American ginseng was chosen for this month’s featured herb because of its increasing use by cancer patients. The Herb of the Month is presented by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.Ginseng American 1

American ginseng is a perennial herb native to eastern North America. Following its introduction to China three centuries ago, both the fresh and dried forms of its root remain popular in Traditional Chinese medicine to enhance stamina and to treat a variety of ailments. Available evidence shows a modest protective effect of the herb in reducing the number and severity of colds, and in improving working memory in healthy adults. American ginseng has also been shown to improve cancer-related fatigue in cancer survivors - link to the MSKCC monograph.

WEB Herb Green TeaWe chose green tea this month because of its continued popularity around the world as an antioxidant. A beverage consumed worldwide for its purported health benefits, green tea is derived from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine as a stimulant, diuretic, for wound healing, and to improve heart health. Currently, green tea and its extracts are utilized to prevent and treat hyperlipidemia, hypertension, atherosclerosis and cancer. Green tea has been shown to exert chemopreventive effects, and clinical trials are underway to determine its benefits in cancer care. Read more about green tea in the MSKCC monograph.

The Society for Integrative Oncology’s 13th international conference, November 5-7, 2016 in Miami, Florida, will include a plenary session on culture and caregiving. The session, to be held, November 6, will include, as moderator, Judith Fouladbakhsh, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC. of Oakland University and, as panelists, Allison Applebaum, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Samreet Kumar, PhD, of Memorial Healthcare System; and BeJoy Thomas, PhD, of the University of Calgary. They will discuss will discuss their approaches to the care of those affected by cancer, including patients and caregivers worldwide; the challenge to deliver consistently high quality care across treatment and during survivorship; compassion, fatigue and burnout among providers; and evidence-based approaches to enhance resiliency.

 

Mind-Body will be the focus of one of four plenary sessions at SIO’s 2016 international conference in Miami, Florida. This session, “Top-Down or Bottoms-Up? Interventions for Regulating Health Outcomes,” will be held on Monday, November 7. Investigators have long been interested in improving health biomarkers using mind-body therapies. Additionally, we are beginning to recognize the importance of the gut microbiota in health and potential influences of lifestyle factors on the microbiome. In this symposium, panelists will present examples of current research on two mind-body therapies, mindfulness and stress management, as well as current thinking on the role of lifestyle factors on the microbiome in colorectal cancer. Linda Carlson, PhD, RPsych, of the University of Calgary will moderate the session, with panelists Marie Abreau, MD, and Michael Antoni, both of the University of Miami, and David Victorson, PhD, of Northwestern University.