HERBS FOR CANCER


Many HERBS "boost" the immune system and so shore up the body against future or existing cancer.A few of them are mentioned below.

Iscador (Mistletoe Extract)

Mistletoe (Viscum album L.) is a semi-parasitic plant that lives with several tree species, including oak, pine, fir, elm and apple, and has been used since ancient times to treat a variety of human ailments. Extracts of mistletoe have been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory and to stimulate the immune system.

Only the European species of mistletoe is used in the treatment of cancer. Mistletoe preparations are used to stimulate the immune system and to kill cancer cells. It has been reported to reduce tumor size and improve the quality of 
life and survival of some cancer patients. Three components of mistletoe (lectins, alkaloids and viscotoxins) may be responsible for its biologic effects.
A typical treatment course lasts several months to years with subcutaneous injections given early in the morning 3-7 times per week. The doses are gradually increased and adjusted depending on the patient`s general condition, sex, age, and type of cancer.

Mistletoe is typically given by subcutaneous injection, ideally near the site of the tumor while avoiding irradiated areas. It is sometimes injected directly into the tumor particularly on the liver, esophagus and cervix.

Mixed results have been obtained in animal studies that have investigated the ability of mistletoe extracts to slow tumor growth. There is no evidence from well-designed clinical trials that mistletoe or any of its components are effective treatments for human cancer.
Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a low growing palm native to the southeastern United States, particularly Florida. The part of the plant used for medicinal purposes is the berries, which are harvested, dried, and ground for preparation as a tea or in capsules. It is often prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or as an anti-inflammatory. Interestingly, saw palmetto berries do not seem to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, but rather relieve the symptoms associated with BPH such as frequent urination. Saw palmetto is not believed to interfere with accurate measuring of prostate specific antigen, or PSA (a marker for prostate cancer).

All of the studies show that Saw Palmetto extract is effective for both subjective and objective measurements of prostatic enlargement . Other studies show that Saw Palmetto extract selectively antagonizes 52% of the dihydrotestosterone receptors in the prostate, thus inhibiting the hormone from binding to them, and therefore minimizing its stimulation of cell growth. 

Hoxsey

In the early 1900`s, Harry Hoxsey developed a herbal formula that he believed was effective for the treatment of cancer. It consisted of two remedies, one to be used externally, the other internally. The external mixture is said to be selectively destructive of cancerous tissue and consists of a red paste containing antimony trisulfide, zinc chloride, and bloodroot, and a yellow powder containing arsenic sulfide, sulfur, and talc. The internal mixture is a liquid containing licorice, red clover, burdock root, stillingia root, barberry, cascara, prickly ash bark, buckthorn bark, and potassium iodide. This mixture is considered to be cathartic and immune boosting. Hoxsey felt that his therapy normalized and balanced the body`s chemistry makeup, allowing it to essentially create a self-healing environment in which the immune system is strengthened and tumors are caused to die. The treatment is available in Tijuana, Mexico. (Contact information: Bio-Medical center PO Box 727 615 General Ferreira, Colonia Juarez Tijuana, B.C. Mexico. Tel: 011-52-66-84-90-11/9132 or 52-6-684-9011 Fax: 52-6-694-9744 )

The dose of the therapy varies depending on the specific needs of each patient and whether the cancer is internal or on the skin.

The preparation is used either directly on the skin or drunk as a tonic. Patients are encouraged to avoid pork, vinegar, tomatoes, carbonated drinks and alcohol, and to use immune stimulants, yeast tablets, vitamin C, calcium, laxatives, and antiseptic washes, as well as adopt a positive mental outlook while taking the Hoxsey treatment. 

BIRCH
Birch (Betula alba) was tapped by the American Indians for its sap, for a beverage and as a syrup. Oil of wintergreen can be distilled from its inner bark and twigs. Traditionally, it has been used for treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, and all diseases of the alimentary tract. It is said to be a good "blood cleanser." It has been an approved medication in Russia since 1834.

Externally applied, it is a traditional treatment for "eczema and cutaneous diseases," according to Alma R. Hutchens` A Handbook of Native American Herbs. So it should be little surprise that the white birch may be a source of potent chemicals useful in the fight against melanoma and other kinds of cancer.

In March, 1995, John Pezzuto of the University of Illinois, Chicago reported that one of these compounds, called betulinic acid, was able to kill human melanoma cells transplanted into mice. Dr. Pezzuto extracted betulin from birches and converted this into betulinic acid. According to the scientist, betulinic acid "worked better than the drug most commonly used in people to treat melanoma." Unlike conventional chemotherapy, this compound caused no apparent side effects and, for obvious reasons, is potentially very inexpensive.

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has long been known for it medicinal properties. Traditionally, as well as today, aloe gel has been used to sooth dry or damaged skin, treat minor cuts and burns, and the latex has been used for constipation. The root is sometimes used for colic. In some parts of the world, such as India, aloe is used to treat intestinal infections. Aloe may be able to help stimulate the immune system, and may also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies are currently underway to explore these effects.

