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A Winning Formula Against Cancer
by Eva Urbaniak, N.D.


In our exploration of natural treatments for cancer, another formula that has proved to be an outstanding source of healing is the Hoxsey formula, named after the herbalist Harry M. Hoxsey. My interest in investigating this treatment originated from my school days at Bastyr University. Dr. Steve Austin, N.D., came to speak to our Oncology class, and after his own in-depth research into alternative treatments, made the statement that of all the clinics and protocols he studied, the Hoxsey program had the greatest success. He had a very personal interest in finding out what worked because his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and he wanted to help her in the very best way he could. Dr. Austin is no longer practicing, but continues to live in Oregon with his wife, who is well; and he now lectures world-wide, and has continued his research on natural and effective cancer treatments.Harry Hoxsey (1901-1974) was the son of a veterinarian and the great-grandson of a horse breeder. The story of how the formula supposedly came into the family is an interesting one. Harry’s great-grandfather had a horse that had developed cancer on its leg and was put out to pasture to die. The sick horse grazed on certain plants, soon the cancer disappeared, and the horse was well again. His great-grandfather went out into the field and gathered the plants in the area where the horse had grazed. He combined the plants into a salve and successfully treated other horses with the same and similar problems by applying the herbal salve externally. Hoxsey’s father also used the salve on his animal patients and passed the formula on to him.The formula is used internally and topically (the topical version also contains bloodroot, or Sanguinaria canadensis, an escharotic, which helps to slough off diseased tissue) and has had some variations over time, one version of the formula contains chaparral, another powerful anti-cancer herb, but the basic Hoxsey “recipe” is as follows (also listed, anti-cancer constituents):

Barberry root bark (10 mg.)
Buckthorn Bark (20 mg.)
Burdock root (10 mg.)
Cascara sagrada (5 mg.)
Red clover blossoms (20 mg.)
Licorice root (20 mg.)
Poke root (10 mg.)
Prickly ash bark (5 mg.)
Queen’s delight root (10 mg.)
(added for external use only)
It should be noted that these herbs are added to a potassium iodide solution in varying amounts, depending on what type of cancer a patient may have, so at the Hoxsey clinic today, each formula is custom made. One teaspoon of the tonic is taken four times a day, after meals and at bedtime. External applications of the salve are also used as indicated.Let’s first look at each herb in the formula individually and explore its main attributes:Barberry root bark (Berberis vulgaris): A gallbladder and liver stimulant, laxative and bitter tonic. Excellent for weak or debilitated people to cleanse and strengthen the system. Has the ability to reduce an enlarged spleen. Effective treatment for malaria and protozoal infections such as Leshmaniasis.

Buckthorn bark (Rhamnus cathartica): A laxative, alterative (like St. John’s Wort), and diuretic. As its botanical name suggests, this is a cathartic and can cause diarrhea if too much is used.

Burdock root (Arctium lappa): A bitter, alterative and diuretic. As you may recall, this is one of the main ingredients in the Essiac formula. Traditionally used for psoriasis, joint problems, anorexia, dandruff, and as a poultice for speeding wound and ulcer healing.

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana): This is the main ingredient in Ex-lax. It is a mild purgative, excellent in cases of chronic constipation. It encourages peristalsis and tonifies a weak colon.

Red clover blossoms (Trifolium praetense): An alterative, expectorant, anti-spasmodic, and phytoestrogen. This herb is also one of the Essiac herbs, and has been the focus of renewed attention recently with the promotion of the plant’s constituents which are plant based estrogens. Plant estrogens do not have any of the side effects of animal derived or synthetic estrogens, and the beauty of phytoestrogens is that they can also inhibit abnormal estrogenic activity, as in the case of suppressing tumor growth. Genistein, (also found in soy extract and used to treat cancer), Daidzein, Biochanin, and Formononetin are the four main recently isolated coumarins in red clover blossoms, that are being promoted as a natural alternative for menopausal symptoms. They are also potent antioxidants. Traditionally, red clover was considered a tonic, a “blood purifier” and a dermatologic agent used externally as a nourishing hair rinse, and in steam baths to soften and heal the skin. The blossoms are still a source of all of the above and make a delicious and nourishing tea.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): An expectorant, demulcent (softens skin and mucous membranes), anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic (relaxes muscles), a mild laxative and an adrenal supportive agent. The glycosides in licorice act like steroids in the body, revitalizing the adrenal glands. Since the impact of stress on the development of disease is now well documented, balancing the glands that regulate the release of the stress hormones is an excellent approach for restoring health. Licorice can also be used successfully to help restore the adrenals after steroid therapy (i.e., prednisone, cortisone, etc.).

Poke root (Phytolacca americana): A lymphatic cleanser, stimulant, anti-catarrhal (breaks up stubborn mucus), anti-rheumatic, purgative (strong laxative), and emetic (can induce vomiting in higher dosages). This herb can be helpful in shrinking enlarged lymph glands, mumps, and is excellent for infections of all kinds, but especially those of the respiratory tract.

