By Alan N Hopking MA
Originally published in icon - Issue 2 2007
Herbs have medicinal benefits
The human organism is complex. Every system of the body is interactive and interdependent. Our bodies have evolved in an interdependence with our localised environments, especially the vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs that surround us. It is known that medicinal plants have a specificity that has been undeniable both by traditional herbal practitioners and modern pharmaceutical research. Hampton Court 400 years ago, was surrounded not by roses but by herbs, used to treat all the Royal ailments.
Take the publicly popular St John’s Wort: known for centuries for its various beneficial medicinal effects. Recently hailed as the best alternative anti-depressant in the west. This headline is not just because it works, but because science says its primary action is due to monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibiting activity, a function that inhibits the breakdown of mood enhancing brain chemicals.
Using them as drugs loses their credibility
So what does the drug industry do? It isolates this chemical called hypericin and concentrates it (called standardisation). And then, still calling it St John’s Wort, it promotes it as a safe and natural anti-depressant!
Safe it may be (although it has been banned in many countries in Europe including Ireland), but natural? Not at all. It may have been derived from the natural living plant, but such standardisations are no more natural than calling refined sugar, ‘sugar cane’, or highly refined trans fats, ‘olive oil’.
What became of St John’s Wort’s other medical attributes? Natural St John’s Wort contains a great number of active constituents apart from hypericin, each of which contributes to its synergy. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, sedative; used for neuralgia, anxiety, irritability, menopausal neurosis; insomnia, arthritis, gout, bronchitis, asthma, paralysis agitans, senile tremor. For a thousand years or more humans have used the whole plant; the whole plant medicine called St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) may be used for any of these conditions but taking the other effects into account.
This approach is not surprising though as Pharmaceutical companies are only too happy to provide synthetically made vitamin C, without any of the naturally occurring bioflavenoids that surround it in its natural form, or synthetic vitamin E, which in Europe is now restricted to just one chemical form of the vitamin (alpha-tocopherol) rather than the 8 that occur in nature. Is it any wonder that researchers studying this form in ‘meta-studies’ have concluded it may reduce life expectancy, and increase cancer risk?! How often have we seen the headlines in the newspapers ‘Vitamin in cancer scare’? More accurately, it should read ‘Synthetic Compound in cancer scare’.
Without exception, every medicinal plant suspended from use by MHRA (see note 1 below) in Britain or in any other country is due to the use of the standardised form (isolating, concentrating and standardising the active constituent). The natural plant gets the blame for the unnatural compounds failings.
The fact is we can't cheat nature. Is it any surprise that scientifically strengthening major constituents in medicinal plants (as standardised tablets), often results in the complex human organism over-reacting to this unbalanced, unbuffered, plant form – causing unwanted side effects, even death?
Many important medicinal herbs, perfectly safe when used in their whole and natural form, have been lost to medical herbalists because of this ‘Tampering with Mother Nature”. And be clear, this is all because standardisation of medicinal herbs once patented and licensed bring big money rewards and profits. But this is not herbal medicine as herbal practitioners understand and use it. These are drugs, with side effects.
How long before ‘vitamins’ go the same way? Herbal practitioners have already seen garlic, ginkgo, turmeric, ginseng, feverfew and more go the same way.
Organic foods - preventative but not curative?
There is much talk about our nutrition standards having fallen over the last sixty years. Yet today never have we been so lucky - highly competitive supermarkets with an increasing range of organic foods. Remember how these were branded as freakish and hippy forty years back? Real natural is now certificated organic by the Soil Association in the UK – no chemical additives, no chemical fertilisers, no hormonal enhancers, no toxic insecticides. Recent research studies have shown these foods do indeed contain more vitamins, minerals and factors like omega-3.
This ‘movement’ is growing as a matter of choice. Be clear, the supermarkets are motivated by profit too, and a chat with Tesco will tell you that these foods are bought by mum’s for their families and young children, unhappy with the falling standards of scientifically modified, refined and mass produced foods of the last 50 years. This trend to natural and organic nutrition is supported by science and the Department of Health.
The World Health Organisation is quite clear that ‘poor diet’ contributes to cancer and ‘good diet’ contributes to prevention. That foods contribute to prevention is scientifically proven and undeniable. And when a patient has been given the ‘All Clear’ don’t they just want to prevent the cancer returning? Yet we hear all too frequently from such eminent minds as Professor Waxman of Imperial College and CRUK that a good diet of organic foods, fresh juices and natural remedies cannot possibly help cure a cancer and that their sales are merely driven by gullible and vulnerable patients?
Science moves in mysterious ways.
Back to basics
So would it be possible to take herbs, whole herbs, that are complementary in their effects, and so provide something that was organic, nutrient-dense and formulated to help maximise our physical organ function, plus give increased immune system support, systemic integration, alkalisation and detoxification?
