Thursday, November 19, 2015

10 Food-Medicines That Could Save Your Life

Posted on:
Tuesday, October 7th 2014 at 7:30 pm
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder

Guest Interview: Sayer Ji, founder of

Dr. Axe: Welcome to The Natural Cures Summit. I am your host, Dr. Josh Axe, along with one of my co-hosts and partners here in putting on this summit. And that is Sayer Ji from GreenMedInfo. And we have an absolutely incredible segment here for you today. We're going to be talking about the five herbs that could save your life, as well as Sayer going through all of the evidence-based material on why herbs are superior to pharmaceuticals.
And one of the things that I've loved about Sayer over the years, he's really been a pioneer in our industry and really going through and laying out, "Hey, here's the true evidence of what we're looking at." Sayer's also the founder of one of the largest and fastest growing health websites in the world today with
By the way, if you've never been to Green Med Info, you're missing out. You need to check it out. They've got the best evidence-based articles on nutrition, herbal remedies, and natural medicine that I've ever seen. Also he has been a lecturer. And he's a member of The Global GMO-free Coalition so he's been really fighting GMOs on the forefront of that. And just has an incredible background. I think you're going to learn a lot from him today.
Sayer, welcome here to our Natural Cures Summit!
Sayer Ji: It's a great honor, Josh. You've done such an incredible job with this awareness-raising project. The natural cures movement is truly a global movement. And I'm honored to be part of this Summit. So thank you for having me.
Dr. Axe: Hey, no problem. Well, let's talk about first, I'm really interested into why Green Med Info and why you're in this natural cures movement?

Sayer Ji: Thank you so much. I mean the reality is that I was honored and very grateful to be exposed to the vast database available today on natural medicine, which most people are not aware of. So, GreenMedInfo, my website was dedicated to the cause of bringing to the people the resource that's already available supporting natural and integrative interventions for prevention of disease, as well as for treatment.
Most people don't know that billions of dollars of their own taxpayer money goes through the National Institutes of Health to support a database which you can access through, which contains 23,000,000 citations that they can basically search like Google. You type like "osteoarthritis" or type in "turmeric," and you'll get thousands of results.
So what I spent many years doing was just sitting there in front of the computer amazed and really kind of methodically indexing the research that supports using what you and I know is the most ancient form of medicine on the planet, which is natural medicine.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, absolutely. And again this is one of the reasons why you've grown so much. You know, I was reading an article today on and someone was making this claim that this does this. And, of course, there's nothing to back it. And not to say that that doesn't mean it doesn't work. But that's the thing that's so great about your site is you really go through the medical journals and proving here's what the actual literature says from a unbiased standpoint.
Let's talk about this. What are some of the roadblocks today in natural healing? You know, chemical poisoning, misconceptions. I will say this. I'm sure you've seen this. Over the last ten years, there's definitely been a better shift. We're definitely going into the right direction in certain areas.
Like if I would have told my dad to do a cleanse ten years ago, he would have just been like, "What are you talking about?" And now he's taking turmeric and milk thistle and a few other of these super herbs on a regular basis. But still today, what are some of these mental roadblocks that are blocking people from connecting with this movement? 

Sayer Ji: Great question, Josh. I appreciate it. Really people don't seem to recognize sufficiently that the primary medical model that dominates today is based on using patented chemicals in order to suppress symptoms that are often associated with chemical poisoning. So it's a very oxymoronic almost Orwellian situation.
What I mean by that is if you look any pharmaceutical that's received FDA drug approval beyond what are called biological, which themselves have problems because a lot of them are based on recombinant DNA manipulation of things like recombinant antibodies or different things that are not really natural. But if you look at most of the drugs on the market from COX-2 inhibitors to antibiotics and chemotherapy, they're actually chemicals.
And the reason why they exist as medicines today is because they've gone through a very elaborate process of receiving FDA drug approval. And what most people don't realize is that there's a huge gauntlet that has to be run in order to get a chemical to be approved as an FDA-approved drug. So what I mean is there's about $800,000,000 on average that goes into phase one, two, three clinical trials to get that drug to be accepted as legal and viable to treat disease. And the problem with that, of course, is that those compounds are not, unfortunately, available to traditional approaches.
A traditional approach is you take food. You take plants. And they're growing in your backyard. They don't require all this investment of capital. So the drug approval process today actually attracts multinational corporations whose vested interest is to make a profit on their products. And therefore they actually have a legal fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.
And so what that means is that even if they wanted to just do good and point to turmeric in our backyard or maybe cannabis for treating some type of neurological issue, they're not able to do that because they have to make a profit. And that is not consistent with a fundamentally ethical approach to medicine, which is to just alleviate suffering.
So what GreenMedInfo was based on was this concept well, okay, there's all this research supporting traditional medicine: plants, herbs, nutrients, minerals. Let's just get the research out to the people so they can see that despite the dominant medical model, you can get things from your grocery store or your produce case that do at least as well as the pharmacies out there.