In just the last few years attention has focused on aloe for a different reason. Aloe has been found to contain a substance called acemannan. This has shown potential as a treatment for 
AIDS and cancer. In a number of studies, acemannan has had both immunostimulatory and directly antiviral properties. It is non-toxic even when injected at high doses, causing "no significant signs of intoxication and no deaths."
  ASRAGALUS
 -A Chinese herb; an immune system booster, known to stimulate body’s natural production of interferon. It also helps the immune system identify rogue cells. Work with the herb in both cancer and AIDS cases has been encouraging. The MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas conducted research showing that taking Astragalus when having Radiotherapy doubled survival times.
PODOPHYLLUM PELTATUM
Slow active purgative. Research has shown these herbs to have a strong action against cancer and they have been used with many cancers, especially Ovarian cancer.
SANGUINARIA CANADENSIS
Research shows consistent anti-neoplastic activity. It is effective against cancer tumours, and can shrink them; and has proven useful with sarcomas
 RUSCUS ACULEATUS
The active ingredients of this herb has been found to be the ruscogenins which have tumour-shrinking and anti-oestrogenic abilities. Thus its use in the treatment of breast cancer.
UNCARIA TORMENTOSA
An adaptogen and powerful immuno-stimulant, it enhances the white cells’ clean up process (phagocytosis). It is an excellent companion to astragalus, curcumin and echinacea. Research indicates it can reduce tumour size, particularly with skin cancers. It also helps reduce the side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy.
 LARREA MEXICANA
Cancer Watch covered a major research study from the US which heaped praise on this herb. It appears to boost the immune system, stop metastases and reduce tumour size. Seems especially interesting with breast cancer. It is also an anti-oxidant and anti-microbial, with low toxicity.

  CURCUMIN
This spice (Curcuma longa or Turmeric root) has been shown to have significant anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activity. That alone seems enough for certain hospitals in America to consider using it in the treatment of polyps and colon cancer. However new research shows that it can both shrink cancer tumours and inhibit blood supply growth to tumours. It is a powerful antioxidant with liver protective benefits, and outperformed several anti-inflammatory drugs without side-effects in research.
 CODONOPSIS PILOSULA
Increases both the white blood cell and red blood cell levels, so can be extremely helpful to patients having chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or to patients whose cancer diminishes levels of either.
 ECHINACEA
Another known immune system booster, it gained a populist reputation in treating colds.  There is research on its helpfulness with brain tumours apart from its abilities to increase the levels of certain immune white cells in the body.
FEVER FEW
This herb caused a storm when research from Rochester University in New York showed it to be more effective than the drug cytarabine in killing leukaemia cells. The US Food and Drug Agency put the active ingredient, parthenolide, on to its ‘fast track’ programme. Nothing has yet been heard. But then, the FDA has never approved a herb for use as a cancer treatment.
 HYDRASTIS CANADENSIS           
One cause of stomach cancer can be the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This burrows into the mucous lining of the stomach to ‘hide’ from gastric acids, and then causes irritation, acid reflux, ulcers and even cancer. Goldenseal is generally anti-microbial and is used in the Caribbean and South East Asia against parasites. Goldenseal, helped by the mineral Bismuth, will kill Helicobacter pylori. Vets seem to know this, even if doctors don’t.
MILK THISTLE
Known for years to be helpful to the liver, this herb has now been shown to be capable of protecting the liver during chemotherapy. Research in America showed that leukaemia patients who took milk thistle had reduced liver toxicity and chemo side-effects. There is a little evidence that it has its own anti-cancer activity too.
PAUD’ARCO
This tree bark was original thought to be a strong anti-cancer agent, but then its actions were clarified as strongly anti-bacterial, anti-yeast and anti-microbial. That alone might be enough in some cases of cancer cause. But new research on the differing ingredients has shown the quinoids possess immune strengthening abilities and seem to help in cases of blood and lymph cancers.
 RED CLOVER
Research from a number of centres including the Royal Marsden has shown its potential as a part of a treatment programme against oestrogen-driven cancers, from breast to prostate. One active ingredient in the so-called ‘Herb of Hippocrates’ is the anti-oestrogen Genistein.
SHEEP’S SORREL
Used in Essiac and other herbal remedies it is a cleanser and aids healthy tissue regeneration. There is some suggestion from research that it helps ‘normalise’ damaged cells and tissue. It is also a highly praised ´vermifuge´ - intestinal worms have little or no resistance to this herb.
 SCUTELLARIA BARBATA
Research has shown action against many cancer types, for example against cancers of the lung, stomach and intestines.
SUTHERLANDIA
Peer reviewed research studies indicate that this herb is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It boosts the immune system and inhibits Tumour Necrosis Factor, known to drive ‘wasting’ in cancer patients.
 BULPLEURUM SCORZONERAEFOLIUM
Research has shown its ability to enhance the production of natural interferon and it seems especially useful in bone cancer.
 WHEAT GRASS
One of the top private hospitals in South East Asia extols the benefits of freshly juiced wheatgrass. One shot gives you the chlorophyll of some 12 or more kilograms of broccoli. It acts as a blood purifier, and liver and kidney cleansing agent. After two weeks of daily use, blood and tissue oxygen levels improve, as does circulation. And oxygen is the enemy of the cancer cell, as Otto Warburg told the world.
 WORMWOOD
Another Chinese Herb, this has outperformed certain anti-malaria drugs and is now used by the aid agencies. It is strongly anti-microbial and anti-yeast and can be used as an effective part of an anti-candida diet. Also certain cancer treatments cause excesses of yeasts to form (for example, in Leukaemia treatment) threatening the patient’s health further. Excess yeasts are even felt by some cancer experts to be one of the causes of cancer. However, in recent research Wormwood has been shown to have direct anti-cancer properties.
VINCA MINOR
Another very important herb that fight against cancer




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