The drugs used to treat cancer after surgery can help to slow disease progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading, nor do they help with pain associated with some cancers such as sarcomas (rare bone cancers). Cannabis, however, potentially does both of these things.
Stephanie Lake and M-J Milloy, University of British Columbia
As a young child I recall my grandmother giving me the largest spoonfuls of cod liver oil, coaxing me with the promise of an equally large spoonful of golden syrup. It was probably a throwback to her own childhood when the post-war government sought to provide infants with a cod liver oil supplement.
Suppose you discovered that some past prescription a GP gave you was actually a placebo. The treatment made you feel better, but now you know that the perceived benefit was really a placebo effect. Would you be upset at the deception, or pleased the doctor had found a way to help you?
Joseph Palamar, New York University Langone Medical Center
In a study published last week, researchers at Harvard University examined 21 brands of dietary supplements containing an herbal stimulant called Acacia rigidula. More than half of the brands analyzed contained an untested amphetamine isomer called β-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA).
Nick Fuller, Research Fellow, Clinical Trials Development and Assessment, University of Sydney
The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims. Weight-loss products make up one of the largest growing markets in the world.
A nutrient in garlic may offer the brain cells protection against aging and disease, according to new research. “Most people think of it as a ‘superfood,’ because garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds are known as an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection."
Common over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can decrease risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer. The results mean these drugs may have potential as skin cancer preventative agents, especially for high-risk people.
by Peter Bane. Botanicals can be incorporated into wines, cordials or teas, used in cooking and made into tinctures or salves. Some are applied topically as a poultice. Some plants we dry and use as teas or decoctions.
Ginseng, the root of the plant Panax ginseng, is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines and is often sold as an over-the-counter remedy for fatigue. Although it has been used by humans for thousands of years, more recent research has begun to investigate therapeutic and pharmacological uses including anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties.