The Truth Behind These Natural Cancer “Cures”

Cancer treatment presents numerous challenges, with patients often grappling with the physical and emotional toll of therapies like chemotherapy and radiation. These conventional treatments can cause… Alexander Gabriel - September 23, 2023

Cancer treatment presents numerous challenges, with patients often grappling with the physical and emotional toll of therapies like chemotherapy and radiation. These conventional treatments can cause debilitating side effects, leading many individuals to seek alternative medicine approaches in search of relief. Alternative cancer cures, however, frequently prove to be dangerous and unproven. Desperation and fear can drive people to explore untested remedies, such as herbal supplements, unregulated diets, or unverified therapies, in the hope of finding a miraculous cure. This quest for alternative solutions is not without risks, as it can delay or replace evidence-based treatments, worsening the prognosis and jeopardizing patients’ lives. It is crucial for individuals facing cancer to consult with qualified medical professionals and rely on scientifically proven treatments to maximize their chances of recovery and minimize potential harm.

Appalachian Valley Natural Products

Apricot Kernel Extract

Some people claim that apricot kernels contain a chemical called amygdalin, also marketed as “Laetrile,” which they believe can cure cancer. However, decades of research, dating back to the 1950s, have found no evidence supporting the effectiveness of Laetrile in treating cancer in animals or humans. Proponents argue that Laetrile, often called vitamin B17, can correct a supposed vitamin deficiency causing cancer, but it is neither a vitamin nor essential for good health. Additionally, the claim that Laetrile releases cyanide in the body, selectively killing cancer cells while sparing normal ones, is unfounded. In reality, Laetrile can lead to cyanide poisoning and even death, making it not only ineffective but also potentially dangerous as a cancer treatment. This danger has led to the prohibition of raw apricot kernel sales in Australia and New Zealand since December 2015.


Baking Soda Therapy

The pH scale measures acidity, ranging from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Baking soda has a pH of 9.5, while the human body maintains a slightly alkaline pH around 7.4. Research has shown that treatment-resistant tumors have elevated acidity levels, typically between 6.5 and 6.9. This heightened acidity results from glucose metabolism in oxygen-deprived cancer cells deep within certain tumors, promoting an acidic environment that facilitates cancer cell growth and spread.


Essiac Tea

Essiac, a herbal remedy from Canada, consists of roots, bark, and leaves boiled to create a drinkable liquid. It contains four ingredients: burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm, and Indian Rhubarb root. A modified version called Flor Essence includes watercress, blessed thistle, red clover, and kelp. This remedy was developed by Canadian nurse Rene Caisse, who named it after herself, spelling her surname backward. Today, a commercial company owns Essiac, and it’s a registered trademark held exclusively by Essiac Canada International, preserving Caisse’s original herbal formula. Despite websites promoting Essiac as a miracle cure for cancer, there is no scientific evidence supporting its efficacy. Claims of cancers disappearing after Essiac use often lack critical details about diagnosis and concurrent conventional cancer treatments.

Pure Life Enema

Coffee Enemas

Coffee enemas are sometimes advocated as alternative treatments for liver issues, colon cancer, or detoxification, but there’s no scientific basis for using them to “detox” the body. Medical research has firmly established that coffee enemas have no therapeutic effect on cancer. Max Gerson, a physician from the early 1900s, believed in their potential to flush toxins from the body, coining the practice as part of the Gerson Therapy regimen. Nevertheless, reviews by the National Cancer Institute in 1947 and 1959 found no evidence of benefits, and the therapy can be dangerous, offering false hope and potentially diverting individuals from effective medical treatments.


Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet suggests that certain foods can change body pH levels, potentially improving health, aiding weight loss, or preventing cancer. However, it’s important to note that the foods you eat cannot alter your blood pH. Blood pH is tightly regulated, and dietary changes may only affect saliva or urine pH, not blood pH. Some studies suggest that acidic environments promote cancer cell growth, leading to the belief that an alkaline diet could raise body pH and prevent or cure cancer. These studies, though, only involve cancer cells in a lab setting and don’t reflect how tumors behave in the human body. In summary, your diet cannot change your blood pH.


