You'll never guess the name of the medical mainstream's newest cancer-fighter

The cancer is glioma, one of the most deadly types of brain tumors.

And the cancer-fighter? St. John’s wort.

Researchers at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute tested hypericin (the herb’s active component) on patients with recurrent or progressive malignant gliomas that had resisted conventional therapy of radiation and chemo.

Results showed that hypericin had clear antitumor activity, stabilizing tumors and even decreasing the size of some tumors.

Hmmm…do you suppose amazing results like these might earn St. John’s wort some respect from the mainstream medical community?

Don’t bet on it. Conventional medicine types do this all the time. They dismiss alternative medicine as if it’s superstitious voodoo, then create synthetic versions of active agents, ranging all the way from aspirin (the first mainstream drug) to, yes, hypericin.

Right now, there isn’t enough data to recommend that cancer patients start using St. John’s wort but you might want to stock up anyway. Once Big Pharma’s Franken-version is available, you never know how long we’ll be able to get it without a doctor’s order.

“A phase 1/2 study of orally administered synthetic hypericin for treatment of recurrent malignant gliomas” Cancer, Published online ahead of print, 3/31/11,

Get urgent health alerts, warnings and insights delivered straight to your inbox