Dr. Axe: Wow. You said a quote there, several quotes, that I think should be etched in stone. I'll probably quote you on some articles I'm going to be writing coming up. But the thing about medications is you look at the track you've set is pretty much a medication is a patented chemical used to block symptoms that usually causes another symptom because it causes toxic poisoning in the body. You actually look at the track that we go on.
And again this isn't us making stuff up. This is thinking very rationally about what is happening today with our FDA, with the drug industry. For people if they can actually think about it without bias and connect the dots, it's obvious that our pharmaceutical industry today, it's dangerous. It's not safe the way it's set up from a business standpoint, obviously from a health standpoint. There's so many issues there.
Let's talk about pharmaceutical drugs. They are so popular today. Why do you think, also on the other end though, why is there so much misinformation today about natural cures? I know in the past people referred to it as things like—I'm trying to think of the popular term—like what do they call it? Like snake oil or something like that? But why is there so much information out there about natural cures?

Sayer Ji: Well, that's a great question. If you look at the reality, the problem is that our body is composed basically of food and things that we eat and the things that have been in our environment for literally millions of years. So when you start introducing what are primarily petrochemical derivatives into the body, they're actually defined as xenobiotics, which is basically a foreign substance that our body has no evolutionary pre-history in dealing with.
So despite that, thankfully, we have the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver that almost anticipated the industrial revolution. They kind of non-specifically often are capable of detoxifying chemicals that really just came about after the 1880s, which is in the Industrial Revolution globally.
So chemicals that are patented as drugs are technically alien to our physiology and have to have effects by definition that are toxic. And so when we look at natural approaches, we're basically just using things that our body has had many millions of years of time to adjust to and adapt to. So when you look at the difference, it's very clear. Chemicals, patented drugs, are not consistent with a model of healing which I think we all are starting to recognize is fundamental, meaning we cannot look at disease as a deficiency of drugs. But we can certainly look at disease as a deficiency of nutrients. And that's, I think, the model that we're all moving towards.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. What are you thoughts on this term "natural cures" because I know it's actually something that people are very careful in using often times when it comes to not making claims. And, obviously, with this summit, we're not claiming any of these things. We're just saying a lot of these herbs today have been proven in the medical literature to support healing the body from certain conditions. But what do you think about that term? And I know it's something that the FDA doesn't like people to use.
Sayer Ji: Yeah, great question, Josh. It really is. The reality is the FTC and FDA presently define any substance that prevents, treats, diagnoses, or cures a disease as a drug. And what that means is if you're taking basically cherries for osteoarthritis—which Michigan State University actually proved is as effective as taking an NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen—that actually violates the law. And in Florida, it's a class D felony for someone at a health food store to tell someone, Okay, you have arthritis? Well, take turmeric or take cherry juice to reduce your inflammation.
So the challenge is that when you come to the FDA/FDC's definition, it's a really Napoleonic version of truth which is if the FDA/FTC doesn't explicitly acknowledge something as being therapeutic, then by implication, it's not legal. And it's not considered relevant for healing. So the natural cures movement is very powerful because people are basically able to take back control of their health. And so here we have in this present day medical system a model where medicine is really not so much focused on trying to heal which is to empower you to live a healthy, balanced well being saturated life. It's to control the body.
And so what people don't seem to acknowledge, I think, well enough is that we have a political system that depends on making the body sick. Look at the FDA. In many ways, they represent the food and drug manufacturer's interest. You know the Food and Drug Administration. So the food gets you sick, and the drugs then suppress symptoms of the illness. And, of course, there's chemicals that also make you sick so it's more complex than that. But the idea here is the natural cures movement is empowering millions and millions around the planet just to kind of disengage from the system that is a system of control so they can, again, attain wellness and balance and healing without having to depend on having, for example, lots of money in your account.Some of the treatments...I think there's a new drug that a was approved for cystic fibrosis just a few months ago and it's $600,000 a year for these folks with a specific type to benefit from this "pharmaceutical intervention." At Green Med Info, we've basically indexed hundreds of studies on natural compounds from N-acetyl cysteine to turmeric to basic vitamin E that have been proven to be effective.

