INTEGRATED MEDICINE & HOLISTIC THERAPY

There is no scientific evidence that any holistic therapy or treatments can cure or treat bowel cancer or any other type of cancer. While we believe the following treatments below may help you with symptoms, what you are about to read are the opinions of Bowel Cancer Support UK only. Some integrated medicines are available on the NHS at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine which is part of UCLH London. There are other hospitals around the UK that also have integrated medicine. 

Organic food

Organic food is fruits and vegetables that have been grown, or animals that have been reared without the use of pesticides, chemicals, artificial fertiliser or processed animal feed. For a food to be give organic status at least 95% of its ingredients must have been organically produced and there is a very strict list of non-organic products that can go into organic food, such as water and salt.

Organic food is recommended for everyone, whether they have cancer or not, as eating an organic diet may help to reduce your chances of getting cancer in the future. Eating only organic food cuts out all the chemicals, additives and pesticides that are used to grow crops in the UK today. Organic food is grown in nutrient rich, fertile soil which you will benefit from when eating organic products. Organic animals are also much healthier as they live a truly free-range lifestyle and therefore are free of the diseases often associated with battery farmed animals. Although organic food can be more expensive it is worth the money as you will be reducing the amount of chemicals you are putting into your body drastically.

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Gerson therapy

Gerson therapy was invented in the 1920s by a German doctor called Max Gerson. Gerson initially invented the therapy to cure himself of his migraines but then went on to use it to treat tuberculosis and cancer. Gerson therapy is designed to remove toxins from the body and strengthen the immune system by following a very strict diet and regime.

Designed to bring you back to full physical health by flooding the body with vitamins and nutrients, people who follow the Gerson diet consume 15-20 pounds of organic fruit and vegetables every day. This fruit is made into juice, with one glass consumed every hour, 13 times a day. Followers also stick to a strict vegetarian diet which they supplement with a range of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12 and Potassium compounds. This strict vegetarian diet is designed to oxygenate and intensively detoxify the body through the liver and the kidneys, thus boosting the immune system and regenerating the body. Coffee enemas are then used to further assist the liver in detoxifying the body and are practiced up to five times a day. Gerson therapists tend to recommend up to two years of treatment.

Gerson therapy is a very intensive and strict regime and may not be suitable for everyone. Coffee enemas in particular can have very serious side effects as they drastically reduce the amount of potassium in a persons body which can lead to infections, severe dehydration, heart problems and even death. Long term use of coffee enemas may be particularly dangerous for people with bowel cancer as they can weaken and cause inflammation of the bowel muscle.

More information about the potential benefits and side effects of Gerson Therapy can be found at The Gerson Institute and Cancer Research UK. (http://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy/ and http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/gerson-therapy)

Oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is a therapy which uses 100% oxygen to help cancer patients deal with the side effects of radiotherapy. Patients enter a pressurised chamber and breathe 100% oxygen through a mask. Oxygen normally makes up 21% of the air that we breathe, but 100% pure oxygen is used to heal the body after it has been through the traumatic process of radiotherapy.

Oxygen therapy works by raising oxygen levels in tissues that have been damaged by radiotherapy. Such a high level of oxygen helps to heal the body and helps to create new blood vessels that can then deliver oxygen more effectively around the body. (Macmillan Cancer Trust) It is also thought that oxygen therapy can help with reducing the size of tumours as it has a healing effect on damaged tissue and blood vessels.

The only place in London that offers oxygen therapy is MS Action, their website offers information about the treatment and how to get in touch with them.

oxygen-water

Oxygenating drinking water and bathing water with hydrogen peroxide

Oxygenated water is believed to increase the amount of oxygen in the body and promote healing. Increasing oxygen levels in the body is thought to promote the re-growth of healthy tissues that have been damaged through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as improving blood circulation and the circulation of oxygen around the body. Oxygenated water is also believed by some to shrink cancerous tumours.

Oxygenating your drinking and bathing water with hydrogen peroxide is also believed to increase the levels of oxygen in your blood and increase your energy. However while some people advise that a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide will increase oxygen levels in your body, hydrogen peroxide is not safe to drink in high levels. Historically used to clean wounds, bleach hair and scour pots, drinking hydrogen peroxide can lead to stomach upsets, severe internal burns and even death.

