Unlikely Cancer Cure

You may have noticed I’ve been writing to you more about cancer.

I want you to know that avoiding cancer is currently within your reach. It’s not all about waiting for cancer to strike, and then trying to treat it with drugs.

You see, most cancers are preventable.

In fact, here’s something you can do to help fight cancer starting right now:

One of my first choices is the flavonoid quercetin (flavonoid is a scientific word for a certain group of substances that plants make). Quercetin is anti-inflammatory, a natural antihistamine and can increase your exercise performance.

It’s also an energy boost for your cells. It increases the mitochondria (the powerhouses in every cell) in your muscles. That’s good news for your body’s hardest-working muscle, the heart.

But did you know that quercetin is also a potent cancer-fighter?

It can protect against lung, skin, pancreatic, ovarian, endocrine and cervical cancers. 1

A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis found quercetin could stop cancer-causing changes in prostate cells. It flushes away carcinogens and can block prostate tumor development and growth.

But most people don’t consume nearly enough quercetin to get cancer protection. In fact, the average daily intake of all flavonoids is only 23 milligrams. You need much more to get any cancer-fighting effect.

The good news is you can get more each day in 5 easy steps…

Step 1) Eat more fruits and vegetables rich in quercetin and other anti-cancer flavonoids like:

  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Capers
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Raspberries
  • Red Grapes
  • Red Onions
  • Tomatoes

Quercetin is also found in olive oil, black tea, red wine, and even cocoa.

Step 2) Use Buchu: My favorite foods with quercetin are plants I’ve found in my travels around the world. They are buchu from Africa, beluntas from Bali, and quinoa from Peru.

You can get Buchu powder and as a tincture, but if you’d like to try Buchu, I recommend you make Buchu tea.

Here’s the very simple recipe I learned in South Africa:

Put two teaspoons of dried Buchu leaves into just over a cup of boiling water. Let the dried leaves soak for about 10 minutes. Then strain out the leaves and enjoy your tea.

Step 3) Eat some beluntas: This herb I found in Bali is full of quercetin. It’s rare to find beluntas in the West, and if you’d like to try it, you can sometimes buy beluntas leaves (the scientific name is pluchea indica) at Indian specialty stores online. But it’s not widely available.

Where you do find it, the leaves are often dried and ready to use for tea. But it also tastes excellent raw, and the Balinese pick it fresh and use it as a raw vegetable.

Step 4) Get Peru’s quercetin source: You may have seen quinoa in your local store in the grains and pasta section even though it’s a seed and not really a grain. Quinoa has more quercetin than any other Peruvian grain tested. 2

Quinoa can be a main dish all by itself. Peruvians use the leaves, seeds and even the stems as part of a whole salad-like meal, along with spices like coriander.

Step 5) Supplement: While there’s no recommended daily intake for flavonoids like quercetin, there should be. To boost your cancer fighting power, try adding a supplement form of 500 mg capsules twice a day.

Look for the glucoside form, as it’s better absorbed. This is sometimes called isoquercetin (quercetin 3-glucoside). Compared to the more common supplemental form, which is quercetin rutinoside, isoquercetin is better absorbed and reaches the bloodstream 10 times faster. 3

It’s also three times as bioavailable. Researchers found that when animals were given pure quercetin or isoquercetin, the animals that got isoquercetin had levels three times higher than the regular quercetin group. 4

If you’re curious to learn about more food sources of flavonoids, the USDA has an online database of 225 foods and their flavonoid content.

1. Sugantha Priya E, Selvakumar K, Bavithra S, Elumalai P, Arunkumar R, Raja Singh P, Brindha Mercy A, Arunakaran J. “Anti-cancer activity of quercetin in neuroblastoma: an in vitro approach.” Neurol Sci. 2013 Jun 16.

2. Ranilla L, Apostolidis E, Genovese M, Lajolo F, Shetty K. “Evaluation of indigenous grains from the Peruvian Andean region for antidiabetes and antihypertension potential using in vitro methods.” J Med Food. 2009 Aug;12(4):704-13.

3. Appleton J. “Evaluating the Bioavailability of Isoquercetin.” Natural Medicine Journal 2010; 2(1).

4. Morand C, Manach C, Crespy V, Remesy C. “Quercetin 3-O-beta-glucoside is better absorbed than other quercetin forms and is not present in rat plasma.” Free Radic Res. 2000 Nov;33(5):667-76.