Category Archives: Alternative Medicine


Nutty Anticancer Tool

The stimulant component of areca nuts, arecoline, has anticancer properties, according to the researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  These particular findings will be published in Molecular Cell.

In many Asian countries the areca nuts are chewed for their stimulant effects.  Evidence links this practice to the development of oral and esophageal cancer. Arecoline is analogous to nicotine and identified as an inhibitor of the enzyme ACAT1 that contributes to the metabolism-distorting Warburg effect in cancer cells.

The health news observers have complained thatDoctor Tools coffee, for instance, is implicated in causing cancer in one week, and then absolved the next.  Senior author Jin Chen, PhD, professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, stress that the same trend is not the same for arecoline.  Showing that ACAT1 is a good anticancer target is just a proof of principle and they view arecoline as a lead to other compounds that could be more potent and selective.

According to Chen arecoline could be compared to arsenic, which is a form used as a treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia, but is also linked to several types of cancer.  If not delivered or absorbed orally, arecoline’s cancer-promoting effects may be limited.

When arecoline first came to light in a chemical screen, it sounded like a carcinogen to Chen, but it all depends on the dose and how it is taken into the body.  

The Warburg effect from 1931 describes how cancer cells tend to favor the inefficient use of glucose, also known as glycolysis, and de-emphasizes their mitochondria.  This metabolic distortion benefits the cancer cells because the byproducts of glycolysis can be used as building blocks for fast growth.

In the lab, Chen had previously identified the mitochondrial thiolase ACAT1 as a control valve regulating the Warburg effect.  Researchers showed that ACAT1 enzymatic activity was higher in several types of cancer cells, even though the levels of ACAT1 protein are about the same.  This is because the protein clusters together as tetramers in cancer cells and when tyrosine kinases are on overdrive in cancer cells, they hijack ACAT1 and nudge it into tetramers that are enzymatically more active.  Arecoline appears to steer cells’ metabolism away from glycolysis.

There seems to be a double role for the enzyme ACAT1 as it breaks down ketones and the amino acid isoleucine, and it also modifies other proteins through acetylation, which is how it regulates the Warburg effect.

ACAT1 has genetic mutations that lie behind a very rare metabolic disorder called beta-ketothiolase deficiency.  Complete inhibition of this could induce side effects resembling that disorder, but the main effect was on protein acetylation and not on ketone metabolism.

There appeared to be no obvious toxicity when treating mice with arecoline but more extensive pharmacokinetic and toxicology studies with arecoline and similar compounds are needed.

Dr Fredda Branyon



Can our bodies be trained to fight cancer through immunotherapy?  An article was contributed to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights on how powerful the human immune system is and how complex.  Author of the Live article is Balveen Kaurand Pravin Kaumaya of the Ohio State University.  Invaders of nearly infinite variety can be identified and destroyed while sparing the more than 30 trillion cells of the healthy body.  Research teams are developing novel treatments to harness the full potential of the body’s natural defenses with new insights into the interactions between cancer and the immune system.  This is what immunotherapy is. New Hope Unlimited hashealing been using immunotherapy successfully for years.

Researchers are using animal models and clinical trials to use techniques that will train the immune system to recognize and attack cancer as the enemy.  Traditional medicine uses synthetic drugs to help the immune system find and destroy cancer cells and another is through vaccines that teach the body to recognize the cancer cells. New Hope Unlimited uses all natural products to do the same.

The pairing of immunotherapies with modified viruses that attack tumor cells and keep them from returning are being revealed by recent studies.  These new weapons provide hope that cancer can ultimately be defeated by harnessing the immune system. The immune system springs into action when foreign cells infect the body.

 Antibodies are produced that bind to proteins called antigens on the surface of the foreign cell.

Antigens produced by cancer cells are not normal and don’t bind to their antigens so the immune system does not destroy them.  These barricades stay shielded and weaken immune cells. They are then allowed to grow unchecked, developing blood vessels and invading into other tissues.  The immune system can be educated by immunotherapy to produce antibodies that can bind to the antigens on cancer cells, thus blocking the growth-promoting function of these antigenic proteins or to flag them for recognition and destruction by immune cells.

Some drugs can bind to cancer cell antigens and mark them for death.  Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a monoclonal antibody that binds to an antigen human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 found in abundance on some of the most deadly breast cancers.  The perception binding triggers an immune assault on the breast cancer cells.

Antibody-mediated therapy has shown promise but such drugs are not always a cure and very expensive leaving the family with a huge burden.  Another approach is using vaccines to fight cancer cells. Synthetic proteins can drain the immune system to recognize antigens on cancer cells, inoculating a patient against a cancer for a year at a time and at a far less cost per patient of less than $1,000. Of course, the patient does end up paying more than that.

