Soap you can eat AND use to fight cancer?
September 4th, 2016 by Holly Cornish
To survive in the wild, plants and animals have evolved a wide variety of brilliant defense mechanisms. Some use methods you can see, such as a hedgehog’s spikes or a toad’s ability to camouflage itself among the leaves.
Others develop interior methods of defense …
For example, before monarch caterpillars become butterflies, they eat milkweed and internalize the plant toxins, making them poisonous to predator birds.
Or there’s notorious poison ivy and poison oak, which secrete urushiol, the toxic oil that causes the awful, itchy rash associated with these plants.
What’s interesting about chemical defense mechanisms is they affect some species but not others. For example, birds have no problem with urushiol, and in fact enjoy eating the berries off the same plants we wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
That’s the case with one particular chemical, which certain plants and marine organisms use to defend themselves, but we humans can use to destroy cancer cells and reduce tumors…
Keep reading to discover what it is, and how you can benefit from it…
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These anti-cancer, chemical defense mechanisms are called saponins, and they’re showing tremendous promise as a chemopreventive agent i.e. a substance that prevents cancer.
Although they’re not toxic to humans, saponins are classified as a toxin. They’re found in abundance in a variety of plants and some marine organisms.
Saponins are often described as “soap-like” because they foam up when shaken in water. The name actually comes from the soapwort plant (Saponaria), from the Latin “sapo” meaning “soap,” because the roots of the plant were historically used as soap.1
In modern times, researchers are finding promise in isolating saponins from their sources and using them to combat various types of cancer.
Saponins can fight brain cancer
In 2013 researchers extracted and isolated more than 129 saponins—76 of which were new compounds—from several species of starfish, sea cucumber and medicinal plants.
They found many of these saponins were especially toxic to glioblastoma cells, the most aggressive and frequent form of brain tumors in adults.
In vitro, the saponins disrupted glioblastoma cells from multiple angles, including interfering with the cell cycle progression, inducing apoptosis, and blocking the signaling pathways.2 The most amazing part was that the saponins were cytotoxic to cancer cells, but did not disrupt or harm healthy cells nearby.
Researchers are looking into using saponins for more effective brain tumor drugs — but you can use their cancer-fighting power for yourself, right now …
Wild yams fight cancer
When I think of medicinal foods, I don’t usually think of yams first. But that’s about to change.
There have been more than a few studies on the saponins in wild yams (Dioscorea genus) and their anti-cancer effects.
A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that an extract of wild yam stopped the proliferation of human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells by increasing the activity of the progesterone receptor and pS2 genes at the mRNA level.3
mRNA are molecules that convey genetic information from DNA to the ribosome, which affects gene expression.
In a 2008 study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, researchers discovered that saponins in wild yams, specifically one called diosgenin, could destroy cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, disrupting cell signaling and stopping their growth.4
In addition to their anticancer properties, a study published in the journal Food Chemistry showed that wild yam saponins act as antioxidants, scavenging free radicals and helping to prevent the onset of a variety of illnesses associated with inflammation, including cancer.5
It looks like it might be a good idea to have yams more often than just Thanksgiving, a least if they’re wild yams.
But if you’re not a yam fan …
Other sources of saponins
Saponins are also found in a variety of beans and legumes including
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Kidney beans
- Green peas
Adding beans to soups and stews is a great way to incorporate them into your diet.
To reduce digestive discomfort, try using dried beans instead of canned, and stir a half teaspoon of baking soda into the soaking water. Soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse several times. Cook them in fresh water.
You can also make a garlicky hummus from chickpeas and eat it with raw veggies for a healthy snack.
Foods in the Allium species of plants are another rich source of steroid saponins.6 These familiar vegetables include
So don’t be afraid to add onions and garlic to as many dishes as possible. They not only add great flavor, but provide cancer-fighting saponins.
Surprisingly, soy is one of the best sources of saponins. However, non-fermented soy is problematic in many ways … not to mention soy is also one of the most genetically modified foods on the planet. So if you choose to eat it, be sure to buy organic and fermented.
