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General characteristics

General characteristics

A tumour is an abnormal cluster like growth of cells that grow uncontrolled. The tumour may be benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A malignant tumour may shed cells into the blood and infiltrate other parts of the body whereas a benign tumour stays put but may grow to a point where other nearby organs or tissues are adversely affected.

The cells in the body are constantly being broken down and rebuilt as a normal part of life but under certain circumstances, the mechanisms that tell cells to stop dividing (or multiplying) are faulty and a tumour is the result. Tumours can form in any body tissue and often show slightly different growth rates and characteristics depending on the organ or body tissue affected. Treatments will also vary depending on the type and site of the tumour.

The underlying reason for tumour formation is still unclear but it is known that tumours result from a run away process of cell division and a lack of factors inhibiting the cell division.

Benign tumours can also form after a physical injury or hard fall. 


Exposure to many everyday chemicals (such as plastics, aerosols, household cleaners, flame retardants, stain protectors, the list is way too long), some medicines, environmental pollutants, pesticides and herbicides, x-rays, radiation from nuclear industry and testing and many other man-made chemicals are known to encourage tumour formation, both benign and malignant. the list of known and suspected carcinogens increases year upon year.


The organisation has a really useful website offering much needed advice for those with tumours and cancers that want an 'alternative' approach.





Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

There are many differing theories as to how and why tumour formation begins and how to stop it. One line of thought, the Warburg hypothesis, is that cancer cells proliferate in low oxygen environments and use sugar as their fuel to reproduce. He postulates that this is a possible reason for weight loss. If this proves to be correct, then a diet low in sugar and high in fresh, unprocessed whole foods is a sensible place to start on the road to healing.


Eat organic whole foods wherever possible to avoid the potential hazards from genetically modified organisms, pesticides, herbicides and harmful medications (in animal produce).


Avoid processed foods, drinks and supplements which are practically devoid of healthy nutrients and laden with artificial additives and chemicals. Avoid refined carbohydrates and all foods containing them.


Avoid dairy foods such as milk if you have a tumour in the reproductive organs or breasts. They are exceptionally rich in oestrogens, many of which are given to the cows to force them to lactate for longer periods than normal. Also cows in American are injected with growth hormones that are known to promote prostate cancers.


Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids such as oily fish and nuts and seeds may also help to both prevent and reduce tumour growth.


Include plenty of turmeric and cayenne (chilli) in your meals for their anti-tumour properties.


Foods rich in the plant flavanoid quercetin should be eaten for their anti-tumour properties. Capers are exceptionally high in quercetin, other sources include most uncooked green leaves (including lovage, dill and coriander) and buckwheat. Most brightly coloured vegetables such as peppers and chills are also a good source.


Other foods which are known to have anti-tumour properties include grapes (unpeeled and seeded if possible), raw cacao nibs (unprocessed chocolate), carrots, beetroots, sprouted mung beans, noni fruit, olives and raw olive oil, peaches, mangosteen (especially the rind), wheatgrass, black pepper, cashew and other nuts, hemp seeds, fresh coconut, cinnamon, any of the berry fruits, broccoli and the cabbage family, edible seaweeds, grapefruits and other citrus fruits, flax seeds, tomatoes, green tea and black tea, watercress, apples (with the skin) and garlic.


Make sure you are getting enough fibre in your diet. If you are eating the above foods and avoiding processed and refined ones this will not be a problem for you.



Useful herbs

Useful herbs

It is almost simpler to list herbs that aren't considered to posess anti-cancer properties as so very many have been used for centuries the world over. However here are some plants that science is starting to recognise. This list will no doubt grow but one thing is very clear - a plant based diet (and I don't mean fake meat/dairy or meat/dairy substitutes!) is an anti-cancer diet.


Shiitake mushrooms are known to contain substances that have an anti-tumour effect and increase the immune response of the body. Add to meals in their fresh or dried state or as a powder in capsules. Many other medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, lions mane etc. also have good immune enhancing and anti-tumour actions. The birch fungus chaga (Inonotous obliquus) is an old Russian remedy used in many diseases, including cases of cancer and tumours. Reishi mushrooms also.


Turmeric powder can be encapsulated and taken 3 times daily with food. Turmeric has a long list of mechanisms by which it causes the reduction and prevention of tumour formation.


Herbs that help to clear the lymphatic system and disperse hard swellings and clusters include cleavers, poke root, violet and figwort.


Herbs that express anti-tumour actions including pau d'arco (which enhances the immune response against tumour cells), sage, ashwagandha, neem, schisandra berries, elecampagne root, burdock root (as a tea or poultice), fennel seeds, lemon balm, red clover (use with caution with oestrogen driven tumours), alfalfa leaf, artichoke leaves, boneset, ground ivy, fenugreek seeds, violet leaf and chapparal.


The formula known as 'essiac' (named after the nurse who first concocted it) is a well known anti cancer and tumour formulation containing burdock root, sheep's sorrel, slippery elm and rhubarb root.


Fresh carrot poultices have also been traditionally used to place over the swelling from a tumour in order to stop their growth.


An extract of gentian root "gentian violet' prevents new blood vessel formation to tumours (angiogenesis) so can be useful for shrinking tumours and delaying new growths. External use only.


Juniper berries have been shown to kill tumour cells.


Plantain leaves have an excellent reputation against skin cancers, drink as a tea daily and use the herb as a poultice.



Natural healing

Natural healing

Cider vinegar (always use organic unpasteurised) has shown anti-tumour properties in mice.


Royal jelly also has also shown anti-tumour activities.


Castor oil poultices have also been used traditionally to shrink tumours.

Child watering plants




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