172, 2017 January)
In 1840, John
Hoxsey observed that one of his horses that had developed
cancer had cured itself by selecting and eating certain herbs growing
around the farm.
He gathered and
brewed the same herbs and used them to treat and cure
other cancerous animals. The "secret" formula was passed down through
the family and in the 1920s, John Hoxsey's great-grandson, Harry Hoxsey
(1901-1973), a self-taught healer and naturopath, founded the Hoxsey
Cancer Clinic in Dallas, Texas.
considerable opposition from the established medical
profession and Hoxsey was arrested and convicted several times for
practicing medicine without a licence. He moved from state to state
opening a succession of clinics staffed by physicians and osteopaths
and, in 1936 and 1955 operated two prosperous clinics in Dallas, Texas,
and in Portage, Pennsylvania respectively.
His medication was dispensed
in tablet form by mail-order. After proving in three Federal
Courts that the medicines were worthless, the American Food and Drug
Administration successfully ended the sale of Hoxsey treatments.
developed prostate cancer in 1967, and after
unsuccessfully treating himself with his own tonic eventually underwent
conventional surgery. He died in 1973.
preparations from selected herbs contain compounds able to
effectively cure cancers.
examination, blood and urine tests, x-rays and, in some cases,
tomography scans (CT-scans). Available medical records are requested as
clinic physicians do not routinely confirm the presence of cancer by
means of biopsies. If cancer is diagnosed, patients are given three to
six months supply of Hoxsey tonic and, in some cases, escharotic
medicines. Fees are expensive.
used for Hoxsey preparations were not a family "secret",
and in one form or another were commonly used by the medical profession
in the treatment of external cancer before the development of more
scientific x-ray and radium treatment. The powder contained arsenic
sulphide, yellow precipitate and talc; the red paste has antimony
trisulphide, zinc chloride and bloodroot; the liquid is
tri-chloro-acetic acid. All these are escharotics (powerful caustics).
ingredient in the tonics is potassium iodide which was
studied extensively and tried for treating tumour-like inflammations of
tertiary syphilis and cancer before the days of penicillin. It was
abandoned because of lack of effect and the toxic reactions.
The licorice and
pepsin in the tonics served only as flavourings and
cascara, buckthorn bark and stillingia root are laxatives with no
systemic effects. In greater amounts, buckthorn bark is considered to
be a poison.
ingredients such as red clover, berberries, and pokeroot have all
at some time been examined for their possible therapeutic effects and
have either not been found to be useful or have toxic side-effects.
for cancer have been extensively tested and found to
be both useless (the internal treatment) and archaic (the external
treatments). The American Cancer Society did not recommend their use by
compounds used in Hoxsey preparations, although used
many years ago to destroy external cancers, are unable to distinguish
between normal and abnormal tissues. As a consequence, they can destroy
large amounts of healthy tissue along with the cancer.
Worthy of note
is the fact that Hoxey's father died of cancer in 1919,
and his mother of the same disease two years later.
It's also worth
speculating on just how many of the 75,000 persons who
died of cancer in 1957 could have been saved had they consulted a
competent physician instead of a quack.
After a four
year running battle with the U.S. Government, Hoxey's
Cancer Clinic closed its doors in December 1958. The worthless
treatment is now only obtainable at the Bio-Medical Centre, an
alternative medicine clinic in Tijuana, Mexico.
Society. 1968. Unproven methods of cancer treatment.
Californian Dept. of Public Health Foods and Drugs. Title 17 (Reg. 63,
No 17, Oct. 5.) p.187-188.
American Medical Association, Bureau of Investigation. 1954.
Cough medicine for cancer? JAMA 155:667-668.
American Medical Association, 1926.
The Hoxide cancer 'cure.' JAMA
of Clinical Oncology Subcommittee on Unorthodox
Therapies: Ineffective cancer therapy. 1983. A guide for the layperson.
Jn. of Clinical Oncology,
1988. The troubling case of Harry
Hoxsey, New Age Journal,
July / August. p. 41ff.
1979. Cancer quackery: The past in the present. Semin
and Burroughs, Hugh. 1993. Alternative
Publishing, La Mesa, California.
Lowell, James A.
1987. Hoxsey Treatment Still Available, Nutrition
Forum, Vol. 4, No.12. December 1987.
1985. Hazards of herbal medicine,
in Stalker D, Glymour C.
Examining Holistic Medicine. p. 323-339. Prometheus Books.
H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary,
Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc.]
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