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Using Herbal Medicine for Prostate Cancer: How Effective Is It?

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 13, 2022

Using Herbal Medicine for Prostate Cancer: How Effective Is It?

Herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years. In modern times, some herbs have even been reported to be effective on certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer. But just how effective is using herbal medicine for prostate cancer? Are there any side effects? Can it completely replace traditional forms of treatment?

How Do You Go About Using Herbal Medicine for Prostate Cancer?

It’s not uncommon for cancer patients to explore alternative forms of medicine. One reason for this is that typical forms of treatment for cancer have side effects. Some patients feel that the side effects of their treatment are unbearable, and they struggle to continue with treatment. Others feel that these effects negatively impact their quality of life.

This is why some patients opt to explore herbal medicine, in an attempt to mitigate the side effects. In fact, according to one study, herbal medicines are among the most common treatments used by cancer patients1. Aside from the lack of side effects, the authors add that herbal medicine is generally perceived to be safe by the general public.

In the case of prostate cancer, patients are no different. Many of them try herbal medicine, sometimes in conjunction with their treatments in order to help cure their disease.

using herbal medicine for prostate cancer

What Herbal Medicines Are Used?

Researchers have done numerous studies on the effectiveness of herbal medicine on prostate cancer. In one study researchers tested a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called PC-SPES for its effectiveness. According to the researchers, the herbal medicine helped inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancer cells. This medicine included extracts from ganoderma mushrooms, lychees, Saussurea plant, Chinese skullcap, and other plants used in TCM2. 

While the researchers got positive results, they add that more studies regarding the toxicity of these plants must be conducted. According to them, using different extraction processes or methods can potentially improve the quality of the medicine.

However, some countries, particularly the US, has banned PC-SPES medication. This is partly due to the fact that the FDA found contamination in some of its samples. Additionally, more research needs to be done regarding its effectiveness.

What Do Doctors Have to Say?

One of the biggest concerns that doctors have with these alternative forms of treatment is the limited information that’s available. We still don’t know the actual effects of some of these herbs, so doctors can’t simply prescribe using herbal medicine for prostate cancer.

However, some doctors are open to their patients receiving complementary therapy3. As the name suggests, this is a form of therapy that is done side by side with traditional forms of therapy such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

This can be a good option for patients seeking alternative forms of treatment for their illness. However, the fact remains that there have yet to be any approved methods of using herbal medicine for prostate cancer4.

Key Takeaways

While it is true that alternative medicine such as herbs may be effective, there have yet to be any conclusive evidence regarding its effectiveness on prostate cancer. At the moment, there have not yet been any clinical trials or large-scale studies about using herbal medicine for prostate cancer.

While this doesn’t mean that they are not effective, this also means that people should not rely on these methods exclusively. It’s still best to listen to your doctor’s advice, and follow their recommendations regarding treatment5.

However, if you wish to try out herbal medicine in conjunction with modern treatments, it is possible to do so. Be sure to discuss it with your doctor so that they can safely guide you on how best to go about it without compromising your treatment.

Learn more about Prostate Cancer here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

John Paul Abrina, MD

Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 13, 2022

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