In the earlier article “An Amazing Discovery in Turkey”, the first of this series of articles about oleander, I described how Doctor H. Z. Ozelle discovered an age old remedy for cancer and other conditions in rural Turkey in the early 1960’s and, after successfully treating thousands of patients over the past 40 years, Dr. Ozel patented the medicine and it was entered into FDA trials. Unfortunately, after passing phase I trials, the patented medicine known as Anvirzel has languished for lack of funding (many consider a the patent, based on an age old remedy and common plant to be a weak one) and inter-company squabbles – and it may be many years, if ever, before this promising cancer fighter reaches the market as an FDA approved medicine.
The good news is that you do not have to wait for the approved medication, because you can make your own oleander extract at home on your stovetop, based on the original patent by Doctor Ozel and the folk remedy that has been used for thousands of years. Oleander is a naturally growing plant found all over the southern and southwestern United States and throughout much of the world, and if it isn’t growing naturally near you, you can order oleander plants from many mail-order nurseries on the internet. (There are also at least three sources of a commercial supplement version I am aware of, but that will have to wait for a subsequent installment in this series.).
Yes, you can make your own oleander remedy, known as “oleander soup” at home about as easily as a large pot of beans, and for that, you can thank a personal injury lawyer by the name of Edward F. Hensley, from San Antonio, Texas, whom I call the “Father of Oleander Soup”.
In 2002, Ed’s mother was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer, small cell, and a sister with Hepatitis-C. Ed’s sister, Catrina (Cat), began researching and networking with her friends for answers to the doctor’s prognosis that Betty Hensley only had a few months to live. After contacting one of her old friends, she was told about a clinic in Honduras she could contact and discuss a new cancer drug, which was being made in San Antonio. Cat made a few calls and found who to order the drug from. It cost $1500.00 for a six-week supply of what was called Anvirzel(TM). Cat, Ed, and their brother John put up the initial funds and the drug was ordered.
Betty had been seeing an oncologist in San Antonio, who advised of the risks of chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, and the fact that in her advanced stage, it would have only a small chance of extending her life, and a big chance of serious side effects, including destroying her immune system. Even so, she did try chemo for several weeks, with no result. When the Anvirzel(TM) arrived, she began injecting it with Cat’s help, following the instructions provided by the medical doctor in Honduras. After three weeks she went in for new scans with her oncologist. The new films showed the tumors in both her lungs and her liver were shrinking. Her doctor could not directly participate in the injections, but agreed to research the drug.
When the six week supply was about gone, and Betty was very sore at the site of her injections, Ed began researching what this new drug was made of, and what it’s long term usage going to do, and cost. The FDA had a letter posted on its site, warning about the drug, made from the oleander plant, saying it was unproven and should not be used. Yet, the clinic in Honduras was reporting many successful cures of several types of cancer, including juvenile brain cancer.
Ed was determined to find out what was in the drug, and went to the U.S. Patent office web site and researched using the term Anvirzel. After several searches, Ed found the patent. It was about 39 pages of legalese, written in the language of patent attorneys, who charge $400 per hour for writing patents, which only lawyers and scientists dare to read.
After several weeks of part time study, the patent began to make sense. It was simply a very confusing, overly detailed, and exaggerated method of making a soup out of the leaves and stems of a common plant, oleander. No problem. Ed had huge oleander plants in his back yard, which were very healthy ornamentals with beautiful flowers year-round. Making the soup was as simple as getting a soup pot, some clippers, an electric hot plate, and a place to cook. Ed’s wife, Carol, would not permit him to cook it in her kitchen, so Ed was resigned to his outside store room, a 10×18 foot building storing yard tools and seasonal sports equipment. After burning several pots of soup because the heat was too high, Ed turned down the heat, and boiled the water and oleander clippings for four hours. Then he took out the leaves and stems, and strained the remaining broth, using paper towels and plastic strainers. Per Dr. Ozel’s method in the patent, he allowed the broth to cool before straining. He then slow boiled the broth until only about one fifth of the original liquid was left in the bottom of the 12-quart pot.
Ed measured the specific gravity with an anti-freeze gauge, which showed the measurements on a small scale. It was where Dr. Ozel recommended in the patent, about as thick as chicken soup broth. Next, 10 feeder mice were purchased and given the new liquid, which Ed named “oleander soup”, as their only source of liquid for two weeks, with all the mouse food they could eat. The mice gained weight, were kind of lazy, but remained alive and looking well.
Ed’s mother was about out of her supply of Anvirzel at that point, so Ed took a bottle of the soup to Betty’s house for a comparison with her drug. It looked the same. It tasted the same. The new soup was fresh, not freeze dried and re-constituted, and according to Betty, tasted fresher. Ed went first and tried some, about a teaspoon. Betty then tried it, taking a teaspoon full. She declared she liked the fresh version better, and that was that. She took oral doses three times a day with meals, with diarrhea the only side effect, which subsided after a week.
Her tests three weeks later were surprising, showing the tumors were still shrinking and were almost gone. A month later, she had no tumors at all. Betty quit taking the soup after another month, after her doctor declared she was free of cancer.
Sadly, about eight months later, feeling healthy, and energetic, Betty flopped down on her bed for a nap, and felt her collar bone snap. Tests showed cancer in the bone, and it was aggressive. Her oncologist referred her to another doctor who recommended some strong new chemotherapy, and discouraged her from going back on the oleander extract. In two months the chemo had slowed the bone cancer, but had also destroyed her kidneys. She died a month later of kidney failure, never taking another drop of the oleander soup or Anvirzel, which had previously saved her life. But she trusted her oncologist, who was very nice and very persuasive. Thankfully, Betty did live to be 88 years of age. She had been a heavy, two pack a day smoker since Ed’s father gave her a cigarette when she was 18. He died at 61 from coronary disease, directly related to his heavy smoking.
Catrina had been dealing with Hepatitis-C, a serious liver condition, which often leads to liver cancer. She began making her own oleander soup and took it, hoping it would stop her condition. It did. In less than two months, her Hepatitis-C was gone. Her liver enzymes were normal. It has not returned in over two years. She has shared the recipe with doctors from Mexico who are treating poor patients with aids, cancer, Hepatitis-c, and psoriasis. A friend of hers reports her rheumatoid arthritis symptoms have gone using the homemade remedy. She laughs when describing the scene in her kitchen, with a big pot of boiling leaves, and two Mexican brothers, medical doctors, standing there taking notes on how to cook something not nearly as difficult as “boracho beans” or chicken mole, two favorite Mexican dishes.
Later in 2003, Ed was surfing the Internet, looking for sites that referenced “Anvirzel”. He found the Minnesota Wellness Directory site, and read their remarks about how good the prospects were for this new extract made from poisonous oleander leaves. Ed e-mailed the host the recipe and a short summary of his research. After the host, David Bonello, researched the concept and the soup recipe, including getting opinions from his herbalist and medical friends, he published the recipe on his site in his June 2003 newsletter, with warnings about its use.
Since 2003, a great many people have used the recipe to make their own oleander soup, including friends and family of Ed Hensley, David Bonello and the author. Not one of them have reported a serious side effect and many of them have reported that their cancers and other disorders had disappeared or were greatly were improved.
Later in this series: The Recipe for Oleander Soup
Live long, live healthy, live happy!