Radiation burns (X-ray burns)

This most likely cause of radiation burns for people will be through the focused use of X-rays to target cancer in the form of radiotherapy. There are many established protocols in the conventional system to help with the external damage from radiotherapy but the internal side of things is not given so much attention and that is where I typically focus most of my attention with my own patients...

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Finding a good herbalist

Much of what's written in this article is entirely suitable for a person to work through themselves but, especially if things are quite bad, or you just know that you need further help, then there may be a great deal of benefit to you to go to whatever lengths necessary to find a good herbalist or truly holistic practitioner to guide you on to a safe and strong treatment program. There's a short write-up to suggest how you might go about finding such a person here

Internal Medicine

Immune health

The very best thing you can do in general to help with dealing with radiotherapy is to have as healthy an immune system as possible and the exact same thing can be said for what is the best way to help with fighting cancer itself. I do discuss the following two pairs of herbs in the article but immunity is such an important, and comprehensive subject, that I don't want to oversimplify it by just putting a few key points here but rather will recommend you take some time to study the detailed article on immune health here.

Echinacea & Astragalus

If you will be having a course of radiotherapy and you know you need to support your immune health then, before you do anything else, start by getting help from Nature and the two herbs that I personally feel have the most overall benefit in this area are Echinacea root from the American plains Indians (much more detail about it here) and Astragalus root from the great Chinese system of herbal medicine (more details here.) These two herbs form the cornerstone of the majority of my immune health programs and I have a great deal of confidence in their ability to restore even the most depressed immunity to much better health in quick order; you typically begin to see significant benefits within mere days of use...

Echinacea angustifolia

Panax Ginseng & Withania

The next duo of herbs that I would widely recommend to someone needing radiotherapy are what I consider to be the best of the energy tonics; Ginseng and Withania. I very often use these two herbs at the same time if there is any reason to worry about the level of vitality in my patient. People who get run down and over-tired are the ones who most often get a depressed immunity and there is a tremendous amount of value in doing that which lifts their general energy in order to restore good immune health and so speed healing. I've already somewhat made this point in the side-note above but I want to re-emphasise here that Ginseng in particular is notoriously compromised by adulteration and inaccurate labelling - do get it from a trusted source. For those who want to know these old allies in more depth there is a detailed article about Ginseng here and another on Withania here.

Panax Ginseng


Alfalfa & Greens

We know that green plants in general help to ease the damage of radiation and one of the very best of these is the easily obtained Alfalfa; it can be used equally well as both food and medicine. I have an article about it here. Also note that any amount of green foods in salads or juices will help the unique internal stress of radiation burns.

If I were seeing someone going through radiotherapy in my practice I might recommend a product that we mix up for people called Life Greens. Please note that this is not for general sale (we can only supply medicines to patients of the clinic) but I see that such 'green smoothies' are widely available now; for a point of reference you can read more about our one here.

Medicago sativa (Alfalfa)

External Medicine

The external treatment of X-ray burns is something that is obviously taken very seriously and you will be wise to entrust your care of any burns to the practitioners who are involved in your treatment...

That said I do have to mention a few great plant options as I have personally seen these do a tremendous amount of good to people suffering from burns of all kinds and the truth is that drug therapies, medicated creams etc. are not to everyone's tolerance and you may need some good natural alternatives.

It should be mentioned that all oils, gels etc. should be carefully removed before any further follow-up radiotherapy treatments and then applied as soon as possible after the treatment has finished to help with healing and preventing further damage to your precious tissues.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera is at the top of the list -- you can use the plant if you have one that is well-grown at home or that someone can give you. Just cut or break off an end-section and use the prolific 'gel' that oozes out to gently rub directly on to your skin. Aloes can take a lot of this kind of punishment and you can get many treatments from a reasonably sized plant. There are numerous good commercial products of Aloe Vera gel that should also be extremely soothing and may be gladly endorsed by the responsible practitioner for your radiotherapy program.

Lavender oil

I also highly rate the ability of Lavender oil to ease the pain and damage of burns and, being one of the only oils that can be safely applied directly to the skin, it may certainly be worth trying if you have not yet had the opportunity to see how effective this inexpensive and easily obtained treatment really is, more info on it here.

Lavandula officinalis (Lavender)

St John's wort oil

Esteemed colleagues of mine have told me that they have had very good results for radiotherapy burns with the use of St John's wort that has been infused into an oil. I would suggest this option is best obtained from a commercial source. In New Zealand the St John's Oil made by the company Artemis would be the best one available. My own more detailed article on St John's is here.


Lastly I have seen some literal miracles with the use of Comfrey root & leaf for damaged skin -- in this area, as with getting some of the internal herbs mentioned above, I again suggest you may be wise to get in touch with a good herbalist to be sure to be getting the right stuff at the best dose! More on Comfrey here

Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd