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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
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hope of increasing platelets (I am on chemotherapy carboplatin

Resolved Question:

I want to take euphorbia hirt (aka euphorbia pilulifera/aka tawa tawa) (one teaspoon of one cup of tea made from one teaspoon of dried herb) in the hope of increasing platelets (I am on chemotherapy carboplatin and paclitaxel) but I am afraid it might seriously harm me. I thought the dose above, one teaspoon of the tea rather than a whole cup would be a good compromise. Will the euphorbia seriously harm me do you think?
I also have capsules of papaya leaf extract for the same purpose Each capsule equivalent to 2500mg. Should I take these? I have got all my info on these plants from the internet.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question:

Why are you considering taking the euphorbia?

Did you talk to your doctors about this herb?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am considering taking the euphorbia because I searched online for something that might increase my platelets, and this is what I came up with, it is mainly mentioned in connection with Dengue Fever, a couple of research projects with mice have not proved any increase in platelets but more recently a research using rats did confirm that the euphorbia increased rat platelets. My chemo is being delayed because my platelets are too low ie: under 100,000 (in fact around the 60,000 mark). I have not talked to my doctors about this because I believe they will probably say don't take it because they won't know anything about it, they only know about standard treatments and are too busy to look into other things. I am waiting for my last chemo session and if my platelets are good and it goes ahead I will be able to have my italian holiday but if my platelets are still low I will have to wait again for chemo and will have to miss my very expensive and much desired holiday - not to mention my life-saving treatment being delayed. my platelets have not been recovering in the time they should, that is, in three weeks, but have been taking five weeks. I want them to be up over 100,000 after the three week period this time. Regards, Sarah
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.
There is not enough scientific evidence to support either the effectiveness OR safety of this herbal product.

I would be particularly worried about the potential for some type of unknown interaction between this herb and your chemotherapy.

Personally, I would never advise use of this herb to a patient.
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12641
Experience: Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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