Topic: Chinese supplements

My brother is an MD studying Chinese medicine.  He has given my dad some supplements to take, but I am worried about the interaction with his chemo (gemzar and cisplatin).  Here is what my mom has said about the herbs my brother is prescribing:

The herbs that Joey wants Dad to take are BCP Herbal Master 3 - on the bottle it says it is a unique herbal food supplement based on a famous Chinese formula in use for centuries.  It has been adapted by Dr. Nan Lu for American health needs and is used extensively in his practic.  Here's what's in it:

Asiatic dogwood, tree peony, Chinese yam, poria, cookes rrhmannia, honeysuckle, Lycium, Alisma, anemarthena, and pheliodendrom.

And American Wild Reishi, which just says it is a proprietary blend of American Wild Reishi.

Also American Wild Ginseng.  It says, on the bottle, that it is made from finest wild ginseng which naturally grows in the American northeast mountanous forests and is harvested at 10-35 years life.

So see if you can find out anything about these three herbal medicines.  Dad wants to start taking them tomorrow but he'll hold off until you research them to make sure it is all right to take with chemo.

My brother went to my dad's last treatment but never mentioned or asked about giving these herbs to my dad.  Anyone have advice?

Re: Chinese supplements

dads daughter...I agree with your brother.
Best wishes,


Re: Chinese supplements

Dad's daughter,

I would absolutely run any herbal suppliments past your Dad's oncologist.  The pharmacy should know about these and they should be in your Dad's medical records. 

Then if by chance there is a reaction the pharmacy or doctor can react faster.

There probably won't be any problems but I firmly believe the oncologist should know.


My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Chinese supplements

I believe you should tell the doctor. I did in the beginning and my doctor was not impressed and when my liver values went funky, I was told to get off them and I did. However, I convinced her to let me try just milk thistle only to see if it helped my values and when I was on just those my liver was happy again. Was it the supplements? I dont know and neither does she. Now I am considering some other supplements again after my surgery but I havent decided to talk to her about it again. She is very negative about such things. Perhaps the best solution is to tell the doctor you are on them to monitor the situation but not rely on permission if that makes sense. It is always important for the doctor to be informed, but sometimes they dont have the answer and are too set in their ways to see an alternative.

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Chinese supplements

I did  alot of research on alternative treatments.  My brother's doctor is very traditional and told us not to do anything (even diet changes).

My brother decided to do the diet changes anyway.  Lots of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and kale)  and fresh shitake and maitake mushrooms.

He also does some supplements, but only takes those on his off-weeks from chemo,  He has been taking ultra-mar and citrus pectin and milk thistle and turmeric.

He has had a 50% reduction in tumor area and minimal side effects, so we're pretty happy with the first three months since his diagnosis.

He is also off all refined sugars, white rice and white bread.