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mint leaf starves cancer to death

An extract found in the leaves of a mint-like Chinese herb could be used to fight cancer, researchers say. A drug based on the extract of Scutellaria barbata works by destroying the blood vessels supplying tumours. It should have fewer side effects than conventional treatments which attack healthy cells as well as cancerous cells, say the researchers.

Professor Alan McGown and colleagues at the University of Salford hope to test the drug in cancer patients soon. The drug has so far been tested in the laboratory on human cancer cells from tumours such as breast and lung cancers.

It works by attacking the tumour's blood vessels, starving the cancer to death by blocking its supply of oxygen and nutrients. Co-researcher Dr Sylvie Ducki said: "If you target the vessels you are stopping the 'food' getting to the tumour and the tumour from spreading."

She said their drug was very selective - targeting only tumour vessels and leaving blood vessels supplying healthy tissues alone. "Conventional treatments usually target tumour cells but also the normal cells. This causes a lot of side effects."

Dr Graham Cowling from the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research: "Ours is so selective for just tumour vessels it did not attack normal blood vessels. "We think we would be able to avoid a lot of the nasty side effects that conventional treatments have," she said.

The scientists work for a charity called Kidscan, which was set up by the University of Salford to fund research into new treatments for childhood cancers. The team are hoping to secure more funding to test the drug in patients over the next few years.

Professor McGown said: "Clearly we have much work to do before this treatment can be evaluated in patients. However, this area of research is very exciting. All cancers require a blood supply if they are to survive and grow. If we can target and destroy these blood vessels, then we will have a treatment that will be applicable to all forms of cancer both in children and adults."

Dr Graham Cowling, from the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, said: "This sounds very exciting. "There are a number of drugs being developed which work on a similar mechanism but they are all slightly different. The modern approach is to combine drugs together to get even better effects. The more drugs we can get into clinical trials the better. We look forward to it progressing on through to the next stage," he said.

A spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK said: "Scutellaria barbata has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat several illnesses including some cancers. So, this finding is very interesting and the active ingredients of the plant should definitely be investigated further."

Copyright BBC 2006

ginger 'could halt bowel cancer'

Ginger may protect against bowel cancer, scientists have claimed. Test showed gingerol - which gives ginger its flavour - could slow the growth of human tumours in mice. Plants from the ginger family have been used for thousands of years, and have been reported to have anti-cancer properties. A second study presented to the American Association of Cancer Research showed a relative of mint could slow prostate cancer.  

These results strongly suggest that ginger compounds may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota's Hormel Institute in Austin, fed half a milligram of [6]-gingerol to mice genetically engineered not to have an immune system three times a week before and after they were injected with human bowel tumour cells.

Other mice were injected with the tumour cells -- but were not given the gingerol. Tumours were allowed to grow until they reached a size of one cubic centimetre (0.06 cubic inch), after which the mice were put to sleep. After 15 days, 13 tumours of a measurable size had appeared amongst the control mice, but only four amongst the mice given the gingerol.

By day 28, all the mice in the control group had measurable tumours, but it took 10 more days for all but one of the gingerol group to develop measurable tumours. By day 49, all the control mice had been killed because they had developed tumours of one cubic centimetre or more, but 12 of the gingerol mice were still alive and their average tumour size was about half the maximum allowable size.

Dr Ann Bode, who led the research, said: "Plants of the ginger family have been credited with therapeutic and preventive powers and have been reported to have anti-cancer activity. "The substance called [6]-gingerol is the main active compound in ginger root and the one that gives ginger its distinctive flavour."

She added: "These results strongly suggest that ginger compounds may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal carcinomas." Further studies are planned.

In the second study, researchers from Union College in Nebraska looked at the properties of the Chinese herb Scutellaria barbata (SB), which is related to mint. It is traditionally used to treat illnesses including cancers of the liver, lung and rectum.

The researchers either gave mice, who did not have immune systems, either eight milligrams a day of extract of SB, 16 milligrams or a dummy version. In the dummy group, significant tumours had developed by 19 weeks of age, and by 32 weeks, all of these mice had palpable prostate tumours.

By comparison, 20% and 30% of the mice in the 8 mg and 16 mg SB groups, respectively, were free of tumours. At 27 weeks, fewer than 30% of the animals who were not given SB were free of tumour-free, compared to 50% and 70% in the low and high-dose groups respectively.

Dr Brian Wong, who led the study, said: "We are finding that, in this case, the therapeutic value of natural herbs is presenting itself as clinically valid. "As we further study Scutellaria barbata, we hope to find the same benefits against prostate cancer in human models."

