The “C” word…that daunting cloud lurking on the horizon. Few diseases are as frightening as cancer. It is rare to find someone who has escaped the darkness of cancer. Those of us who have not personally felt its touch have watched loved ones struggle against it. We wonder, will it pass us by?
In my years of homeopathy work, I approach some diseases with almost joyful anticipation. Eczema, for example. Nothing makes me happier than to see an affliction that causes so much suffering clear up so thoroughly and easily after choosing and diligently administering the right remedies. Homeopathy can uproot the intense suffering caused by eczema with relative ease and rapidity—I know that because I have seen it, time and time again.
Although cancer is not easy, I believe homeopathy can meet cancer’s challenges with the same confidence. I have come to this conclusion, in part, through my work with the Banerjis at the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation in Kolkata, India. My mentor, friend and colleague, Dr. Prasanta Banerji, reminds me that “Every illness or condition is curable when homeopathy is applied, but not every person who has that illness or condition will be cured.”
Does that leave us with a down note? I do not believe so. If homeopathy is capable of addressing cancer even only partially, without chemo, radiation or surgery clouding one’s remaining years, homeopathy offers the potential for quality of life during that time and an end with dignity.
BANERJI HOMEOPATHIC PROTOCOLS FOR CANCER
I personally have witnessed cases of cancer uprooted with homeopathy, particularly in my own family. However it is easy to brush off personal experiences as “anecdotal,” or to rationalize them in other ways—“Well, after all, he was also doing a Gerson juice fast, and she was drinking quarts of Essiac tea.” There is something to be said for hard scientific data. Double-blind clinical trials carry a weight and clarity that sometimes helps us stop second-guessing and doubting what we have seen with our own eyes.
In fact, there is great work being done in the field of cancer research and homeopathy. Of course, you probably did not know this, because homeopathy is quiet, elegant and has no rowdy pharmaceutical industry (and hence government) backing. Instead it politely goes about the business of cancer research and treatment, with its only acknowledgement coming from the homeopathic community and of course patients and their grateful families.
The Banerjis have attained worldwide recognition for their efforts in the fight against cancer, due especially to their astoundingly successful results using a particular homeopathic medicine combination for a particular form of cancer. For more than twenty years, they have used a protocol for glioma brain tumors that combines Ruta graveolens 6C and Calcarea phosphorica 3X. In 1995, the Banerjis attended the Fifth International Conference of Anticancer Research in Corfu, Greece, where they spoke on “Regression of brain tumors by ultra dilute medicine.” The paper documented sixteen cases of brain tumor regression following administration of the Ruta graveolens and Calcarea phosphorica protocol.
The Banerjis’ research and the documentation and publication of their results have attracted the attention of other cancer research organizations. Some have conducted their own studies using the Banerji protocol methods. One such organization is the department of molecular genetics at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In 2003, the International Journal of Oncology published the results of an MD Anderson study.1 The Cancer Center’s investigators found that the homeopathic preparation of Ruta graveolens 6C administered in combination with Calcarea phosphorica 3X induced complete regression of tumors in six out of the seven glioma patients who took part in the study.1,2 Six out of seven is 86 percent! These are truly incredible results given that oncologists consider this particular form of cancer as practically incurable. The usual five-year survival rate for adult glioblastoma patients is around 10 percent.3
Ruta graveolens and Calcarea phosphorica are not the only medicines that the Banerjis use to treat cancer, and gliomas are not the only cancers that they have successfully treated. However the glioma protocol may be their most famous precisely because typical glioblastoma survival rates when using conventional treatments are so low. The substantial accomplishments of homeopathy in this situation really stand out in comparison and are very difficult to attribute to coincidence, placebo or that old favorite, “spontaneous regression.”