Mistletoe Extract

Mistletoe extract, a semi-parasitic plant, has found extensive use in supporting cancer therapy and enhancing quality of life. However, its application lacks robust clinical trials and data to substantiate its efficacy. Mistletoe extract contains active ingredients that, in preclinical studies, have demonstrated the potential to induce tumor cell death and bolster the immune response. Although it has been employed in Europe for decades as a complementary cancer treatment, either alone or alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it has not undergone evaluation in clinical trials. It’s important to note that Mistletoe extract is not FDA-approved for cancer treatment in the U.S., but it is included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia and offered in integrative care clinics.

Tampa Bay Times

Shark Cartilage Supplements

Shark cartilage serves as a dietary supplement often employed as an alternative cancer therapy, although it lacks scientific evidence to substantiate its claims of curing or controlling cancer. While a lab study reported that a liquid form of shark cartilage halted the growth of certain cancer cells, there is no corresponding evidence suggesting its efficacy in joint repair or growth. Additionally, shark cartilage is sometimes utilized for conditions like psoriasis and osteoarthritis, but such uses lack scientific validation. Notably, individuals with high calcium levels or autoimmune conditions should avoid shark cartilage, as it may stimulate the immune system, potentially exacerbating symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

Verywell Health

Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy

Hydrogen peroxide, a versatile chemical used for various purposes, including teeth whitening and wound cleaning, has been suggested as a potential cancer treatment based on the theory that low oxygen levels can cause cancer. Advocates claim that hydrogen peroxide, an oxygenating compound, can flood cancer cells with oxygen, potentially killing them. This approach, known as bio-oxidative therapy, has roots in Otto Heinrich Warburg’s 1931 discovery of the Warburg effect, where cancer cells rely on glycolysis for energy even when oxygen is present. Some propose drinking or injecting a 35 percent concentration hydrogen peroxide solution as a cancer cure.


Black Salve

Websites selling salves or creams, often referred to as “black salve,” claim to cure cancer, boils, moles, and skin tags, but these claims are false. Such products containing corrosive ingredients, including black salve, are dangerous and lack approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating any skin condition, especially not skin cancer. Specifically, the FDA warns against using salves listing potentially harmful ingredients like sanguinarine, Sanguinaria canadensis, or bloodroot, either alone or in combination with zinc chloride. While not all salves pose risks, those with these ingredients can cause severe skin damage, permanent disfigurement, tissue necrosis, and the potential for infection. Additionally, using salve products like black salve for serious conditions like skin cancer can lead to delayed diagnosis and cancer progression.


Aloe Vera

Aloe, a plant-based therapy often used to address skin-related side effects caused by cancer and its treatments, lacks sufficient reliable evidence to confirm its effectiveness. Scientific research has not established aloe’s efficacy in treating cancer, and its use as a cancer treatment can lead to severe side effects. Aloe vera is primarily employed for minor skin issues and burns, with some cancer patients using it during radiotherapy to alleviate and heal radiation-induced burns. However, a 2017 review study on complementary therapies, focusing on breast cancer patients, found that while aloe vera had a limited potential to alleviate radiotherapy-induced burns, it was not recommended as a treatment based on the available evidence.

Health Grades

Foot Detox Baths

Many people believe that foot baths can detoxify the body and contribute to cancer treatment. According to this belief, charged atoms in the foot bath attract and neutralize negative toxins within the body, essentially acting as a magnet to draw impurities out through the feet. The claimed benefits encompass increased energy, enhanced mental clarity, a strengthened immune system, improved sleep, and reduced aches and pains. However, it’s important to emphasize that, from a scientific perspective, there is no literature supporting these claims.


Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver, a liquid suspension of silver particles, is believed by some to possess cancer-treating properties. It is suggested that colloidal silver can induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells and eliminate pancreatic cancer cells, potentially overcoming drug resistance. Nevertheless, the use of colloidal silver supplements may result in severe side effects, including the development of permanent bluish skin color and organ damage. However, it’s crucial to underscore that while colloidal silver has demonstrated some effects on cancer cells in laboratory settings, these findings are far from conclusive evidence of its effectiveness in humans. The complex nature of cancer and the rigorous standards required for establishing treatment efficacy call for comprehensive clinical trials, which colloidal silver lacks.



Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), an herbaceous plant native to eastern North America, boasts a history of traditional medicinal use among Native Americans, as well as contemporary applications in both human and veterinary medicine, particularly through the use of “black salve.” The plant’s therapeutic properties are attributed to various alkaloids present in its rhizome, with a focus on the well-studied sanguinarine and chelerythrine, primarily for their anticancer potential. In the mid-1800s, studies explored the efficacy of bloodroot-containing salves for cancer treatment, including breast cancer with node metastases, with reported outcomes varying. While some reported limited anticancer activity, a larger study suggested a lower recurrence rate compared to surgery, although concerns about the accuracy of these findings were raised by independent observers.


High Dose Vitamin C

Recent studies suggest potential for high-dose vitamin C as a cancer treatment, but the evidence remains inconclusive. One study in mice with blood cancer found that high-dose vitamin C injections slowed disease progression, but translating this to humans is complex due to species differences. Another study focused on high-dose vitamin C safety in people with non-small cell lung cancer or glioblastoma, not its efficacy. Although this work indicated safe administration, the small sample size limits generalization. Neither study considered long-term effects or improved cancer survival. Some studies hinted at vitamin C alleviating treatment side effects, but others were halted due to severe vitamin C-related issues. Concerns also arose about vitamin C potentially interfering with anti-cancer drugs. In summary, research provides a complex and inconclusive picture, making vitamin C injections an unlikely cancer treatment due to a lack of concrete evidence and potential harm.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Coral Calcium Supplements

Coral calcium supplements have been explored for their potential use in cancer treatment. Some proponents suggest that these supplements, derived from fossilized coral reefs, may possess anti-cancer properties due to their high calcium content and the trace minerals they contain. The theory is that by alkalizing the body’s pH through coral calcium intake, the environment becomes less favorable for cancer cell growth. However, it’s important to note that scientific evidence supporting coral calcium as a cancer treatment is lacking, and no clinical trials have demonstrated its efficacy in cancer management. While calcium is an essential nutrient, its role in cancer treatment is not well-established, and reliance on coral calcium as a primary or sole cancer therapy is not recommended.

Medical News Today

Burdock Root

For centuries, people have utilized burdock root both as a food and medicinal remedy, employing it as a diuretic to facilitate digestion. Derived from the burdock plant (arctium lappa), which belongs to the daisy and sunflower family, this versatile root originates from North Asia and Europe but is cultivated in various regions, including North America. While scientific research remains limited, burdock root boasts a spectrum of nutrients, including antioxidants and inulin, acknowledged for their potential benefits in addressing conditions such as skin disorders, inflammation, and digestive issues. Furthermore, the flavonoids and polyphenols present in burdock root hold promise in potentially slowing tumor development and alleviating pain in certain cancers, like breast tumors. Notably, a 2011 laboratory study revealed that burdock root’s free radicals exhibited the ability to impede the spread of specific cancers.

Castro Marina

The Budwig Diet

The Budwig Diet, developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig, is a dietary regimen proposed for cancer treatment. This protocol emphasizes the consumption of a mixture consisting of cottage cheese or quark and flaxseed oil, believed to enhance cellular oxygenation and improve health. Advocates contend that this diet can help combat cancer by normalizing cell function and promoting healing. However, it’s crucial to highlight that scientific evidence supporting the Budwig Diet as a standalone cancer treatment remains limited and inconclusive. Cancer management typically involves a multifaceted approach, and while diet plays a role in health, it should not replace established and evidence-based cancer treatments. Patients considering dietary changes should consult with healthcare professionals to ensure a comprehensive and well-informed approach to their cancer care.


