Originally published September 11 2007 at NewsTarget.com
by Leslee Dru Browning
(NewsTarget Citizen Journalism Report) You have just been diagnosed with cancer. Your oncologist is pushing you to begin chemotherapy immediately. You know that chemotherapy will make you sick, your hair fall out and leave you completely debilitated and dependent on someone to care for you. You will suffer severe side-effects that may leave your nervous system damaged, weaken your bones or damage your heart. You also realize that chances are your cancer will return after months of grueling treatments. You think maybe you would like to try alternative medicine but your oncologist is against it and you know of others who tried that route and died. What you may not know is this: Cancer can be healed naturally, and is done so every day, but it takes more than a multivitamin, a few supplements and a daily bowl of blueberries to accomplish complete healing.
As a herbalist who has spent many years helping cancer patients heal themselves I have come to the conclusion, like many herbalists before me, that cancer is a result of what I call ‘poor blood’ – by poor I mean the blood is not in optimal condition. Since the blood circulates through every organ in the body and through every cell, it only makes sense that toxins in the blood contaminate the entire body. Blood becomes less than optimal when it is not nourished properly. Without proper nourishment to the blood the body will not survive. It may survive for awhile, even years, but ultimately, the body will suffer from starvation to organs which ultimately causes illness with cancer often resulting as the eventual killer. Therefore, the fundamental goal in curing cancer is not only to restore the blood but to also treat the lymph glands, kidneys, liver, bowel, and bones by nourishment found in herbs. Herbs are effective in healing the body because they are modulators and understand the intricacy of the body’s innate healing capabilities. Their role is to enhance and direct the body’s various systems to function optimally thereby restoring health without doing harm.
Begin with an herbal blood/lymph tonic that includes herbs to build the blood, cleanse the blood, inhibit bacteria, and boost the white blood cells, the red blood cells, and the immune system. An example of a combination of herbs for a tonic that would fit the above criteria is: anise seed (anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial and appetite stimulant), astragalus (helps trigger immune cells), blue violet/sweet violets (has a good reputation for it’s anti-cancer properties through its blood purifying ability), burdock (has been shown to have anti-cancer properties; removes uric acid from body), chaparral (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor), fennel (excellent for digestion; supports spleen and gallbladder) dandelion root (a rich source of vitamins and minerals), licorice root (shows a broad range of anticancer activity in vitro; antibody production is enhanced; inhibits growth of several DNA and RNA viruses), oregon grape (stimulates white blood cells known as macrophages; excellent for the blood), red clover (clinical evidence has shown there is basis for its long-standing reputation as an anti-cancer herb though purifying the blood), yellow dock (excellent for purifying blood supplied to the glands; improves function of the intestines, kidneys, liver and lymph glands; eliminates pollutants including lead and arsenic).
The kidneys need to be supported because they are the organs that filter the blood. They are responsible for separating urea, mineral salts, toxins and other waste products from the blood to be discarded in the urine while it sends clean blood back into the body. They also conserve water, salts, and electrolytes. Prescription medicine is the biggest cause of kidney toxicity with heavy metals from pollution a close second. When the kidneys are weak due to congestion they are unable to completely filter waste products from the blood, which is why an herbal kidney formula needs to be incorporated in all cancer treatments. A good kidney formula might contain cilantro (removes heavy metals), cleavers (clears obstructions, reduces swelling, and is also excellent for the lymphatic system making it a wise choice for any kidney tonic when the body has cancer; it will keep the lymph clear), horsetail (clears uric acid), hydrangea root (reduces backache due to kidney pain and dissolves obstructions) gravel root (dissolves kidney stones), uva ursi (antibiotic properties), sandalwood (antiseptic), marshmallow root (high Vitamin A content; it is also good to clear mucus buildup in the kidneys and anywhere else in the body), sarsaparilla (blood purifier; kidney circulation), saw palmetto (urinary & prostate support).
The liver is part of the digestive system. It stores carbohydrates, fats, and proteins until it can break them down. The main purpose of the liver is to clean out fluids and to clear toxins from the blood. The liver is a highly vascular tissue so it is important that the body’s circulation is in good condition otherwise the liver may become congested. If the body is sick with cancer the liver needs help. It needs to be cleansed while at the same time built up. Some of the herbs you might choose for a liver tonic to both cleanse and heal the liver are: agrimony (not only helps the liver but also supports the intestines) barberry (aids in the secretion of bile and helps regulate digestive problems), bupleurum (liver specific but it also works for inflammation and pain), dandelion (helps bile duct inflammation and gives gastric balance while supporting the gall bladder and pancreas) horehound (for chronic liver illness), parsley (supports blood vessels and capillaries), pau d’ arco (clears out liver poisons and fungus), licorice (provides energy and works to heal hepatitis and liver lesions), milk thistle (liver diseases and gallbladder support), oregon grape (a hepatic which means it is specific for treating the liver while at the same time a powerful blood cleanser), wild yam (for bilious colic, indigestion and spasms).
