Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

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

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Herbal Stimulants for the Liver
By Ruth Sackman

Max Gerson, M.D., directed a cancer clinic in Nanuet, New York, for many years. There he treated mostly terminally ill cancer patients using a system of diet and detoxification to correct the breakdown in body chemistry that caused cancer-cell production. He found that when cancer-prone mice were autopsied, the livers showed deterioration long before a diagnosable tumor appeared. Because of this, he concluded that the liver function was responsible for the cancer and needed improvement, so he applied techniques to enhance and repair the liver activity. As part of the repair program which often achieved good results he used raw liver juice, an oil-free diet (except for a small amount of linseed oil to provide the essential fatty acid) to keep the liver from overworking, and coffee enemas to stimulate bile flow to encourage the liver to eliminate accumulated waste.

The liver is probably the most important organ in the body, because it has to perform so many vital functions. It certainly is the largest. And Nature's intelligent design has provided it with the ability to regenerate.

Liver Function

  • It metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals.
  • It extracts glucose from the bloodstream which it synthesizes into glycogen that it stores to be available to the body when needed.
  • It stores B1, B2, A, D, E and K.
  • It regulates body heat.
  • One of its most important functions, and one that should be of concern to cancer patients, is its ability to remove the products of decomposition (toxins) from the bloodstream.

Dr. William D. Kelley writes in his instructions to cancer patients: "The liver is the major organ of detoxification. Here, in addition to metabolic wastes, is where chemical pollutants, environmental contamination, food preservatives, etc. are removed from the body. You should be just as concerned or more concerned about the condition of your liver as you are your heart."

Since the liver must be depended on to a great degree to help in healing the body, it is appropriate to use any technique that will encourage the liver to give the body the service it requires. One way is to stimulate liver function by using herbals. Most of these are medicinal herbs and not to be confused with herb teas. Following are some herbals that effect liver function and perform other useful actions:

Dandelion - This is one of the milder herbs and easily obtainable. It not only stimulates the liver but also the pancreas, spleen and lymphatic glands. It's useful as a salad green. And it contains nutritive salts that purify the blood and reduce acids in the bloodstream.

Cascara Sagrada - This herb is well-known as a cathartic. Its value to the cancer patient is its ability to increase the secretion of bile from the liver, thereby helping the liver to dump its toxic waste into the intestinal system for elimination through the colon. To prepare the decoction, use 4 teaspoons of the powdered bark in a quart of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 1 hour. Drink 1 or 2 cups a day, 1 hour before meals or on an empty stomach.

Licorice Root - This herb acts as a blood purifier, mild laxative and liver stimulant. It has a natural sweetness which makes it easier to drink.

Lobelia - This is a much stronger medicinal herb. It is only mildly laxative but more effective in stimulating the liver and lymphatic system. Lobelia is prepared by mixing one ounce of powdered lobelia with 1 pint (2 cups) of water, bringing it to a boil, letting stand for 15 minutes. The dose is 2 tablespoons every four hours. I would suggest that 1 tablespoon every four hours is sufficient and it is best to take the lower dose, as lobelia is quite potent.

Culvers Root - This herb is stronger than lobelia. One should be prepared for reactions if this is the choice. Culvers Root stimulates bile flow. Bile is a strongly alkaline substance which neutralizes acid in the intestines.

I would suggest that if you want to use herbs for healing that you use a good herbal book for continual reference. FACT has just added a book by Dr. Joseph Kadans, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs to the book list.

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