The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Withania somnifera and its potential role in cancer treatment

    Withania somnifera Dunal, commonly known as ashwagandha and Indian ginseng, has a long list of uses in Ayurvedic medicine.

    In the treatment of cancer, here’s what we know.

    • Reduces tumor cell proliferation while increasing overall animal survival time
    • Enhances effectiveness of radiation therapy while potentially reducing side effects
    • Reduces side effects of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and paclitaxel (Taxol) without interfering with their tumor-reducing actions

    The bottom line?
    These effects have been demonstrated in the lab and in animals. There have been no studies in healthy volunteers or in cancer patients to date.

    This is important for anyone taking or thinking of taking ashwagandha. From the perspective of western medicine these studies are interesting but do not provide sufficient dosing, efficacy, or safety information for using ashwagandha in patients.

    The experience in Ayurvedic medicine in the absence of well designed clinical trials — although gained over centuries — is anecdotal. Think of it like playing telephone when you were a kid.

    12/23/06 10:51 JR

    Comments are closed.