Alternative Cancer Treatments

Posted to Subscribers on 22 September 2010


Dear Subscribers,

In recent months, I have seen a rising wave of interest in escharotic cancer treatments, especially as described by Harry Hoxsey. This tells me not only that the incidence of cancer is rising but that more and more people are seeking reprieve through alternative means. I became involved with cancer 38 years ago. Gosh, that sounds like such a long time now. Interestingly, in my entire youth and young adulthood, I only remember one family friend succumbing to cancer. I have told his story before because it is so unusual. He was curator of a museum and had been retained by officials in Hawaii to create replicas of Tiki gods for the World's Fair. Obviously, Hawaiians would not allow the sacred originals to leave the State. To make the replicas look older, he was beating them with chains. Hawaiians advised him not to do this, but he persisted. Karl Axel developed a runaway cancer. Doctors told him he had 10 days to live. He flew to Sweden for treatment but did not even last the ten days he thought he had. The way his crisis was discussed in our small circle at that time was mystical, not medical.

It's possible my godmother died of cancer, but the word was never mentioned when I was young. All I was told was that she was not long for this world and that she wanted to use up all her money while she could still enjoy spending it. To the best of my knowledge, no one on either side of my family ever had cancer so you could say I was completely uninitiated when taking over the research started by an astrologer named Emylu Lander Hughes. Those were the days of dirty data and the whole pile was more than a mess. I did what I usually do: read a lot to avoid rediscovering the wheel. I read from historic and medical anthropological sources as well as metaphysical and medical sources. That was quite a bit of reading, more than a recently diagnosed person can accomplish in a realistic length of time. I used to tell people to embark on a crash course of reading, 10 days, enough to give an overview and then bite the bullet and select an option that seems realistic. Obviously, if one is too thorough, one will never make a decision about treatment because there will always be more to peruse and compare. The questions deserve answers but there are just way too many of them so most people submit to a protocol before asking enough questions — and, of course, long before knowing all that they will eventually come to learn as the journey unfolds. Those who are lucky enough to realize that cancer is a sort of journey — rather than a life challenge requiring huge sacrifices in the name of quick fix — often find options that liberate them from unnecessary sacrifices.

It's very hard to keep my finger on the pulse, but what I am seeing is more and more awareness of the lay of the land. The fact that opposition to genetically modified salmon created enough outcry to stay the rubber stamping hand of the ignominious FDA says a lot. On the Food Safety Bill, a few senators are repositioning themselves and asking for the hold demanded by constituents. However, there is other legislation sneaking through simultaneously so blocking one heinous effort is not great cause for celebration when equally demonic provisions are slipped into other bills. The news from the EU is more depressing than from DC. I hope Switzerland will continue to provide a Mecca for Europeans who cannot find what they need within their own countries.

You know that I vigorously oppose(d) Obamacare, not because I don't want to see every creature on the Planet granted access to health care but because the type of health care and the lines that will be drawn to allocate the limited resources (and funds) available would surely not work in the greatest interests of individuals. The moment there is a formula for determining cost-benefit, we are in trouble.

Perhaps some people realize this and that is why I am seeing such a renewed interest in Hoxsey. In my book, I describe him fairly. His immense appeal was based on a number of factors. First, the treatment was and still is highly affordable. Because of promises he made to his forebears, he held the costs at a level putting them in reach of anyone. This, however, would not have meant anything unless the treatment also worked. People are very practical when it comes to money and health. They would much rather spend more money on something apt to succeed than less on something more speculative. Hoxsey claimed an 80% success rate and that is the figure provided by those who preceded him. Lastly, Hoxsey appealed to people who are not bowled over by diplomas and white coats. He was, in a sort of a way, a kind of man of the people who spoke a language that was easy to follow and therefore to appreciate. In professional eyes, these traits were used against him. In a world of patents and profits, claims for cures and testimonials are verbotten and this unleashed furors such as no one else in the medical world has ever experienced. They couldn't burn Hoxsey at the stake, but they crucified him in the press and persecuted him through the judicial system so when a friend of mine decided make a film, I was curious how it would unfold.

When Healing Becomes a Crime was nominated for an Oscar in the best documentary film category. I was there at the premier in Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, seated next to a woman who had been cured 20 years earlier at the clinic in Tijuana that opened when Hoxsey could no longer keep his chain of hospitals alive within our borders. The film is out on DVD and there is a book also:

Writing that book was an immense amount of work for me, but now that I am distanced a bit from it, there are particulars that stand out even more sharply now. I saw the bigger picture, but I was assuming more initiative on the part of patients than what I observe today. Let me take a moment to discuss this approach to treatment and then continue the story.

The basic Hoxsey treatment is simple. There is an internal tonic, elixir, that was to be taken for life. It consists of a combination of herbs alleged to have come into being when a horse owned by one of Hoxsey's forebears developed cancer on the leg. The earlier incarnations of biopirates wanted the formula but it was not for sale. All these details are in the film and the book by Kenny Ausubel as well as my own book. Kenny focused more on the politics and I tried to stick to medical issues, but it was very hard not to notice how ruthless the suppression of cures has been, at least in the west. As an herbalist, I rather doubted the story about the horse, but it's colorful and makes for a much better story. Eventually, the formula was disclosed and I got it from court records.

