Canceraccording to TCM

What is Cancer?

Cancer represents a group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If not managed, it can result in death. Cancer affects people at all ages and can manifest in various forms, such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and more.

The term encapsulates a wide range of conditions that can affect any part of the body, highlighting the disease's complexity and the importance of early detection and comprehensive treatment strategies.

How does TCM view Cancer?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique perspective on cancer, viewing it not just as a set of tumor cells but as a symptom of underlying imbalances within the body's energy system. TCM practitioners believe that cancer results from disruptions in the flow of Qi (vital energy), Blood Stagnation, accumulation of Toxins, Heat or Dampness, and imbalances between the body's fundamental substances (Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang).

By identifying and correcting these disharmonies, TCM aims to restore the body's natural balance and health, supporting the body's ability to fight the disease.

Causes of Cancer According to TCM

Two primary patterns often discussed in the context of cancer development include the Stagnation of Qi and Blood, which can create an environment conducive to tumor growth, and the accumulation of Dampness and Heat, leading to Toxic conditions. These underlying patterns reflect the TCM belief that cancer stems from the body's imbalances rather than being merely a localized problem.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Cancer

TCM utilizes a wide array of herbs to combat cancer, focusing on those that can clear Heat, relieve Toxicity and purge Fire. Key herbs include the Chinese Lobelia (Ban Bian Lian) and Oldenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao), known for their ability to address toxic heat and Damp-Heat conditions, making them particularly valuable in treating cancers associated with these patterns.

Another important herb is the Barbat Skullcap (Ban Zhi Lian), which is effective against Heat in the Blood, Blood Stagnation, and Toxic Heat.

These herbs are selected based on their properties and the specific TCM diagnosis, underscoring the personalized approach TCM takes in treating cancer and supporting the body's healing processes.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address cancer, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that disperse dryness and moisten
  • Formulas for a rebellious qi
  • Formulas that expel dampness
  • Formulas that promote qi movement

TCM Herbs for Cancer

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address cancer, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that clear heat and relieve toxicity
  • Herbs that clear heat and purge fire and/or clear summer heat
  • Cool/Acrid herbs that release the exterior
  • Warm herbs that transform phlegm and stop cough
  • Herbs that drain dampness
  • Aromatic herbs that transform dampness
  • Tonic herbs for yin deficiency
  • Cool herbs that transform phlegm and stop cough

"Herbs that clear Heat and relieve Toxicity" recommended for cancer

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Chinese Lobelia Herbs (Ban Bian Lian) Not applicable
Oldenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao) Not applicable
Bushy Sophora Roots (Shan Dou Gen) Not applicable
Catclaw Buttercup Roots (Mao Zhao Cao) Not applicable
Selanginella Herbs (Shi shang Bai) Not applicable