However, the Banerjis also have found great success in the treatment of other cancers, such as bronchogenic carcinomas (lung cancer). In 2000, they spoke on this subject at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Comprehensive Cancer Care conference that impressed the NCI so much that they reviewed some of the Banerjis’ cancer cases as part of their Best Case Series Program.4 Four of the cancer cases submitted by the Banerjis had independent confirmation of the diagnosis and response to treatment. After review, the NCI certified that the Banerji protocols warranted further scientific study.5
There are few types of cancer the Banerjis have not treated, given that they see one to two hundred cancer patients a day at their Kolkata clinic.6 From 2004 to 2013, the Banerji Clinic treated over twenty-four thousand cancer patients. According to the clinic’s records, 50 percent of these patients experienced either improvement or complete regression of their cancers, and another 28 percent stabilized, getting neither better nor worse. Only 15 percent of the patients worsened, and 7 percent discontinued treatment.7
MORE RESEARCH ON HOMEOPATHY AND CANCER
In December 2006, the peer-reviewed journal Integrative Cancer Therapies published a study on Copenhagen rats inoculated with prostate cancer cells and subsequently treated for five weeks with homeopathic protocols. This study found that the homeopathic remedies appeared to “significantly slow the progression of cancer and reduce cancer incidence and mortality” in the treated rats.8 The same journal published another article in July 2011 describing a study of the effects of Ruta 200C, Carcinosinum 200C, Hydrastis 200C, Thuja 200C and Thuja 1M on cancer cells in tumor-bearing mice.9 This study concluded that the “ultradiluted” homeopathic medicines produced a variety of effects that contributed to tumor cell apoptosis, thereby reducing tumor size.9
Researchers have studied a number of other homeopathic medicines and found them to be effective in the reduction of cancerous cells and tumors. These homeopathic medicines include Lycopodium clavatum, Phosphorus, Chelidonium majus, Gelsemium sempervirens, Natrum sulphuricum, Secale cornutum, Polygala senega and Conium maculata. Interestingly, a study that tested the efficacy of the remedies Carcinosinum and Natrum sulphuricum in protecting mice against the development of liver cancer induced by chronic feeding with the carcinogenic dye p-dimethylaminoazobenzene and phenobarbital found that while each of the remedies had a protective effect, the combination of the two remedies administered together had an even greater beneficial effect.10,11
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES WORK
If scientific studies on homeopathy and cancer are not more numerous, there are a variety of legal and financial reasons why. In the United States, for example, laws enacted in over half of our states restrict the use of “unproven” cancer therapies. (I wonder how those got put into place?) As a result, most cancer research utilizing homeopathic medicines is conducted on animals or on cancer cells in vitro. Furthermore, because the greatest financial incentive for scientific studies resides in the lure of developing new and profitable pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures, the conventional medical establishment continues to devote most of its cancer research energies to studying the trio of “traditional” cancer treatment methods: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Nonetheless, life and healing go on, studies or no studies. Science can help us to understand and explain phenomena, but it does not in itself create those phenomena. In other words, homeopathic medicines work, whether we write about them in peer-reviewed journals or not. We have a two-hundred-year history of observing the success of homeopathic medicines, and in the end that’s enough science for me.
1. Pathak S, Multani AS, Banerji P, Banerji P. Ruta 6 selectively induces cell death in brain cancer cells but proliferation in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes: a novel treatment for human brain cancer. Int J Oncol 2003;23(4): 975-982.
2. Bruck D. Homeopathy efficacy of Ruta graveolens in brain cancer & leukemia. Homeopathy World Community, September 15, 2010. http://homeopathyworldcommunity.ning.com/forum/topics/homeopathy-efficacy-of-ruta.
3. American Brain Tumor Association. Glioblastoma (GBM). http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/glioblastoma.
4. Vanchieri C. Alternative therapies getting notice through Best Case Series Program. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000;92(19): 1558-1560.
5. Banerji P, Campbell DR, Banerji P. Cancer patients treated with the Banerji protocols utilizing homoeopathic medicine: a Best Case Series Program of the National Cancer Institute USA. Oncol Rep 2008;20(1): 69-74.
6. Dr. Prasanta Banerji Homoeopathic Research Foundation (PBHRF). Types of cancers treated at PBHRF. http://www.pbhrfindia.org/cancer-and-the-banerjiprotocols/types-of-cancers-treated-at-pbhrf.html.
7. Science in Society. Homeopathy for the masses: mass treatment for cancers. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Homeopathy_for_the_Masses.php.
8. Jonas WB, Gaddipati JP, Rajeshkumar NV, et al. Can homeopathic treatment slow prostate cancer growth? Integr Cancer Ther 2006;5(4): 343-349.
9. Preethi K, Ellanghiyil S, Kuttan G, Kuttan R. Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells by some potentiated homeopathic drugs: implications on mechanism of action. Integr Cancer Ther 2012;11(2): 172-182.
10. Bhattacharjee N, Banerjee P, Anisur RK. Homeopathic drugs Natrum sulphuricum and Carcinosin prevent azo dye-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Indian J Biochem Biophys 2009;46(4):307-318.
11. Mueller M. Is homeopathy an effective cancer treatment? The American Homeopath, Vol. 18, 2012.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2017.