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Breast Cancer - Naturopathic Approaches

by Angela Burr-Madsen(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 57 - October 2000

Each individual has a very specific relationship with nature that is exclusive to that being, and when that relationship is broken, or not honoured for that individual, disease will occur. Much like a plant, some plants flourish in the shade while others need direct sunlight. The responsibility of each of us is to listen to our bodies, so that we may discover how we best function, which would then introduce us to our specific relationship with nature. Wellness and healing come with the awareness of one's inner state and the outward manifestations of healthy, active, interesting lifestyles.

Tree Lady Breast Cancer

This perspective does not at all inhibit us from being a complementary adjunct to any medical treatment the cancer patient may be undertaking. It will, however, mean the client has to modify their diet and be willing to include various natural remedies in the form of homeopathy, nutritional supplementation and herbs, as well as detoxifying baths, detoxifying breath exercises and lymphatic exercises. When the client has undergone surgery, and is going through treatments of chemotherapy and possibly radiation therapy, there are some specific things that can be of much benefit.

During chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the organs of detoxification are being extremely overloaded and overworked. They can become so fatigued from the toxic load that many of the functions shut down and they are unable to do what they need to do. The kidneys and the liver are particularly affected. The patient can also experience discomfort in many forms, as well as experiencing great fear and isolation. The body can be assisted greatly in this process with just a few simple adjustments to the person's diet and lifestyle, and with the assistance of homeopathic, herbal and nutrition remedies. But first let me explain the philosophy and principles of naturopathy.

The Principles of Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a philosophy of health care, whose ideas about disease and healing are built upon many years of investigation and research into the nature and cause of disease. This philosophy is based on three fundamental principles. These principles are logical deductions and conclusions arrived at from centuries of effective therapeutic treatment of disease, from the Orient, Europe and the United States. Naturopathy recommends only the simplest, most natural and non-invasive measures to bring about its results. These treatments have been tested and proved over and over again by the results obtained.

In this article we are dealing with the first principle only. The first and most fundamental principle of naturopathy is that all forms of disease are due to the same fundamental cause. This is (from the physical perspective), the accumulation in the system of waste materials and toxic refuse, which has been steadily building up in the body of the individual concerned through years of incorrect living habits. From this principle, then, it follows that the only way in which disease is eliminated at the physical level is by introduction of various methods that will enable the system to throw off these toxic accumulations – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – which are clogging the wheels of the human machine.

• The first principle: All disease has the same fundamental cause.
• The second principle: The body is always striving for the ultimate good of the individual.
• The third principle: The body/mind heals itself.

In naturopathy and complementary health care, one of the first steps is to identify various toxins that the person is unable to throw off correctly. These toxins could be in the form of chemicals; heavy metals; radiation; water; geopathic stress; electro-magnetic fields; processed and refined foods; bacteria; viruses; fungi; parasites; weather; air; noise; injury; emotional trauma; excess of body chemicals; and cumulative life experiences.

All synthetic chemicals in the form of medication are extremely toxic to the individual. This of course puts the patient in a quandary: the treatments needed to kill the cancer are in themselves creating a further toxic problem. A positive solution is to start the detoxification process as soon as possible to assist the patient in their recovery. It is advised that this be done very gently and slowly.

First let us clarify what is meant by toxins and detoxification.

Definition of Detoxification

Detoxification is a cornerstone of both healing and the prevention of disease. Detoxification covers the sum total of therapeutic means available to ensure the elimination of toxins that debase or deplete the organism of the patient requiring treatment, through natural channels and with natural substances.

Definition of Drainage

The general term 'drainage', that is to say, draining or flowing away from, is vital in the process of detoxification. Drainage is a major component of detoxification, but not necessarily detoxification itself. In other words, one might be detoxifying the cells and the tissues but, if the organs to be detoxified are not draining properly, there can be much discomfort for the client.

Definition of Toxins and Toxaemia

We can classify the various sources of the toxins that afflict us into three different categories that are distinct from one another, but can be found concurrently in the same client.

Exogenous Toxins

This means that the toxins are extended to the subject. In other words, the toxins are entering the system from the outside, such as food additives, x-ray, ELF waves, chemicals, industrial pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, viruses, fungi, bacteria, parasites, etc. The toxins could also come from excess stimulants, such as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, medicines, injury, accidents, over-exercise, etc.

Endogenous Toxins

These toxins are found within the subject themselves: microbial viruses and toxins associated with tuberculosis, syphilis or other diseases due to microbes; the inability to throw off dead cells correctly in the catabolic phase; excess hormone secretions due to stress that are not correctly processed; and emotional activity that renders the person out of control with the inability to quiet the system.

Autogenous Toxins

These toxins are generated by the subject as a result of miasm (a genetic tendency towards), as well as their constitution and temperament. They affect the organism primarily by inhibiting a good immune response and lowering its resistance. According to Samuel Hahnemann 'arthritis' comes under the miasmic term of 'Psora'.

How Does the Body Detoxify Itself?

There are two phases of detoxification.

Phase 1

This phase aims to do two things: firstly it wants to make the toxins less poisonous; and secondly it wants to excrete them. This is important, for if you allow a poison to go directly to the kidneys for excretion without first changing it to a less toxic form, it will damage the kidney as it passes through. The body has three types of reactions to choose from: oxidation (burning off); reduction; and hydrolysis (conversion or changing). Usually this is all the body needs to do to change the compound or metabolite, so that it can be safely excreted through the kidneys.

