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Case Report: Lymphoma Treatment with Pacific Yew and Pokeroot


Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia) and pokeroot (Phytolacca decandra) are two botanicals that have indications as anticancer agents, antiinflammatory substances, and immune stimulants. The anticancer effects of Pacific yew and pokeroot are due to many constituents in each herb, including taxanes, flavonoids, and lignans found in Pacific yew and saponins, tannin, astrag- alin, and protein PAP-R found in pokeroot. In the author’s current case study, a patient with lymphocytic lymphoma/ chronic lymphocytic leukemia followed a daily regimen of the two botanicals: (1) Pacific yew, using capsules with 600 mg of ground leaves from T brevifolia and taking five capsules twice daily (Bighorn Montana Botanicals, Noxon, Montana) and (2) pokeroot, using a 1:2 fresh P decandra root tincture in alcohol and water and taking 2 tsp twice daily (Herbalist &Alchemist, Washington, New Jersey). The first author, a natur- opathic doctor, followed the patient for 3 years of therapy with follow-up visits occurring every 1 to 3 months during the first year of therapy. After 3 years of supplementation, the patient’s white blood cell count increased from 3.3 x 109 cells/L to 8.5.7 x 109 cells/L; his absolute neutrophil count increased from 0.5 x 109 cells/L to 1.15. x 109 cells/L; and his atypical lymphocytes decreased from 8% to 0%. The author’s case report suggested that these plants, consumed as crushed leaves in the case of Pacific yew and as a tincture in the case of pokeroot, may have a clinical benefit for lymphoma patients, resulting in improved survival and quality of life.

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