Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Plums and Fresh Prunes

May 30, 2017

The early colonists found plums growing wild along the entire Eastern coast. They were one of many fruits eaten by the Indians before the coming of the white man, and reports of early explorers mention the finding of plums growing in abundance. Today however native plums are not important commercially. The European type of plums, Prunas Domestica, has replaced the native plum. Plum pits from Europe probably were brought to America by the first colonists, for it is reported that plums were planted by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, and the French brought them to Canada.

Although plums came to America by way of Europe, they are believed to have originated in Western Asia in the region south of the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the European plum is mentioned,the species dates back at least 2000 years.

Another species, Prunus Institia, known to us as the Damson plum, also came to America by way of Europe. This plum was named for Damascus and apparently antedates the European type, although Damson pits have been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland and in other ancient ruins.

Another important species, the Japanese plum, was domesticated in Japan, but originated in China. It was introduced in the United States about 1870. This type is grown extensively in California.

Plums have been grown in some of the Spanish mission gardens of California at least as early as 1792, and the first prune plums grown in California were produced in Santa Clara Mission. However, the present California prune industry is not based on these but the French prune, Petite Prune d’Agen, scions of which were brought to California from France in 1856 by Pierre Pellier. French-type prunes grown in California orchards were shipped in to San Francisco markets in 1859.

Botanically, plums and prunes of the European or Domestica type belong to the same species. The interchangeable use of the terms “plum and prune” dates back for several centuries. Plum is Anglo-Saxon, and prune is French. It is uncertain just when the word prune was first used to designate a dried plum or a plum suitable for drying. The prune is a variety of plum that can be dried without fermenting when the pit is left in. Fresh prunes, as compared with plums, have firmer flesh, higher sugar content, and frequently higher acid content. A ripe, fresh prune can be separated from the pit like a freestone peach, but a plum cannot be opened this way.

Of all the stone fruits, plums have the largest number and greatest diversity of kinds and species. H.F. Tysser, editor of Fruit Manual, published in London, says there are over 2000 varieties. Samual Fraser, in his book America Fruits, speaks of a list of about 1500 varieties of Old World plums alone, and says there probably are just as many varieties of plums native to this continent. In addition, there is a long list of Japanese and Chinese plums.

Almost all of the plums shipped in the United States are grown in California. There are two types of California plums, Japanese and European. The former marketed early in the season and the latter in mid season or later. The Japanese varieties are characterized by their large size, heart-shape, and bright red or yellow color. Japanese varieties are never blue.

Plums and prunes of good quality are plump, clean, of fresh appearance, full colored for the particular variety, and soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Unless one is well acquainted with varieties, color alone cannot be replied upon an indication of ripeness. Some varieties are fully ripe when the color is yellowish-green, others when the color is red, and others when purplish-blue or black. Softening at the tip is a good indication of maturity. Immature fruit is hard. It may be shriveled and is generally of poor color or flavor. Over mature fruit is generally soft, easily bruised, and is often leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Fresh plums are more acid to the body than fresh prunes. When too many plums are eaten, an over acid condition results. When prunes are dried, however they are wonderful for the nerves because the contain a phosphorus content of nearly 5 percent.

Prunes have a laxative effect. The dried prune is better to eat than the fresh plum or prune. The salts contained in the dried prune are valuable as food for the blood, brain and nerves. The French prunes are considered the best for their value to the nervous system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 55.6 g

Calcium: 73 mg

Phosphorus: 86 mg

Iron: 2.2 mg

Vitamin A: 1200 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.28 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 2.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 20 mg

Rhubarb

May 22, 2017

Rhubarb is a species of plant in the family Polygonaceae. They are herbaceous perennials growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large leaves that are somewhat triangular, with long fleshy petioles. They have small flowers grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescence.

Most commonly, rhubarb’s leaf stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts. A number of varieties have been domesticated for human consumption, most of which are recognized as Rheum x hybridum by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs, as tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Rhubarb can be used as a strong laxative. Its roots have been used as a laxative for at least 5,000 years.