Organic miso is one of the best options. Miso is a fermented soybean paste with a salty flavor, most often used to make miso soup.
Because it’s fermented it’s also a probiotic, meaning it helps boost the good bacteria in your gut, which in turn can help prevent colon cancer (see Issue #539 for more information about how your gut bacteria prevent cancer).
Plus, miso consumption has also been linked to a reduced risk of developing breast cancer.7
It’s also been shown to act as an excellent antioxidant, scavenging free radicals and reducing inflammation,8 meaning it’s beneficial in avoiding a whole host of diseases besides cancer.
You can find miso paste in the refrigerator section of the natural foods department at most grocery stores. Look for unpasteurized miso to make sure it contains live probiotic cultures.
Saponins may be toxic to predators in the wild, but they can be one of the best weapons in our arsenal in preventing cancer.
On the other hand, mistletoe is an anti-cancer plant you’re more like to encounter than yams if you make a visit to some of the best alternative cancer treatment clinics in the world. If you’re not familiar with this proven cancer remedy, scroll down and read the article below. . .
When It Comes to Fighting Cancer,
This Parasite is on Your Side
Parasites are plants and animals that grow on other plants and animals – often killing their hosts. But there’s one parasite that can be a lifesaver for people with cancer, although it’s often deadly to trees.
But you probably know it best as a Christmas decoration.
Now, I know what most people think of when they hear the word mistletoe – when you stand under it, you’re supposed to kiss your sweetheart.
However, cancer researchers around the world are once again playing catch-up with a conclusion that many alternative health practitioners reached decades ago – mistletoe can be remarkably effective against cancer tumors. In fact, it’s one of the most widely used cancer treatments in Germany, and there’s no doubt about its effectiveness.
Full story just below. . .
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Mistletoe can’t survive by itself. It’s a vine that crawls up trees and gets its nutrition from its host. Different types of mistletoe grow on different species of trees.
Conquering colon cancer
Investigations of mistletoe’s anti-cancer powers performed at the University of Adelaide in Australia show that the natural compounds in mistletoe can quell colon cancer — the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
The Australian team tested extracts from three different kinds of mistletoe to see how they affected colon cancer cells and how their effects compared to chemotherapy. At the same time, the researchers analyzed the effects of these extracts on healthy intestinal cells.1
Not only were the mistletoe compounds deadly for colon cancer cells – even more effective than chemotherapy agents in some cases – but they were also milder in their impact on non-cancerous colon cells compared to chemotherapy.
Particularly effective, the study showed, was mistletoe that grows on ash trees, a type known scientifically as Viscum fraxini. It was the most potent in killing cancer cells.
“This is an important result because we know that chemotherapy is effective at killing healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This can result in severe side effects for the patient, such as oral mucositis (ulcers in the mouth) and hair loss,” says researcher Zahra Lotfollahi.
The lack of side effects caused by the most potent mistletoe extract adds to its allure as an anti-cancer treatment.
“Of the three extracts tested, and compared with chemotherapy, fraxini was the only one that showed a reduced impact on healthy intestinal cells. This might mean that fraxini is a potential candidate for increased toxicity against cancer, while also reducing potential side effects.”
The research at the University of Adelaide is part of an effort to persuade Australian authorities to allow the use of mistletoe as a therapeutic agent against cancer. While mistletoe extract is already permitted in Europe, many countries, including the U.S. and Australia, do not recognize its value.
Not allowing mistletoe to be used against cancer in the US is one of those regulatory decisions that leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment. As Andrew Scholberg points out in our special report German Cancer Breakthrough, mistletoe was already being promoted as a breakthrough against cancer nearly a hundred years ago by Rudolph Steiner.
Mr. Steiner is known as the founder of anthroposophical medicine, a practice that focuses on a healthy balancing of the mind, body and spirit.2 His advocacy of mistletoe, now supported by a wide variety of research, is the reason that European nations generally accept mistletoe extracts as a key component of cancer treatment.
