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Has anyone taken Astragalus 10+ (Chinese herbs) during chemo?

Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2011

We went to a local Chinese medicine doctor and he prescribed Seven Forests Astragalus 10+ (http://www.acuatlanta.net/seven-forests-astragalus-10+-420-tablets-p-21860.html?mclick=brand&osCsid=c62b3f28c17bec65397056b04d277ed4 )to help with the side effects during chemo. He says it won't interfere with the chemo, but I'm a little hesitant to have Kenny try it for that reason. Has anyone taken it during chemo and had success with it and chemo? Kenny's on Folfox (w/ 5FU) and Avastin.

Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

Astralagus is a very common soup base in for Chinese soups. I didn't realize this until I went to the Asian supermarket with my mom and saw that that was what "astralagus" was in English. You can look it up on the sloan kettering herbs website. I would guess that the strength of the actual astralagus is more mild, but she didn't have issues with it when taking in the soup broth.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I take astralagus capsules as an antioxidant.I take it along with a capsule of agaricus, also an antioxidant. I just take one capsule a day and, honestly, many days I forget it. I'm on chemo & it doesn't seem to interfere at all- I read that it doesn't. I honestly don't know if it's helped my cancer or not, but I have been taking it more for the qualities that it's supposed to boost my immune system. I have not been sick nor had any infections, so it is likely helping in that area.


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

the choice is yours.
welcome to the path least travelled.
I did not take tcm on chemo days but every other day.

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

"We went to a local Chinese medicine doctor and he
prescribed Seven Forests Astragalus 10+ "

Name of formula: Huang Qi Da Bu Pian

The Astragalus alone can raise or lower blood pressure depending
on the dosage, so if you notice a fluctuation, suspect the herbal
mix and don't start taking BP meds.

But Astragalus is only 12% of the total formula, and the other
herbs can counteract or add to any other single herb's effects.

Patent Chinese Medicine (like this specific one), are generally
used as a maintenance prescription, and not to solve a specific
cause of a symptom. I (and my wife) personally have never
had much success with the Chinese Patent Medicines, but
have had wonderful success from the personally formulated

To explain it more simply: Chinese Patent Medicine is sold
"over the counter", just as many western medicine generic
treatments are. They are good for the "general problem",
but rarely affect an actual cure (think: Tylenol).

That's why herbal formulas are usually formulated by the
experienced TCM physician and are not simply prescribed
arbitrarily using "over the counter".formulas. You can buy that
same herbal "pill" on line, with very wide ranging prices,
as well in many Asian markets.

You will find that there is a difference in the way some TCM
practitioners go about their treatments as well as diagnosis.

The true, orthodox TCM practitioner usually will have a very
large supply of fresh, loose herbs to use for his prescriptions.
Each formula can be tweaked to suit the individual needs
of each patient. That, is the true manner in which TCM is

Some herbal compounds can cause both good or bad reactions,
just as western medicine may not suit each individual's needs.

If you have a reaction to a Western Medicine drug, you tell the
doctor or pharmacist, and get another drug.

We do that as well, with TCM; If the herbs do not do as expected,
the TCM doc may add or remove an herb (or two) from the formula.

The Western Medicine practitioner is unable do that and must
instead, find a totally different pre-made drug to use.

So you see, the true TCM practitioner takes a very personal
view regarding your health needs, and formulates prescriptions
for the individual patient; he does not simply prescribe an
already compounded generic formula as western medicine
physicians are limited to.

As time passes, and the chemo treatments take it's toll, the
same Chinese Patent Medicine will no longer suffice; it's
simply too generic! The experienced TCM doc usually follows
his patient's health closely, and makes the needed modifications
as it's called for.

My question to you, would be to ask why your TCM doc
isn't formulating the prescription for your needs specifically?

Sorry if all of this sounds rude, but there are good and not-so-good
in all fields, TCM, WM, shoemakers and hair stylists.... It's not
always too easy to find a great one!

I hope I gave you some useful input? (you're not gonna'
key my car, are you?)

Good luck and best of health!


Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2011

No, you've been very helpful. He's the only TCM I've found in Wilmington, NC that says he has experience in treating cancer patients. He wanted Kenny to start by taking 4 capsules 2x day. Kenny is on Valturna for high BP due to the Avastin, so raising BP is definitely a concern. Our biggest concern is whether it will make the chemo less effective. I don't know why this TCM doesn't do his own herbal concoctions. I've been trying to find out more from him via email about what the specific herbs do in this formula. he says he gives the same formula to all of his cancer patients.

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

"I've been trying to find out more from him via email about what
the specific herbs do in this formula."

You have to understand that "each herb" is used along with other
herbs to provide the results, so knowing what each herb can do
alone, doesn't really matter, unless you're compounding your
own personal formula.

Although "Astragalus" can raise or lower BP, depending on
the dosage, it isn't usually a critical issue when it's used in
a formula consisting of other herbs. In that specific formula,
Astragalus is only 12% of the total mix.

If you were self-medicating, and using Astragalus alone and
without other herbs, the amount you take would be more critical.

I don't know of any "bad things" regarding Chinese Patent Medicine,
and any speculative fear oncologists or WM physicians may have
regarding it's use with chemotherapy, is unfounded, and strictly
prejudiced fear.

The chemicals used in chemotherapy are incredibly toxic, and
will usually overcome any other drug of lesser strength.

It's humorous to hear that a WM physician is telling patients that
"Chinese herbs -will not- kill cancer cells", then express fears that
those same herbs will prevent chemo chemicals from doing it's
powerful job. Which is it? Are the herbs powerful enough to
kill cancer cells and possibly prevent chemo from working?
Or are they weaker than chemo and useless to fight cancer?

(That was rhetorical.... no reply needed..)

The bottom line, is that the remedy your "TCM doc" provided you
with, shouldn't have any bad effects what-so-ever, but if they
do, or you feel that they do, stop taking them. It's no different
than taking western meds, right? If they are presenting a problem,
we stop taking it.

Chemo is fear driven medicine, and although it can make a patient
so ill they feel impending doom from it, they continue anyway with
relentless fear of not doing what the doctor says ......

"Trust thyself"; listen to your intuition that was provided to you
for your basic survival.

All that said...... "Kenny" should be listening to -his- intuition,
since -he- is the one doing the fighting. His body will tell him
what might be a better choice.

I see all too often here, of spouses trying to make life-changing
choices for their loved one, regardless if what their spouse feels
is a best for them. The power of one's body to survive, should
not be tampered with, or tempered with fear or dreams.

"Trust thyself"

Be well, and my best for Kenny!


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

how are you going john?

have you dabbled in chigong ?
i am getting into its practice! but the expert around here charges a fortune.
at the best cancer clinic in sydney they are offering a medically based chigong next year, cannot wait!

Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks everyone for your feedback!

Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks everyone for your feedback!

Posts: 77
Joined: Mar 2011

I am about 7 weeks after finishing chemo DD - AC/TAC/TAX and my Homeopath prescribed this "supplement" for me as I still have severe lack of energy .... During my chemo I was "allowed" to take any supplements - ONLY vitamin D3

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