Cancer-Beating Natural Compounds

Cancer-Beating Natural Compounds

Here are 20 natural compounds from a longer list by John Boik of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas in his book 'Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy' - each has been shown in research to have the ability to kill cancer cells and/or promote significant responses in the body to fight cancer; we include limonene, parthenolide, emodin, burdock root and others you may not have heard of.

Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy 

In 2001 John Boik of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas launched a book called ’Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy’, reviewing more than 6,000 research studies. It should have been compulsory reading for all Oncologists. It showed clearly the benefits of a host of natural compounds in fighting different aspects of the cancer process.

From the long list of cancer research studies, Boik concluded that cancer was not an ’item’ but a process with twenty steps, and a cancer patient might have several or all of these. Whilst no natural compounds could be said to ’cure’ cancer, some were particularly effective against certain of these 20 steps. The combination of a number of these natural compounds each targeting certain jobs could thus prove effective.

It is a theory Chris Woollams agrees with. He had already run an article in 2002 called 'the Rainbow Diet' and in 2005/6 he launched ’The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer’, using the very latest scientific research to show exactly what foods might reduce pre-cancerous inflammation, which vitamins might kill a cancer cell, which natural compounds might block or reduce estrogen, which might restrict blood supplies to a tumour, and so on. 

20 natural compounds that help fight cancer

Here, then, are twenty natural compounds that you might think of including in your regime to beat cancer. Most are covered in much greater detail on this CANCERactive Website.
1: Astragalus


Chinese herb not only does it boost the immune system but it helps the immune system recognise the cancer cells. It seems to help the action of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The Chinese also use it as a tonic to clean your liver. It is an adaptogen and helps regulate hormone balance.

2: Carotenoids
Several studies in Cancer Watch lately have pointed to their effectiveness in helping to fight breast cancer. The yellow, orange and red pigments in vegetables like peppers, apricots, carrots, and the bright greens of broccoli, peas, lettuce and spinach and allow your body to make the vitamin A it needs. Vitamin A fights cancer and strengthens cell walls against viral attacks. After you pass 60, lowered thyroid function reduces conversion. Much research has been recorded on the double action of carotenoids and polyphenols in fighting cancer - the pigments and colours of the Rainbow diet.

Go to: Polyphenols- top foods for health

3: Bee Propolis
Can contain 180 different natural compounds, the ultimate Rainbow Diet multivitamin! Also keeps bacteria, yeasts and microbes in check and boosts the immune system.

4: Burdock Root, and Seed
Burdock root has anti-cancer properties - research has shown it increases programmed cell death, restricts angiogenesis reducing tumour size. There is research covering its effects with liver cancer, colorectal cancer, breast, stomach and esophageal cancers.  It also boosts the immune system and is found in Essiac.
5: Curcumin (Turmeric)
Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbes. Increasingly popular in the USA with doctors dealing with colorectal cancer cases. Protects healthy cells, attacks cancer cells. Poorly absorbed so must be taken with oil and black pepper.

6: Indole3carbinol
What doesn’t it do? Pharma companies tried to patent it and failed. Blocks oestrogen receptor sites from oestrogen attack, denatures aggressive oestradiol to safer cousins, and it even stops the action of dangerous chemical dioxin. Hoechst dubbed it ’The new safer Tamoxifen’. It is also effective against Triple Negative Breast Cancer via the p27 pathway.

7: Vitamin D

Becoming an essential ingredient in any anti-cancer regime. Attaches to receptors on cancer cell walls and is thought to be capable of returning them to be ’healthy, normal cells’. Only real source via sunshine on the cholesterol layers below your skin. A little in fish oils. Professor Holick of Boston Medical School suggests every body with cancer takes 5,000 IUs a day. 80% of people on cancer diagnosis have blood levels below 20ng/ml. The healthy target would be 50-70ng/ml. 

