3 Alternative Cancer Therapies - Mistletoe, Ozone & Essiac
MISTLETOE (Viscum album) ~ Anthroposophical medicine is a complex system - an art and a science of healing that includes the integration of the spiritual and the physical. It was founded by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century.
An anthroposophical physician diagnoses the patient with the awareness that what is accessible by the five senses is limited and does not fully describe the depths of the causes or nature of the disease, as this must also include the spirit and psyche of the patient.
A physical sign of disease is seen to be a manifestation of the disconnection between the body and the soul - a physical process or blockage, overcoming the domain in which the soul should be ruling. Thus anthroposophical cancer treatment requires treatment of the body and the soul to truly heal the multiple, destructive effects of cancer. Alongside the plant remedies are other therapies such as art, music and movement.
In anthroposophical cancer treatment the use of the mistletoe plant (Viscum album) is central. This is an ancient healing plant and attracted the attention of Rudolf Steiner because of it’s unique life-cycle. It grows in a manner that is totally opposite to the natural rhythms in nature and is very independent. It lives in nature in a way that reflects cancer in human beings. It has no roots and grows on a host (several tree species, including oak, pine, fir, elm and apple) and as such is considered semi-parasitic. It does not grow in an upright manner but winds itself around its host. It has a particularly slow growth cycle, producing only one pair of leaves per year. It flowers in February and begins to form berries in late summer which ripen in winter. It comes to full development in three years and three months.
The mistletoe extracts contain both the summer and winter juices and are combined, when the summer plant is at its height of vegetative growth and the winter plant has completed its life rhythm. These two extracts contain different distributions of viscotoxins. These types of healing properties cannot be found in any other plant.
The plant gives us immune activating properties which target the cancer cells (and some research points to therapeutic properties for HIV patients as well). Research shows that with subcutaneous injection of mistletoe, there is an increase of migration of white blood cells that targets the area of the tumor within four to six hours.
There are few serious side effects. Local inflammation due to the immune response is expected and is considered a positive sign. The treatments and maintenance programs are often long term. It is widely used throughout Europe and largely ignored in North America. Extensive research has been ongoing in Europe for decades and recently some has been undertaken in the United States.
ESSIAC ~ Essiac is a registered trade name for a herbal decoction originally developed by the Canadian native Indians (Ojibwa) - a formula of four herbs: burdock root, sheep sorrel leaves, slippery elm bark and Indian (or Turkish) rhubarb root.
The formula was passed on to Rene Caisse, a nurse in Northern Ontario. She first used the formula with success on her elderly mother and ant who had metastatic cancers. She then helped many others overcome cancer which resulted in the usual harassment, legal battles and judgements. She later practiced in New York with the help of a retired MD.
After Rene Caisse’s passing, in 1978, the formula’s ownership was unpleasantly, vigorously and endlessly disputed and then altered with herbal additions (by some fine companies that should have known better). For some cancers these additions are probably beneficial, while for others, such as for certain breast cancers, the “improved” formulas can be counter-productive as the additions are sometimes with pro-estrogenic herbs - so stick with the original formula!
The main thrust of the herbs’ benefits are detoxification and reduction of the size of tumor(s). As cancer cells are decreased in number and the chosen therapies progress, detoxifying the body becomes ever more important, making this an elegant combination of herbs. The ratios are important as well: 3 1/4 cup of burdock root (cut); 1/2 lb of sheep sorrel herb (powdered); 1/8 lb of slippery elm bark (powdered); 1/2 ounce of Turkish rhubarb root (powdered). The herbs have to be heat, reheated and cooled in a very particular manner - which is a bit laborious to make. There is now an extract without preservatives by the same original company that is available at better health stores and where claims are not allowed to be made. Buy the extract!
OZONE THERAPY ~ Ozone is an activated, unstable, trivalent (three atoms) form of oxygen. Oxygen is O2; ozone is O3.
Over a period of 10 to 20 minutes, ozone breaks down into two atoms of regular oxygen by giving up one atom of singlet oxygen (O). This singlet oxygen is a powerful oxidizing agent. When ozone enters the bloodstream and separates into O2 and O, the healthy cells, armed with antioxidants, absorb the O2 and repel the O which becomes part of further reactions, which zero in on diseased cells. In one shot, ozone boosts healthy cells and destroys malfunctioning ones.
The red blood cells transport oxygen to every cell of the body. Oxygen destroys fungi, yeasts, viruses, bacteria, parasites and all other harmful microbials that it comes into contact with. As such, oxygen functions as a major detoxifying element in the body, ridding the body of the toxic by-products of metabolism and destroying undesirable micro-organisms through oxidation. Ozone therapy is often included in alternative cancer therapy regimines.
Infected cells have lower levels of enzyme activity, thrive on an oxygen-less environment and are less stable. The hydroperoxides, formed by the single O molecule as it attaches to H2O, readily reacts with the unstable cell membrane lipids and influences its metabolism.
Oxygen is nature’s most important nutrient and an element that has been taken. One thing that research chemists, some medical doctors, most naturopaths and nutritionists agree upon is that oxygen plays the most important role in sustaining health. It is a simple truth that is often overlooked or forgotten - when oxygen levels in the blood drop, illness rises. And, conversely, if you can raise the oxygen content of the blood, a person feels better and healing can take place. Just because the air we breathe contains oxygen, does not mean that we can carry that most important ingredient for life to our cells. In fact, our bodies do not get enough oxygen from the air we breathe and oxygen restriction is a real concern in our polluted, stress-ridden world today.
In Germany, where ozone therapy has been used for over a hundred years, a study involving 1,044 ozone therapists and 3,84,775 patients, noted side-effects were at .000005 per application - much of which was caused by error in operation. Disagreement, accusations and counter-accusations abound, however, as a tactic more often than not, to dampen the use of this therapy. Where you stand in the matter perhaps depends on your stand on alternatives, how much you know on the subject and where in the world you live.
The following are a few quotes from ozone-positive sources:
“Oxygen and cancer research indicates that hydrogen peroxide stimulates natural killer cells, which attack cancer cells throughout the body.”
from: Oxygen Intermediates are Required for Interferon Activation of NK Cells. Journal of Interferon Research
“Cancer cells meet their energy needs by fermentation, not oxidation. Thus, they are dependent upon glucose and a high oxygen environment is toxic to them.” from: The Prime Cause of Cancer. Otto Warburg
“Macrophages and other immune cells generate hydrogen peroxide to help kill bacteria, parasites, viruses and other pathogens. Research indicates hydrogen peroxide helps enzymes remove toxins and can directly destroy invading microbes. The hydrogen peroxide produced by these immune cells has also been shown to have anti-tumor properties. In the lungs, for example, the macrophages’ cell-killing ability is largely dependent on hydrogen peroxide.” from: Anti-tumor Effect by Leukocyte-derived Active Oxygens. Japanese Journal of Respiratory Diseases
by Merrie Bakker BA MArch, http://www.pacificholistic.com