Ginseng? for fatigue

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rallendorfer
rallendorfer Member Posts: 244
There was an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer 6/26/12:

"Ginseng boosts energy in cancer patients" that said the extracts seem to help combat cancer-related fatigue, one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, and other treatments. The Mayo Clinic did a blind study in 2010 with 290 cancer patients and more than twice as many patients taking 1,000 or 2,000 milligrams of ginseng a day reported less fatigue and more energy after 8 weeks.

Another study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that patients taking 1,000 mg of ginseng twice a day for two weeks saw significant improvements in fatigue compared with a placebo group.

I don't know about you girls but I ran right out and bought a bottle! I am going to try it and let you all know how it progresses.

My 4th chemo is Friday. Could I gas up the pink bus for something like that? I HATE CHEMO TREATMENTS!!! Please pray for me?

Rebecca

Comments

  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
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    Interesting!
    But....my oncologist told me not to even take, a multivitamin while on chemo, which I am, again....no green tea or any herb type supplements..said they don't want anything to boost your immune system......I'd love to combat fatigue after each infusion....I see him next week and I'm going to ask him if I could take this....he'll probably roll his eyes at me...lol....and if my chemo and radiated brain doesn't forget! ...I wish I had heard this after I finished brain rads...I have never experienced such overwhelming fatigue! A couple of days I was barely able to function...thank God for my hubby!

    Keep us posted...but I would run this by your oncologist before taking this...I hope they say it's okay for us to try it!
    Thanks for posting this..
    Hugs, Nancy
  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
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    Check!
    Please check with your oncologist first before trying Ginseng. My oncologist as well as my primary and other doctors do want me to check with them before adding anything on to my list of medication. Doesn't matter how benign I believe it to be.

    Best,

    Doris
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    SIROD said:

    Check!
    Please check with your oncologist first before trying Ginseng. My oncologist as well as my primary and other doctors do want me to check with them before adding anything on to my list of medication. Doesn't matter how benign I believe it to be.

    Best,

    Doris

    I agreed with the Sisters in PINK -- above statements!
    I too was instructed NOT to take any multivitamin or any herbal supplement
    during my chemo.

    I became extremely fatigued, like so many -- the only advise I was given by
    Oncologist and his RN (a breast cancer Survivor - chemo & radiation) increase
    iron into my diet ..

    Raisins
    lean red meats -- prime rib a favorite (sorry, all you vegetarians)
    dark green leafed veggies
    cream of wheat

    Interesting subject matter -- Thank you for bringing this forward.

    Vicki Sam
  • Gabe N Abby Mom
    Gabe N Abby Mom Member Posts: 2,413
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    I just started a new chemo
    I just started a new chemo today, navelbine. The handout they gave me specifically said no ginseng. Also no ginko, no grapefruit and a couple of others that I can't remember right now....just an FYI.

    Hugs,

    Linda
  • NancyJac
    NancyJac Member Posts: 91
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    I guess this is another one
    I guess this is another one of those things that varies greatly from one situation to another. My onc specifically wanted me to take a multivitamin plus pretty much mega doses of calcium and vit D. But RO specifically didn't want me to use any kind of cream or lotion with vit E in it because of the antioxidants.
  • Lynn Smith
    Lynn Smith Member Posts: 1,264 Member
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    NancyJac said:

    I guess this is another one
    I guess this is another one of those things that varies greatly from one situation to another. My onc specifically wanted me to take a multivitamin plus pretty much mega doses of calcium and vit D. But RO specifically didn't want me to use any kind of cream or lotion with vit E in it because of the antioxidants.

    i'm going to ask my oncologist
    I'm going to ask my oncologist.I remember her saying soy products but in moderation and def not ENSURE that helps you gain weight and full of vitamins.It was a no no. Maybe a cupcake etc but not that drink which is high in soy. I wonder if herbal meds and foods falls in this category(Soy)????

    I didn'r have chemo but I can understand why you might not be able to take Ginseng and herbals if you are taking chemo treatments.It might be hard for us to understand but the doctors have reasons.

    Lynn Smith
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    I was also told that I could

    I was also told that I could not take anything that I wasn't already taking before I had chemo. I couldn't try anything new during chemo. However chemo fatigue can last well beyond the last chemo. For me it was worse after chemo because I was no longer taking steroids. I did take Codonopsis after chemo was finished. From what I understand it is more mild and easier on the body than ginseng. It gives a gentle uplight rather than a huge boost. Ginseng apparently can be a little rough on the kidneys which already take a beating from chemo. I took the Codonopsis along with Astragalus (which is definite no-no during chemo) as this helps to build up the blood (white and red).I typically by the 'Planetry Formula' brand.

