By Tony Isaac | The Truth About Cancer
In the early 1960s Turkish doctor Huseyin Ziya Ozel was searching for an alternate cancer solution for his family’s beloved pet dog when he discovered an age-old Turkish folk remedy for cancer and other illness. This remedy was based on the common oleander plant.
Dr. Ozel observed that Turkish villagers who were very healthy and who had a low incidence of cancer regularly drank an herbal tea made from oleander leaves. Doctor Ozel also observed these villagers using topical poultices made from crushed oleander leaves and flour to heal wounds and skin cancers.
Little did Dr. Ozel realize that his discovery would lead to him helping many people in his native Turkey and around the world defeat cancer.
The Powerful Anti-Cancer Benefits of Nerium Oleander Extract (NOE)
In 1966, while Dr. Ozel was the head of the surgical department at a hospital in Turkey, he began to prepare and work with various extracts of oleander. He found that although the raw oleander plant was quite toxic, a properly prepared water extract known as Nerium Oleander Extract (NOE) was non-toxic to humans.
Not only that, NOE showed positive effects against cancer. Further experiments and development of his treatment led him to eventually start tests on terminal human cancer cases. After initial success in treating human cancer patients with NOE, Dr. Ozel began discussing his findings with other professionals − although the response from the scientific and medical community was decidedly underwhelming. Despite a lack of support, however, Dr. Ozel persisted.
Nerium Oleander Extract (AnvirzelTM) is Patented
In 1992, Dr. Ozel was granted a patent for his Nerium Oleander Extract (NOE), which was later trademarked as Anvirzel.™ (Patent Number: 5,135,745). His patent application included a chart of hundreds of patients with various kinds of cancer, which clearly demonstrated that Ozel’s oleander treatment had achieved overall positive results an astonishing 70% of the time. This is a remarkable figure, considering that by law he was only allowed to treat patients who were either diagnosed as terminal or who had tried mainstream treatments which had failed to heal them.
Why You Likely Haven’t Heard of Oleander as a Cancer Treatment
Studies of oleander include two FDA phase I trials, and a number of studies conducted at the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Clinic and elsewhere. However neither extract has gone past the Phase I trials due primarily to the millions of dollars it takes to conduct advanced FDA trials. Without a pharmaceutical company with deep pockets to foot the bill, extensive trials on natural remedies rarely (if ever) happen.
Research into the efficacy of oleander extract has also included a double-blind placebo-controlled human trial (10 patients and 10 control group subjects) for HIV-AIDS at a South Africa AIDS clinic. This trial was for a product called Sutherlandia OPC (S/OPC), which is a combination of oleander and another plant − Sutherlandia frutescens. All ten of those who received S/OPC had their symptoms reversed and had a 70 percent increase in CD4 count over a 60-day period. Meanwhile, everyone treated with the placebo deteriorated in health over the same period.
The Secret of Oleander Extract Is in the Synergy
In 1988, a research team was formed at Munich University Pharmacology Institute to isolate the active components contained in the Nerium oleander extract. Several polysaccharides were identified that might be responsible for some part of the immune activity.
In July 1990, the initial results were presented at the symposium of Biology and Chemistry of Active Natural Substances (BACANS), which was held in Bonn, Germany. The presentation was published in Planta Medica. However, no single component of the extract was found to be the sole source of its benefits. Instead, the activity is induced by a complex mixture of components contained in the oleander extract, acting synergistically to modulate the immune system.
Since then, over 500 different compounds have been identified in the oleander plant. And although the cardiac glycoside oleandrin has been identified by many as the main active ingredient against cancer, most believe that it is a synergy between a number of compounds which explains oleander’s effectiveness in combating disease.
To paraphrase what one of the heads of oncology at M. D. Anderson Clinic (where many of the studies on oleander have been conducted) had to say about oleander: “We really don’t know exactly what compounds combine to make it so effective. All we know is that it does work and works well – killing cancer cells and only cancer cells and stopping them from multiplying and spreading.”
The late Marc Swanepoel of South Africa studied oleander extensively over a number of years and was responsible for the creation of S/OP and the HIV trial mentioned above. He believed that neither oleandrin nor any of the polysaccharides may be the most important oleander compound − especially when it comes to fighting cancer. Swanepoel had this to say about why he believed that ursolic acid might be the most important compound:
“Oleander, in my opinion, has two modes of action. The one mode, which is what one normally reads about, is through the cardiac glycosides of which oleandrin is the main one. The cardiac glycosides have the effect of increasing ROS, similar to some chemo treatments. The production of ROS is just another way of describing ‘oxidative stress.’ In that way, oleander reacts like a milder type of chemotherapy where the production of ROS leads to apoptosis of cancer cells. However, in a properly prepared and filtered oleander extract, there is only a minute quantity of these cardiac glycosides and, again in my opinion, the production of ROS and the resultant apoptosis of cancer cells can NOT be the main anti-cancer action of oleander. There is simply not enough oleandrin or other cardiac glycosides to do this.
But, the oleander extract can contain more than 2% ursolic acid which results in its second, and more effective, mode of action against cancer and many other systemic diseases. The ursolic acid increases the important enzymes superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, glutathione s-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase and actual glutathione levels in the body substantially. This, in turn, can reverse the disrupted stage V of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in the mitochondria. It is this disruption of ATP (cellular energy) production which causes cells to revert to a much more primitive way of producing energy − enzymatic ATP production through aerobic glycolysis in the cytoplasm − a process that converts normal cells to cancer cells. And it is the increase in the enzymes and the Glutathione which helps to reverse this disrupted process back to normal.”
Other Synergistic Compounds Found in Oleander Extract
In addition to ursolic acid and oleandrin, oleander also contains beta-sitosterol, quercetin, and linoleic-acid. These are just a few of the cancer-fighting and immune-stimulating compounds which likely contribute to the overall synergistic effects of oleander.
Beta-sitosterol is a food-based plant sterol (phytosterol) which is noted for its ability to protect the prostate and relieve the symptoms of prostate problems. Studies have found that beta-sitosterol also kills both prostate and breast cancer cells without harming normal cells. It also reduces prostate and breast cancer tumor growth, and protects against prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Quercetin is an antioxidant which belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their colors. Like other antioxidants, quercitin helps scavenge free radicals in the body which damage cell membranes and tamper with DNA. In addition to protection against heart disease, studies have shown that quercitin inhibits the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lung tumors.
One study even suggested that quercetin is more effective than resveratrol in terms of inhibiting tumor growth. Another found that frequent intake of quercetin-rich foods was associated with lower lung cancer risk, particularly among subjects who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily. A leukemia cell study found that quercetin slows leukemia growth.
Linoleic acid is a member of the omega fatty acids a group that performs vital functions in the body and is required for good health. Many studies in animals and humans have indicated that linoleic acid, particularly conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), is able to suppress the development of breast, prostate, skin, liver, stomach, and colon cancers.
Other cancer fighting and/or immune boosting compounds which have been identified in oleander include: Oleic-acid, Alpha-amyrin, Betulin, Gitoxigenin, Isoquercitrin, Lauric-acid, Oleanolic-acid, Rutin, and Stigmasterol.