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Discussion:
Herbal Supplements
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Have any of you pursued herbal supplements in addition to the medical treatments? I found 3 online specific for MDS: meplarax, myeloditab, and plastitin. Any thoughts? Thanks, ANgie
Posted on 04/17/09, 02:10 pm
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Reply #1 - 04/20/09  3:16am
" As an herbalist in the Northeast US, I can not comment on those supplements b/c I'd have to google them to learn their ingredients. One thing is clear, someone is trying to earn some money by marketing these formulas. Just keep that in mind before you buy.

If you let me know what ingredients are in them and what you expect to achieve thru their use, I'd be happy to let you know if imho their worth consuming. I'd be curious to know the price per amt and if they're powdered capsules, tinctures, or other forms of ingestibles. Perhaps you could send me their web links. ~Be well. "
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Reply #2 - 04/21/09  10:12am
" My oncologist said that we need to be very careful with herbal supplements when we are on medication for MDS, because they have not been tested together for adverse reactions. He had one patient who had a very low platelet count, then started taking black cohosh as a supplement. Apparently black cohosh is a blood thinner, so with low platelets and an herbal blood thinner, he had very little clotting ability. The poor man had a brain hemorrhage and did not survive.
Sorry to give you this scary story, but as a former proponent of herbal supplements, I am now very careful.
What I have found to be very helpful is Reiki, Energy Medicine (www.innersource.net) and accupressure. I have used a combination of prescribed medication (oral chemotherapy) and alternative therapies like this to build my immune system and release stress, and I think they have made a huge difference in my recovery. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando not only uses these alternative therapies with patients who are open to them, but they also have free classes so that a patient can self-treat with these processes.
Best of luck,
Anne "
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Reply #3 - 04/21/09  10:02pm
" Hi Dizzygal,

I completely concur with (almost) everything you said in your response and should have qualified my reply more; thanks for adding your input. Energy healing is excellent as are homeopathic remedies which are also a form, as far as I'm concerned, of energy healing. However, I know that many qualified herbalists know which is which and what is what when using integrative med including herbs.

I prefer an herbal path which historically has better results and less side effects than do conventional meds. Many herbs have been studied thoroughly; the info simply is not readily available to the typical consumer in the USA (German, maybe). With that said, I have used both and never judge anyone who needs one or the other AS LONG AS they are an educated consumer and partner in their healthcare.

I remember one of my trusted herbal teachers who said, "Don't use these systems (drugs and herbs) side by side. Choose one or the other to avoid contraindications." I agree with that statement. It worries me that folks can now go into a drug store, pick up an herb that may be and usually is of poor quality, and start using it without proper knowledge or consultation of an experienced herbalist /naturopath b/c they read a paragraph or two in a magazine about how it might help [fill in the blank]; that I think is one of the terrible downsides of the herbal boom.

A common example of potential contraindications or toxicity between prescriptions and herbs is the use of antibiotics concurrently with echinacea or echinacea & goldenseal. If you are on antibiotics, you would never take ech & gold also and vice-versa. That's like a molotov cocktail for your body. I recently had the flu, took ech and nutrients for three days every 4-6 hrs and got better by Day Four. Other family members, have gone on antibiotics (without adding a probiotic, btw) and are still sick after 2 weeks, in fact increasingly sick.

I think there are conventional docs who aren't aware of or educated in alternative, traditional healing paths, including herbology. I also know herbologists/naturopaths and other practitioners who "prescribe" carelessly. For the most part, I think everyone though errs on the side of caution. But it is definitely buyer beware for all healthcare consumers of all paths - quacks wear all kinds of hats and even wear white coats, sad to say. (Personally, I love my PCP and other specialists though).

My healing of choice is always energy healing (including homeopathics, as I said). But I have no qualms about educating myself about prescriptions and using conventional meds as necessary. I do think it is a shame and a sham that our insurance system does not cover nutrients, homeopathics, or herbs or visits with massage therapists, acupuncturists, reiki practitioners, and naturopaths.

Of course, you can't patent a plant (not that they don't turn them into meds with side effects, give them a fancy name and even fancier price tag) so you can't turn a profit on herbs to the degree that the drug companies would like to; instead they spread disinformation and hypercaution.

I just want everyone to have the right to choose the practitioner of their choice, have it paid for as would be a conventional doc if that is their choice.

Wow, sorry for the novella. :-)

Caution is called for, most definitely, and it troubles me greatly how many people are taking ancient herbal formulas, giving them (again) a fancy name, so that market the bejezus out of it. The markup on herbs is ridiculous; then again it's nothing in comparison to drugs.

BTW, scary stories don't scare me, they inform me (us). So thanks. I am so sorry that that man lacked the proper information he needed to prevent such a tragedy.

I will tell you a personal story that is slightly off topic (in terms of myelodysplasia). I had a bro-in-law who had been depressed for a long time and on an anti-depressant. He began to think it wasn't working and someone told him basically that all meds are evil and to go off it. He stopped it cold turkey, without weaning off and without consulting his doc. Two weeks later, he blew his brains out, leaving my sister and two amazing, now amazingly traumatized, children behind. Tragic AND scary AND oh so sad.

Pls, I suggest to everyone, do not start herbs without a thorough medical history being taken including conventional med intakes being done by a QUALIFIED herbalist. Also, never stop any med cold turkey or without consulting your doc. You can end up a statistic just as I've stated above and also as has dizzygal.

Be well! "
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Reply #4 - 08/26/09  5:11pm
" My mom is looking into this supplement as well and I found the ingredients from the company Meplarax:

Rheum Rhabarbarum 41.8 mg
Indian Olibanum Tree 16.3 mg
Torchwood Tree 12.3 mg
Ginger 16.3 mg
Operculina turpelthum 142.5 mg
Scammony 38 mg
Autumn crocus 104.1 mg
Aloe vera 104.1 mg
Chebulic Myrobalan 104.1 mg

I would be interested in your comments on these... "
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Reply #5 - 09/18/09  8:43pm
" My wife has been recently informed she has Myelodysplasia RA, 0 sideblast. back on 2/09. Presently I have her juicing with kale, cilantro, cucumber, apple, celery, ginger, fresh beet, and of course, wheat grass.Acupuncture 1x weekly, 2x monthly, Massage Therapy. She is Taking an herb to build red blood cells, ALSO Vitamins: A& D 250mg. E 400 IU Daily, C at 1,000 mg. daily. and a multivitamin, VITAMIN b-12 extract, extract cholyphol, Extract for cold prevention, and extract turmeric. She also was taking carao juice from Costa Rico (search this). Originally her hemoglobin count was 7.4. 2/09. In March 09 her Hematologist started her on Procrit 40,000 IU 1 x weekly.. She herself as of 3 weeks ago on Friday stopped. (which did not work for her!!!)Over time her highest hemoglobin count was 9.5. Actually its a roller coaster every 2 weeks upon a CBC. The last four weeks it has been 8.4. 8.0 8.1 and 8.3. My wife (with only my best interest and support is for her). The Dr. massaged my wife into trying, being part of a study using Revlimid. She was given 2 units of blood(hopefully not a band aid approach) My belief for over 25 years IS in alternative ways is very high.My belief as in any illness to build the immune system and body to "optima helath" E MAIL ME AT: lenders1@aol.com "

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