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Cleavers for cancer?

Hi Claire,

One of my good friends' mum has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and is about to start Chemo.  Anne Thomas mentioned Cleavers?  Check out the thread http://naturesmother.myfreeforum.org/about67.html

What do you think? Should I send my friend a bottle of Cleavers tincture? Could it do any harm?

many thanks & love
sharon
Clairetheherbalist

Hi Sharon
As a general rule, if someone's got a serious condition such as any type of cancer, it's best if they see a qualified practitioner, as you would need to take account of any conventional treatment they're having, the stage of the disease and whether there are any secondaries etc.

As for this particular case, cleavers is a lymphatic clearer and general detoxifier which might be helpful - it's one of a number of herbs that might be used in a formula for bowel cancer. As medicinal herbs go, it's very gentle and would be very unlikely to do any harm, although whether it's the best herb for this person is anybody's guess without knowing a bit more. Bowel cancer can spread to the liver, in which case any alcoholic preparation (ie a tincture) would be inappropriate. In general, anyway, cleansing herbs or 'alteratives' such as cleavers are best taken as a tea, in my opinion. So if you do want to send something, I'd suggest you send the dried herb.

If you want to get the best out of herbal medicine in this situation, I'd suggest that your friend talk to a practitioner for a bit more tailored advice, although I very much doubt the odd cup of cleavers tea will be harmful, and it would certainly be a good alternative to regular tea or coffee. At this time of year, cleavers is only really useable in dried form, but in late winter/early spring, when it's just coming through in the hedgerows, it can be used fresh, and this is particularly beneficial. (It was a traditional spring tonic and detoxifier after the stodges and vegetable-poor months of winter.) You might also think about Essiac tea, a traditional detoxifying and anti-cancer formula. And check out the website www.pennybrohncancercare.org (formerly the Bristol Cancer Help Centre) which has stacks of advice and resources about all sorts of complementary approaches to cancer, particularly nutrition.

Hope this is helpful, Claire x
Nature's Mother

Hi Claire,

Thank you so much for that, it is very helpful, I have passed it on to my friend.  

many thanks xxx

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