Halfway into my chemotherapy, when I was feeling particularly grim, I decided to make an appearance at a village funeral. It was a lovely community event and a tribute fitting to the lovely man who had died. I had to leave early because of the cold, but my husband stayed on for a little bit longer.
Whilst there, a lady who owns an exotic garden not far away and a real pillar of the community came up to my husband and said ‘I know your wife is ill with breast cancer please come and see me, I may have a cure.’
I was intrigued, but exhausted by the whole process. I felt like I was near death towards the end of my chemotherapy treatment, and my morale was very low. I couldn’t stop thinking about her offer to help, and so when I was well enough and the chemotherapy was over, we went to visit Marie Christine at the local exotic garden.
She sat us down and first of all told me I should eat the new shoots of bamboo as they come through the earth. Boil them in salted water for about ten minutes, peel and then eat with vinaigrette. We already had bamboo in the garden, so this wasn’t a problem. The small shoots tasted a bit like artichoke hearts and are apparently full of calcium, so are great for repairing the damage done to your bones during the chemotherapy treatment. I also enjoyed, what became, my morning ritual of picking bamboo shoots poking through the ground each morning.
Marie Christine then explained that there was an actual cure for cancer, discovered by Father Romano Zago whilst living in some of Brazil’s poorest communities. After making his discovery he wanted to share it as widely as possible. He later worked with an Italian oncologist to test the reaction in a study of 450 patients – the results were positive in most cases, although not in all. What did I have to lose? As I was in the middle of treatment, I decided to wait until the chemotherapy and radiotherapy were over. The recipe is very simple:
- Half a kilo of organic honey
- 45-50ml of cognac or whisky (apparently other spirits work too, just not wine or beer)
- 350gm of aloe vera leaves – the spiky leaved variety
Put all the ingredients in a blender, blitz and then leave in a jar in the fridge. Take a large spoonful before breakfast, lunch and dinner until the jar is finished (usually 10 days). If there are no results, repeat the process again after 5-10 days.
You can find more information in the book Cancer Can be Cured by Romano Zago – I am skipping through the finer details and there’s lots of information on the internet.
So, I made up the mixture, using a plant she gave me, along with honey from our beehives, mixed with Armagnac, the local spirit. I diligently took a spoonful (for about a week) before each meal, but the effect was so powerful, I felt drunk pretty much all the time. I’d spent the previous six months eating very carefully, being pretty nauseous and without alcohol, so this potion was a little bit too much for my system to take. I do get it though – cleaning out toxins in the body, so self-healing kicks in. Now I am stronger, I will try it again, perhaps as a post New Year detox.
My advice: it’s probably worth a go, but don’t do it if you are feeling fragile, as it really packs a punch.
Aloe Vera is an amazing plant – I would always use the gel from its leaves to take away the burns on my breast and chest area, or put it on the scars where the port had been under my skin. Just cut the tip of the leaf, split it at the side, and take out the gel. It seems to work, and is a nice contrast to conventional treatment. There’s something really soulful about taking a leaf from a plant growing on your terrace, and using it as a cure, or just a balm throughout this process.