Kenny Ausubel has
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461 pages, $
Harry Hoxsey, like Samuel Thomson 150 years
earlier, was an uneducated, folk hero. On the deathbed of his
father, he inherited the recipes for what is widely believed
to be the world's most successful cancer treatment. He also took
on the responsibility of keeping alive and making available a
treatment that remains as controversial today as it was during
the agonizing McCarthy era when Hoxsey was hounded by the AMA
and its allies in bureaucracy. Hoxsey kept his promise to his
father and suffered accordingly. He was arrested more times than
anyone in history, more than 100 times, but was repeatedly vindicated
at the end of every ordeal. . . as well as posthumously.
The passion surrounding Hoxsey and his work
is as great today as it was fifty years ago. This treatment will
not disappear no matter how irritating it is to those who regard
it as archaic and hence obsolete. No one, regardless of their
determination, has ever managed to prove that the treatment doesn't
work. Quite the contrary, thousands of people claim to owe their
lives to Hoxsey, and even today, I continually receive letters
and e-mails from people who are wondering whether Hoxsey is still
alive and how they might pursue the treatment that saved their
parents or grandparents. At the height of his fame, Hoxsey, a
rough hewn self-proclaimed healer, owned a chain of hospitals
that spanned seventeen states.
An Archaic Treatment
Perhaps because I am a fool, I have somehow—inadvertently,
I assure you—taken on the custodianship of an "antiquated,
quaint, historic, and archaic" cancer treatment. Unlike
those writing me, there is no history of cancer in my family,
and I have no personal acquaintance with anyone who is alive
today because of Hoxsey. Years have passed and the survivor's
clocks have probably long since sounded their last tick.
Hoxsey's clinic was moved to Tijuana in
the mid-seventies. The original director of the clinic passed
on recently, but work is being carried on by Mildred Nelson's
successors just as the heirs in Hoxsey's family kept their
promises to Hoxsey's great grandfather.
In his day, Hoxsey was widely regarded
as one of the few persons who was actually curing people of cancer.
However, vested interests, jealousy, financial rivalry, dirty politics,
and a score of other unpleasant experiences dogged practically
every inch of Hoxsey's Path. I found a similar pattern of persecution
of those who believe they have relief or a cure for cancer dating
back 350 years.
Suppression and persecution have
not, however, managed to stamp out either the hope or the understanding
of historic treatments. It is my prayer that my book not
only assures that this will never be the case, but that patient
outcries will open the door to the kind of research that will provide
people more assurance that their desire for more natural and less
drastic approaches to disease will be supported by their doctors
. . . and family members.
For many generations, the Hoxsey family
offered a cancer treatment to those who chose it, many of
whom traveled far to obtain the treatment, just as many today
go abroad for treatments that are not found in their own
countries. Superficially, the Hoxsey treatment seemed simple:
some little herbal pills, an elixir or
tonic, and an external escharotic paste that burns off tumors.
Perceptions can be deceiving. Though it would seem that anyone
can self-administer the treatment, they are ill-advised to
do so because unanticipated reactions to the treatment make
the guidance of
more experienced advisable even if not absolutely necessary.
If, however, a person is adequately informed,
there is a reasonable possibility of succeeding with the
treatment of a relatively simple neoplasm without supervision.
For those who do require supervision, there are more and
more practitioners becoming proficient with this treatment,
and there is the clinic in
Mexico that Hoxsey's chief nurse ran for so many years.
be an alternative to surgery, but they are not for those looking
for a quick, simple, or painless way to remove tumors. Nevertheless,
they are a way to destroy and remove malignancies. Hoxsey,
who grew up in a family devoted to this treatment, felt that
it took years to train physicians in his methods.
I started this site (several
years ago) in response to a deluge of e-mails precipitated
by Dr. Andrew Weil's link from his web site to my personal
e-mail. People were looking for bloodroot,
the main herb in the black or red paste. Once they found
it, they didn't know how to use it. I wrote the book,
first as a how to manual and later as a more or less complete
disclosure of what the treatment involves and the different
pastes and strategies that can be utilized.
