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Violets and cancer. Comment please?

dennis goos dennis_goos at mindlink.bc.ca
Sun Jul 30 12:53:47 EST 1995

Unbelievable !- literally,unbelievable.

While I have no knowledge of the medicinal properties of violets,(which
,BTW,my dictionary defines as..."1. ...of the genera 'viola';2. ..."any
such plant except the pansy or the viola ; 3. ..."any of various similar
plants of other genera" ; 4. "a bluish purple color"),there is nothing
in the quoted material to support a belief that "violets" have any
specific medical value. The artcle implies that a Dr.J.L.Hartwell of the
U.S.A. National Cancer Institute did some experimentation with mice but
the opportunity to present his study and findings,is,
unfortunately,ignored.I have no doubt that"violets" add interest to a

It's like reading the message in a fortune cookie: no harm if one does
not commit one's life to pursuit of the contents of the message. There
is no harm in speculating about curative properties of any specific or
unknown plant. But, harm may come to those who commit themselves to
following unsubstantiated claims to cures and abandon medical techniques
that have been shown to be effective.

The author of these questions and claims had a clear responsibility to
attach his review of the appropriate literature and the results of any
properly established investigations he conducted before leaving his
readers with the impression that scientists were all off to the jungles
and ignoring a cure for cancer to be found in their flower bed at home.

And how I wish it were true ! That violets would cure cancer.!

Also,what happened to "Taxol"? Is the extract from our native Pacific
Coast yew in use for cancer treatment now? Is it still being studied ?
Is it abandoned ?

BTW, how did an "ancient" herbalist arrange for a modern publication
date ? 

Caveat emptor,

Adam Van Wirdum <adamtfg at ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>                                                        Will violets cure
>An ancient Australian herbalist thinks so. In a facinating new book
>recently published he has shown that violets have been used as an
>anti-cancer remedy for 100 years. They are especially popular in French and
>English country folklore. Documented evidence of total remission of cancer
>has existed for hundreds of years while being ignored by the modern medical
>establishment. Has this plant missed being analysed because it is too
>common? While huge corporations screen thousands of plants from the
>Rainforests of South America the answer could be sitting in their own
>corporate garden.


>"Violets secrete a soft substance called mucilage which is useful in cases
>of ..inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestine. In the
>official medical records there is a case of a man who cured himself of
>cancer of the throat by infusions and compresses of Violets.''
>Maurice Messague 1975

>Violets are one of the best of all blood purifying herbs. Maude Grieve and
>Maurice Messegue, two of the greatest herbalists of this century, speak
>glowingly of the humble Violet, although they are cautious in recommending
>its use for cancer.

>"Of late years, preparations of fresh Violet leaves have been used both
>internally and externally in the treatment of cancer, and though the
>British Pharmacopoeia does not uphold the treatment, it specifies how they
>are employed. From other sources it is stated that Violet leaves have been
>used with benefit to allay the pain in cancerous growths, especially in the
>throat, which no other treatment relieved, and several reputed cures have
>been recorded''
>Maude Grieve 1931

>Maude Grieve in her classic 1931 herb book "A Modern Herbal" gives specific
>instructions for making Violet tea (2 1/2 ounces fresh leaves to one pint
>of boiling water). Interestingly, Violets have a very long tradition of
>being used for cancer. Culpeper says:
> "the green leaves are used with other herbs to make plasters and poultices
>for inflammation and swellings and to ease all pain"
>Catherine Booth, the wife of the founder of the Salvation Army is said to
>have used Violet leaves to ease the pain of her advanced cancer.
>Nelson Coon mentions the case of Lady Margaret Marsham whose throat was
>closed by a malignant growth, External infusions of Violet leaves were made
>and the cancer apparently disappeared very quickly.
>"The Violet plant, as far back as 500 B.C., was used in poultice form as a
>cure for surface cancer. It was used in 18th century England for the same
>purpose. And now only months ago - a letter from a farmer in Michigan tells
>me how he used the Violet plant as a skin cancer remedy. When the remedy
>was tried on a cancerous mouse here at the Institute, we found that it did
>damage the cancer."
>Dr. J.L.Hartwell, National Cancer Institute USA. Quoted in N. Coon 1977
>There are many varieties of .i.violet ;on the market at the moment.
>Commonly "General Herricks", the large florist's violet, is sold in
>nurseries as Viola Odorata. This is not the one I recommend for helping
>treat Cancer. The small old-fashioned, mauve garden violet of grandma's
>garden(Prince of Wales) with small, pretty, fragrant, violet blue flowers
>is the one that has been used for centuries for healing. Other violets may
>works as well , but no-one has really done the necessary extensive research
>on Violet leaves for which the repeated claims over the centuries cry out.
>Violets are simplicitly themselves to take. Pick several leaves and infuse
>them in boiling water and drink. I often have Violet leaf tea when I have
>the flu. Its "nothing" flavour is strangely invigorating and "moreish".
>Perhaps my body is craving what it knows is good for it.
>Fresh Violet leaves can also be picked from the garden, torn and added to a
>salad. They are quite tasty with a dressing. "
>from "The Healing Garden 1994 Michael Bailes and Kangaroo Press.copyright

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