Help for Nausea in Late Stage Cancer
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: May 28, 2002

I’d like to get some information about an 80 year old woman who is diagnosed with abdominal cancer last month in advanced stage, which is covering all the vital organs. She is not able to eat anything, because she vomits everything out. Is there anything to help her out? The doctors are giving only pain killers. If there is nothing at least suggest something which can make her feel hungry so that she can eat.

Donald Yance, in "Herbal Medicine, Healing & Cancer" (Keats Publishing, Illinois), states that even in late stages of cancer, good nutritional choices including omega-3 fatty acids, yogurt, soy products, steamed fish and blood vessel protecting foods like cherries, grapes and plums, can help, while sugary drinks and foods make matters worse.

Yance suggests that citrus, in the form of tangerines and oranges, can be helpful in combating nausea, as can herbal teas of ginger, peppermint, alfalfa, slippery elm, fennel or chamomile.

Yance suggests bitter herbs like dandelion, celandine, arugula and watercress to stimulate the digestive juices. Other bitter herbs, used to promote the appetite, include milk thistle, which is also liver protective against toxins and many chemotherapies, dandelion root and leaf, which promote bile flow to improve digestion, gentian (one of the most bitter) and chamomile. I advise you to check with a local herbalist or other professional natural practitioner to determine which herb will best suit your friend in her current condition.

Bitters work best when they can be tasted, as opposed to capsule form. The bitter taste receptors in the mouth promote the digestive juices. They can be taken by mixing the recommended dose of the herb in a bit of boiling water or herbal tea, cooled to room temperature, and given, before meals.

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