Viruses can be trained to attack cancer, with more than 1 benefit.  They directly assault tumor cells and can massively replicate with the diseased cells, causing them to explode.  As immunotherapies evolve and grow more effective, combination therapies bring every available treatment when cancer strikes.  Patients will respond differently to personalized treatment. The biggest challenge in viral and immunotherapy is to harness the good to destroy cancer without the potential toxicity that could become lethal and destroy nonmalignant cells.

                                                                                                                                      — Dr Fredda Branyon

Will FTC End Homeopathy?

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going after the natural medicine system known as homeopathy.  In November of 2016 the FTC stated that homeopathic remedies were lacking sufficient proof to claim they are effective.  The remedies must state there is no scientific evidence that the product works.  The FTC further stated that in order to not mislead consumers homeopathic remedies lacking sufficient proof must communicate to consumers that the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700’s, and not accepted by most modern medical experts.

The truth is, about 5 million adults and 1 million children in the U.S. use homeopathy every year and the remedies are known to be generally safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.  Why is it then that the FTC is slapping it makers with so much increased enforcement?  The Business Insider, who advocates more stringent rules on homeopathic remedies, says it’s to hold these products of the same standard as other similar products, which means going through the same rigorous studies as synthetic drugs made by pharmaceutical companies.  Homeopath Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH says it is clear that this governmental agency is ignoring important scientific evidence, so we must wonder if they are protecting Big Pharma from competition more than protecting us, the consumers.

Homeopathy was founded at the turn of the 18th century and is a medical system based on the theory that like cures like, when the cure comes in small doses.  Health conditions can be healed by treating a person with minute doses of a substance that would produce similar symptoms to their health condition if given in larger doses.  As an example, if you drink too much coffee you might feel agitated and have trouble sleeping.

Homeopathy is nearly mainstream in many other countries where more than 500 million people worldwide have accepted it.  There is scientific backing in support of homeopathic medicine that includes:

  • Those with allergies reported improvements in nasal airflow compared with a placebo group.
  • Those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) it significantly reduced stringy tracheal secretion.
  • Homeopathy lessened tender point pain and improved quality of life in people with fibromyalgia.
  • It was effective in treating acute childhood diarrhea, decreasing the durations of the diarrhea and the number of stools per day.
  • It also significantly reduced the severity and duration of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in children.
  • Homeopathy has positive effects in children with ADHA, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.

The placebos have been found to have powerful healing effects without side effects, much like the homeopathy.  It has been discovered, however, that while homeopathy has been proven to work better than a placebo, another widely accepted medication, antidepressants, has not.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that medical errors in hospitals and other health-care facilities are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.  These errors lead to 251,000 deaths every year, according to the study.  This highlights the importance of taking control of your health.  By recovering from a health condition, using a non-invasive and virtually side-effect-free treatment like homeopathy, it’s definitely worth a try, especially when looking at the state of U.S. medical care today.

                                                                                                                                          Dr Fredda Branyon

image c/o pixabay

Is Bee Pollen A Cure For Allergies

Is Bee Pollen A Cure For Allergies?

For years, herbalists from all over the world have touted bee pollen as an exceptionally nutritious food. It contains vitamins, minerals, lipids, carbohydrates, and protein. It comes directly from the pollen that collects on the bodies of bees, indicating that it could also include bee saliva.

It’s important not to confuse bee pollen with natural honey, honeycomb, bee venom, or royal jelly since they do not contain bee pollen, although there are combination products that include one or more of these substances. It is one of nature’s perfect superfoods. Bees fly from flower to flower collecting pollen to bring back to the hive where they create the granules. Similar to how honey is harvested, no bees are harmed in the process of collecting bee pollen.

Is Bee Pollen A Cure For AllergiesHow does bee pollen help allergies?

According to Medical News Today, “Allergies are hypersensitive responses from the immune system to substances that either enter or come into contact with the body. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Allergens can be found in food, drinks, or the environment.”

An allergy persists when your body develops an immune response to an allergen, thus, creating antibodies. These antibodies act as a receptor-activating element on your cells that trigger the release of histamine, which results in an allergic reaction. Bee pollen reduces histamine, which is the same target over-the-counter medications act on. It can be highly effective in treating a wide range of respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic sinus infections.

When should I take it?

If you suffer from spring allergies, it’s best to start consuming bee pollen before the season arrives. If you have fall allergies, on the other hand, start in mid to late June to give your body enough time to build up an immune response.

How do I take it?

