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In this section of our web site, we provide up to date information on the most beneficial supplements, herbs, and vitamins for the treatment/prevention of cancer and chronic disease.

instructions on how to use or take these are provided, but working with Dr. Fabio is advised in order to select the proper regime for your personal health and wellness needs.

unlike any other site, we provide a link (amazon where possible) and access to our discount Pharmacy were you can find the clinically tested/validated products so you do not have to wade through the overwhelming aisles of the health food store - we've done the research for you! as we do not sell our own product line, we aspire to keep this information as un-biased as possible.
 

Botanical and Mycological Medicine

A long History of traditional use:

The history of botanical medicine is universal, as plants have been used to heal the sick around the globe across the span of human time. Up until the past 100-150 years, all medical practitioners relied upon the therapeutic properties of plants. Indeed, people living in parts of Asia, Africa and South America still rely heavily upon local plants as a primary source of medicine. From the formal, written medicines of Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, China and the Middle East, to the rich oral traditions of Africa and the Americas, botanical medicines have formed the basis of our pharmacopoeias and contributed to our knowledge and understanding of treating disease.

The use of botanical medicine in western countries is increasing and has become increasingly complex given the vast array of products in the marketplace. Surveys show that up 19% of the US population use botanical remedies for health conditions (not including vitamins).

Over the past thirty years, there has seen an explosion in pharmacological studies of plants and the number of clinical trials are growing exponentially. In a circular fashion, increased use has spurred research, and reporting of positive clinical trials in the media has led to increased curiosity and use by the public. Herbal medicines can often be a useful therapeutic choice, offering effective treatment with a relatively good degree of safety. However, many individuals purchase herbal medicines without any guidance from a clinician who is competent in the recommendation of plant-derived remedies.

Safety & Quality:

With newspapers, magazines and mass media providing information almost daily on the risks or benefits of some herb or other, much misinformation abounds. New herbal dietary supplements flood the shelves of pharmacies, health food stores, and retail chains. The array of choices can be be mind-boggling. While it is true that many botanical medicines have their origins in traditional systems of medicine that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old, many products in the United States marketplace bear little resemblance to the crude preparations of the past. Since these are unregulated, some products unfortunately are adulterated or contain none of active ingredients listed on the packaging. More worrisome is the possibility of lead, arsnic or mercury contaminants, particualtly in prodcuts coming from China or India. 

Consumers and health care professionals are beginning to realize the impact of inconsistencies in product quality due to relatively poor oversight from governmental agencies and a flooded marketplace. The scientific data are confusing and contradictory. The use of herbal medicines by patients with chronic health conditions taking prescription medications is commonplace and is of particular concern due to the possibility of herb-to-herb and herb-to-drug interactions.

Rational for Use in Cancer Care: 

Many of our best chemotherapy drugs originally came from plants (e.g., paclitaxel from the yew tree, vincristine, vinblastine, vinorelbine from the red periwinkle plant, camptothecin from the Chinese tree Camptotheca accuminata, podophyllin from mayapple).

  • It is likely that there are still antineoplastic and immunomodulatory plant and fungal medicines yet to be discovered.

  • The use of botanicals in medicine and particularly in oncology is based on the synergistic hypothesis— that combinations of well-selected active constituents from one or more botanical species will together have a synergistic anticancer effect. Some ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combination therapies have been shown to improve the response rates to chemotherapy in people with various cancers such as pancreatic and colon cancer.

  • Botanicals are used in integrative oncology in several ways: to prevent cancer and metastasis in high-risk patients, to manage side effects of conventional cancer therapy, as adjuvants to improve efficacy and safety of chemotherapy agents, and as immunomodulators to prevent cancer relapse after treatment.

  • At this time, the botanicals and botanically derived compounds with the highest level of preclinical and clinical evidence as anticancer or immunomodulatory agents include:

    • Allium sativum (garlic)

    • Curcumin from Curcuma longa

    • Camellia sinensis (green tea)

    • Resveratrol from Polygonum cuspidatum

    • Artemisinin from Artemisia annua

    • Viscum spp. (mistletoe)

    • Quercetin from various plants

    • Bromelain (typically from pineapple)

    • Silybum marianum (milk thistle)

    • Astragalus membranaceous (astragalus)

    • Withania somnifera (ashwagandha)

    • Medicinal mushrooms

      • Trametes versicolor (Coriolus versicolor, turkey tail)

      • Ganoderma lucidum (reishi)

      • Lentinus edodes (shiitake)

      • Grifola frondosa (maitake)

Herbs, Botanicals, Supplements & Vitamins