Chloride filter for showering

Chlorine has been linked to bowel, bladder and breast cancer in a number of articles and studies since the 1990s. (Daily Mail) Although the effect of chlorine on the body is still hotly debated, a chloride filter for your shower can help reduce your contact with this chemical and give you peace of mind. Chlorine is added to all water in the UK in order to sterilise it, so we are in contact with this chemical on a daily basis. Chloride filters can be easily fitted to any shower and are available in a wide range of UK shops.

vitamine-c

Vitamin C

Recent studies suggest that high doses of vitamin C may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and help to fight cancer cells. (BBC News) When vitamin C is taken orally it quickly passes through the body, but when it is given as an injection, vitamin C is absorbed into the body at a much higher level and may attack any cancer cells it finds. High dose vitamin C injections are not available on the NHS but the company Wimpole Aesthetics offers Vitamin Therapy, in which a high dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are delivered directly into your bloodstream via an IV drip.

glass-bottled-water-holistic

Glass bottled water

Many studies have linked plastic drinking bottles with a multitude of health risks, particularly for people with weakened immune systems such as cancer patients. Chemicals in plastic bottles known as Phthalates are thought to leach into the water over time, and when this water is drunk these chemicals can cause disruption to your hormones, particularly testosterone.

Regulatory standards limit the amount of Phthalates that can be present in tap water, but they do not limit the amount that can be found in bottled water. It is therefore much safer to drink water out of a glass bottle as glass doesn’t contain phthalates.

blackseedoil

Black seed oil

Black seed oil is made from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant which grows in southern Asia. The seeds of the Nigella Sativa have been used as a medicine for thousands of years to cure a wide variety of ailments and injuries. Black seed oil is now believed to boost the immune system in patients with cancer as well as reducing some of the toxic side effects associated with chemotherapy. There are many ongoing studies which are examining how black seed oil works, but it is thought to be especially effective in the treatment of bowel and colon cancer and studies have highlighted its potential for reducing the size of tumours in these areas.

Black Seed Oil can be ingested in a variety of ways, both as a natural oil or in a capsule. The Blessed Seed are specialists in Black Seed Oil and sell a wide variety of different strengths depending on your specific needs. They also sell the seeds in their pure form or as a bar of soap.

apricotkernals

Apricot kernels with vitamin b17

Vitamin b17, also known as amygdalin (in its natural form) or laetrile (when it has been added to synthetic substances) is found in particular foods such as apricot kernels, raw nuts and peaches. Although it is a naturally occurring substance, amygdalin isn’t actually a vitamin and its use as a natural cancer cure or aid is hotly debated.

Supporters of vitamin b17 such as Dr. Ernst Krebs who carried out some of the initial B17 research, believe that laetrile in moderation is an effective cancer cure that can be used instead of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Taken either as a tablet or a series of weekly injections, laetrile supporters believe that when combined with a strict diet and high doses of other vitamins, laetrile will directly target the cancer cells in your body, reducing the size of any tumours that it finds, while leaving your healthy cells untouched.

Those against laetrile consumption however state that it is an ineffective cancer treatment that can actually do more harm than good. Amygdalin contains naturally occurring cyanide so consuming large quantities of it could lead you to experience some serious side effects or even death. It is therefore recommended that if you do use vitamin b17, that you do so in moderation.

air-purifier-integrated

Filtered air purifier

Air purifiers filter the air inside your home, eliminating nearly 100% of air borne bacteria, mould and mildew spores, viruses and dust mites. Air filters are especially important for people with cancer as they can help to protect you from common viruses, colds and flu.

Filtered air purifiers also help to protect you from air pollution, particularly if you live near heavy traffic. One of the most common air pollutants which is thought to cause cancer is benzene which is found in petrol, diesel and factory fumes. Studies have also shown that long term exposure to air pollution can be as harmful to your health as living with a smoker (Free drinking water), so investing in a top of the range air purifier could really help protect you and your loved ones well into the future.