It’s crucial to start gradually with half a tablespoon a day, working your way up to 1-3 tablespoons by the end of four weeks. If you prefer, you can also add a spoonful of bee pollen to morning smoothies and cereals. It’s also best to consume with fruit since the fibers in the plant will activate the pollen much faster, cleansing your colon simultaneously. Gut and immune health are closely connected in regards to the severity of allergies.

What if I’m allergic to bee pollen?

If you have a terrible history of hay fever that could heighten your sensitivity to pollen; try this simple test. Place a few granules in your mouth and wait for approximately two minutes. If you experience no symptoms (a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes), chew slowly and then swallow. Wait for another 24 hours and monitor your body for any symptoms or signs of an allergic reaction. If you don’t experience any, gradually increase your intake as stated above.

How do I choose the best kind?

Make a habit out of buying local products to ensure that you’re building up an immunity to the plants around your area. You can ask your local farmer, or look for a label that states it is mold and pesticide free.

While bee pollen does come in pill, powder, and liquid form, it is still best to consume the actual granule bees make. The granules have a sweeter taste combined with a powdery texture that can be easily incorporated in smoothies, sprinkled on yogurt, or combined with granola.

Consult your doctor before starting new medication

If you are highly allergic to bee stings, it is recommended to avoid bee pollen altogether. If not, take an added precautionary step by checking with your doctor before consuming any natural product for a health condition.

Chemo and Alternative Medicine

At last! A study that proves complementary and alternative medicine can work.

Those women with early-stage breast cancer that had used dietary supplements and multiple types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), were less likely to start chemotherapy than nonusers of CAM, according to a new study that was published online by Jama Oncology.  Despite the survival benefits associated with adjutant treatment for breast cancer, not all women initiate the treatment.  The decision to use chemotherapy involves psychosocial factors, belief systems, clinical, demographic and provider characteristics.  Patients with breast cancer showed an increased use of CAMs in the past two decades, but few studies have evaluated how CAM use affects decisions regarding chemotherapy.

Coauthors and Heather Greenlee, N.D., Ph.D., of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York, have studied a group of 685 women with early-stage breast cancer who were recruited from multiple sites.  Their participants were younger than 70 with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer.  Five types of CAM were included as vitamins and /or minerals, herbs and/or botanicals, other natural products, mind-body self-practice and mind-body practitioner-based practice.  A CAM index summarizing the number of types of CAM was used.

There were 306 women clinically indicated to receive chemotherapy based on guidelines, and the rest of the women were considered to have a discretionary recommendation for chemotherapy.  Most of the women (272 or 89%) were by 12 months indicated for initiated treatment of chemotherapy.  The women for whom chemotherapy was discretionary had a much lower rate of initiation of 36% (135 women).

Of the 598 women participants (or 87%), they reported CAM use at baseline.  Types of common CAM that were used were dietary supplements and mind-body practices.  The average number of CAM modalities used was two and 261 women, or 38%, reported using three or more types of CAM.

The use of dietary supplements and a higher CAM index score among women for whom chemotherapy was indicated were associated with a lower likelihood to initiate chemotherapy than the nonusers.  There was no association between starting chemotherapy and CAM use among women for whom chemotherapy was discretionary.

It is noted that it is important to consider possible alternative explanations for their findings and it is unclear if the association between CAM use and chemotherapy non-initiation reflects long-standing decision-making patterns among the study participants.  Results may suggest to oncologists that it might be beneficial to ascertain CAM use among their patients, especially dietary supplement use, and to consider CAM use as a potential marker of patients at risk of not initiating clinically indicated chemotherapy.

Doesn’t it make much more sense to build the body up to its healthy potential before even considering chemotherapy that delivers poison to your body?  Remember, the decision is in the individual’s own hands.  The suggestion of chemotherapy does not have to be your first choice.

–Dr Fredda Branyon


Alternative Medical Bill

I recently read an article written by Nicholas Bakalar on the costs of alternative medical care.  Americans are currently spending $30.2 billion a year on alternative and complementary medicines and procedures, including $1.9 billion on children ages 4 to 17 years old.  Nothing is paid by insurance on any alternative medicine treatments, but rather is all paid out of the patient’s pocket.  

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, they maintain a continuing health survey of Americans that concludes 55.2 million adults and 4.4 million children received some type of alternative care.  About $14.7 billion, or almost half of the money, was spent visiting practitioners like acupuncturists, homeopaths, naturopaths, chelation therapists, mind body experts, energy healing specialists, hypnotists, massage therapists and traditional healers.

