In the early 1900's, Harry Hoxsey developed an herbal formula that he believed was effective for the treatment of cancer. It consists of two remedies, one to be used externally, the other internally. The external mixture is said to be selectively destructive of cancerous tissue and consists of a red paste containing antimony trisulfide, zinc chloride, and bloodroot, and a yellow powder containing arsenic sulfide, sulfur, and talc. The internal mixture is a liquid containing licorice, red clover, burdock root, stillingia root, barberry, cascara, prickly ash bark, buckthorn bark, and potassium iodide. This mixture is considered to be cathartic/cleansing or immune boosting. Hoxsey felt that his therapy normalized and balanced the body's chemistry makeup, allowing it to essentially create a self-healing environment in which the immune system is strengthened and tumors are caused to die. The treatment is available in Tijuana, Mexico.

The dose of the therapy varies depending on the specific needs of each patient and whether the cancer is internal or on the skin.

How to take it:
The preparation is used either directly on the skin or drunk as a tonic. Patients are encouraged to avoid pork, vinegar, tomatoes, carbonated drinks and alcohol, and to use immune stimulants, yeast tablets, vitamin C, calcium, laxatives, and antiseptic washes, as well as adopt a positive mental outlook while taking the Hoxsey treatment.

Side effects:
Some of the ingredients in the Hoxsey formula can cause side effects. For instance, buckthorn bark can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if taken in large quantities. Cascara can cause diarrhea. Barberry root administered to rabbits (dose unspecified) caused swelling of the kidney and cardiotoxicity.

Possible risks:
Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Approximate cost:
The charge for the Hoxsey treatment is $3500.00, which includes a lifetime supply of tonic, visits, medications, and doctor fees. Additional costs include laboratory, x-ray, and physical exams at approximately $400.00-$800.00, and travel costs to Mexico.

Important Advice:
To avoid potential interactions, be sure to let your health care provider know if you use this or any other type of complementary therapy.

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last revision on May 4, 1999.