Now, just zoom out for a moment. Wasn't this how we got the Four Thieves formula also? It was the only known cure for the plague and the thieves traded the formula for leniency when tried for robbery. I really don't think we are dealing with coincidences but rather an embarrassingly long pattern.

Anyway, once we had the formula, we found it was essentially the same as the black dogwood combination used by Dr. John Christopher who stated that his was the same as that of Chief Sundance. This is why when I began making the formula, I named it Sundance rather than Hoxsey or Christopher. It goes deeper than this. When I was researching the book, I realized that North American herbal traditions are a composite of many heritages and I was choked up in tears by the fact that people who were being annihilated by smallpox and bullets had surrendered the keys to survival to the invaders. I wanted to pay the highest tribute possible to these great medicine men and so the logo on my bottles has a turtle in a dreamcatcher and where the bottle size permits, a few words of thanks to our Native American elders.

This is Turtle Island but there is more to the story than I can tell now, but I am feeling the need to talk stories so perhaps soon, the next story will be told.

The Hoxsey-Christopher-Sundance tonic is based on red clover, a plant that grows practically everywhere in the world but was only used for cancer treatment by one tribe, a tribe native to Long Island. I figure this was close enough to the halls of ivy where Eclectic medicine was taught in the New World to have been passed along to the white men in white coats. This happened, of course, before everything went underground. When talking to a medical doctor years ago, she commented, "the deeper underground a treatment goes, the harder it is to unearth." The formula was eventually studied by Patricia Ward Spain under a Congressional initiative and thus is the best understood and most highly researched formula in Western herbal history. However, it is still mostly underground.

In reality, the formula is mostly blood cleansing and detoxifying but it is also bowel stimulating and nine of the herbs have known anti-cancer properties, but it cannot be patented so it will continue to be largely unrecognized. The other half of the Hoxsey treatment and by far the more dramatic and persuasive half is the use of bloodroot paste that reacts chemically with morbid tissue and necrotizes the tumor. It's sometimes very painful, but when used skillfully, it's thorough and precise. I have been amazed at the ability of the paste to discriminate between healthy and morbid tissue. The diseased tissue burns and forms an eschar. It generally looks rather shocking, but then it falls off more or less the way a scab does when the tissue underneath has healed. This is most successful cancer treatment in history and hardly anyone takes it seriously. In court, it was determined that the method was archaic because radioactive implants rendered this treatment obsolete. No one said it didn't work; in fact, they said just the opposite. It works, but we don't need it since we have radioactive isotopes. Of course, those too became obsolete and replaced by ever more bizarre and maiming protocols, but the escharotics are underground; however, I predict that in times to come, they will be excavated and put back into use. In the meantime, I have made it easier for future generations of archaeologists by putting everything together in a book.

This, however, brings me to the plant project. The two main herbs in the escharotic preparations are bloodroot and goldenseal. Rod gave me several plants of each but my response to those who responded to the last email is that these plants are indigenous from the Carolinas on north into Canada from which they derive their botanical names: Sanguinaria canadensis and Hydrastis canadensis. I am very fond of both plants and both are endangered species. I have a lot of wonderful material on bloodroot on, some of it based on the work of the late Tis Mal Crow. My "affair" with Native American herbs is always deeply provocative and illuminating, not to mention touchingly spiritual. Bloodroot is special to twin spirited people and when a clinical trial was done with people with full blown AIDS, the viral loads dropped by 93-100% in three weeks. This was based on a very tiny study, you know the studies you use to get grants for bigger studies. Of course, there will be no grants unless there are patents to be gained. I pretty much dried up that water by publishing so many formulas that no one can corner the market any more. That is, however, a two-edged sword.

For the moment, I want to post what I often recommend to people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer. Read a few books that cover various options. There are literally hundreds of options besides the three oncologists discuss. They cannot explain the alternatives because they were trained in mainstream medicine. You have to talk about alternatives with people who specialize in alternatives. I might take the clamps off my sometimes caustic tongue and propose that adding vitamin D to a conventional protocol does not suddenly transform that protocol or the doctor who said to go ahead and do this into an "alternative" approach. At best, such suggestions constitute kindergarten level integrative medicine strategies, but, as I have told you before, I have ceased my attempts to be diplomatic and abandoned all efforts to be integrative. I think the present system is doomed to collapse and we will need viable alternatives when that happens.

That page has a mini list of books that constitute a crash course for the newly diagnosed as well as escape routes for those who feel that mainstream medicine is not working for them.

For those who want to plant endangered species herbs or other medicinal herbs, please prepare now:

I will talk to Rob soon and tell you how to order the plants.

Many blessings,


Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatment
Cancer Salves:
A Botanical Approach to Treatment

Ingrid Naiman

264 pages of two-color text plus 8 pages of full color pictures with instructions and formulae.


Kenny Ausubel has written a book that will stir your emotions between tears and rage!

Informative, thorough, thought-provoking, moving, and relevant!

461 pages, $

Also available as a DVD!  This film was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary film.  While it did not win, it achieved the highest recognition a film of its type has ever had. It did win the "Best Censored Stories" Award.

83 minutes, $

Hoxsey Therapy
When Natural Cures for Cancer Became Illegal

Harry Hoxsey

This book is a historical account of the battle between Natuopath Harry Hoxsey and both the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration.






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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2010

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