Now we look to the colon. The purpose of the colon as an eliminative organ is to remove waste material by mass muscular contraction called peristalsis. In my experience I have found that nearly 75% of cancer patients have suffered from some form of chronic constipation during their lives. I consider constipation when the bowels do not move at least once a day. When the bowels do not move daily poisons can accumulate in the colon. Depending on where the poison accumulates in the colon will depend on where cancer develops for there is a point on the colon for every organ and system in the body. Any of these points, if clogged, toxic, or full of old fecal matter, will eventually bring illness to that part of the body the colon signifies. The bowel must be swept clean of all debris. Some people will need a gentle nudge while others require a greater nudge. Herbs that can be used in combination for healing the colon are: aloe vera (has anti-cancer properties; has a long reputation for bowel health; rich in over 200 nutrients), barberry (for bacteria, not only in the bowel, but anywhere in the body), black walnut hull (for parasites), cascara sagrada (anti-biotic effects on harmful bacteria in the colon; restores nerve tone to the colon; cleanses the intestines, builds the bowel, treats a sluggish gallbladder, kills intestinal parasites), cinnamon (kills parasite eggs), cramp bark (eases cramping), fenugreek seed (clears out hardened mucus), gentian (for digestive function including production of stomach acid to break down foods) marshmallow root (helps heal gastritis; is smooth moving; fibrous so it also sweeps and cleans), plantain (clears toxic waste from the body), red raspberry leaf (has anti-cancer properties including ellagic acid), rhubarb (anti-bacterial; eases stomach pain; mild laxative), and yucca (reduces toxins in the alimentary canal; aids digestion; relieves pain; reduces inflammation; breaks up mineral deposits).
Bones also need to be protected so that cancer does not invade to them. Calcium-rich herbs along with red blood cell building herbs will protect the bones as well as give a boost to bone marrow: codonopsis (it stimulates the growth of red blood cells, enhances T-Cell transformation; enhances the spleen and lung), gota kola (strengthens the connective tissue), ho-shou-wo (lumbago, weak bone, sinew and cartilage), horsetail (bones, skin and nails; high in silica), nettles (anemia; red blood cells), oatstraw (heart, nerves, nutritive; calcium; used for general debility), red clover (calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, iron, thiamine, and vitamin C), red raspberry (acts as a nutritive; rich in calcium), rose hips (source of vitamin K), suma (powerful immune stimulator).
It only takes 4 or 5 tonics to heal the blood, lymphatic system, urinary system, digestive system, circulatory system and skeletal system depending on the herbal combinations chosen. The reason is because most herbal combinations will include herbs that treat other organs and conditions as well. Horehound, licorice and blue violet along with marshmallow are excellent for the lungs. Licorice root also supports the adrenal glands. Many of the kidney herbs treat the prostrate. The lymphatic herbs will treat the breast. Herbs in the colon/bowel tonic will treat fungus and Candida. Plantain will eliminate poisons in the body and yucca can help with inflammation while black walnut kills parasites. Bupleurum will help with pain and inflammation.
Every cancer patient should be given one form or another of the above tonics made specifically to fit their special needs for their liver, kidneys, bowel, and bones, along with a blood tonic. The blood tonic should be chosen and made specifically for the type of cancer the client has; just as each person is unique, cancer’s are different as well. I believe all herbal tonics should be in liquid form. Liquid is easy on the digestive organs and it goes straight to the problem. The results are faster and the patient is not overwhelmed with having to swallow 40 or more supplements a day. It is advantageous when the patient is under a great deal of fatigue. Concentrate herbal tonics along with diet changes, essential fatty acids, probiotics, alpha-lipoic-acid for brain protection and at least 9 hour of sleep a night will put you on your way to healing your cancer and restoring your health.
Locate a local herbalist who can prepare concentrated herbal liquid tonics, or teas, for you that are tailored to your special needs.
About the author
Leslee Dru Browning is a 6th generation Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist from the ancestral line of Patty Bartlett Sessions; Pioneer Mid-Wife & Herbalist. Leslee practiced Medical Herbalism and Nutritional Healing for over 25 years and specialized in Cancer Wellness along with Chronic Illness. She now devotes her career to teaching people, through her writing, about Natural Healing from An Herbal Perspective.