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Graviola and cancer

This Week In The HSI Forum

Doctors said his situation was hopeless. How many times have we heard that one?

In an HSI Forum thread titled “Graviola progress report,” an HSI member named Bob tells how he took charge of the cancer treatment for his father-in-law after the doctors threw in the towel. Bob writes: “Month’s ago my Father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. It was too late for chemo or radiation. 86 years old, the Doctors basically said ‘go home and die.’ Everyone (except me) accepted the inevitable. I purchased Graviola powder from Equadorian products ( put the powder into the smallest capsules, and explained to him that if this works, his wife and none of his kids will ever have to go through what he’s going through.

“I prescribed 1 in the morning and 1 at night for the first week, then have the nurse check the blood pressure (Graviola’s side effect). If no change then go to 2 in the morning and 2 at night for a week and have the nurse check blood pressure, continue the pattern of increase until he reaches 6 in the morning and 6 at night (The highest level recommended by my studies). First he began to hold down food. Eventually he started sleeping less.”

And now? This man who was sent home to die “is keeping busy in the garden.”

In the e-Alert “Giving and Taking Care” (Thursday, 9/16/04 – see below), I told you about an HSI member named Mary who also had very positive results using graviola to care for her father who had lung cancer. And with more than 25 individual threads about graviola on the Forum, it would seem that quite a few HSI members have found out about this remarkable cancer-fighting botanical.

A member named Howard writes: “My brother recently had an annual physical and his PSA was very elevated. He’s 77 years old and his doc insisted that he take chemo in a pill form to lower the number. He started the chemo, but informed his doc that he was going to take graviola in addition to the chemo pills. He shrugged and said it wouldn’t help, but OK’d the use. After 60 days, his PSA had dropped to infinitesimal numbers. The doc was very excited. He said he had never seen this form of chemo work like this. When my brother reminded him that he had been taking graviola daily and drinking the tea, the doc shrugged it off as unimportant. So much for medical open mindedness!”

The medical mainstream may not be open minded about herbal treatments for cancer, but those of us who take a great interest in alternative health care need to be open minded about potential drawbacks. In this case, graviola has been known to interact poorly with antidepressants. It may also affect blood pressure, so patients with hypertension or hypotension should be especially cautious in using graviola. And as a member named Melly notes: “Please do not forget that Graviola is antimicrobial and the good bacteria in the stomach might ‘die’ with prolonged use and strong dosages ingested.” Melly suggests eating yogurt to protect good bacteria – a good suggestion, as long as the yogurt contains live cultures.

And a member named Jo reports on another unusual side effect and how to cope with it. When her husband (who has prostate and bone cancer) began taking graviola, he experienced a state of “altered consciousness.” She writes, “He described it as a waking nightmare. He skipped the next day’s dose, then resumed at a lower dose, then worked his way up to 5 grams over a 7 day period. He has been symptom free for some months now.”

Obviously, graviola is a powerful natural agent that should be used with care. And as HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., has pointed out before, cancer is too great a challenge to handle alone. If you feel comfortable using alternative treatments to fight such a formidable health problem, it’s best to do it with the guidance of an experienced doctor or health care professional. For an extraordinary insight into one patient’s decision to leave the mainstream behind to treat his cancer, see below for this week’s e- Alert “A Road Less Traveled” (9/14/04).

If you’d like more information about using graviola to fight cancer, HSI Panelist Jon Barron has devoted an entire article to graviola on his Cancer Tutor web site;

Other topics on the HSI Forum this week include:

  • Raw milk question
  • Flickering/shimmering vision
  • Zoloft and Xanax
  • Diabetes
  • Tests for candida
  • Any natural anti-fungals?

You can easily reach the Forum on our web site at Just click on “Forum,” and join in with any of the dozens of discussions about nutrition and natural health care.