needed to determine true efficacy. Studies suggest that epigallocatechin-3-gallate, an active constituent of green tea, neutralizes enzymes aiding in the growth of colon polyps. To reap this benefit, you must drink at least 5 cups of green tea everyday.
Flax plant is a member of the Linaceae family, with the scientific name Linum usitatissimum. The seeds are used medicinally. The anti-carcinogenic properties of flaxseeds are attributed to the high concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, which appears to protect against colon cancer, according to the South Dakota State University.
Herbs may help shrink colon polyps, however, they are not intended to replace conventional cancer therapies. In addition, herbs may reduce the effectiveness of some anti-cancer medications. If you have cancer, you should not use herbs without first talking to your doctor.
- Pubmed Health: Colon Cancer
- "The Garlic Book: Nature's Powerful Healer"; Stephen Fulder; 1997
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- South Dakota State University: SDSU research: Flax in the Diet Means Fewer Tumors