The roots and stems are rich in anthraquinones, such as emodin and rhein. These substances are cathartic and laxative, which explains the sporadic use of rhubarb as a dieting aid. These molecules also contain sugars attached to them and are hence glycosides. Glycosides can retain water more thus adding to the cathartic action.

Rhubarb roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine; rhubarb also appears in medieval Arabic and European prescriptions.

The rhizomes (’roots’) contain stilbenoid compounds (including rhaponticin), which has shown to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic mice.

NUTRIENTS (per 100 grams)

Carbohydrates 4.54 g

Sugars 1.1 g

Dietary fibre 1.8 g

Fat 0.2 g

Protein 0.9 g

Water 93.61 g

Folate 7 μg

Vitamin C 8 mg

Vitamin E 0.27 mg

Vitamin K 29.3 μg

Calcium 86 mg

Iron 0.22 mg

Potassium 288 mg

Sodium 4 mg

Zinc 0.1 mg

Mango

May 15, 2017

The mango is said to have originated in Burma, Malaya, or the Himalayan region of India. It has been in cultivation for over 4000 years and has entered prominently in Hindu mythology and religious observances. It is now a familiar fruit to all parts of the tropic zone, and is as important there as the apple is in our more temperate climate.

Although the mango is not too well-known in this country, some parts of the world value this fruit highly. Glowing descriptions of mangoes can be found in the literature of these countries. The Turkoman poet, Amir Khusrau, for instance, wrote of the mango in the fourteenth century: “The mango is the pride of the garden, the choicest fruit of Hindustan. Other fruits we are content to eat when ripe, but the mango is good in all stages of growth.”

The first attempt to introduce the mango into this country was made in 1833, when plants were transported to Florida from Mexico. These trees died, and another attempt was made thirty years later when seedling trees were introduced. The real success of its culture came at the beginning of this century, when choice grafted trees were brought from India. Because the fruit’s susceptibility to frost, its culture is limited to certain sections of Florida, where it is a summer crop only.

The mango tree is a member of the sumac family. Its sometimes grows as high as 40 feet. Its leaves are shiny and its flowers yellow or of a reddish hue. There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes, and they range from the size of plums to that of apples, often weighing a pound or more. The common color of the mango is orange, although the fruit may range from green to yellow or red.

This fruit is available from May to September, the peak month being June. Some varieties are shipped in from China, Jamaica, Mexico and Cuba. A quality mango has a fairly small seed stone, and the pulp is delicate and smooth. The fruit should be fresh in appearance, plump, and firm to the touch; however the test of quality is in its taste.

Mangoes are best eaten as a fresh fruit. They have a high sugar content, although they are slightly acid in taste. Mangoes are good used in combination with other fruits in salads, and in some parts of the world they are roasted. Both the flavor and aroma of mangoes are spicy and attractive. To conserve the aroma, do not cut until just before serving.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Mangoes contain a considerable amount of gallic acid, which may be binding to the bowels. It is excellent as a disinfectant to the body. Many people claim the mango is a great blood cleanser,and it also has fever-soothing qualities. mango juice will reduce excessive body heat. Mangoes are also wonderful for helping to throw off body odors.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories 198

Protein 2.1g

FAT 0.6g

Carbohydrates 51.6g

Calcium 27mg

Phosphorus 39mg

Iron 0.6g

Vitamin A 14,5901I.U.

Thiamine 0.19mg

Riboflavin 0.17mg

Niacin 2.8 mg

Ascorbic acid 106mg

Banana

May 8, 2017

Bananas were cultivated in India 4,000 years ago. In 1482, the Portuguese found the banana on the Guinea coast and carried it with them to the Canary Islands. Spanish priests are credited with having introduced this fruit to tropical America when they arrived as missionaries in the sixteenth century. Now, the banana can be found in all tropical countries.

The first known species of banana is the plaintain. or cooking banana. The plantain has a salmon-colored and gummy texture, and a slightly acid taste. This fruit has been a substitute for bread or potatoes in many countries, and is slowly being introduced to the United States.

Bananas are usually harvested green, shipped green, and ripened by wholesale fruit jobbers in air-conditioned ripening rooms. The Gros Michel variety is the most popular of the many varieties. It produces the largest and most compact bunch, which makes it easier to ship. The thick skin of the banana protects the soft fruit.

