My Ovacome
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Siberian ginseng

I finished my 3rd cycle of chemo (Topotecan) on 30 January. Because I have an ileostomy I have a problem with low magnesium which makes you exhausted. I am still having weekly magnesium infusions and hopefully things will improve.

Someone suggested I try Siberian Ginseng which apparently is good for helping with energy levels. I know we can't take lots of things while we're on chemo and wondered if anyone knew how long after finishing it's best to wait before trying this.

I can ask the nurse the next time I'm in for the magnesium infusion but would appreciate any info.

3 Replies

Dear Cathysal

There are very mixed opinions on supplements. I think you're right to ask your oncology nurse whether she feels it would be helpful to take Siberian Ginseng. I tend to think that a small dose of something can't do much harm, but if it's expensive you'd be wasting your money if it's not effective.

I'm searching for a qualified professional who will give me some advice on supplements and complimentary therapies. I've had a lot of really helpful advice from friends on this site and I've decided to give it a go as I'm not on chemotherapy at the moment, my markers are rising, and it seems worth trying some of the recommendations.

In your situation I think I'd wait until the chemotherapy course and magnesium supplements finish - but this is only my personal opinion. Hopefully you'll get lots of responses to compare and consider.

Love Annie xx


Dear Cathysal

I have taken lots of vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies over the 8 years since I was first diagnosed and generally have still taken some whilst having chemo but not for a few days before or a week after each session. I have asked doctors, nirses and NHS nutritionists for advice but they've either not been interested or not known. The best place I've found for good info are the specialist nutritionists and doctors at the Penny Brohn cancer care centre in Bristol which is free and an excellent resource. They have lots of residential courses and retreats and it is possible to phone for advice.

Good luck with it. I'm having more chemo at present so cut down some of my supplements but I do think its helped me stay so well between the rounds of chemo I've had over the years.




Thanks for your replies. I've never taken any supplements but thought this might be worth a try as it was recommended to me by the lady who I go to for reflexology every few weeks. However, it's not too long until I see my oncologist for the verdict on the last cycle of chemo, so I'll hold off until then and ask her. I also intend to ask her opinion on taking ibuprofen daily which was a very interesting thread a few weeks ago.

Cathy x


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