- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Garlic: A Cure for Cancer?
Garlic, DMSO, and Cancer
There is an herb that can have a renewing effect on your body. One that can heal and speed up repair, and can increase strength and stamina. The herb is garlic. Not only will it help you heal more quickly, garlic can also prevent the formation of cancerous tumors (and non-cancerous) and kill those that have begun to grow. But the news about garlic gets better. It has other health benefits as well.
The history of garlic dates back over 6,000 years. Drawings of garlic have been found in caves. The Egyptians worshiped garlic. Greek military leaders used it to help their troops heal battle wounds. Before Olympic Games, Greek athletes were fed garlic to give them strength. Hippocrates (460-370BC), who is considered to be the father of western medicine, used garlic to treat cancerous tumors. He also recommended the herb for pneumonia, digestive disorders, as well as using it as a diuretic and to improve menstrual flow. More recently, George Baramy, a chemist at the University of Minnesota, reports that Ajoene – a derivative of sulfur compounds found in garlic - is as potent as aspirin in preventing sticky red blood platelets from clumping together. Also, National Cancer Institute nutritionist Elaine Lanza stated that garlic tops the list as a source of trace elements that work against tumor formation.
In an area of China associated with low mortality from stomach cancer, 82% of men and 74% of women reportedly consumed garlic at least 3X a week. In contrast, in an area in China with high mortality from gastric cancer, only 1% of men and women consumed garlic at least 3X weekly.
The garlic accolades go on and on. But is it a cancer cure? I believe it is with one caveat: It is more effective as a cancer preventative than a cure. So why do I believe it to also be a cure? The answer to that question lies in a little known substance, which like garlic contains a sulfur compound. The substance is DMSO.
DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide)
DMSO was first synthesized in 1866. Moreover, beginning in the early 1960s, this sulfur compound has been used to enhance the absorption of certain medicines thereby increasing their effectiveness. DMSO is more powerful than the sulfur compounds found in garlic. It is derived from lignin, the binding substance of trees. It is used as an industrial cleaner, and in sport medicine it has been used to reduce inflammation of joints due to trauma injury. DMSO was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1978 for the treatment of a rare bladder disorder, interstitial cystitis.
DMSO is a “liquid syringe.” When applied on the skin, it literally will travel into the body down to the cellular level within minutes. It is such an effective healer that it can reduce swelling of an injured knee from soccer ball size to normal in 20 minutes according to Ms. Miller in her first book. But there is a downside to DMSO. Because it penetrates the skin so effectively, it also can take bacteria and viruses deep into body tissue causing a serious infection that would be difficult to treat.
DMSO became the center of attention with holistic medicine promoters when CBS-TV's 60 Minutes portrayed the substance as a medical breakthrough. At that time, some arthritis sufferers testified that DMSO had provided them with relief. The Arthritis Foundation debunked those testimonies saying that DMSO can act as a liniment with a counter-irritating effect temporarily relieving pain, but it does not reduce inflammation as do truly effective arthritis remedies (Arthritis Foundation, undated – most likely 1980 timeframe).
Moreover, Mildred Miller, owner/administrator of the Degenerative Disease Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, promoted DMSO for a variety of disorders including arthritis, mental illness, emphysema, and cancer. Miller wrote a book touting DMSO entitled A Little Dab Will Do Ya! (Quality Advertising, 1981). Miller also published Preventive Health News, a tabloid-sized newsletter in which she promoted DMSO and carried on a harangue against the medical establishment (Miller published another book with the disrespectful title Up Yours FDA). Miller was eventually convicted of Medicare fraud and went to prison. The American Cancer Society issued a statement advising against the use of DMSO for cancer.
Doctors on staff at Mildred Miller’s clinic were injecting DMSO intravenously as a chelation therapy to their patients. The results according to Ms. Miller in her first book were miraculous. Patients with arthritis so severe that it impaired their movement and mobility were walking normally after 30 days of treatment. Cancer patients that were given several months to live by the mainstream medical establishment, walked out of her clinic with a new lease on life.