Other popular varieties of banana are the Claret, or red banana, which has a gummy flesh; the Lady Finger, which is the smallest variety, but has a delicate, sweet flavor; and the Apple, which has an acid flavor and tastes somewhat like a mellow apple.

In the tropics, bananas are often cooked and served with beans, rice, or tortillas. In the Latin American countries, the ripe banana is sometimes dried in the sun in much the same manner as figs and raisins. They arc often sliced when ripe and left in the sun until they are covered with a coating of white, sugary powder that arises from their own juices.

The banana has no particular growing season. A ripe banana is firm, with a plump texture, strong peel, and no trace of green on the skin. A skin that is flecked with brown means the fruit is good.

Fully ripe bananas are composed of 76 percent water, 20 percent sugar, and 12 percent starch.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The sugars in the banana are readily assimilated, and they contain many vitamins and minerals, and a great deal of fiber. They are excellent for young children and infants and are good in reducing diets because they satisfy the appetite and are low in fat.

Because they are so soft, they are good for persons who have intestinal disturbances, and for convalescents. Bananas feed the natural acidophilus bacteria of the bowel, and their high potassium content benefits the muscular system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (edible portion)

Calories: 299

Protein: 3.6 g

Fat: 0.6 g

Carbohydrates: 69.9 g

Calcium: 24 mg

Phosphorus: 85 mg

Iron: 1.8 mg

Vitamin A: 1,300 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.27 mg

Riboflavin: 0.19 mg

Niacin: 1.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 29 mg

Okra

May 1, 2017

Okra is native to tropical Africa, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. It is now widely grown in warm regions. For many years it has held an important place among the garden vegetables of the southern states.

The young and tender seed pods of okra are used to give a pleasant flavor and provide thickening for soups and stews. In Louisiana, okra is used in Creole cookers and is the “gumbo” used in many dishes. It is excellent also as a boiled vegetable. Just wash it, boil about ten minutes in salted water until tender, drain, and serve with butter or lemon butter. Okra and tomatoes make a fine combination. Raw sliced okra is good in salads. Okra should preferably be cooked in stainless steel, agate, porcelain, earthenware, or glass utensils. Copper, brass, iron, or tin will cause the okra to discolor, turn black, and look unappetizing.

Okra is a soft-stemmed annual of the mallow family and is closely related to the shrubby althea. It grows three to five feet high, and bears yellow flowers which are followed by fruiting capsules or seed pods.

There are three general types of okra: tall green, dwarf green, and ladyfinger. Each of these in again divided according to length and color of the pods. Varieties in most common use are known to the seed trade as Perkins Mammoth, Long Green, Dwarf Green, and White Velvet. Clemson Spineless is of the same type as Perkins Mammoth Podded but has spineless pods and somewhat sparse foliage, making it less troublesome to harvest than other varieties.

Young, tender, fresh, clean pods of small to medium size usually are of good quality. Pods should snap or puncture easily. Pods that have passed their prime look dull and dry. They are usually woody, and the seeds are hard. If held too long, they are likely to become shriveled and discolored, and lack flavor.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The sodium content of okra is very high. It also contains a vegetable mucin that is soothing to the irritated membranes of the intestinal tract. Okra has an alkaline reaction.

Okra is made into tablets, and they are valuable in replenishing a sodium deficiency in the body and in replacing sodium lost through excessive perspiration. The tablets are also good for ulcers of the stomach.

This low-calorie vegetable helps keep the joints limber. Okra powder is very good to include in broths and soups. Because it contains a high amount of sodium, it is good for elderly people.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 140

Protein: 9.4 g

Fat: 0.8 g

Carbohydrates: 29.6 g

Calcium: 328 mg

Phosphorus: 199 mg

Iron: 2.8 mg

Vitamin A: 2030 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.49 mg

Riboflavin: 0.42 mg

Niacin: 2.8 mg

Ascorbic acid: 121 mg

Watch Online

Watch on Amazon Video Watch on iTunes

Watch on DVD

Get the Book

Rethinking Cancer, by Ruth Sackman, is an excellent companion book to the film. Learn More

Newsletter signup

Bookmark and Share