Your pancreas is an important organ and gland located in your upper abdomen. Your pancreas, notes Montana State University, performs several important functions, including the production of digestive juices to help break down macronutrients, the regulation of your blood sugar levels and the production of chemicals that neutralize your stomach acids. Certain herbal remedies may help support the functioning of your pancreas or help treat pancreas-related disorders. However, always be judicious in your use of herbal medicines, and always talk with your family doctor before using this natural treatment method.
There are numerous pancreas-related health problems, although three in particular are well-known, including pancreatic cancer, pancreatic insufficiency, and both acute and chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatic cancer is a life-threatening illness. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that, in over 80 percent of patients, your pancreatic cancer has metastasized, or spread to other parts of your body, by the time you are diagnosed. Pancreatic insufficiency is a condition in which your pancreas no longer produces sufficient levels of insulin, while pancreatitis is inflammation of your pancreas.
Helpful Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies may be used in treating various pancreatic conditions, although the effectiveness of herbs for pancreatic cancer and pancreatic insufficiency is unknown. However, herbal remedies have long been used in treating pancreatitis. Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant, nutrition researcher and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," states that helpful herbal remedies in strengthening and stimulating your pancreatic function include gentian, goldenseal, echinacea and cedar berries. Dandelion and olive leaf may also help treat your pancreatitis or improve your pancreatic health. Licorice root has been used to support all glandular functions, including the functions of your pancreas.
Dandelion root may be a helpful adjunct therapy in the treatment of your pancreatic problems and may support the health and function of your pancreas. Dandelion root may help stimulate bile production, notes Balch, and it helps cleanse your blood and liver, which in turn decreases the burden on your pancreas. Other organs that may benefit from the use of this herbal medicine include your kidneys, spleen and stomach. Discuss proper dosage of this herb and other herb-related issues with your primary care provider before ingesting it.
Pancreatic problems may be serious. In some cases, pancreas-related problems may even cause death in some individuals. Do not use herbal remedies in place of other health measures suggested by your health care practitioner. Herbs should only be used as adjunct therapies in the treatment of your pancreatic conditions. Because certain herbs may trigger side effects and drug interactions, it is always prudent to consult a health care professional who has been trained in herbal medicine before using herbs.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Pancreatic Carcinoma
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.