Category Archives: Complementary Therapies

Using Complementary Therapies to Reduce Side Effects of Radiation



I love integrative oncology because it allows me to interact with my patients in a holistic manner.  And holistic is a word that means taking care of the whole patient.

I use complimentary alternative medicine therapies with radiation for a variety of reasons.  I’ve found that they may be helpful to reduce the side effects of radiation treatment.  For example I might use a botanical based cream to apply to the skin that we’re radiating.  Calendula is the name of the cream that I like to use.  Aloe vera is another one.  Both of these have been shown to reduce the radiation skin reaction that is fairly common during radiation treatment to the skin.


Continue reading

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

The Lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium ericanceus, is an edible mushroom that has received increasing amounts of attention over the past ten years. Most notably, research suggesting that the whole mushroom—including both the root-like mycelium and the fruitbody, when extracted with heat and alcohol—can support both our immune and neurological systems.

The nerves of our bodies are constantly sending signals back and forth from our brains to our bodies. All of this activity means that our nerve cells use a tremendous amount of glucose and nutrients as compared to other tissues like muscle and organs. Some of these nutrients can be obtained from a diet of proteins, poly-unsaturated fats, green vegetables and fruits and berries. Lion’s Mane, however, provides compounds that can’t be found anywhere else. And these compounds are remarkable in their range of support.

Lion’s Mane has numerous specialized compounds derived from both the root-like mycelia and the fruitbody. Some unique alcohol-soluble metabolites support neurological tissue while other water-soluble polysaccharides support our innate immune system of natural killer cells and macrophages. Even more compounds act as prebiotics and feed our probiotic microflora. Lion’s Mane is a functional food that provides basic nutrients including complete, vegetarian proteins, vitamins and minerals. It’s a powerhouse of nutrients that can benefit your whole body when taken daily.

The studies on Lion’s mane show promise in regards to immunity, cognitive functioning, mood, memory and nerve functioning. And interestingly, some of the studies look at how Lion’s Mane’s compounds called hericinones from the fruitbody and erinacenes from the mycelia support cognitive functioning in an aging population. Study participants took Lion’s Mane for two to three weeks before noticing improvement. The improvements lasted throughout the duration of the study and for about three to four weeks after the study ended. After the studies ended, there was a gradual return over four weeks to pre-study level of functioning. What this tells us is that Lion’s Mane is not a magic wand. It’s a functional food that provides our bodies with key nutrients that support ongoing neurological functioning.

In order to maintain the most effective neurological system possible, the constant signaling that occurs in our nervous system demands that we provide our bodies with the nutrients that will support it. Daily intake of Lion’s Mane mycelia and fruitbody can provide your brain and nervous system with unique specialized nutrients that nourish and nurture your body and mind.

By: Jerry Angelini

 

Supportive Research:

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(5):427-46.

Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review).

Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V.

 

Fiziol Zh. 2003;49(1):38-45.

The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro.

Kolotushkina EV, Moldavan MG, Voronin KY, Skibo GG.

 

 

Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration.

Wong KH1, Kanagasabapathy G, Naidu M, David P, Sabaratnam V.

 

 

Drugs Fut 2008, 33(2): 149: ISSN 0377-8282, Copyright 2008 Prous Science

Compounds for dementia from Hericium erinaceum

Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C.

 

 

Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7.

Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.

Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K.

 

 

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Vol. 5, pp. 181–193 (2003)

Potentiation of Cell-Mediated Host Defense Using Fruit Bodies and Mycelia of Medicinal Mushrooms

Paul Stamets

 

 

Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre: Volume 2, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 45–64

Non-digestible long chain beta-glucans as novel prebiotics

Ka-Lung Lam, Peter Chi-Keung Cheung,

Turmeric: Nature’s Anti-Inflammatory

Most of you know that I enjoy cooking—my intention is to create food that is not only delicious, but deeply nourishing. As an herbalist, I’m especially interested in the health benefits of common herbs and spices used in culinary traditions around the world. My Italian heritage means that basil, oregano, and rosemary play a prominent role in our kitchen, but our shelves are filled with a wide variety of spices and herbs. One of my favorites is turmeric, a deep golden yellow powder that is best known as an ingredient in East Indian curries. Throughout history, turmeric has been valued as a spice, food preservative, dye (giving Buddhist robes their familiar golden color), and most importantly, as a powerful plant medicine. A close relative of ginger, turmeric grows in southern India, China, and Indonesia.

turmeric

Indigenous systems of medicine, including the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems, have relied on turmeric for more than 4,000 years for treating a wide variety of ailments. In both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, turmeric is prescribed for arthritis, liver disorders, menstrual problems, and indigestion, and it’s applied topically to heal wounds, bruises, and muscle strains. In addition, Ayurvedic healers appreciate turmeric as a cleansing herb. In traditional Western herbalism, turmeric is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis. Continue reading