The answer is a resounding YES. The prescribed intent of this medicinal nutritional powder would be to increase wellness and longevity. Sorry, it has to be emphasised again – this mixture must be nothing but whole herbs powdered and mixed together; a formula that needs nothing else to make it what it is – and certainly no standardisation, binders, chalks, taste enhancers, colourants, stabilisers, or isolated processed ingredients!!!
Such a ‘formula’ would need:
· To provide extended nutritional support, plus important medicinal benefits.
· To supply essential phytonutrients, plus propolis and bentonite with their unique medicoprotective and detoxifying qualities.
· To provide synergistic security that all these constituents work together for health and healing.
· To have a strong alkalising action in the body.
· To have scientifically proven phagocytic activity and increased natural killer (NK)-cell motivation.
· To be a cell oxygenator.
· To help regulate blood sugar levels.
· To be efficiently absorbed.
That’s what I set out to do and what I believe I have achieved. Nothing more, and nothing less. I call it ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus. The whole herbs (note 2) in the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus are:
Barley Grass. Golden Seal. Alfalfa. Turmeric. Siberian Ginseng. Barberry. Shitake. Spirulina. Bilberry. Kelp. Garlic. Ginseng. Stevia. Aloe Vera freeze-dried juice. Propolis. Ginkgo. Fleeceflower root. Gotu Cola. Cinnamon. Cloves. Suma root. Guarana. Liquorice. Wheatgrass. Bentonite*. Anise. Slippery Elm. Echinacea. Cardamon. Marshmallow. Celery seed. Burdock root. Horse Chestnut root. Asafoetida. St John’s Bread. Kola nut. Peppermint. Psyllium seed. Aniseed. Rhubarb. Sheep Sorrel. Dandelion root. Horseradish. Coriander. Hawthorn. Ginger. Reishi.
You can find out more about this product, the research studies behind the herbal properties and the references for this article, and how to obtain it in this article.
| Alan Hopking’s ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus Scientific support
Many of the herbs included in the ABC Daily Powder have been scientifically researched for their anti-cancer action (note 3) .
For instance, macrophage activation by the polysaccharide arabinogalactan isolated from plant cell cultures of echinacea (note 4) . This was found to be effective in activating macrophages to cytotoxicity (cell death) against tumour cells and micro-organisms (Leishmania enriettii). Furthermore, this polysaccharide induced macrophages to produce tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interferon-beta 2, and also induce a slight increase in T-cell proliferation (notes 5&6).
The chemical constituents of garlic have shown significant evidence of inhibiting tumour growth (note 7). It has also been shown to help breast cancer (note 8). There are a huge number of papers about the actions and benefits of garlic (note 9).
Aloe has been found to contain at least three anti-tumour agents, emodin, mannose, and lectin. The researchers concluded that aloe controls pulmonary carcinogenesis and is effective in the treatment of leukaemia and sarcoma and that it would prevent the development of tumours. Aloe vera gel has been demonstrated to enhance the immune system's response to cancer, promote the growth of new and healthy cells, and reduce the overall viral load within the body, thereby revitalizing the body in its fight against the cancer. When radiation and chemotherapy are used, aloe helps to minimize the damage done to the body by these treatments, which destroy healthy cells - particularly immune system cells - crucial to the body's recovery. The use of aloe enables the body to heal itself from cancer and the damage done to it by conventional treatment: the immune system is boosted, tumours shrink, metastases are reduced so the cancer does not spread, and new healthy cells begin to grow, it is claimed.
Berberine found in golden seal root and barberry bark has an action against some pathogens that is actually stronger than that of antibiotics commonly used; it has been found to inhibit candida, as well as other pathogenic bacteria, preventing the overgrowth of yeast that is a common side effect of antibiotic use. This fascinating alkaloid increases blood supply to the spleen. This improved blood supply may promote optimal activity of the spleen by increasing the release of compounds that potentiate immune response. It has also been shown to activate macrophages in a number of ways. Coupled with its ability to inhibit tumour formation in the laboratory, suggests that berberine possesses some antineoplastic activity.
According to Kisaka Mori, Ph.D., shitake mushroom is high in enzymes and vitamins not usually found in plant foods. In studies, shitake has helped to prevent transplanted tumours from taking hold. Possible indications for use of shitake mushroom include: heart disease, cancer, AIDS, high cholesterol, gallstones, stomach disorders, ulcers, diabetes, vitamin deficiency, anaemia, common cold, allergies, insomnia, and neuromuscular disorders. Lentinula edodes (Shitake mushroom) has shown anti-tumour properties in laboratory mice. These studies, the earliest dating back to 1969, have also identified the polysaccharide lentinan, a (1-3)-D-glucan, as the active compound responsible for the anti-tumour effects. Extracts from shitake mushrooms have also been researched for many other immunological benefits, ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies. Lenthionine, a key flavour compound of shitake, also inhibits platelet aggregation, so it is a promising treatment for thrombosis.