Cannabis Without Medical Supervision

The unregulated use of cannabis for cancer treatment, without medical supervision, is a topic of growing interest and concern. Many individuals have turned to cannabis, particularly its compounds like THC and CBD, in hopes of alleviating cancer-related symptoms such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, as well as potential tumor-suppressing effects. However, it’s important to note that the use of cannabis in cancer treatment without proper medical guidance can pose risks and uncertainties. The efficacy and safety of cannabis for cancer management remain a subject of ongoing research, and its use can result in various side effects and interactions with other medications. Moreover, variations in cannabis products and dosages can further complicate its unmonitored usage.


Psychic Healing

Psychic treatment for cancer, often associated with alternative or complementary medicine, involves various practices like energy healing, visualization, and mental exercises aimed at promoting emotional well-being and aiding the body’s natural healing processes. Proponents believe that harnessing the power of the mind and the alignment of energy can positively influence a patient’s health and potentially assist in cancer treatment. However, it is vital to emphasize that psychic treatments should not be considered a substitute for evidence-based cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. While emotional and psychological support can play a valuable role in a patient’s journey, scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of psychic treatments as standalone cancer therapies is limited.


Crystals and Gemstones

Using crystals as a cancer treatment is a practice rooted in alternative and holistic medicine. Advocates of crystal therapy believe that specific crystals, when placed on or near the body, can harness healing energies and potentially aid in cancer treatment. There is no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of crystals as a cancer therapy. While some individuals find comfort in crystal therapy as a complementary practice during cancer treatment, the use of crystals should be approached with caution and in conjunction with evidence-based cancer treatments recommended by medical professionals.

Columbus Regional Health

Oxygen Therapy

Research on hyperbaric oxygen’s potential as a cancer treatment has yielded mixed and inconclusive results. In 2015, a study in Boston garnered attention for suggesting that oxygen enrichment of tumors could enhance the effectiveness of certain therapies. However, the American Cancer Society countered this claim, stating that available scientific evidence did not support the use of oxygen-releasing chemicals for cancer treatment. A 2012 Norwegian review found that hyperbaric oxygen slowed the growth of some cancers but not others, urging further research without excluding hyperbaric oxygen as a potential cancer treatment or adjuvant for specific cancer types. Clinical trials continue to explore oxygen therapy’s role in treating cancer and alleviating side effects of cancer surgery and other treatments. Nevertheless, as of now, scientific evidence does not support the use of elevated oxygen concentrations as a proven method to combat the disease, emphasizing the need for continued research in this area.

Nutrition Facts

Turmeric and Curcumin

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has shown promise in various studies, particularly in laboratory settings, for its potential to combat cancer cells, including lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancers, as well as its possible synergy with chemotherapy. Some human studies have indicated that curcumin may slow the progression of colorectal cancer and reduce cancer risk in high-risk individuals. However, it’s important to note that most of the evidence comes from animal and laboratory studies, making it unclear how these findings directly apply to cancer patients or those seeking cancer prevention. Further research is needed to fully understand curcumin’s role in cancer treatment and prevention.


Green Tea and Green Tea Extracts

The predominant polyphenols in green tea, including EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC, as well as the theaflavins and thearubigins in black teas, exhibit antioxidant activity. Notably, EGCG and ECG demonstrate substantial free radical scavenging capabilities, potentially shielding cells from DNA damage induced by reactive oxygen species. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that tea polyphenols can inhibit tumor cell proliferation and promote apoptosis. Additionally, these catechins have displayed the ability to restrain angiogenesis and tumor cell invasiveness. Tea polyphenols may also offer protection against UVB radiation damage and modulate immune system function. Furthermore, green teas activate detoxification enzymes like glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase, which could contribute to tumor prevention. Although tea’s potential benefits are often linked to its strong antioxidant properties, the precise mechanism by which tea may prevent cancer remains to be fully established.

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