So I think people are waking up and realizing okay, there are things we can use in our diet and even from your supplement store that are going to basically benefit them in a way that drugs cannot.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, there's no doubt about it as we were mentioning earlier is that the tides are changing. And so much of it's due to social media today and the Internet. It's like you can go online where before these media channels, they were able to keep stuff from us. It's scary. I know that you've researched this when you start looking into who owns what from the media companies to the pharmaceuticals, how much the pharmaceutical companies own television today. But the great thing is they don't own the Internet. We have freedom here. And that's why your health website and so many of the others we have on here.
Sayer Ji: Yours, too.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, mine too. We're growing rapidly, which is fun. And it's great.
Sayer Ji: I love this point. This is the beauty of where we are today is that if you have a mobile device. If you have an iPhone or an Android, you can access the global brain. And you have access to research that just ten years ago was not really available to the public. So you go to the World Health Organization's website. You go to your website,, Food Is Medicine. And it's an equal playing field.
If you are a consumer of information, you have a choice. And you can go vet information as you please. And you can have access to whatever you want. So there's a lot of change that's occurred. And a lot of it's good. And I think primarily it's based on what Thomas Jefferson said, which is that information is the currency of democracy. And we have that now. So it's just about people coming the summit, realizing, yes, natural cures, natural solutions exist. And here's the research.

Dr. Axe: Couldn't agree more. Let's actually jump into some meat here and talk about some of these cures that we've alluding to. And I was actually reading through your website, reading some great articles here just this week. And one of them I came across that I'd love to hear from and then I'd love to hear some more.
But one of those was you wrote an article titled "Coconut Oil: Better Than Thirteen Drugs." So, it's been proven to be more beneficial than thirteen medications that are out there today. So what are some of the most amazing examples you have of natural remedies that are out there that are beating drugs for healing? So maybe you can offer a couple here.
And then I know we have five specific ones we're going to talk about later. And there's five herbs that could save your life. But what are a few others here that beat conventional medicine?
Sayer Ji: Well, what's amazing is if you actually go to Medline and you go through the search engine, which again is what GreenMedInfo is based on is literally I took five years of my time. I sat there and I basically indexed and researched all these different natural interventions. I was shocked, Josh, to find all these comparison studies where they looked at a drug versus a natural compound. And they often found the natural compound was more effective.

So one of the substances that came to the fore was coconut oil. And it's so ironic because for many years the nutritional powers that be here in this country with their food pyramid, so to speak, put fats in a place that made it seem like it causes heart disease and it makes you fat. What we're learning today is quite the opposite.
So in the article you're referring to, "Thirteen Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil," we looked at its fat burning properties, number one. There were actually two studies: one in a male and one in a female cohort that saw that it was actually reducing belly fat, which completely explodes the myth that somehow coconut oil causes you to become fat. 

Now, qualification, yes, you consume too much of it beyond your energy needs, yes, it can contribute to weight gain. But, generally those who use it do not see that effect. And because it's saturated, it doesn't oxidize, which means that, unlike vegetable oils, which have been promoted as the ultimate beneficial fat for us, they don't oxidize and therefore cause a lot of inflammation.
So some of the other benefits that have been described just with coconut oil is that it's effective as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever-reducing compound as sort of a drug when it comes to its ability just to kill pain, as well as it's brain-boosting effects. And most people don't realize this. But when it comes to the brain's energy needs, it's constantly dependent on sugar. You can go maybe two or three minute without steady glucose in your blood. And you won't necessarily freak out.
But if you take away glucose after three minutes, your brain is going to freak out. It's going to release adrenaline, cortisol, and try to get the blood sugar back up. And that's because it's so dependent on sugar and "complex carbohydrates," which are themselves hidden sugar. What coconut does is it has these medium-chain triglycerides that the liver breaks down into ketone bodies, which provides the brain a steady source of fuel that gives it the ability to just basically stay focused and satisfied. And so that's one of the things that coconut oil's been found to do.
So there are a lot of benefits. We went over thirteen of them- antifungal, anti-ulcer, helps with blood lipids. Many people think that, "Oh, coconut oil is full of saturated fat therefore it raises your bad cholesterol." It actually raises your good cholesterol and keeps your LDL within range, as well as it has benefits for bone health, healing wounds when applied topically. It's even been used for head lice. It was even superior to some of the chemicals out there like permethrin.
So the beauty of it is if you look at any of the natural compounds out there today and you go to Medline, you search for the research, you're probably going to find a significant body of evidence showing that, yes, traditionally what we were doing was the right approach. And chemicals don't do as good.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, you are right. It is incredible when you look at the number of studies out there that say and they've compared some of these things head-to-head. And the natural remedies that we were referring to in these herbs will perform much better than a lot of these conventional medications.

