Phytotherapy in Cancer Diseases

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Phytotherapy in Cancer Diseases

04 Şubat 2022

Phytotherapy is perhaps the oldest and most widely used treatment method among all treatment methods. Since the time that humanity has existed in this world, it has started to use plants in the treatment of many diseases by observing animals and evaluating the coincidences. Until the time of Hippocrates, this method of treatment was not systematically placed, but Hippocrates systematized medicine and received the title of the father of medicine, which was worthy of him throughout all ages. In his own time, he collected this information in his encyclopedic work "Corpus Hippocraticum", but unfortunately this work has not survived as a whole. The systematics of Hippocrates was later called the Greek medicine systematics and revealed the four elements, the four elements, the four hilt principles. Four elements; hot, cold, wet, dry, the four elements; fire, water, earth, air, the four hilts: blood, bile, black bile and phlegm. He also tried to explain diseases by the imbalance between these objects. The most important elements used in the treatment have always been plants. He used the name carcinoma for the first time for a breast cancer and revealed his age-old aphorism about the treatment of cancer, as in many other subjects. "Cancer can never be cured with surgery, maybe it can be treated with nutrition and medicinal plants," he said. Later, the Greek medicine tradition he created was also accepted and used by Islamic scholars, and Ibn Sina, who is considered the greatest Islamic physician, followed, contributed and developed this tradition.


Great physicians such as Hippocrates (460-370 BC), Ibn-i Sina (980-1037 AD) and Galen (AD: 129-216), who was among them in terms of time, have always used plants in treatment, and these are according to today's understanding. are the best phytotherapy physicians. Until a century ago, physicians used plants as the main element in their treatments. Even though the recipes they created and the knowledge of the herbs tend to be forgotten over time, thankfully, nowadays they are started to be used in a fundamental way, especially in foreign countries such as China, India and Germany, as well as in our country. In our country, this form of treatment is regulated by a regulation issued in 2014 and who can apply phytotherapy is subject to written rules. Authority in this regard has not been allocated to any branch, nor has it been given to a branch of a particular branch. Every physician who participates in the certified trainings of the Ministry of Health has the right and authority to use these treatments both as an auxiliary treatment and as a main treatment element in all kinds of diseases.


Today, phytotherapy is used in the treatment of almost all kinds of diseases, especially chronic diseases, as I mentioned above. Among these chronic diseases, cancers and rheumatic diseases come first, but there are inflammatory diseases of the brain such as dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, kidney and liver diseases, intestinal diseases and many diseases. In this context, the use of plants in cancer diseases is of particular importance.
In cancer diseases, plants can be used as auxiliary, complementary or main treatment. Increasing the effectiveness of treatment, reducing side effects both at clinical and laboratory level, preventing and reducing recurrence and metastases are the most important factors when used as an adjunct. In addition, plants are the only tools that can be used as chemopreventive in families and people with a high cancer burden. They are our most important and perhaps only tools for the destruction of cancer stem cells (sleeper cells, dormant cells) in the prevention of relapses and reduction of metastases. In addition, patients who do not want to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy can even provide treatment alone with various mechanisms. Apart from and above all these, they have far superior features than almost all other methods (metronomic therapy, hyperthermia, etc.)
Plants used in cancer treatment are many and varied. Different types of plants are used in each cancer disease, taking into account the other drugs and diseases used by the patient. However, these plants also have common features that enable them to act through many pathways used by conventional drugs today. If we talk about these features briefly;
1) Many plants inhibit angiogenesis (new vessel formation). Like Safa (Calendula officinalis), Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
2) Almost all of them lower blood sugar by different mechanisms. Such as nettle (Urtica dioica), plantain (Plantago majus)
3) Many plants have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Melissa (Melissa officinalis), Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
4) Most of these plants especially drive cancer cells to apoptosis by using various intracellular pathways. Green tea vs.
5) They prevent recurrence and metastases by destroying cancer stem cells. Turmeric, Calendula vs.
6) Many of them have various levels and forms of detoxifying properties. Such as thistle (Silybum marianum), Artichoke (Cinara scolymus).
7) They may prevent the formation of active hormone metabolites in hormone-dependent cancers. such as lion's claw (Alchemilla vulgaris), ragweed (Epilobium parviflorum)
8) Almost all of them have anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Willow (Salix alba) etc.
9) Almost all of them are good antioxidants.


Apart from these, many of the plants used in the treatment of cancer also have their own unique properties. In fact, some plants can improve psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety, which are common in cancer patients both before and during the disease, and some plants can reduce and prevent fibrotic activity in the cancer micro-environment. Some plants can activate natural killer cells (NK: Natural Killer), which are the most important cells of the body, especially in the fight against cancer cells, both in number and in function.
When all these features are combined and the correction of nutritional status, which is a small part of phytotherapy, is added to this, patients can truly benefit from plants miraculously. In order to benefit from plants optimally in cancer treatment, it is very important to get help from competent and effective physicians who know these treatments well. must be used. A patient with impaired eating and drinking is unlikely to benefit from phytotherapy, especially in cancer treatment. This is a phenomenon independent of the stage and grade of the disease. Even before the surgery, it is essential for them to take phytotherapy for a while, even before the surgery, by regulating the body's immunity and against inoculations that may occur during the surgery.
So, in summary, if the cancer patient wants to see the expected benefit from phytotherapy in the treatment, he should not see phytotherapy as the last option, he should open his heart to plants before the disease crosses the critical line and stop eating and drinking, and start using plants before it's too late. He should know that he will gain tremendous benefit from phytotherapy given correctly.

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