    Again this is just my understanding of it and I am by no means an expert.
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
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    MAJW said:

    Interesting!
    But....my oncologist told me not to even take, a multivitamin while on chemo, which I am, again....no green tea or any herb type supplements..said they don't want anything to boost your immune system......I'd love to combat fatigue after each infusion....I see him next week and I'm going to ask him if I could take this....he'll probably roll his eyes at me...lol....and if my chemo and radiated brain doesn't forget! ...I wish I had heard this after I finished brain rads...I have never experienced such overwhelming fatigue! A couple of days I was barely able to function...thank God for my hubby!

    Keep us posted...but I would run this by your oncologist before taking this...I hope they say it's okay for us to try it!
    Thanks for posting this..
    Hugs, Nancy

    I've never heard of this
    I've never heard of this before Rebecca. For those that are asking their oncologists about this, please let us know what they say.

    Always something interesting on here!


    Lex
  • rallendorfer
    rallendorfer Member Posts: 244
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    The study was done by Oncologists
    I don't understand how it could be harmful if the Mayo Clinic and also the American Society of Clinical Oncology had done the study themselves on cancer patients on chemo. Couldn't their advice be accepted equally with our own Oncologists? I don't think that the individual Oncologist necessarily stays on top of the latest. Take for instance everyone's advice to take Benedryl or Claratin after the Neulata shot. My Oncologist turned up her nose and said "don't believe everything you read on that site". Ok, but it works, so what's your answer to that M.D'iety? I saw her yesterday when I was there for my 4th chemo (which was horrible due to a migraine I came down with as I sat in the infusion chair...but that is another story).

    After reading what everyone said I decided not to ask her, because she would be closed-minded to anything new..just keep doing things the way they always have been done and change nothing. Accept no proof unless it is a clinical trial done by your own hospital.
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
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    i'm going to ask my oncologist
    I'm going to ask my oncologist.I remember her saying soy products but in moderation and def not ENSURE that helps you gain weight and full of vitamins.It was a no no. Maybe a cupcake etc but not that drink which is high in soy. I wonder if herbal meds and foods falls in this category(Soy)????

    I didn'r have chemo but I can understand why you might not be able to take Ginseng and herbals if you are taking chemo treatments.It might be hard for us to understand but the doctors have reasons.

    Lynn Smith

    I always learn from all of you!
    I didn't know this and haven't read this before. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I was told no soy, but like my onco said, it is sometimes hidden in foods. I am ER and PR + and this is why I was told no soy.


    Hugs, Debby
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
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    MAJW said:

    Interesting!
    But....my oncologist told me not to even take, a multivitamin while on chemo, which I am, again....no green tea or any herb type supplements..said they don't want anything to boost your immune system......I'd love to combat fatigue after each infusion....I see him next week and I'm going to ask him if I could take this....he'll probably roll his eyes at me...lol....and if my chemo and radiated brain doesn't forget! ...I wish I had heard this after I finished brain rads...I have never experienced such overwhelming fatigue! A couple of days I was barely able to function...thank God for my hubby!

    Keep us posted...but I would run this by your oncologist before taking this...I hope they say it's okay for us to try it!
    Thanks for posting this..
    Hugs, Nancy

    Let us know Rebecca if this
    Let us know Rebecca if this helps you. I don't know about chemo, but, I was told during rads to take nothing, no multi vitamin or anything, which I didn't.

    Hugs, Diane
  • Pinky68
    Pinky68 Member Posts: 206 Member
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    The study was done by Oncologists
    I don't understand how it could be harmful if the Mayo Clinic and also the American Society of Clinical Oncology had done the study themselves on cancer patients on chemo. Couldn't their advice be accepted equally with our own Oncologists? I don't think that the individual Oncologist necessarily stays on top of the latest. Take for instance everyone's advice to take Benedryl or Claratin after the Neulata shot. My Oncologist turned up her nose and said "don't believe everything you read on that site". Ok, but it works, so what's your answer to that M.D'iety? I saw her yesterday when I was there for my 4th chemo (which was horrible due to a migraine I came down with as I sat in the infusion chair...but that is another story).

    After reading what everyone said I decided not to ask her, because she would be closed-minded to anything new..just keep doing things the way they always have been done and change nothing. Accept no proof unless it is a clinical trial done by your own hospital.

    Oncologists so different
    I was told to continue taking my multivitamin during chemo and rads. The only thing He told me not to take was Ibuprofen, take tylenol instead......6 months out of treatment I was still extremely fatigued so I was put on addarell. My bloodwork showed low on B and D Vitamins so I receive a B injection every 2-3 weeks and added supplemental D vitamins to my multivitamin.
    Joyce