One other thing...And this is a side note. I wasn't planning on asking you this. But this just kind of jumped in my head. I'd love to hear your thoughts behind—and you kind of alluded to it earlier—but the way that herbs work with your body.
I was reading a study recently on adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha. And they did a study on how that could affect your thyroid health. But it could actually in some people it could raise their thyroid hormones, in others it could reduce it. So explain a little bit or let me hear your thoughts on how these herbs actually work with the body versus medications working either with it or against it or how does that work?
Sayer Ji: That's a great question, Josh. The reality is that people seem to not comprehend fully how an herb could have "intelligence." And that's what we're talking about because adaptogens exhibit properties that are completely opposite depending on the needs of the individual. And that's the basis for functional medicine, of course, which is this burgeoning movement, which is looking at bio-individuality.

So, for example, like ginseng has the ability in those with high blood pressure to lower their blood pressure, but in those with low blood pressure can raise their blood pressure. There's not a single sort of hypotensive agent out there within the drug model like beta-blockers, ace inhibitors, diuretics, calcium channel blockers that have the ability to work with individual constitution. So the adaptogens like ashwagandha, ginseng, and there are many others out there seem to have a "intelligence," meaning it's almost like in quantum mechanics where depending on the observer, the observed is going to act differently so meaning the subject and object are intertwined.
When it comes to an herb's activity and its awareness of our needs, it actually is able to adjust to accommodate what our body needs. And that's something that really the pharmaceutical model doesn't allow for. Many people think, "This is magical thinking. There's no explanation." But a new study that came out this year showed that plants actually exude these "nanoparticles" called exosomes that contain within them regulatory RNAs, which are non-coding, meaning they don't produce proteins. But they are information-containing sequences that modulate the DNA within those who consume them.

So if you're eating ginger, grapefruit, for example, grapes, those RNAs go into our body and actually start to modulate the expression of our DNA. And that's almost like the plant is talking to our body and enabling our body to kind of come back into balance.
So what I understand about adaptogens is that they probably gear into an ancient relationship we had with certain types of foods. There's even a concept out there called xenohormesis, which acknowledges that for many millions of years, we were in an environment where the plants actually communicated to us what the future environmental circumstances would be.
Resveratrol, for example, everyone's heard of it. It's great. They actually believe it basically prolongs our longevity. It kills obesity and overweight. That plant produces resveretrol under times of stress. And resveretrol's actually produced by other things like peanuts. So when there's stress, they produce this compound and communicate to our body a signal that says, "Hey, listen. Things are getting tough. You might want to calm down with accumulating extra calories and basically over replicating your cells. Let's just start focusing on longevity."
So just consuming these compounds actually communicates to our body okay, let's get ready to live longer. Let's actually activate pathways in our body that help us survive. So there's this growing awareness that in the science itself that what we eat is going to directly affect our health outcomes. And that's a good example of it.
Dr. Axe: Wow. It is incredible when you think about it. I think it is hard for people to gain that concept that a plant does have intelligence. But if you think about it, plants are always growing. They're protecting themselves on a regular basis. So it makes sense.
So let's jump into and talk about some of these healing herbs we've talked about. I know I want to go through several including black seed, which, by the way, the title of this article is amazing: "Black Seed the Remedy for Everything But Death". So we'll talk about black seed. Let's also go through one of the things that I know your specialty is. And that's turmeric and curcumin. Let's hit on garlic and then maybe raw honey and Manuka honey. And then also this is one that might surprise people is frankincense. There's some fantastic research you'll share with us. And then maybe we'll do a bonus remedy after that. But let's talk about black seed. This is an article you have on your site, has 33,000 shares.

Sayer Ji: Surprise!
Dr. Axe: Yeah, it's an amazing article. Let's talk about what is black seed exactly? And what's it good for?
Sayer Ji: Well, it's an amazing thing. I had no idea this article would be so popular. Probably the title, actually, was responsible: "Black Seed the Remedy for Everything but Death" does sound rather sensationalistic. But when it comes down to it, the Islamic prophet Muhammad said of it that it is a remedy for all diseases except death. And I always found that to be, okay, that's poetic. That's beautiful. But where's the research?