It appeared to me after reading her books in late 1980s, that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had unfairly targeted Ms. Miller due to the financial impact that the success of her treatment would have in the pocket books of the major drug companies. However, it is also true that DMSO can be dangerous if administered improperly. So I can see why the FDA would target Ms. Miller – which they did and closed down her clinic. One last thought on the matter: Ms. Miller was convicted of Medicare fraud and not of medical malpractice. This leaves me with the uneasy feeling that she may have been railroaded by big government (FDA) for dubious reasons.
From what I have read over the years, DMSO is no more dangerous than radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Clinical studies using radiation therapy have reported deaths occurring that were directly associated with the treatment. According to Ms. Miller, her patients experienced no fatalities during the time DMSO was being administered in her clinic. However, a word of caution about DMSO: DMSO should only be used when prescribed and/or administered by a medical doctor.
Sulfur Compounds: Garlic's Power
There is no question of the power of sulfur compounds. DMSO is such a substance, and was used to cure cancer patients and patients suffering with severe arthritis in Las Vegas at the Degenerative Disease Medical Center (Mildred Miller’s clinic). Unfortunately, it is a dangerous substance that can have disastrous consequences if administered improperly. The improper use of DMSO can be fatal. So where do we go from here? Well, I go back to completing my discussion on garlic.
Garlic produces sulfur compounds that heal the body naturally and safely. The sulfur compounds in garlic are like the sulfur compound in DMSO; they both have that pungent odor and taste we associate with garlic and they both can effect healing and repair. However, unlike DMSO, garlic can take months to work.
So what about the researchers working with garlic? What will they ultimately determine about garlic and the sulfur compounds it contains? I believe that like DMSO, garlic's value will be in its ability to enhance the effectiveness of nutrients and medicines taken with it. In other words, taking garlic with your supplements and medicines will increase their healing and repair properties.
So it’s important that you make garlic a part of your diet or supplementation regimen as soon as possible. There is no reason to wait until the medical researchers confirm what has been known about garlic for thousands of years. Begin using fresh garlic as part of your diet or tablets as a dietary supplement today and reap the health benefits that it provides. Cancerous tumor prevention is not the only benefit that garlic provides. Garlic can also reduce your risk of heart disease, and reduce inflammation that causes arthritis and accelerates aging. Those are the reasons why garlic is high on my list of required supplements.
How to Find a Good Source of Garlic
The power of garlic is contained in the sulfur compounds that release the familiar pungent odor as they are being produced. Therefore, your supplement manufacturer has to guarantee that the sulfur compounds in their garlic product are viable (have not broken down completely). And if available, an odor-control formula will minimize the taste and smell most of us find objectionable.
How Much Garlic is Healthy
In the example provided above about China, the 82% of men and 74% of women that consumed garlic 3X a week had a low mortality rate of stomach cancer. Therefore, to achieve an even lower mortality rate from cancer, and perhaps eliminate its occurrence completely, we need to consume garlic more often than 3X a week. I consume a garlic supplement every day of the week.
The decision as to how much garlic is enough is yours alone. In my case, I was using a small amount of garlic a day to maintain my health. When I experienced health complications with my prostate (cancer), I quadrupled the amount of garlic - as well as other supplements - that I was taking every day.
Garlic Usage Facts and Cautions
Raw garlic cloves contain an odorless amino acid called alliin. But when garlic is chopped or crushed, alliin comes into contact with the enzyme alliinase. It’s the reaction of these compounds that produces allicin, which is the key to garlic’s characteristic odor. Once allicin forms, it’s transformed into several additional sulfur compounds that have been identified for their health-promoting qualities.
Garlic has been used traditionally in Herbal Medicine to help relieve the symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract infections and catarrhal conditions. It’s also used in modern Herbal Medicine to help reduce elevated blood lipid levels (hyperlipidemia) in adults and to help maintain cardiovascular health in adults.
Garlic should not be used as a treatment for illness or disease without the advice of your medical doctor. If you are using garlic to treat an upper respiratory tract infection (or catarrhal condition), and you symptoms worsen, contact your health care practitioner. You should also consult a health care practitioner prior to using garlic if you are pregnant, have diabetes, or take blood thinners or protease inhibitors.
Hypersensitivity (e.g., allergy) to garlic has been known to occur; if this occurs, you should immediately discontinue its use.