Boost your immunity
Researchers have shown that mistletoe extracts can boost the immune system and expand its ability to attack tumors.
In analyzing the natural compounds in different varieties of mistletoe, scientists at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, who have reviewed mistletoe’s effects on breast cancer, point out that the collection of chemicals in these plants is dauntingly large. The chemical makeup of any individual extract depends on how the extract is prepared, what time of year the plants are harvested, how old the plant was, where it was located and the type of tree the parasitic vine was growing on.3
But the consensus is that certain lectins in mistletoe are chiefly responsible for its benefits. Lectins are proteins in plants that bind to sugars and cellular membranes. The sticky aspect of lectins accounts for their power to influence the behavior of cells in the body.
A study at the University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland, shows that lectins in mistletoe can boost the production of cytokines – substances able to accelerate immune cell activity – and increase the anti-cancer activities of the immune system’s natural killer cells.4
In German Cancer Breakthrough, Andrew Scholberg notes that German cancer doctors frequently combine mistletoe therapy with other anti-cancer measures. For instance, Dr. Thomas Rau of the Paracelsus Klinik in Switzerland says that when he treats breast cancer he injects mistletoe extract near the tumor along with homeopathic chemotherapy, lactic acid and ozone.
According to Dr. Rau, “This treatment is probably one of the most specific and also most locally effective. For example, breast cancer tissue really ‘melts’ away.”
Gives cancer patients more energy
Another interesting aspect of using mistletoe is the fact that it significantly increases the energy levels of people with cancer. As scientists in Sweden point out, cancer-related fatigue is a “major and very common disabling condition in cancer patients. Treatment options do exist but have limited therapeutic effects.”
Mistletoe works great at reducing this debilitating tiredness. When the Swedish researchers looked at a 36-year-old woman who had been plagued by recurring breast cancer tumors for about ten years, they found that her extreme fatigue could be relieved with mistletoe extracts.5
A versatile plant with many talents
Since mistletoe comes in so many varieties and grows all over the world, it has traditionally been used to treat a large number of maladies. In Europe in the 1700s, the mistletoe variety that grows on oak trees was used to deal with epilepsy and kidney disease.
Another mistletoe species, when added to wine, was used to treat leprosy. Argentinian mistletoe has been used for hypertension. In India, a type of mistletoe tea was used to fight diabetes.6
When, in the 1920s, Rudolf Steiner originally introduced the idea of using mistletoe for cancer, he was using his own intuition and the homeopathic concept that “like can treat like.” Homeopathic treatments are based on the idea that if a normal dose of a substance causes a health problem, a tiny amount of that substance can actually function as a medicine and encourage the body to heal the very same health problem.
When I’ve tried homeopathic medicines myself, I didn’t see much in the way of results, but many people have and absolutely swear by this medical discipline. Mistletoe has been proven to my satisfaction.
Mr. Steiner thought that the way the parasitic mistletoe grew on trees was similar to the way cancer grows in the body as a sort of parasite that sinks its claws (so to speak) into health tissue. By giving mistletoe to cancer patients, he believed he could stimulate the body by mistletoe’s conceptual resemblance to cancer and would thereby defeat the illness.7
Of course, Steiner’s original intuitive grasp of the medicinal value of mistletoe would be pooh-poohed today by mainstream doctors as totally unscientific. But his insight has proven to be a lifesaver for thousands.
It still remains for mistletoe therapy to be more widely recognized in the US the way it is in Europe. Organizations like the non-profit Believe Big, founded by a cancer patient whose life was saved by mistletoe, are working to make that happen.
Meanwhile, Germany is the best place to go to receive this therapy – and many others, including hyperthermia, which I consider a must-have for cancer patients. Our special report German Cancer Breakthrough is based on three research trips to Germany conducted by Andrew Scholberg. I went along on one of them myself, and I was treated at a German clinic a few years later for early stage prostate cancer.
Andrew visited the clinics and interviewed both doctors and patients. The result was the first guide to German alternative cancer clinics ever published. German treatment is well worth considering for any cancer patient.