Ancient remedy gives arthritis sufferers Christmas in July

June 27, 2011
Volume 2    |   Issue 17

Whenever I hear that a supplement can cure cancer, I’m naturally skeptical. Even most alternative doctors will tell you it takes supplements and a lot of other treatments and lifestyle changes to battle this killer disease. But every now and then, a supplement story will jump out at me and I have to look a little deeper.

The first time this happened was with resveratrol. Twenty years ago, I read some fantastic information about grapes and their ability to fight cancer. When resveratrol supplements came out, it didn’t take too long for us to hear from cancer patients claiming the supplement cured their cancer. While it hasn’t cured every case we hear about, cancer survivors still tell us they credit the resveratrol for curing their cancer.

Now, another supplement is gaining support as a cancer fighter. The supplement isn’t new. It comes from a plant that people around the world have used in soup for centuries. It’s the oleander leaf. Oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree. I find it interesting that people have used it in soup, as the entire plant is toxic. In fact, it’s one of the most poisonous garden plants. But if you prepare the plant correctly, you can eat it.

The plant’s toxicity, however, appears to make it a very effective medicine. The man most credited for this discovery is a Turkish doctor named Huseyin Ziya Ozel. He was the head of the surgery at Mugla State Hospital of Turkey. If you search the Internet, you’ll find a lot of fascinating stories about his life and discoveries.

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Dr. Ozel started his research in the 1960s. He started treating patients with advanced and inoperable cancer in the early 1970s. His results were so remarkable, they were unbelievable – literally. The Turkish medical establishment tried to discredit him and revoke his medical license.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that his research began to gain support from the scientific community. In 1986 and 1987, European researchers looked at Dr. Ozel’s oleander extract. They wanted to see how well it worked on the immune system and cancer tumors. The story on the Internet says they found it was at least six times as potent as any other commercially available immune-stimulants.

But I wanted to see if there was any other research on oleander. Sure enough, in 2000, a group of researchers tested Dr. Ozel’s Anvirzel, an extract of oleander, and its derivative compound Oleandrin. They wanted to see their impact on human, canine, and rodent tumor cells. The researchers found that both compounds killed human and canine cancer cells, but not those of the rodents. It’s interesting that the extracts killed the canine cancer cells because Dr. Ozel originally discovered oleander while searching for a cure for his dog’s cancer. The fact that oleander also killed human cancer cells does help confirm the anecdotal evidence. But it’s not enough to say it’s a sure-fire cancer cure.

The anecdotal stories of Dr. Ozel’s cancer cure are compelling. This truly could be an amazing cure. However, after 50+ years, it’s still hard to find convincing scientific evidence that it really works. That brings out the skeptic in me. The American Cancer Society agrees: “In test tube studies, oleandrin, one of the substances found in oleander extracts, caused apoptosis (a specific type of cell death) of prostate cancer cells. In other test tube studies, Anvirzel appeared to slow the growth of human bladder cancer cells, but human studies are needed to determine whether it will work in people. Very early studies of carefully dosed Anvirzel in people with cancer have not yet shown that it helps. Side effects included nausea and vomiting, aches, and redness at the injection site, but the drug did not appear to affect the cancer in these patients. One very early study of 18 patients with advanced cancer was done primarily to determine the best dose of the drug. No measurable responses were noted in patients’ cancer during this small study. Although there are claims that Anvirzel improves quality of life, reduces pain, increases energy, and causes cancer regression and remission, available scientific evidence does not support these claims.”

Even so, when cancer is advanced or inoperable, why not try it? Yes, I’m skeptical. But in these cases, nothing else has worked, so it’s worth a try. There are good quality oleander supplements on the market. These are Sutherlandia OPC and Rose Laurel OPC Plus. Both are safe and have plenty of anecdotal success stories. You can find them on the Internet. As I find more information about oleander, you’ll be the first to know.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

Sources: andAlternativeMedicine/ HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/oleander-leaf.

Pathak, Sen., Asha S. Multani, Satya Narayan, Virendra Kumar, and Robert A. Newman.
“Anvirzel, an extract of Nerium oleander, induces cell death in human but not murine
cancer cells,” Anti-Cancer Drugs, July 2000 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 - pp 455-463.

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