Science & Research

Rabdosia rubescens

A clinical trial conducted in China compared Rabdosia rubescens with placebo for patients with localized esophageal cancer and compared chemotherapy with Rabdosia rubescens and chemotherapy without Rabdosia rubescens for advanced disease. In both situations, the researchers reported that the herbal lozenges improved survival.

In the past few years, several laboratory studies have shown that 2 extracts of Rabdosia rubescens, called oridonin and ponicidin, have some activity against cancer cells. Oridonin has been tested against several types of human cancer cells in laboratory dishes and in mice. Most of these studies were done in China or Japan, and all showed activity against the cancer cells. Ponicidin was tested in the laboratory against human leukemia cells in China and found to help induce cell death, or apoptosis.

Ganoderma lucidum

From the Cancer.org website, Ganoderma belongs to the Polyporaceae group of the Fungi family – Reishi and some formulas contain other mushrooms. Ganoderma works in supporting the body’s natural defense against cancer because it helps to enhance liver detoxification, thus improving liver function and stimulating the regeneration of liver cells – making it a very important supplement for those who have liver cancer.

The keys agents in Ganoderma are the polysaccharides and Germanium. The polyshaccharide fraction of Ganoderma is largely responsible for its reported efficacy. Indications for Ganoderma use include supplementation a) to strengthen the bodies ability to endure the side-effects during chemotherapy or radiotherapy, b) to strengthen the body’s ability to prolong survival and minimize metastasis, c) to improve quality of life, and d) to strengthen the body to prevent occurrence or recurrence.

Ganoderma can be used as a supplement during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to support the body’s ability to reduce side effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss, bone marrow suppression and risk of infection. It can also provide nutritional support helpful to the body in reducing the toxic and side effects and mitigate the pains during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in particular to cancer patients at terminal stages for prolonging their lives and improving their living quality.

Qualities of Ganoderma that help support the body’s defense against cancer that have been documented by Cancer.org are as follow:

  • It enhances and helps regulate the immune and endocrine system, prevent tumors, improving the circulation and eliminating harmful free radicals.

  • Inhibits DNA synthesis of the cancer cells, destroys the terminal enzyme activity of the tumor cells, promotes macrophages and regulates T and B lymphocytes, thus  restraining the spread of cancer cells.

  • It can also reduce the toxic and side effects and mitigate the pains during chemotherapy and radiotherapy

  • Enhances liver detoxification, thus improving liver function and stimulating the regeneration of liver cells.

  • Helps with cancerous ascites, increases appetite and help relieve the pain of late stage cancer.

  • It is especially effective with kidney diseases.

Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) in Cancer Treatment Daniel Sliva, PhD (Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, 1800 N Capitol Ave, E504, Indianapolis, IN 46202).

The popular edible mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) has been widely used for the general promotion of health and longevity in Asian countries. The dried powder of Ganoderma lucidum was popular as a cancer chemotherapy agent in ancient China. The authors recently demonstrated that Ganoderma lucidum inhibits constitutively active transcription factors nuclear factor kappa B (NF-.B) and AP-1, which resulted in the inhibition of expression of urokinasetype plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor uPAR.

Ganoderma lucidum also suppressed cell adhesion and cell migration of highly invasive breast and prostate cancer cells, suggesting its potency to reduce tumor invasiveness. Thus, Ganoderma lucidum clearly demonstrates anticancer activity in experiments with cancer cells and has possible therapeutic potential as a dietary supplement for an alternative therapy for breast and prostate cancer.

Astragalus membranaceus

From www.pfaf.org database on herbal research Huang Qi is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs[218]. The root is a sweet tonic herb that stimulates the immune system and many organs of the body, whilst lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels[238]. It is particularly suited to young, physically active people, increasing stamina and endurance and improving resistance to the cold – indeed for younger people it is perhaps superior to ginseng in this respect[254].

Huang Qi is used especially for treatment of the kidneys and also to avoid senility[218]. The plant is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Atractylodes macrocephala and Ledebouriella seseloides[238]. The root contains a number of bio-active constituents including saponins and isoflavonoids[279]. It is adaptogen, antipyretic, diuretic, tonic, uterine stimulant and vasodilator[218, 254, 279]. It is used in the treatment of cancer, prolapse of the uterus or anus, abscesses and chronic ulcers, chronic nephritis with oedema and proteinuria[176, 218].

Recent research in the West has shown that the root can increase the production of interferon and macrophages and thus help restore normal immune function in cancer patients[254, 279]. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy recover faster and live longer if given Huang Qi concurrently[254]. The root of 4 year old plants is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238, 254]. The plant is antipyretic, diuretic, pectoral and tonic[218]. Extracts of the plant are bactericidal, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive[218]. Cardiotonic, vasodilator[176].

From HerbalRemedies.com.

Polysaccharides in Astragalus stimulate white blood cell production and increase the production of interferon, a natural protein that can help ward off and prevent viral infections. Scientific studies of this herb have shown it to be effective on cancer and HIV patients by restoring compromised immune cells. Chinese scientists have found that Astragalus protects the body from absorption of toxic chemicals into the liver. Other research shows that people using this herb had less angina than those given heart drugs such as nifedipine. Chinese people consider Astragalus to be a better energy tonic for young people than ginseng. This herb is also used to help ward off or treat colds, improve heart function, memory, and learning, and promote the healing of wounded skin. Astragalus works well in treating anorexia, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, malaria, kidney inflammations, painful urination, prolapsed uterus, uterine bleeding, edema, water retention, constipation, fever, and generalized weakness.

Astragalus Safety & Interaction Information
No known medical conditions preclude the use of Astragalus. However, Astragalus is not advisable in acute infections. Do not use Astragalus without talking to your Doctor/Health Care Provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

Acyclovir, Interferon, Cyclophosphamide. Astragalus may increase the effects of these medications. Since Astragalus stimulates the immune system people should use it with caution, especially those with an autoimmune disease such as Lupus or Graves disease.