Natural ways of fighting cancer

Posted on: 26 June 2012 by Mark O'haire

Naturopathic physician Dr Harald Gaier explains how natural remedies can cure almost any medical condition.

natural remedies - rhubarbDr Gaier is a strong believer in us taking control of our own health, and in working with our bodies to ensure we look after them for our futures. He believes: “Growing old is compulsory, but staying healthy is optional” and his work is focused around teaching people how to take more control of their health using natural practices.

As we get older the ageing process can weaken our ability to resist disease and this is when cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, bladder, stomach, lung, and rectum become a real risk. These are the most common cancers occurring in people over 65.

Dr Gaier believes that we can remain in control of our own health, whatever our age and that people young or old can combat cancer through a change in diet and introduction of medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements as well as antioxidants that are effective in slowing the cancer’s growth.

Using natural remedies to cure almost any medical condition Dr Gaier is turned to by thousands of patients nationwide. Here he offers his advice on how to try and fight the cruel disease that is cancer, by looking to the benefits of natural medicine.

Anti Cancer herbal remedies

Although alternative practitioners by law cannot claim to offer cancer "cures", many herbal remedies have a long history (and much scientific evidence) demonstrating their anti- cancer effects.

These natural ingredients are all easy to get hold of and can be integrated into our diets as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Green Tea: One reason the Japanese have the highest tobacco smoking rate but the lowest lung cancer rate, could be green tea. The tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, theophylline, tannic acid and other polyphenols, which have been shown to inhibit cancer growth. Dry green tea leaves may also reduce the risk of stomach, lung, colon, rectum, liver and pancreas cancer. Scientists have discovered that chemicals in green tea can also shut down a key molecule, which often plays a significant role in the development of cancer. The molecule is known as AH Aryl hydrocarbon and often plays a negative role in activating genes. Scientists have found that green tea chemicals inhibit the AH activity.

Rhubarb: Like many red vegetable rhubarb contains cancer killing chemicals. Certain parts of sorrel rhubarb and Indian rhubarb contain rhein, catechin and aloe emodin which have been shown to have anti- tumour activity. Recent studies have shown that there are benefits of British garden rhubarb, specifically a variety grown in South Yorkshire. Baking rhubarb for 20 minutes dramatically increases its concentration, therefore baking a pie or crumble is a good start.  Scientists are now working towards trying to discover the best combination of rhubarb's polyphenols and chemotherapy agents, which are essential to kill leukaemia cells.

Burdock root: Named the "burdock factor", it has confirmed anti-tumour properties and has been shown to render virtually innocuous a wide range of substances known to cause carcinogenic mutation. One important component of burdock is benzaldehyde, which is also present in Lætrile, or amygdalin, found primarily in the kernels of plums, apricots, peaches and bitter almonds.

Mushrooms: PSK or Krestin, from the Turkey Tail mushroom, which is the fungus Trametes versicolor (mushroom of the Basidiomycetes group, as is our common culinary Champignon) is a successful alternative non-toxic immune-stimulating anti-cancer treatment that has become the world’s best-selling cancer drug (and is in the world’s ‘top twenty’ best-selling drugs overall) with annual sales running around Sterling £250 million. There are a variety of mushrooms which seem to help the body fight cancer, Shitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor to name but a few. These mushrooms contain strong compounds that help build and strengthen the immune system.  Mushrooms also contain Lectin, a protein which attacks cancerous cells.

Aged Garlic: It contains 17 amino acids, as well as many metals, vitamins and minerals, in addition to 33 sulphur compounds. One of the last-named is its main flavour component diallyl sulphide, or DAS. This has been shown to inhibit certain cancers of lungs and stomach. The enzyme systems have been studied on different levels, and the stomach’s detoxifying enzymes were seen to become significantly increased when treated with DAS.  In short: the more aged garlic, the greater the effect!

Cruciferous Vegetables: all the following vegetables contain very potent anti-cancer constituents; cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, bok-choi, oil seed rape, radish, horse-radish, broccoli, Brussels’ sprouts, mustard, kale, swede, cress and water cress. In order to retain their potency then you should either steam or stir-fry them for a short period of time.

Alliaceae: such as leek, onions, chives and the shallot family all promote apoptosis, the natural dying-off of cells, in breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. Insufficient amounts of apoptosis can lead to uncontrolled cancer cell production.

Dark Chocolate: contains anti-oxidants and anti-cancer polyphenols, both of which have a retardant effect on the growth cancer cells. Eating one small square of chocolate is the same as drinking one cup of green tea.