Suma root (Pfaffia paniculata) has been called the ‘Russian Secret’ because it is taken by Russian Olympic athletes to increase muscle-building and endurance without the side effects associated with steroids. This action is attributed to the anabolic agent, beta-ecdysterone as well as three novel ecdysteroid glycosides which are found in high amounts in suma. Nutritionally, suma root contains 19 different amino acids, a large number of electrolytes and trace minerals including iron, magnesium, cobalt, silica, zinc and the vitamins A, B-1, B-2, E, K, and pantothenic acid. The high content of germanium accounts for its properties as an oxygenator at the cellular level. The root of Suma is composed of up to 11% saponins. These saponins include a group of novel chemicals called pfaffosides as well as pfaffic acids, glycosides and nortriperpenes. These saponins have clinically demonstrated the ability to inhibit cultured tumour cell melanomas and help to regulate blood sugar levels. Suma has many uses as an immunostimulant including ME and arthritis. Not surprisingly, the pfaffosides and pfaffic acid derivatives in suma have been patented as anti-tumour compounds in two Japanese patents.
Spirulina and some of its constituents have shown an ability to favourably affect various immune functions. In one animal experiment, it boosted phagocytic activity and increased natural killer (NK)-cell activity two-fold, compared with controls. Spirulina has significantly inhibited chemically induced anaphylactic shock and serum histamine levels in rats, leading to the conclusion that spirulina may inhibit mast-cell degranulation. In another animal experiment, spirulina significantly inhibited local allergic reactions induced by anti-dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE. It demonstrated, more specifically, a significant inhibitory effect on anti-DNP IgE-induced tumour necrosis factor-alpha production, leading the researchers to conclude that spirulina inhibits mast-cell mediated immediate-type allergic reactions both in vitro and in vivo.
Cat’s claw bark has been shown to enhance phagocytosis. It is said to improve overall immunity while increasing stamina; it strengthens protection against viral infections; and has been shown to decrease the visible size of some skin tumours and cysts within just two weeks. Studies have stated that cat’s claw reduces the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy in cancer patients.
Chlorophyll, concentrated in wheatgrass, barley grass, peppermint, sheep’s sorrel and hawthorn, has been found to inhibit chromosome damage and this action may effectively block cancer. Chlorophyll also increases your resistance to x-rays damage. It strengthens resistance against pathogens and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. It reduces the damaging effects of radiation burns; stimulates the regeneration of fresh tissue; purifies the liver and dramatically raises the oxygen level in the tissue cells.
I have already received astounding acclamations concerning the use of this powder, which are cited on my website. However, the directive concerning the possible remarkable health benefits of the ABC Daily powder is that it is designed for low-dose/long-term use to promote the body’s own unique powers of protection and healing by complementing a healthy diet regime, and medical treatment where this is implicated.
Please note that ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus is an unlicensed herbal medicine available by prescription only from Alan Hopking MA MNIMH. Alan has been a herbal practitioner for over 25 years. He has a clinic in Christchurch, Dorset, UK. For more information or to discuss your health needs you can contact Alan Hopking on Freephone 0500 90 96 97, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the herbs used in the NutriPowder mentioned in this paper, go to www.godshaer.co.uk/daily-nutritional-herbal-powder.php
1. MHRA – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The British government’s department for the assessment and regulation of all medicines in UK.
2. There are two products in this herbal powder that are not herbal: propolis gum is made by bees, and Bentonite is ancient volcanic clay. See my website for more information, www.godshaer.co.uk
3. For a complete study of the nutritional and medicinal attributes of the herbs in ABC Daily Powder, please refer to www.godshaer.co.uk/daily-nutritional-herbal-powder.php
4. Luettig B Steinmuller C Gifford GE Wagner H Lohmann-Matthes ML
5.J Natl Cancer Inst 1989 May 3;81(9):669-75
6. Infect Immun 1984 Dec;46(3):845-9
7.Garlic and its significance for the prevention of cancer in humans: a critical view.
In: Br J Cancer (1993 Mar) 67(3):424-9
8.Proc Annu Meet Am Assoc Cancer Res (1993) 34:A3322
9. Other references to garlic’s preventative action:
Preventive action of garlic on aflatoxin B1-induced carcinogenesis in the toad Bufo regularis.
In: Nutr Cancer (1994) 21(1):95-100
Bioavailability of selenium from selenium-enriched garlic.
In: Nutr Cancer (1993) 20(2):129-37
Ip C Lisk DJ Scimeca JA
Potential of food modification in cancer prevention.
In: Cancer Res (1994 Apr 1) 54(7 Suppl):1957s-1959s