The natural product supplements cost $12.8 billion, excluding vitamin and mineral diet supplements, and $2.7 billion was paid for self-care, including expenses for books and educational materials on diet-based therapies, guided imagery, meditation, tai chi, movement therapies, biofeedback and other treatments.  This is quite a lot of money spent for care that the medical community deem worthless.

The $30.2 billion is only 1.1% of the nation’s total health care bill, which is $2.82 trillion.  However, the $12.8 billion spent on natural product supplements is 24% of the $54 billion spent out of pocket on prescription drugs, and $14.7 billion spent in visits to alternative practitioners and is nearly a third of the out-of-pocket expenditures for visits to conventional physicians.

The figures we see and compare are valuable data because it shows us just how much people value these alternative approaches, according to Richard L. Nahin, an epidemiologist.  Some people might use a therapy if it’s free but not if they have to pay for it.  When people are willing to pay for it out of their own pocket, they must really value and believe in alternative medicine.

Expenditures for a family increased with their income.  Those families with less than $25,000 a year spent an average of $435 a year on alternative care.  For lower income families, this only shows their trust and faith in taking advantage of alternative medicine, that could very well be a hardship for these families.  Their money would not be spent if some kind of results for their hard earned money weren’t realized.

I felt this pretty well summed up just how much of the population believes in this type of treatment, so there must be some validity in the overall success of alternative medicine. Insurance companies need to wake up!

–Dr Fredda Branyon



Alternative Care

I read an eye opening article written by a woman who is a cancer survivor.  Her story was uplifting and proves to me that alternative medicine is the perfect alternative to the immune destroying chemo treatments.

The lady in the article was told by her doctor that there was nothing further he could do for her. She had experienced a near death reaction to their poisonous chemotherapy.  She felt he had made all the money he could off her and was at the end of her treatment.  She chose as a last resort to enter one of the alternative care facilities in Mexico.  This was in 2007 when she was sent home to die by the oncologist.

She feels very fortunate at being a survivor and able to recommend alternative treatment in Mexico after surviving for 9 more years to date cancer free.  She arrived at the facility in a wheel chair with only several weeks to live.  Weak and feeling next to death, she fortunately still had the will to live.  After only several weeks of natural cancer treatments, she professed being a new person.  She felt strong and alive.  She walked out of the clinic beside her husband with huge smiles on both their faces.  At this point, she knew she would live.  

Upon returning home she visited her conventional oncologist who was shocked after receiving the results of her “after” PET-scan test, compared to her first test.  He professed never having seen anything quite like it.  Her blood tests were perfect and the PET-scan did not detect ANY CANCER at all.  She left him bewildered and confused at leaving, without even telling him she had been to Mexico for treatment.

This generous lady shared her story in the hopes that others out there having been given the death sentence would reach out to the possibility of alternative cancer treatment.  Many testimonies like this one are posted every day.  Don’t block out the possibility and hope that your life is NOT over, just temporarily sidetracked!


Treating Pain Without Drugs

The United States released a federal report revealing that more than 54% of adults had some type of musculoskeletal pain disorder such as back, joint or neck pain in 2012. This is a leading cause of disability and major contributor to health care expenses and disability compensation, and a significant price Americans pay for pain. Those suffering from pain were significantly more likely to have used a complementary health approach compared to those without pain.

There was congressional testimony from the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) that stated Americans consume 80% of the pain pills in the world. More than 2,000 pain patients in the U.S. said they were taking a dangerously addictive opioid pain medication. It has been suggested by research that these drugs work for only about three months and make changes in your brain that may lead to increased feelings of pain, along with added emotional upset. Feelings of hopelessness and desperation can be included.

Many suffering pain have tried nearly every treatment that conventional medicine has to offer such as medications, injections, surgery and more, only to find their pain hasn’t gotten better and they are struggling with treatment-induced side effects as well. At this point, it’s natural that they begin to seek other options, like holistic, complementary or “alternative” health care options for some relief.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings evaluated several complementary approaches for pain relief as listed below:

· Acupuncture
· Massage Therapy
· Relaxation Techniques
· Exercise
· Medical Marijuana

The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. These receptors are in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more. It is known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulations, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which has notable anti-inflammatory properties and has earned a reputation for being a multi-faceted healer. Essential oils for pain relief are: lavender, marjoram, chamomile, spruce, clove, ginger, sandalwood, fennel, wintergreen and frankincense.

Essential oils that help relieve RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) pain and inflammation include peppermint, orange, ginger, myrrh and turmeric.

Homeopathy is found to be effective for low back pain, and some common remedies include Aesculus, for dull pain with muscle weakness, Gnaphalium, for sciatica that alternates with numbness, Colocynthis, for weakness and cramping in the small of the back, Amica Montana, for pain as a result of trauma, Lycopodium, for burning pain, and Rhus toxicodendron, for stiffness and pain in the small of the back.