Prickly ash bark (Zanthoxylum americanum): A stimulant, especially of the circulatory and lymphatic systems, a carminative (soothes the digestive system), tonic, alterative, and a diaphoretic (induces sweating). It is helpful for varicose veins, leg cramps, rheumatism and skin diseases.

Queen’s delight root (Stillingia sylvatica): An astringent, alterative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, and sialagogue (promotes saliva). This aromatic herb has historically been used to treat skin disorders, but is also a very powerful lymphatic stimulant. Its astringent properties also make it an effective treatment for hemorrhoids.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis): Although this herb can be taken internally, Hoxsey preferred to only use it topically. It is a very potent medicine. It is an antiseptic, cathartic, anti-spasmodic, emetic, cardioactive (stimulates the heart and circulation), expectorant, and topical irritant/escharotic, and anti-fungal. It is very effective in treating bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, asthma, and is used in naturopathic treatment of HPV (human papilloma virus), the cause of cervical warts in women.

Now that you know what each of these herbs is traditionally used for individually, you can well imagine why this formula could be so effective in the topical and internal treatment of cancer. Although it was a horse in the 1840s which apparently inspired this particular formula, Harry Hoxsey had such remarkable success in healing cancers of all types, that he became quite well known in the 1940s, and by the 1950s he and his clinic became known to the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, and the FDA, and was promptly placed on the ACS’s “Unproven Methods” blacklist.

An independent study in 1954 by ten physicians (obviously more open-minded than the above-mentioned organizations), made an inspection of Hoxsey’s clinic in Dallas, examining hundreds of case histories, interviewing patients and ex-patients, and came to the conclusion that the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic “is successfully treating pathologically proven cases of cancer, both internal and external, without the use of surgery, radiation, or X-ray…. Some of those presented before us have been free of symptoms for as long as 24 years, and the physical evidence indicates that they are all enjoying exceptional health…. We as a committee feel that the Hoxsey treatment is superior to such conventional methods of treatment as X-ray, radium, and surgery. We are willing to assist this clinic in any way possible in bringing this treatment to the American public. But the treatment was denied to the public, because to the “Cancer Establishment,” non-toxic, relatively inexpensive approaches like Hoxsey’s were, and are, a competitive threat that must be stamped out in whatever way possible. A U.S. Senate committee investigating alternative cancer therapies hired a prominent Massachusetts attorney, Benedict FitzGerald, who determined that the National Cancer Institute “took sides and sought in every way to hinder, suppress, and restrict the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic…. that a conspiracy existed among the AMA, NCI, and other agencies to promote radiation, X-ray therapy, and surgery, while suppressing alternative, non-toxic therapies, which were highly praised by the cured patients themselves.” Two Federal courts upheld the “therapeutic value” of the Hoxsey internal tonic. Eventually the AMA admitted that the external salve had merit. Nevertheless, by the late 1950s Hoxsey was forced out of business in Texas, so he moved his clinic to Tijuana, Mexico, in 1963, where it remains today, now called the Bio-Medical Clinic.
With the Hoxsey therapy there is an emphasis on diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and personal counseling.

The dietary restrictions are fairly easy to follow:

No pork, tomatoes or anything made with tomatoes, pickles or pickled foods, anything containing vinegar, and no table salt. A low-sodium salt substitute is allowed. No white sugar, raw sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, alcohol or carbonated beverages. No bleached flour or products made with bleached flour. Unbleached flour is allowed. Large amounts of diluted unsweetened grape juice are to be drunk daily as well as at least two quarts of pure water daily. Highly seasoned foods should not be eaten. All fruits and fruit juices are permitted. Patients are encouraged to eat anything that agrees with them except the above and especially pork, tomatoes, vinegar, alcohol and bleached flour because they negate the effects of the tonic. Even fats and oils can be used in cooking.

Patients are encouraged to keep a strong fighting spirit toward their cancer. The tonic brings back their energy, and most feel better within just a few weeks. The program is maintained for up to years afterward, at which point health is restored, and patients monitor themselves thereafter, and return for check-ups.

Mildred Nelson, R.N., Hoxsey’s head nurse, moved with him in 1963 and has been carrying on his work since he passed on. She estimates that roughly 80 per cent of the people who come to the clinic are helped by the therapy, and there are many examples of long-term survivors with no recurrence of their cancers. There have been numerous studies conducted on the long-term survivors that have done the therapy. Cancers that have responded well to the Hoxsey protocol are lymphoma, melanoma, and skin cancer, although other forms of cancer have been completed healed as well. Some examples are: a 56 -year-old woman with metastatic ovarian cancer that was sent home to die 14 years ago, who remains vigorously healthy today; a 75-year-old man with metastatic prostate cancer, who shows no sign of cancer today, and a 62-year-old man with terminal malignant melanoma, whose cancer had continued to spread after surgery, who is now stable and improving after 3 years.

To find out more about the Hoxsey therapy and the clinic, contact:
Bio-Medical Center
P.O.Box 727
615 General Ferriera
Colonia Juarez
Tijuana, B.C.
Telephone number: 52-814-9011 or 52-814-9132


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