5 Natural Remedies for Chemotherapy Relief

5 Natural Remedies for Chemotherapy Relief

Chemotherapy can be a difficult process. In many cases it wreaks havoc on the entire system acting like a complete apocalypse, killing everything in its path.

It is an approach that some feel is too harsh and can end up doing more damage than good while others owe their lives to it. Regardless, undergoing one or several rounds of various forms of chemotherapy treatment can be accompanied by minor to severe side effects.

Some of these may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • mouth sores
  • rashes
  • loss of appetite
  • nerve pain (neuropathy)
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • insomnia

There are a variety of pharmaceuticals to help alleviate these side effects which could pose side effects of their own. It could become a ruthless cycle that may make one feel like one big science experiment. There are, however, alternative approaches that have been beneficial for many patients.

If you are undergoing treatment, check with your doctor to see if these 5 natural remedies for chemotherapy relief may be helpful as well as non-contraindicative.


Ginger root has been a go-to remedy for centuries. It is an excellent way to quell stomach pain and digestive difficulties especially when related to chemotherapy treatment. Some recommend keeping a slice under your tongue during treatment. If nausea arises begin chewing on the ginger to extract its healing juices. Another recommendation is to take two ginger supplements each day for three days prior to treatment and then three days after.

Massage Therapy

That’s right, massage is no longer just a luxury, relaxation treatment. There’s a reason the word ‘therapy’ is now used when booking a massage. If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment receiving a massage could improve mood and sleep, reduce anxiety and fatigue as well as assist in overall circulation.

If lymph nodes were removed try a lymphatic drainage massage. This entails very light touch that assists blocked lymph which, if left untreated, can cause swelling and pain.

Medical Marijuana

Cannabis (marijuana) has been used as a healing agent for thousands of years. It is finally being re-introduced into society after many studies have proven its beneficial effects.

One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine cited in the abstract that,

“Oral tetrahydrocannabinol [THC – compound in marijuana] has antiemetic [drug that prevents vomiting] properties and is significantly better than a placebo in reducing vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents.”

Some other benefits include treating cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and poor appetite/wasting.

Currently medical marijuana is legal in 23 American states as well as Washington, DC. There are many forms it can be administered as which include smoking, vaporizing, ingesting through various foods as well as in pill or liquid form.

Talk to your doctor about obtaining medical marijuana if you live in a legal zone.

Milk Thistle

This is an herb that is linked to assisting the liver in detoxification as well as strengthening its process. Milk thistle, also known as Silybum marianum, has been shown to improve nausea, lack of appetite, fatigue, and flu-like achiness.

Talk to your doctor about taking 250 mg standardized extract, 3 times a day.

Vitamin K and Probiotics

Chemotherapy can cause the gastrointestinal track to become severely imbalanced. Microorganisms that play a major role in your immune system response can be killed off leaving your body vulnerable to a whole host of additional health challenges.

Vitamin K, which is mostly created from intestinal bacteria, can be deleted during chemotherapy treatment resulting in bruising and blood clotting. 500-1000 daily micrograms may prevent this.

In addition, probiotics are good bacteria that can replenish the system offering a re-balance that may enhance the immune system.

It is essential to speak to your doctor before taking vitamin K and/or probiotics as some medicines could be disrupted by these remedies.

These 5 natural remedies for chemotherapy relief are a small example of many botanicals and practices that may help you get through this often difficult process.