Your life can quickly be sidelined if you are in severe pain or struggling with chronic pain. Seek the help of a pain specialist who is familiar with alternative treatments. By identifying the underlying causes of your pain, a knowledgeable practitioner can help you to relieve your pain in the short term while healing the cause.

— Dr Fredda Branyon


Castor Oil Benefits

The castor oil seed has a very unique chemical composition.  The seed plant is native to India and 90% of its composition is ricinolete acid.  This is a fatty acid that is thought to be responsible for castor oil’s healing properties.  In Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Persia and 17th Century Europe and the Americas, it was used for medical reasons.

There are many uses for castor oil besides medical such as food additive, flavoring agent, mold inhibitor, ingredient in skin care products and cosmetics, used in the manufacturing of plastics, rubbers, synthetic resins, fibers, paints, varnishes, lubricants, sealants, dyes and leather treatments.  In WWI it was used as an aircraft lubricant.  

Besides being used in the industrialized world, were you aware that castor seeds could be deadly?  The toxin ricin is made from a protein in the castor seed and if ingested, gets into the ribosomes of your cells where it prevents protein synthesis that kills the cells.  Mash that is left over after processing castor seeds into oil, makes the ricin.  Just 1 milligram of ricin is fatal if inhaled or ingested and eating just 5 to 10 seeds would be fatal.

There are modern medical uses for castor oil like topical applications for a variety of skin conditions like keratosis, dermatosis, wound healing, acne, ringworm, warts, other skin infections, sebaceous cysts, itching and hair loss.  More importantly it shows some promise in treatment of cancer.  The American Cancer Society reports that early clinical trials suggest that ricin, when combined with an antibody to confine this poison to malignant cells, will shrink tumors in lymphoma patients.  

Castor oil has also been used to treat multiple sclerosis, arthritis, epilepsy, appendicitis, colitis, Parkinson’s Disease, Migraine and other headaches, liver ailments, cirrhosis, AIDs, eye irritation, cerebral palsy, cholecystitis, scleroderma, detoxification and gynecological problems.

Castor oil can be used as topical massage oil and the castor oil packs can improve the function of your thymus gland and other components of your immune system.  

Some side effects, such as taking orally, may alleviate constipation but can irritate your intestinal lining causing digestive discomfort, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects.  If you have cramps, irritable bowel, ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, colitis, prolapses, or have recently had surgery, you should avoid castor oil due to the adverse effects.  It has been known to stimulate labor in healthy pregnant women and there have been reports of it causing nausea.

–Dr Fredda Branyon



Cancer Fighting Pineapple Enzyme

CANCER FIGHTING PINEAPPLE ENZYMERelying on chemotherapy, conventional cancer treatment has proven a dismal failure in the United States. Chemotherapy is extremely toxic and works against your
body’s natural ability to fight cancer by destroying host immunity instead of supporting it. Healthy cells throughout your body are destroyed right along with the cancer cells that
often lead to faster death and not healing.

There are a handful of natural compounds that have been discovered that exhibit an effect called “selective cytotoxicity.” Meaning, they are able to kill cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells and tissue unharmed. This is the most intelligent way to treat cancer and will not result in the death of the patient from the chemo “collateral damage.”

One of the compounds is bromelain, which is an enzyme that is extracted from pineapple stems. The Planta Medica study research found that bromelain was superior to the chemo drug 5-florauacil in treating cancer. The property cytotoxicity is found only among natural compounds and no chemo drug has yet been capable of this effect. Other compounds that have been found to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones include:

❖ Vitamin C
❖ Eggplant extract
❖ Turmeric (Curcumin Extract)

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that digests proteins. In the study it was injected directly into the abdominal cavity getting the enzymes from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. Enzymes are susceptible to denaturing and must be helped to survive the highly acidic environment in the stomach. Through research it has been shown they can pass through your intestine intact and into the bloodstream and lymphatic system, where they can deliver their services to the rest of your body.

Some ways proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in the fight against cancer are:

❖ Boosting cytokines, particularly interferon and tumor necrosis factor, which are very important warriors in destroying cancer cells.
❖ Decreasing inflammation.
❖ Dissolving fibrin: Cancer cells hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection. Once unlocked they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. Fibrin
also is thought to make cancer cells stick together which increases the chance for metastases.
❖ German studies have shown systemic enzymes increase the potency of
macrophages and killer cells 12-fold.

Search for alternative treatments to fight cancer and bypass those toxic chemotherapy treatments that can destroy your immune system and eventually take
your life.
–Dr Fredda Branyon