Herbal medicines and other natural products are a valuable medicines when they are carefully studied for safety and efﬁcacy.
About one-quarter of all prescription drugs contain active ingredients derived from plants, including several chemotherapeutic agents (paclitaxel [Taxol], docetaxel [Taxotere]), camptothecins (irinotecan [Camptosar], topotecan [Hycamtin]), and vinca alkaloids (vincristine [Oncovin], vinblastine [Velban], vinorelbine [Navelbine]).
Herbs and other botanical products that enhance immune function are especially recommended for cancer patients and may prove useful in cancer treatment or prevention.
Herbal medicines are often used to support immune function and may reduce potential side effects from conventional cancer treatments.
Herbal medicines are often sold as dietary supplements and the quality of the herbal extract may vary significantly. It is recommended that cancer patients wanting to use herbal medicine seek the advice of a qualified herbalist.