In our last issue of the newsletter, we began our discussion of blood cleansing formulas by looking at chaparral. In this issue we'll look at a number of the other herbs that are likely to be found in a blood cleansing formula. We'll spend the most time talking about red clover, because, along with chaparral, it's so fundamental to the formula.
Red Clover has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It's an excellent blood purifier that over time gradually cleanses the bloodstream and corrects deficiencies in the circulatory system. But among classic herbalists, it is probably best know as one of the best herbs for treating all varieties of cancer -- anywhere in the body -- and is found as a central ingredient in many anticancer formulas, including the Hoxsey formula, Jason Winter's tea, and Essiac tea.
Not surprisingly, most doctors, the FDA and many “new-school” herbalists have dismissed red clover as useless in dealing with cancer. However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have indeed found anti-tumor properties in red clover. Genistein, a biochemical in red clover has the ability to prevent tumors from developing the blood supplies they need to survive – thus starving them and killing them.
As it turns out, genistein is the same biochemical considered to be the main active ingredient in soy. But red clover has a significant advantage over soy. It contains not just genistein, but significant levels (about ten times that found in soy) of all four main estrogenic isoflavones, including daidzein and genistein. In addition to isoflavones, red clover contains another class of anti-cancer phytoestrogen compounds called coumestans -- in the form of biochanin and formononetin. Consuming red clover isoflavones results in higher blood levels of diadzein and genistein, moderate blood levels of biochanin, and low levels of formononetin – at about the same profile seen in the blood of vegetarians who consume a variety of legumes.
Note: Soy consumption, unlike red clove consumption, does not result in any increase in biochanin or formononetin in the blood.
Other Blood Cleansing Herbs
Burdock root is probably the most famous detoxifying agent in the herbal arsenal. It cleanses the blood by increasing the effectiveness of all of the body's elimination systems. Its diuretic effect helps the kidneys filter impurities from the blood. It helps push toxins out through the skin, and it also boosts the ability of the liver to remove toxins. The bottom line is that by pushing toxins out through a variety of pathways, burdock can purify the blood with minimal side effects and with minimal stress to the body.
Pokeroot and Yellow dock root are both powerful blood cleansers and lymph cleansers, inciting and increasing the action of lymph glands throughout the entire body. Not surprisingly, both herbs are staples of many traditional herbal anti-cancer formulas.
Bloodroot has been researched and found to be a potent anticancer agent. In addition to laboratory tests, it has been used to treat tens of thousands of people over the last century and a half. Many of these (according to some estimates as many as 80%, which is probably greatly exaggerated) experienced remission of malignancy and longer life expectancies than people with similar conditions who chose different treatments. (Note: Dr. Andrew Weil has stated that Bloodroot preparations can be used as an effective alternative remedy in the treatment of skin cancers and moles.)
Oregon grape root is frequently used by herbalists as a blood cleanser and to stimulate the liver and gall bladder and as a mild laxative.
Mistletoe use for treating cancer is so widespread in central Europe that it actually is estimated as many as 60 to 70 percent of cancer patients incorporate it into their therapy. Even now, the National Institutes of Health is recruiting patients for a study on mistletoe. According to the details of the study, “mistletoe lectin may slow the growth of cancer cells and be an effective treatment for solid tumors.”
Sheep sorrel - Renée Caisse, who popularized Essiac tea as a cancer cure, felt sheep sorrel was the most active cancer fighter among all the herbs present in her formula. That viewpoint was seconded by Dr. Chester Stock at Sloan-Kettering in New York. Dr. Shock studied sheep sorrel for over three year years. His conclusion was that sheep sorrel was found to be responsible for the destruction of cancer cells in the body, and their amalgamation where metastasized cancer cells may actually return to the original tumor site.
Not surprisingly, this information was made available to the public. But even better, when the Canadian Ministry of Health & Welfare saw the study, they immediately banned sheep sorrel from sale and distribution!
In conclusion, these are some of the key herbs you are likely to find in a blood cleansing formula. I recommend that a round of blood cleansing should be done a minimum of twice a year, or as often as required for particular conditions. It works well, although it is not necessary to do so, to combine blood cleansing with a semi-annual liver and gallbladder flush.
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