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Herbs For Cancer Prevention
by Melanie Nathan

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There are a variety of herbal programs that will assist the immune system and which are considered worthy in nutrition for cancer. However, the one particular formula that has stood the test of time is known to many as "essiac". This is a formula which many use in the hope that they are preventing cancer and more especially, the impediment of cancer cells from metastasizing.

In the early 1920's a young Canadian nurse by the name of Rene Caisse was given this herbal formula by a patient. The patient said she had cured herself of breast cancer by using this combination prepared by a medicine man from the Ojibwa tribe. Caisse used the same formula on patients who were terminally ill. She claimed many cures and a staggering success rate. She obtained permission from the Canadian government to use this to treat people who were hopeless cases. Many attempts were made to legalize Essiac as a "cure for cancer", including the submission of a bill to parliament, which was defeated by only a few votes. The affect was quite detrimental and Essiac was outlawed, to be used only as an underground remedy.

There have been a few books and many articles written on Essiac. There have also been claims of the right to the trademark. For this reason, other herbalists make this same formula under different names to avoid conflict.

The formula is quite simple and consists of four basic herbs: Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), the primary herb, Burdock (Arcticum lappa), Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus fulva), and Turkey Rhubarb Root (Rheum palmarum). Other herbs can be added such as Pau de Arco and Red Clover Blossom.

Sheep Sorrel is the most important herb in the formula. It is known to be effective in breaking down and reducing (in some cases eradicating) tumors. It contains large amounts of vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, K, P, and U. It has a high mineral content, including sodium, calcium, sulphur, iron, magnesium, chlorine, silicon, and trace amounts of copper, iodine, manganese and zinc. It also contains malic, oxalic, tannic, tartaric acids as well as a high amount of chlorophyll and carotenoids. Chlorophyll raises the amount of oxygen in the body. Some believe that cancer cannot live or thrive when oxygen levels are increased in the body. Caretenoids include beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the liver. This is a known antioxidant and is very high in oxalic acid which is a contributing factor to the anti-tumor and anti-cancer aspects of the herb. It has been said that this herb work, in formula, to stop cancer cells from metastasizing.

Burdock Root has been used for centuries for its amazing healing properties. It is an extremely powerful blood purifier. It is also rich in vitamins and has similar minerals to Sheep Sorrel. Burdock contains phosphorous, potassium, selenium. The principle ingredient in Burdock is a polysaccharide called inulin. Inulin strengthens vital organs. It is a powerful immune modulator that can enhance white blood cell activity.

Turkey Rhubarb Root is a strong liver cleanser, which has also been used for many centuries. This herb is extremely high in its vitamin and mineral content, including B-Complex, C, P, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iodine, copper, sulphur, zinc, silicon, magnesium, manganese. The acidic contents include gallic, malic, oxalic and tannic acids.

Slippery Elm Bark is well known for its highly nutritive qualities. It helps in revitalizing a debilitated system. It contains vitamins A, B-Complex, C, K, and P, and is high in minerals and gallic acids. It is a demulcent rich in mucilage and this quality reduces irritation and reduces sensitivity to acids.

There are many reports that "Essiac" has cured cancer. One can only take the word of those who have survived. The truth of the matter is that it is still difficult to tout any one formula as the absolute cure for this complicated disease. All cancers are different and all people are different. In addition, most people combine a variety of protocols.

If you are looking to cure cancer, you are well advised to embrace a fully holistic and nutritional program in addition to anything else you may choose to do. This Ojibwa formula may only be one part of this holistic and nutritional protocol. Many mainstream practitioners and scientists are now starting to realize the value of nutrition.

For those who are using this formula in the hope of preventing cancer, there are given no guarantees that this will work. However, it is something that I do every four months for two weeks to one month. In these cases the amount used should be half that of someone who has cancer, that is 4 oz per day. Also, one should take breaks between use. During such breaks, there are many other herbs one can use, such as Pau De Arco, Watercress, Red Clover. If you have arthritis, you should exercise caution in using Essiac due to high oxalic acid content. I also recommend a strong Immune system program for prevention, in between Essiac use, such as Blood Purifiers, (Red Clover, Echinacea, Burdock, Hyssop) Colon Liver cleansing (Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Gentian, Yellow Dock) and building formulas (Damiana, Ginsengs, Gotu-Kola, Ginkgo, Fo-Ti).

The key to good essiac is using fresh, quality, organic herbs. When purchasing the essiac teas, do not simply choose any brand off a store shelf. Be sure it contains organic, recently harvested quality herbs. You would be surprised at the awful quality being sold to unknowing consumers. (I recommend consulting an herbalist who knows how to determine quality.) Check that the useless twigs have been excluded. It is best to find the bulk herbs that have not been mass produced. Avoid capsulated essiac formulas as it should be only brewed as a tea, firstly for effectiveness and secondly to minimize the oxalic acid content. In our society we tend to want to do things the commercially viable and lazy way and this is not always correct.

For more information contact Herbal Magic at (800) 684-3722.

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