8: Emodin
Active ingredient in some Chinese herbs and found typically in the root of Polygonacea. Shown to be a powerful anti-cancer agent against lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer. It is also known to make the Liver cancer drug Sorafenib work better. 

9: Vitamin E
Boik believes ideal anti-cancer dose is 440 to 1700 IUs per day. But it must be all natural with all 8 types of vitamin E (4 tocopherols, 4 tocotrienols).

10: Flaxseed/Linseed
Seems to have several different benefits, for example, a good short-chain omega-3 source, an alpha-linolenic acid source and a good lignan source. Each performs different anti-cancer functions for example, boosting oxygen, restricting aggressive oestrogen, stimulating friendly gut bacteria.

11: Garlic
Allicin is a proven, potent ingredient. Research indicates its anti-inflammatory benefits, and even an ability to restrict blood vessel formation in tumours. Must be fresh, uncooked garlic.

12: Genistein
An ’anti-oestrogen - it is found in a number of pulses like beans and soya but is especially prevalent in Red Clover, the herb of Hippocrates. Several cancer centres have researched its benefits for people with oestrogen-driven cancers. Dr Young S. Kim head of the National Institute of Cancer in the USA has it in her top ten compounds for preventing recurrence.

13: Ginseng
GinsengHas glucose-controlling properties, is an immune booster, and there is some research showing it can act against cancer cells.

14: Honokiol
A good number of research studies have shown that this Traditional Chinese Medicine attacks cancer cells, kills cancer and restricts metastases. Three research centres are calling for human clinical trials it is so good.

15: Limonene
Limonene is found in the peels of citrus fruit e.g. orange or lemon peel. It may be a supplement or an essential oil. It is a terpene, an anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory. The University of Arizona produced studies in 2013 and 2015 on Limonene as an anti-cancer agent in animals and in 43 women with early-stage breast cancer.

16: Melatonin
Powerful antioxidant, which is normally produced by the pineal gland of the brain 45-60 minutes after falling asleep in a darkened room. It is also a hormone and known to regulate and balance oestrogen and IGF-1, two hormones that can drive cancer. 20 mgs is the researched medicinal dose. Some experts in the USA are even using high dose melatonin - 3 x 60 mg per day!

17: Parthenolide
The active ingredient of the herb Feverfew. This caused a big surprise a few years ago when research by Rochester Medical School showed it out-performed the anti-leukaemia chemo drugs! There are over 10 studies now showing it kills cancer cells and inhibits spread but almost always in vitro. The American FDA has ’fast-tracked’ saying it is a compound of huge potential. But don't hold your breath.
18: Proanthocyanides
Found in a wide variety of foods from grape seed and pine bark extract (where it has great immune boosting properties) to the anthocyanins of beetroot, aubergines, dark plums, which are known to kill cancer cells.

19: Reservatrol
Every week seems to bring new research on this natural compound found in organic red grape skins, where it keeps fungus and bacteria at bay. Research indicates benefits in cancers such as prostate, brain tumours, leukaemia and other illnesses including dementia, especially at high dodes of 750-2000 mg.

20: Mushrooms
Medicinal Mushrooms, such as Shiitake and Cordyceps, have been shown in research to greatly increase survival times, both on their own and in conjunction with orthodox cancer therapies. Active ingredients include polysaccharides (like beta-glucan polysaccharide) which boost the immune system and improve cellular messaging, and linoleic acid which seems to have anti-cancer properties and helps increase oxygen in the blood. Even button mushrooms help! Because each mushroom type can have different benefits it is best to mix three or four types in your meals.

Rainbow diet      

  At last, the definitive, research-based book on how to build a diet to help beat cancer. Click here to read about it.


NB: Some of these natural products are very powerful and can interfere with drugs. For more information see Boik's book. If using supplements please ensure that they are the all natural compound.

"If you are already buying these compounds you might like to look at what the Natural Selection’s Shop has to offer - CLICK HERE "

Vitamins, minerals, natural compounds and supplements
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.