Like many alternatives to medicine, there is a paucity of safety and efficacy data on Sabah Snake Grass. Anecdotal reports of it supposedly working can be misleading since any supposedly beneficial effect may be misinterpreted due to confounding factors (e.g. patient concomitantly receiving treatment) or even natural recovery (yes, even some cancers can spontaneously remit!). Moreover, for each apparent success there may be hundreds of failures which are not publicised. The true efficacy of any treatment can only be known if there is a a proper clinical trial conducted.
What about the side effects? Since our initial post Sabah Snake Grass Warning, there has been some feedback on other possible side effects besides the drop in blood counts that I mentioned in the original post. Bodyaches and more importantly kidney impairment seems to be a common theme. Physicians, oncologists and care givers need to be wary and watch out for these.
From a surgeon:
A few of my patients who had taken it for breast cancer reported severe myalgia.
From a nephrologist:
Had some chaps with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) take this and lose GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate, a measure of kidney function) faster than expected. Cessation (of SSG) didn’t reverse damage but rate of decline normalised
From a haematologist:
I had a patient who took SSG in sachet form, 5 sachets put into a big flask of water and he drank for the whole day for 3 days continuously. He came with severe joint pains and renal impairment, loss of appetite & was very lethargic. It took more than a week to get better and the kidney function is slowly improving, thank God!
From a layperson:
Hmmmm … I don’t have cancer but was guilty of taking the sabah snake grass as supposedly as a health supplement. The result of my recent health check shows a drastic jump in the protein leakage in my urine, from “negative” to ++++ in three months. The other renal profile tests shows the kidneys are functioning normally.
The only thing I can think of is the sabah snake grass I took in between my medical check ups. So, I have immediately stopped ingesting the sabah snake grass and will have another renal profile check with my doctor in September.
Once more, please be very cautious. We implore that normal people should not be taking Sabah Snake Grass for supposedly health reasons. It is potentially harmful to your health!
Doctors should check if their patients are taking SSG and specifically look out for renal adverse effects.