Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Using Nutrition to Help Beat Cancer

by Randy Lee, ND

Cancer is a very complex disease. Naturopathic doctors are not permitted nor try to treat named diseases, but they do treat breakdowns of body systems. One aspect of cancer is its ability to break down body systems by allowing the abnormal cells to proliferate unchecked. From this point forward in this article, the mention of the word “cancer” will address this continued abnormal cell growth.

There are a number of books by cancer survivors documenting how, by incorporating nutritional regimens and herbal supplements into their battle plans, they achieved degrees of consistent success in combating cancer.

A common cancer-fighting supplement comes from the twigs of the pawpaw tree. These twigs, most effective when harvested during spring, contain active acetogenins that can curb the proliferation of abnormal cells by halting the RNA and DNA building blocks necessary for cell division, thus prohibiting growth of capillaries to the abnormal cells. This action enhances the effectiveness of common medical treatments for cellular damage.

The Ojibwa Indians of Canada believed in an herbal formula—a blend of burdock root, sheep sorrel herb, turkey rhubarb root and slippery elm bark—that purified and balanced the body. Rene Caisse, a Canadian nurse who learned of this formula, made a tea with those herbs. Reversing the letters of her name, she called it Essiac Tea, and it is reputed to curb the growth of tumors. Many in the holistic health community feel it should also be widely used to aid cleansing and balance.

Another tea commonly used as an immune system stimulant, general tonic and blood builder is taheebo tea, also called pau d’arco tea. Coming from the bark of the pau d’arco tree of South America, it is a very effective immune-building and antifungal herb. While there are other uses, Indians from South America use it to fight tumors. Research done in Brazil and at the University of Illinois shows that pau d’arco contains substances that are highly effective against cancer.

Back in 1992, Dr. William Lane and Linda Comac wrote a book, Sharks Don’t Get Cancer, outlining research to confirm that shark cartilage contains a substance that inhibits cancer growth. Shark cartilage is a rich source of nutrients, including mucopolysaccharides that feed the body’s immune system. In a follow-up book, Sharks Still Don’t Get Cancer, they continue to assert that shark cartilage may prove to be a major step toward preventing and conquering cancer.

The National Cancer Institute published a report in The Journal of Natural Products that notes how 33 different world cultures use red clover to treat cancer. While one wouldn’t think that a common meadow clover could be so important, many people suffering from a variety of conditions, including cancer, have come to love it.
Some cancers may be encouraged by oxidation. The active components of many popular antioxidants are proanthocyanadins. These bioflavonoids come from grape seeds, grape skins and certain white pine barks. They can be 50 times more effective as antioxidants than vitamin E and can cross the blood-brain barrier.

Uña de gato, or cat’s claw, a flexible immune system booster, comes from the rain forests of Peru. During the past 25 years, both South American and European research on this herb has confirmed native uses for a variety of degenerative diseases, such as cancer. One possibility for its effectiveness may be that it clearly enhances the ability of white blood cells to attack foreign matter.

Other nutrients often used by cancer survivors are tea tree oil, Echinacea and other immune system builders, and a variety of foods. Yet equally important are concepts of cleansing and detoxifying the body, eating “live foods” and exercising. Don’t forget attitude: Cancer survivors often speak of the need to bolster the spirit; to be encouraged by friends, family and health professionals; and to believe that cancer is beatable. Many cancer survivors today attest to this truth.

This information is not meant to replace proper medical attention, but it may prove useful as nutritional support. Cancer is a seriously advanced degenerative condition; do not try to treat it with only preventive nutrients. Choose a team of professionals to help make positive decisions, and nutrients may help in the fight. Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.

Randy Lee is a naturopathic doctor and owner of The Health Patch, located at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., in Midwest City. For more information, call 405-736-1030, email or visit