Ginger Root: can prevent cancer cell production. Ginger root could be grated into a stir fry or sliced and made into an infusion for consumption.

Turmeric: significantly promotes apoptosis in cancer cells and impedes tumour growth. When mixed with olive oil, black pepper or pumpkin-seed oil it is easily assimilated by the human body.

Citrus Fruits: like limes, lemons, tangerines, oranges and grapefruits contain flavanoids and are known to stimulate the detoxification of the liver.

Herbs & Spices: such as basil, mint, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme all contain oils which block the enzymes that cancer cells require to invade the tissue they are adjacent to, thus slowing down or arresting the spread of cancer.

Natural treatments that work well with chemotherapy & radiotherapy

Astragalus: A non-toxic botanical medicine that boosts immunity and fights cancer.  It effectively protects against the ravages of chemotherapy, part of which usually is in the form of degeneration of the liver expressed by raised liver enzyme values.

Siberian Ginseng: boosts the immune system in patients undergoing mainstream cancer therapy and it is not toxic.

Heat Therapy: Where body temperature is safely raised above the body’s normal temperature by short-wave diathermy, radio frequency, or laser heating energy delivered via flexible fibres into the approximate centre of a tumour. This enhances immunological responses, makes the body’s defence proteins more efficient, and significantly increases white blood cell activity.

Hypnosis: This has been shown to be of real value for children with cancer in decreasing their drug-related nausea and vomiting.

Hypnosis can also help relieve stress by improving our state of relaxation. A useful variant of this is autogenic training. This is a relaxation technique used since the 1930's to alleviate stress-induced states. It involves the daily practice of sessions that last around 15 minutes, usually in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening. During each session, you would repeat a set of taught visualizations that induce a state of relaxation. Each session can be done in a position chosen amongst a set of recommended postures: lying down, sitting as in meditation, or sitting like a rag doll and can work towards helping relieve tension and aid relaxation.

Ubiquinone: was found to be non-toxic, it counteracts the extremely toxic action on the heart muscle of the chemotherapy drug Doxorubicin.

Top tips to a Cancer-free lifestyle

  1. Heat food in glass or ceramics, not in plastics (such as PVC, Styrofoam, polystyrene, etc.)
  2. Use lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda for domestic cleaning jobs; never use cleaning products containing alkylphenols (like LCAP, cresol, xylenol, etc.)
  3. Use lavender and cedar bark in wardrobes to deter moths and silverfish; avoid naphthalene and tar camphor.
  4. Avoid perfumes and hair-care products that contain phthalates (almost all of them do).
  5. Do not use Teflon-coated pans and irons, they give off odourless fumes, which are silently very toxic to humans and lethal to parrots; use stainless steel instead.
  6. Eat organic meat from grass-fed animals; similarly, for dairy products.
  7. Instead of the standard Western cuisine, switch to Mediterranean or Oriental foods.
  8. Use olive oil and natural sugar replacements (e.g. xylitol crystals or agave syrup).

By Dr Harald Gaier

Introducing Dr Harald Gaier

Dr Harald GaierAs a naturopathic physician based on Harley Street, Harald Gaier has nearly four decades of clinical experience and writes for several of today's leading alternative medicine publications. Austrian-born, he has a heritage in medicine but his passion has always been in using science and nature to inform natural practices and solve medical dilemmas.

Harald Gaier is fully registered in the UK in all the major alternative medical disciplines including Osteopathy, Homoeopathy, Acupuncture, Naturopathy and Herbal medicine. Using natural remedies to cure almost any medical condition he is an expert in Prostate Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Menopause, Insomnia and various lifestyle issues.

About me

I would like to use this first column to introduce myself and offer my help and advice for any medical concern you may have. As a world leading natural medicine clinician I am often referred to as the 'Medical Detective', and don't just help people, I fix them!

I was invited to the UK in 1987 by the Royal Society of Medicine to contribute to their colloquia on complementary and alternative medicine, and have worked here ever since. Spending six years serving on the Research Committee of the Prince of Wales' Foundation for Integrated Health as a naturopathic physician, I most recently held the appointment of Director of Medical Research at two major clinics in London.

My Philosophy

Science is not the prerogative of orthodox medicine, it is knowledge that comes over time. In natural medicine this has come from thousands of years of history - a much larger time frame than pharmaceutical medical trials, so in reality the evidence is stronger regarding the benefits of natural medicine.

I believe that there are non-orthodox medical treatments for virtually any disorder, which have been shown as successful in hard-science backed, published investigations and I  have published reviews regularly on such investigations for the past nineteen years.

"Growing old is compulsory, but staying healthy is optional.”

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