Henry Scowcroft, a science information officer with Cancer Research UK, which is helping fund a Europe-wide study into diet and cancer, said:

"We know that what we eat affects our risk of developing cancer, particularly bowel cancer, and it's estimated that a third of all cancers may be linked to diet.

"The results of the [6]-gingerol study are interesting, and hint that it is a worthy candidate for further investigation. "The studies now planned by the team should go some way towards revealing whether the compound can have any clinical use in bowel cancer treatment and prevention."

Copyright BBC 2006

There is a cure for every type of malady that afflicts us, but no cure will be found until we begin to shift our consciousness away from self-serving attitudes and begin to appreciate and love each other.

The condition known as AIDS, although a horrendous disease, has also been an incredible opportunity for growth and enlightenment. Previously associated with gay men, it has now reached the general population. People throughout this planet have been reluctant to realize the extent of its existence. However, we are finally becoming educated to the fact that we are all in the AIDS matter together. Because of AIDS we are being forced to learn lessons of tolerance, understanding, and acceptance.

This condition brings out elements of people's personality and character they did not realize as part of themselves. So many of the infected individuals question, among other things, their spirituality, their unique universal existence, their fear of the unknown, and most importantly, the element of love. Our souls grow the most under the greatest stress. This is true not only for those afflicted but their families and friends as well.

During sessions with spirits who have passed with this condition, many gave reasons for having to go through this experience. The spirits prefaced their communication by explaining that their life paths were chosen long before they came to Earth. Many have said that they are helping to balance the negative karma of this planet created by our wrong way of thinking about and behaving toward each other.

People who have passed from cancer have told me the same thing.

- from Talking to Heaven, by James Van Praagh

Research on spontaneous cures of cancer, conducted in both the U.S. and Japan, has shown that just before the cure appears, almost every patient experiences a dramatic shift in awareness ...

The latest discoveries in neuro-biology build an even stronger case for the parallel universes of mind and body. When researchers looked further, beyond the nervous system and the immune system, they began to discover the same neuropeptides and receptors for them in other organs, such as the intestines, kidneys, stomach, and heart…this means that your kidneys can 'think' in the sense that they can produce identical neuropeptides found in the brain…it is very likely that if we had the whole dictionary and not just a few scraps, we would find that every cell speaks as fluently as we do ...

Conventional medicine already recognizes that ordinary experience can play a complex role in disease. For example, statistics show that single people and widows living alone are more likely to get cancer than people who are married. Their loneliness is called a risk-factor - one could just as truly call it a carcinogen. Then why isn't curing loneliness a cure for cancer?

... why bother to call it cancer? You could tell yourself that you have a chronic disease that has no name. If it doesn't have a name, then you don't have to worry about statistics.

- from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind / Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra

What I hear you asking for … [is] not just a cure but a reason why this has happened to you … it would be easy for me to claim that your sickness is meaningless, that it is just the result of some random disruption in your body. That is more or less what medical training drums into us.

... Patients want to know why they hurt … its deeper implications refuse to remain buried. They are not content just to be told why the stomach, the intestines, or the breast hurts … even after you salve the ulcer, unblock the intestine, or cut out the breast tumour, the patient returns with trouble in his eyes ...

There seems to be a hole in the middle of everyday life, as if a rock had been thrown through a plate-glass window ... On the surface, all my patients are seeking help because they are ill, sometimes gravely … but what often shocks me is that many seem, in some barely concealed way, relieved …

[the disease can also open] opportunities denied to by ordinary life ...

Sickness has always had an element of escapism in it. As children we were coddled by our mothers whenever we ran a fever, and seriously ill adults are given 'intensive care'. But if a terminal illness is seen as escapism at its ultimate, one cannot help but ask, Is this life so terrible that escape is its greatest reward? ...

It is disturbing to think that our culture provides us with so little opportunity to confront the basic meaning of life that sickness and death have filled the void by becoming conversion experiences ... I'd rather live six months with this cancer [one patient told me], than seven years the way I was ...

People have to be transformed before the crisis ... Pain is basically a signal of where healing should begin ... turning inward starts to dissolve that conditioning ...

Although no larger than a man's clenched fist, the heart does enough work in a day to raise a one-tonne weight to the height of a five-storey office building … yet, elaborate as it is … [it can be] battered by the nothing of a thought ... Perception is the first and most important step in turning the raw data of the universe into reality … this 'fusing' of 'me' and things 'out there' is what makes the lens of perception magical.

