Remedy for dry mouth due to cancer found in acupuncture

People who are on cancer treatment usually suffer from symptoms of chronic dry mouth. A new study conducted in the United Kingdom reported some improvement in symptoms like dry lips and sticky saliva when patients undergoing cancer treatment were subjected to acupuncture. However, the studies undertaken were not yet clear about how much of that benefit could have been on the result about patients’ expectations that acupuncture would help them or the effect of a therapeutic relationship with their acupuncturist – instead of the actual needles. The study’s lead author said more work is needed to be done to answer these questions.

It is estimated that about half a million people globally develop head and neck cancer each year and most of them suffer from dry mouth. This study runs parallel to a study that was published in May 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology when investigators from the Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center studied the potential benefits of acupuncture in the patients with cancers of head and neck that had undergone lymph-node surgery or neck dissection.  The study group then randomly assigned 70 patients to either receive weekly acupuncture or a usual care group treatment (without acupuncture but receive physical therapy, pain/anti-inflammatory medication as needed).

Dry mouth which was the common symptom in patients requiring radiation therapy for cancers in the head and neck found that those who had undergone acupuncture had a significant reduction in their pain levels and dry mouth compared to those who had received the usual care treatment. Acupuncturists truly believe that their therapy is indeed helping the patients for years on against dry mouth but there has not been enough evidence for or against it. Most of the head and neck cancer patients do not seek out an alternative medicine thus creating a lack of evidence on this aspect.

Honey is now a remedy for night time coughing in children

Honey is now being considered as a remedy for those kids who are unable to sleep during night time due to cough. A study suggests that giving a spoonful of honey to the kids before going to bed may help reliving their cough symptoms.  The parents of these kids also reported that after giving honey, the kids were having cough that is less severe and less frequent.

Dr. Ian Paul, a pediatrician from Pennsylvania State University in Hershey opines that the most common reason for kids’ going to a physician is cough. In his opinion, the present therapies for cough and cold are not very effective and they have potential side effects.  Many of the OTC or Over the Counter cough and cold products have a warning of “do not use” for children who are below four years old. But parents of these kids’ accidently give these types of drugs.

A recent study was carried out by researchers from Israel who randomly assigned 300 kids who are aged from one to five to one of four different night time cough treatments. The kids were given 10 grams of one of three types of honey that included the eucalyptus and citrus based honey or syrup that was made from dates which was sweet but was free from honey half an hour before bedtime. Then through telephone and written surveys the parents reported their ‘kids’ symptoms and how well both they and their kids slept in the night, when their kids took a spoonful of honey or date extract as well as how well they had slept the night before. The parents rated each of the symptoms on a 7-point scale.


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