Saturday, August 8, 2009

Unusual Sources of Potential Cancer Cures


1. Goji Berries: Goji berries, or wolfberries, are grown in China, Mongolia and Tibet. Popular both in dried berry and juice form, the berries are incredibly rich in iron, antioxidants and vitamin C. Several lab studies have suggested that goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, and one study on humans, published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology, found that 79 cancer patients responded better to treatment when goji extract was added to their therapies.

2. Essiac: Essiac is an herbal remedy made of Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Inner Bark, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb Root. The herbs are said to help cleanse the blood and remove toxins, which helps with cell repair and effective assimilation and elimination. Cancer patients have been using the herbal remedy for decades, and a study funded by the makers of Essiac found that it could kill cancer cells in the lab.

3. Mistletoe Extract: Chemicals in mistletoe may slow or stop the growth of cancer, according to doctor Brent Bauer, Mayo Clinic's director of Complementary and Intergrative Medicine. The extract has been found to prolong survival in people with breast, rectum, colon, throat, lung and stomach cancers.

For instance, one study published in the May 2001 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that participants with breast cancer who were given the extract had a mean survival time of 4.79 years, compared to only 2.41 years for those given a placebo.

4. Raspberries: Raspberries contain ellagic acid, a powerful plant antioxidant. Ellagic acid stimulates activities of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, according to research by Gary Stoner, PhD, director of the cancer chemoprevention and etiology lab at Ohio State University.

The compound also prevents cancer-causing substances from binding to DNA, reduces cancer in cultured human cells that have been exposed to carcinogens, and promotes apoptosis, or cell death, of cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

5. Deep-Water Sponges: Sponges that live in the deep oceans surrounding the Bahamas contain a compound called discodermolide, which is being tested as a potential cancer treatment.

6. Chili Peppers: The active ingredient in chili peppers, capsaicin, (and also what makes them so hot), may one day be used in pill form to keep cancer at bay. The compound caused almost 80 percent of prostate cancer cells to die in mice, and prostate tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of those in untreated mice, according to a study in Cancer Research.

7. Blue Scorpion Venom: Diluted venom from blue scorpions, which are only found in Cuba, has been used to fight cancer for more than 10 years. Though still in the research phase, many patients report that tumors have disappeared upon taking the "medication," which is registered under the name Escoazul at the Cuban Office of Industrial Property.

8. Venus Fly Trap Plant: Carnivora, an extract of the Venus Fly Trap plant, reportedly helps reduce tumor growth when taken orally, and helps heal skin cancers when applied externally. The active component of carnivora is plumbagin, which appears to have powerful immune-stimulating properties. Thousands of cancer patients have been treated with carnivora since the 1980s, including former President Reagan.

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