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Morning all - weird question

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2010

So, I'm talking to an ER nurse last night who is a good friend. She tells me that she's hearing good things about using a homeopathic remedy for radiation burns. I'm the skeptical sort, so I thought I'd bring it up here, where the knowledge is first hand, not second or third hand.

The thereapy is the ingestion of an herb called Turmeric. I know it well because I've cooked all my life, so for those of you who have never heard of it before, it is the raw herb that is made into curry powder. It's available in tablet form (500 mg) at health food stores. Apparently, you take 3 tabs a day with your meals. Supposed to greatly reduce redness and pain.

Anybody heard of it, or tried it? Have also been told that because it's a natural herb or spice, there is no interference with either radiation or chemo.

Oh, and just a quick update. Week 1 done - side effects minimal - although allergic to my shave cream now. Really broke out bad. Mouth is killing me, and gums are super sensitive. And of course, my butt is beginning to burn - but it's a good burn.

flbchbm's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

Huh! Sorry I've not heard of that. Maybe someone will come on that has. I feel for ya though I had 30 radiation sessions back in '94. The only thing that helped me after the treatments were over, was a gel like pad that is normally used to treat 3rd degree burn victims. Which would be the same as us of course. Unfortunately you can't use it until the treatments are over because it heals too quickly. Larry, you don't have anything on your "my page". A little something about yourself couldn't hurt.

mp327's picture
Posts: 4395
Joined: Jan 2010


I take Tumeric 500mg. capsules twice daily for it's cancer-fighting benefits. I have been out of treatment for anal cancer for almost 18 months now. I have not heard of it's benefits during radiation treatment, so I can't comment on that. Should you decide to try this during treatment, just be sure to run it by your radiation oncologist first. I was advised NOT to take any supplements during treatment. But in communicating with others with anal cancer, I am finding that docs are all over the place on this, so it would be worth discussing with your rad onc. I'm glad to hear that your first week of treatment has gone smoothly with minimal side effects. I hope that will continue for you. Take care.

lizdeli's picture
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Larry
I've heard of the herb. I also read about people taking it as a supplement to fight cancer. Haven't heard about it for radiation burns. Be sure to check with your oncologist before taking any supplments. Some will not want you to take any supplements while on treatment (mine) others may not have a problem with it.

For the mouth soreness, try rinising your mouth with warm water and baking soda several times a day. It helped me a lot. Also, get a tooth paste with no alcohol in it. I used Sensodyne. At one point I felt a fever sore begin on my lip and I used Abreva for that and it never surfaced. Very important to avoid germs which can lead to infection. Wash hands a lot! I wouldn't even use a towel to dry my hands. I used paper towels each time. Probably killed a few trees but I wanted to be as careful as possible to avoid germs. I also avoided large crowds and even interacting with children (holding them, attending kid's bday parties, etc.). I didn't eat with my hands (french fries with a fork). All part of my quest to avoid infection and keep blood counts good.

It is a good burn, but it will most likely turn into a somewhat painful burn as the weeks progress. So have your creams on hand!

Wishing you well,


Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Morning Larry. I read The AntiCancer diet. He speaks of turmeric in his book, however says the greatest benefit is not in a pill. I haven't been anywehere yet to check out the powder form. I hear it is very helpful in the prevention of tumors. Again, to everyones point, they don't want you taking much when you're going through radiation, however I would DEFINITELY consider something like this when you are through your treatment, as an aid to keep anything from coming back. After my first round of cancer, I made minimal changes to my diet....after what is now my 3rd, I am making several! Juicing is one. You can read alot about it on the colorectal boards....but not something you would want to try now, as you need all the protein and calories you can eat!
I sought out a dietician and naturopath. I was taking Chinese herbs before and immediately after my surgery. I feel this aided greatly in my quick recovery. Anesthiologist ( sp)....said not to take any of it, as it was not FDA approved, so they kind of had to say that. I chose to, and they were all shocked at how quick I was up and around. Sometimes we just have to do what we think is best for us.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers~~

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2010

Yep...I'm gonna keep off of any homeopathic stuff until after the treatments are finito.

thanks for all your help.

pjjenkins's picture
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

This is late and Larry, I am guessing you are nearly done with treatments but still have another round of chemo imminently. It might be a tad soon yet to find you "on the mend" but it is getting closer. I am writing now in case others starting on this journey read these. Up here in New England, we are often prescribed "magic mouth wash" or "miracle mouth wash" for the common side effect of mouth sores. It really did help and looking at what ingredients are included, even though most of it comes from over the counter components, it is quite complex. It is the sort of things pharmacists used to have to do - mix actual various things rather than count out pills.

Also, I use turmeric and always have for cooking. Just the regular kind in a little powder bottle, found with the spices on your grocery shelf. I use more now - on meats, in rice, most soups, etc. It is also supposed to be good for arthritis which some of us also have and is the original reason I upped my use of it and I am pretty sure it helps me. I know now in retrospect that I healed quite quickly from the worst phases of the radiation burns.

Good luck - you will feel much better in a month and hopefully will have good news in a couple.

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