Phase 2

This phase of the detoxification process is nature's back-up system. In this phase an amino acid hooks onto the metabolite or compound to make it larger, more electrically charged and more polar. This makes it more soluble in water, enabling it to be excreted through the bile to pass into the stool. This reduces the workload on the kidneys and provides a way to get rid of more difficult compounds. This phase is called conjugation, which means the coupling with another compound to make it easier to be drained or washed out. Glutathione is a major conjugator that helps the body detoxify foreign chemicals or xenobiotics.

Toxins enter the body by four major pathways:

• They are in the air and we breathe them, so the lungs are a major pathway;
• They are in the water and we drink them which makes the kidneys major pathways;
• They are in our foods and we eat them and those toxins get processed through the liver and exit through the bowel, which makes the liver and bowel major pathways;
• They are absorbed through the skin.

We also eliminate toxins through the same pathways. These are known as the organs of detoxification.


How Can Detoxification Help the Breast Cancer Patient who is Undergoing Allopathic Care?

When patients have made the decision to cleanse the system gently while undergoing therapy, they discover that they are not as fatigued as they were, their thinking is much less foggy, they experience far fewer side effects and, best of all, they feel they have some control over their own well-being.

When the toxins have been identified, the appropriate detoxification programme is designed. We first need to deal with the specific toxins due to the cancer therapy itself; then we can deal with the specific toxins due to the patient's lifestyle. There is a group of homeopathic remedies called zenobiotics, which assist the body to detoxify at the cellular level. These are designed to detoxify the specific toxin you are working with, such as, radiation, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, food additives, etc. We would then look at herbal detoxifiers, such as, cat's claw, chlorella, chlorophyll, black walnut, Spanish black radish and Mitake mushroom. Nutritional supplements, such as glutathione and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), inositol hexaphosphate, anti-oxidants and bio-flavonoids may also be appropriate. Post-surgery, homeopathic remedies, such as arnica and bellis, are extremely helpful for bruising and shock.

Within natural therapies there are many remedies for each specific organ and function, so, which do we choose? That is where the professional can help by being able to assess the energy field of the client's body and then recommend specific treatments for each individual. That is best done through energy testing such as kinesiology, or a form of testing called EAV testing. The client may need only some of the above-mentioned remedies at a time, perhaps one from each category. It is important that the individual is tested by a competent practitioner to see which products match their system for maximum results.

As I mentioned earlier, we need to make sure the organs of detoxification are draining and supported. There are specific programmes to do this, for example:

• black walnut, wormwood and cloves to detoxify the liver;
• hydrangea root, marsh mallow root, goldenrod and parsley to detoxify the kidney;
• baking soda and salt baths, ginger baths and vinegar baths to detoxify the skin, as well as doing skin brushing before the bath;
• slippery elm, cascara segrada and senna, along with fibre and betonite to assist in detoxifying the colon;
• mullein, fenugreek, yerba santa and deep breathing exercises for the lungs;
• trampoline bouncing and using the Chi machine to assist the lymph system in carrying away the waste.

What Sort of Foods Should the Cancer Patient Eat along with their Detoxification Programme?

Again there are wonderful foods that support the normal function of the organs of detoxification, such as watermelon and asparagus for the kidneys; for the liver, endive, collard greens, dock and dandelion greens (the bitter taste activates the flow of bile), lemon water (the sour taste cools and cleanses the liver); flax seed oil and olive oil are of great benefit to the large intestines; and good old chicken soup can benefit the lungs. When it comes to diet people also need to take into consideration their blood type, whether they are a slow or fast oxidizer and whether they are sympathetic or parasympathetic dominant. Cleansing and detoxification have been major aspects of healing throughout history. It is only in this age, ironically, when we have more toxins in our environment than ever before, that mainstream thinking does not seem to see the need for this wonderful healing modality at all.

Detoxifying the Mind

We have been talking about detoxifying the physical body, but what about the mind, do we detoxify the mind, and should we? This is a huge topic. Does how you think have anything to do with disease and how your body works? There is enough evidence today to show the power of the mind over our physical well-being. As an example, do we believe our function is to fight disease as opposed to the belief that our function is to love and promote health and a healthy lifestyle? Hating disease is not the same thing as loving health. The vibration of 'hate' is born of 'fear' and fear is disease promoting; by contrast, the vibration of 'love' and is health promoting. Attitudes such as fear, anger, hate, ingratitude, impatience, prejudice, lack of joy, dishonesty, lack of tolerance, meanness and attack are all attitudes that are against our nature. We are designed to be healthy and happy; we are designed only to express love for all. Loving attitudes sush as gratitude, joyfulness, patience and tolerance, gentleness, faithfulness, defenselessness, honesty, generosity, and open-mindedness are all attitudes that promote health.

Emotional, mental and spiritual work has to be utmost in the client's programme, as it may be necessary to change the way the client thinks and acts in order to optimize the healing process.


1. Rogers Sherry. Tired or Toxic? A Blueprint for Health. Prestige Publishers. 1990.
2. Maury EA. Drainage in Homeopathy (Detoxification). DR Hillman. Frome. 1965.
3. Wendel Paul. Standardized Naturopathy. American Society of Medical Missionaries. 1951.
4. Foundation for Inner Peace. A Course in Miracles. Penguin Group. 1975.


Burr-Madsen A. Polarity Reflex Analysis and the Nutritional Connection. Troth. ISBN 0-918993-19-9. 1990.


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About Angela Burr-Madsen

Angela Burr Madsen TNP is a Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, registered Holistic Health Practitioner and Specialized Kinesiologist. She is past President of the California Naturopathic Association and served as Vice President of the International Association of Specialized Kinesiologists for seven years. Founder of Gateways College, she has run a busy practice in Natural Therapeutics in the State of California, USA, for over 35 years. She can be contacted on Tel: 001 530 677-3247 or via, and

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