Visitors to This
Many people visiting this site have
found it after starting the use of some kind of escharotic
treatment for which they were unprepared. Others have sought
out this treatment as a first choice because they heard
about from older family members. Others are coming after
their growths are large and sometimes ulcerated or after
other treatments have failed. Though it is likely that
some of these people are suitable candidates for escharotic
treatment, professional guidance will be almost a necessity
for them. So, if you write me a personal email using the
contact form, I will only suggest that you see a practitioner
This said, I do believe that it is
realistic for some people to self administer an escharotic
paste to a tiny basal cell carcinoma, but it just because
it may be possible to succeed does not mean it is advisable.
For a large breast tumor, the assistance of an experienced
practitioner is mandatory.
Sacred Medicine Sanctuary does not
sell any escharotic pastes because:
- I promised those I interviewed
about their experience with the products that I would
never go into competition with them, and;
- I want people to feel that they
can turn to someone for guidance and the best persons
to offer this assistance are those who provide the products.
Naturally, I hope patients will get
the products from qualified practitioners who are willing
to assist the treatment, but the products are widely available
from literally hundreds of sources,
some of which are mentioned on this site.
How Effective is the
This subject is discussed elsewhere on
this site and
in depth in my book. Though Hoxsey did not seem to be aware
of the history of the treatment nor its use by other practitioners—many
of them properly trained medical doctors—Hoxsey claimed
the same 80% success
rate as qualified physicians who used similar treatments.
I have tried to interpret this figure.
On the one hand, it is easy to assume that cancer diagnosis
was not as sophisticated in more historic times, that things
as ordinary as warts might have been regarded as malignancies;
but my research did not support this conclusion. On the
contrary, it gave credence to the idea that diagnosis tended
to occur much later than it does today so that tumors were
rarely presented for treatment before they were quite large
and often ulcerated. In short, I think the 80% figure is
nothing less than remarkable.
As the result of much legal pressure
and financial jealousy, Hoxsey's formulae were eventually
disclosed. All of them are published in the Appendix of
my book. Sacred Medicine
Sanctuary has been re-creating one after another of the
historic products to assess the validity of the claims
made by people who are no longer able to participate in
the ongoing debates. We have been providing my version
of the Hoxsey Elixir, first as Trifolium
Compound, so-named because I am personally convinced
that the formula's true origin is with the Eclectic physicians
who called it such after the red clover that is an ingredient
in the formula. . . and that contrary to the story promulgated
by the Hoxsey family, this formula was not discovered by
a horse! Later, we renamed the formula Sundance
Elixir in honor of Chief Sundance who was a contemporary
of both Dr. John Christopher and Harry Hoxsey—and
both had formulas nearly identical to the Hoxsey heirloom
Besides red clover, the tonic contains Oregon grape root,
poke root, sarsaparilla, stillingia, buckthorn, burdock,
cascara sagrada, prickly ash berry, licorice, and Irish moss.
It is prepared with distilled spring water and honey.
In Hoxsey's day, patients paid a one-time fee for a lifetime
supply of the tonic. They were shipped one bottle a month
and many enjoyed decades of support for their health as a
result of their contract with Harry Hoxsey. Today, many patients
who visit Tijuana are given the tonic for half a year before
commencing the use of the escharotic paste. They continue
on the tonic, at lesser dosages for at least five years.
Many take the tonic throughout their entire lives. Hoxsey
advised patients that initially, they are likely to eliminate
black, tarry substances. No patient has reported such an
experience to me.
Hoxsey's Elixirex was actually more like a potassium iodide
drink with a small amount of herbs added. Our tonic does
not contain any potassium iodide. Irish moss provides a small
amount of potassium iodide in a natural form, but our Sundance
Elixir is an elegant herbal tonic, made in the herbal tradition,
not as a replica of the Hoxsey Elixirex.
more information on the research surrounding this tonic, visit
the web site that
maintains a list of links to professional publications and investigations
of Hoxsey's treatment. For the report on the ingredients in Hoxsey's
formulae, read the report commissioned
by the U.S. Congress.
For possible hazards associated with
improper use of escharotics, please read some of the letters
on the bulletin
board. To understand that a virtually ideal outcome is
also possible, read case
Much of the material on this site is historic or ethnobotanical in origin. The information presented is not intended to replace the services of a qualified health care professional. All products discussed on this site are best used under the guidance of an experienced practitioner.
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Sacred Medicine Sanctuary
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2000, 2001, 2005