Herbal Remedies for Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects your blood vessels, such as the lymphatic system and bone marrow. Symptoms include fever or chills, weight loss, fatigue, easy bleeding, red spots on the skin, bone pain and sweating. Treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplant. Certain herbal remedies may also help treat leukemia. You should consult your doctor before starting any herbal remedies. In addition, you should not replace other forms of treatment with herbal remedies.

Milk thistle plant. (Image: AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images)

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a herb that originates from the Mediterranean region. This herb is commonly used for ailments of the liver, and it may also help decrease growth of certain types of cancer. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, this herb is also being studied for its benefit in patients with leukemia and chemotherapy-related damage to the liver. Studies are ongoing and no evidence is established at this time.

Korean Red Ginseng

Korean Red Ginseng is a herbal remedy that may be beneficial in treating and managing leukemia. A study published in the 2008 Journal of Ethnopharmacology examined how this herb can inhibit telomerase activity and cause apoptosis in human leukemia cells. These two actions can benefit the management and slowed progression of cancerous cells. According to their findings, this herb may be beneficial if you have leukemia.

Turmeric

Myeloproliferative disorders are a group of conditions that lead blood cells to abnormally grow within blood vessels. One of these conditions is chronic myelogenous leukemia, a type of leukemia in which the bone marrow synthesizes abnormal white blood cells in your bone marrow. Some herbs may be used for these disorders in order to help strengthen your body's defense systems. One herb that has been used is turmeric. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that a dose of 300 mg, three times/day, may reduce pain and inflammation associated with leukemia symptoms.

Olive Leaf

Another herb that may be used in the treatment of leukemia is olive leaf, also called olea europaea. The UMMC says that a standardized extract of 250 to 500 mg, for one to three times a day, may offer you anti-cancer effects and increased immune support. By boosting your immune strength, you may be better able to fight infection and illness or other symptoms of leukemia.

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