Michael Crichton writes in Travels: 'These patients were telling me stories of events that had affected their hearts in a metaphysical sense. They were telling me love stories. Sad love stories, which had pained their hearts. Their wives and families and bosses didn't care for them. Their hearts were attacked. And pretty soon, their hearts were literally attacked ...

- from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfil Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra

Witnessing a quantum event in the field of light waves may seem comparatively objective, but what if quantum reality were just as present in our own thoughts, emotions and desires?

... If I find a green meadow splashed with daisies and sit down beside a clear-running brook, I have found medicine. It soothes my hurts as well as when I sat in my mother's lap in infancy, because the Earth really is my mother, and the green meadow is her lap. You and I are strangers, but the internal rhythm of our bodies listens to the same ocean tides that cradled us in a time beyond memory ...

Nature is man's healer, because Nature is man ...

All of us can shift the biology of our bodies from one extreme to the other. When you are wildly happy, you are not the same person, physiologically speaking, as when you were deeply depressed ... An Ayurvedic physician is more interested in the patient he sees before him than in the disease.

- from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind / Body Medicine by Deepak Chopra

Recently the term PLACEBO was inverted into a new term, NOCEBO, to describe the negative effects of a doctor's opinion ...

[Medical assistance should be associated with healing] If a patient regards any treatment as violence, then his body will be flooded with negative emotions and the chemicals associated with them. It is well documented that in a climate of negativity, the ability to heal is greatly reduced - depressed people not only lower their immune response, for example, but even weaken their DNA's ability to repair itself ...

Doctors push patients into predictable thinking all the time, because medical school training is focused entirely on the horizontal axis.

- from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind / Body Medicine by Deepak Chopra

The biochemistry of the body is a product of awareness. Beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell. An aging cell is the end product of awareness that has forgotten how to remain new ...

Perception appears to be automatic, but in fact it is a learned phenomenon. The world you live in, including the experience of your body, is completely dictated by how you learned to perceive it. If you change your perception, you change the experience of your body and your world ...

A meticulous 1987 study from Yale, reported by MR Jensen, found that breast cancer spread fastest among women who had repressed personalities, felt hopeless, and were unable to express anger, fear, and other negative emotions. Similar findings have emerged for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, intractable pain, and other disorders ...

You can choose to see the rose bloom and die; you can choose to see the rose as a wave of life that never ends, for next year new roses will spring from the seeds of this one ...

No two people experience their bodies in exactly the same way, because each of us interprets experience - including the experience of inhabiting a body - according to his own personal beliefs, values, assumptions, and memories.

An aging body involves one style of interpretation; an ageless body involves an opposite style ...

No matter how separate anything appears to the senses, nothing is separate at the quantum level ... Reestablishing the memory of your connection with the quantum field will awaken the memory of renewal in your body ...

Major factors that accelerate aging: depression, lack of daily routine, lack of regular work routine, job dissatisfaction. Minor: inability to express emotions ...

Valliant was among the first researchers to establish that depression often leads to premature aging, chronic illness, and early death. Generally, at the root of depression is a kind of emotional numbness ...

Being holistic, exercise sends chemical messages back and forth between the brain and various muscle groups; part of this flow of biochemical information stimulates the production of catecholamines. Thus, whenever a doctor writes a prescription for an antidepressant, Boritz declares, he is handing out a proxy for the body's own inner prescription, which is filled by exercise.

The basic fuel of the body is glucose, or blood sugar, which is the brain's only food. Burning a sugar cube over a gas flame yields a flash of light and heat and a greasy lump of carbon, but the same sugar burned in the brain produces all the thoughts and emotions we have. The Sistine Chapel … and Beethoven's Ninth are accomplishments of burning sugar ... A message is not a thing, and yet your body turns it into a thing. This is how nature operates behind the illusion of physical reality ...

If you hear the words I love you and your heart starts to pound, an ... astonishing metamorphosis has taken place. An emotion in another person's mind has been transformed into molecules of adrenaline rushing through your bloodstream ...

Child psychologists have found that young children are much more deeply influenced by ascriptive statements from their parents than by prescriptive statements … in other words, telling a child WHAT HE IS makes a much deeper impression than telling him WHAT TO DO ...

Pain in the present is experienced as hurt. Pain in the past is remembered as anger. Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety. Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is called guilt. The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression ...

The emotions that frighten us are the complex ones, because they overwhelm the natural release mechanism. You cannot simply release guilt or depression. They are secondary formations that arose once you forgot how to release hurt

Music is metabolized in the same way as narcotics in that it creates the release of endogenous narcotics in the body.

Exhilarating music creates natural anti-depressants in the body.

- from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: A Practical Alternative to Growing Old, by Deepak Chopra

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