Category Archives: Herbs & Supplements

Calendula for Radiation Induced Dermatitis

This is a picture of radiation dermatitis. This can happen in some women when they get radiation. The skin reacts and it can become very painful and obviously, uncomfortable. So there are some things, mechanically, that are very effective at helping to reduce the risk of dermatitis.

The first one I want to mention is Calendula. So Calendula is an herb that can be used topically. There’s a very important thing I want to say which is that you’d never want to put anything topically on your skin before radiation treatments because if you moisturize your skin before you get radiation, it can actually make that dermatitis worse. So you want to go in as dry as possible. But right after radiation, if you apply Calendula ointment, then it has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the risk of developing this dermatitis. Calendula is very very indicated; very well documented therapy to help reduce this dermatitis.

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Herbal/Supplement Information

The final installment in our supplement series will take a look at some of the reliable resources available to consumers for supplement and herbal information.

There are several places one can look to find concise information about a botanical supplement. This brief list of sources is evolving, and new credible sources are being compiled as more clinical evidence is validated:


  • The Complete German Commission E Monographs – Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines by Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Busse WR, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS (eds.)

This book is an English translation of the standard European reference for all herbals.

  • The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs by Blumenthal, M.

This book is unique in that it provides a list of all brand-name products used in various clinical trials. This list is particularly useful since all products used in clinical trial must meet current GMP standards, and are thus more likely to be quality products. The book includes concise monographs of about 40 commonly used herbal supplements. It also briefly summarizes the current clinical evidence that supports or refutes the purported claims of the herbal. Continue reading

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Breast Cancer
Is There a Connection?

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for health and necessary for many functions in the body. Because they’re not produced in our bodies, they must be acquired through supplements and/or diet. Some dietary sources of omega-3s include: salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, and flax. The metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids produces anti-inflammatory by-products, in contrast to the metabolism of omega-6 fatty acids, which produces pro-inflammatory by-products. Research on omega-3 fatty acids suggest they may play a role in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as reducing an abnormal heart rhythm.

But can omega-3 fatty acids help prevent breast cancer?

According to recent research, omega-3 fatty acids may very well lower the risk for breast cancer. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2013 has shown, using a genetic approach, that the development of mammary tumors is directly blocked by omega-3 fatty acids. Continue reading