There are many different types of air purifiers on the market today but ionic air purifiers are thought to be the best, with the GT3000 Iconic Air Purifier from GreenTech Environmental a top of the range example.

alcaline-diet

pH levels (alkaline diet)

The alkaline diet, also known as pH therapy is a strict regime that cuts acidic foods from your diet. “The principles of pH therapy are very simple. The metabolism of cancer cells has a very narrow pH tolerance for cellular proliferation, which is between 6.5 and 7.5. As such, if you can interfere with cancer cell metabolism by either lowering or raising the internal cancer cell pH, you can theoretically stop cancer progression”  Followers of the pH diet therefore sick to a rigid diet of vegetables, vegetables juices, nuts and seeds, cutting out meat, animal products, processed foods, high gluten foods such as bread, and foods with lots of refined sugar. Fruit can also be eaten but only in moderation as it contains a lot of naturally occurring sugar.

By reducing the amount of acid in your body it is believed that cancer cells will not be able to survive. The alkaline diet is also supposed to aligning your body’s chemistry to that of your blood which is slightly alkaline by nature. Even if you are not suffering from cancer, the alkaline diet is a very healthy way of living and may help to limit your chances of getting cancer in the future.

Antioxidants and cancer

Antioxidants have traditionally been thought of as a great way of fighting cancer, but recent scientific research has suggested that some specific types of antioxidant may actually speed up cancer growth. In several studies two antioxidants, vitamin E and N-acetylcysteine have been shown to increase the growth of lung cancer tumours in mice. (The Scientist) “A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine shows that in mice that already have cancer, antioxidant supplements decrease activity of a gene called p53, the purpose of which is to decimate defective cells, including cancer cells. With p53 tuned down, the number of tumors in the mice tripled, as did their growth rate and aggressiveness.” (Forbes magazine) Antioxidants are therefore not advised for people who have or are at risk of lung cancer, as they may increase you chances of developing the disease.

Some supporters of antioxidants however believe that they are a very powerful tool for combating cancer as they help to destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that occur naturally in the body but can also be ingested from external sources. In high concentration, free radicals can damage cells and lead to precancerous changes and cancerous growths. Antioxidants are also produced naturally in the body in order to neutralise free radicals, but if high numbers of free radicals exist, some people believe that ingesting more antioxidants will help protect the body from cancer. 

coffee

Coffee enemas

Coffee enemas were first invented by Max Gerson at the beginning of the 20th century. Gerson believed that coffee was particularly effective when used as an enema because it travelled through the walls of the small intestine and into the liver. He believed this had a higher cleansing and detoxifying effect than a traditional saline enema and he made regular coffee enemas an integral part of Gerson Therapy.

Many supporters of coffee enemas believe that they can help to cure cancer as they work to detoxify tumours, particularly ones in the bowel or the colon. Many patients report feeling more energetic after a coffee enema and that they relieve constipation and bowel problems. However, scientists and doctors warn against the use of coffee enemas as they can have very serious side effects and have led to several deaths. The potential side effects of coffee enemas are severe dehydration, infection of the colon or bowel, septicemia, heart problems or heart failure and internal burning.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular spice and a member of the ginger family. Regularly used in cooking, it is particularly prevalent in Asian recipes. Research and clinical trials are currently looking into the effect of turmeric ingestion on precancerous cells. A recent study of 25 patients found that turmeric seemed to stop precancerous cells in different organs from developing into cancer. Research has also shown that there are low rates of cancer in countries where people have high levels of turmeric in their diets.

The positive effects of turmeric have also been strongly linked to bowel cancer prevention. When combined with chemotherapy some initial studies have shown that turmeric helped to kill more cancer cells than chemotherapy alone. In other studies doctors have observed that patients who have under gone treatment with turmeric have had the size of their tumours reduced, or at the very least remain stable.

It is likely therefore that Turmeric may one day become a very important spice in the fight against cancer.

mistletoe-intergrated

Mistletoe extract/Mistletoe Infusion

Mistletoe extract has been used for thousands of years to treat ailments, injuries and aches and pains. One of the most widely used complementary therapies in Europe, mistletoe extract is thought to kill cancer cells and boost the immune system. Mistletoe extract can be taken in a variety of ways including injection under the skin, infusion through an IV drip, an injection straight into the tumour, or orally as a solution or tablet.

When used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy many patients report feeling more energetic and positive, with reduced levels of pain. Patients also report having better sleeping patterns. Compared to some other complementary therapies mistletoe therapy also has very few side effects and is relatively safe.

Mistletoe therapy is available at a number of NHS centres and holistic treatment centres around the country. For a list of these visit the Mistletoe for Cancer website.