And in fact what happens was that since 1964, there have been almost 500 studies on its benefits and many of them confirm the traditional use because this was found in Tutankhamen's tomb. This goes back to 3,300 years ago. I mean it was considered a very sacred herb. In fact, in Arabic cultures it was considered the seed of the blessing, meaning it just gave you a beautiful healing effect. And so far there are over twenty different "pharmacological" actions that have been identified—analgesic pain killing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antifungal, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiviral. And it just goes on and on. This is not unique necessarily.
One of the things, Josh, that I found in my project was...Because we have over 1,500 substances that are now indexed. Turmeric has 1,500 studies...And it goes over 600 different benefits. So black seed isn't necessarily the "best" thing on the planet for us to take. But it is interesting because when you look at pharmaceuticals, they on average have seventy-five adverse health effects. And these are actually identified pre-market approval. So there are many more that often emerge afterwards. And yet they're approved.
My understanding is let's say you have a drug that has an adverse effect like it makes you sleepy. Well, they just take that symptom. And they say, "Hey, this is a great sleep medication." You can look at like the drugs out there like Lunestra, which actually increase your risk of death, and say there's a good example.

So whereas natural compounds have the opposite meaning they have side benefits. So you take side effects with drugs. You take natural compounds, side benefits. Now, this is not always true. There are some natural compounds that will have adverse effects that are severe. And, of course, if you're on a medication and you take a natural compound, you could compound the adverse effects of the medication. And often the natural compound is blamed for those adverse effects. So I'm not trying to present the image that natural substances are always beneficial and that you should take as many of them as possible because I'm more of a food is medicine person.
But we have to look at the literature. And it's very clearly showing things like black seed have profound benefits. It's very interesting because with drugs, Lipitor (atorvastatin), for example for cholesterol. There's not precedent. It's basically a synthetic chemical that the body has never been exposed to before. There's no 3,000- or 10,000-year history behind taking a pharmaceutical compound. So when you have the research confirming at least in pre-clinical studies that black seed is beneficial, it's really encouraging.

One of the things too, Josh, I would say is that this is one of the few compounds that's been studied to regenerate the beta cells, which die in type I diabetes. Whereas you have this elaborate pharmaceutical enterprise convincing type I diabetics that if you have type I, you have to take lifelong recombinant basic GMO insulin for the rest of your life and all these oral anti-diabetic drugs, which actually have been found recently to increase the risk of dying from diabetes.

This is one substance that's been shown to stimulate the regeneration of the very cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and therefore may provide a "cure." So for me and for those interested in the natural cures movement, this is a very profound finding. And I think that people really need to start looking at this research.
And if it were me, if I had type I diabetes, would I wait until there's $800,000,000 available to fund a trial? Probably not because this is actually used as food. One of our recent videos on GreenMedInfo was using watermelon and sesame seed oil and black seed as just a summer salad just to eat. And you're always doing amazing recipes showing food as medicine. So I would encourage those to start basically use common sense. Use traditional recipes and start looking at the research. But also start realizing that, yes, food is medicine. And we don't necessarily need to wait around for some future drug cure.

Dr. Axe: Love it. Couldn't agree more. And black seed here reading up on here. This is a form of cumin, of black cumin. I cook with cumin all the time. Some of these things are in our kitchen cabinets, which is just amazing.
So let's talk about another one of my favorites. You have not just one article, but probably ten to twenty phenomenal articles on turmeric and curcumin. Let's talk about that as a super herb.
Sayer Ji: I love it. Turmeric is sort of a gift from the heavens in so far as since ancient times, you can go back to the Ayurvedic tradition in India, which is really the oldest medical system that was very science and what I would call phenomenologically based, looking at empirical effects of different interventions.
What they found, this was actually considered a goddess of compassion. And it was considered to heal many different diseases. And what's happened in the past twenty years is that the biomedical establishment in the West has looked at it as an answer to many solutions that they were looking for.
Literally on Medline, you have 7,000 articles on turmeric. And about 1,500 of them right now on our site show the benefits of this herb at least in pre-clinical research for 600 different diseases. And that's a lot because in our site, which is extensive, we have 3,000 ailments indexed. That's pretty much one fourth of all the disease that affects humankind. And so if turmeric, which is simpler—it's affordable. It's safe. It's wonderful. You can use it in foods. You can take it by the teaspoon—has all these benefits then what are we waiting for? So to me, turmeric is really most amazing.
Our most popular blog on the topic was titled 600 reasons turmeric may be the world's most important herb. And was shared like 80,000 times because people are looking for these natural solutions. They've even compared turmeric to thirteen different drugs. The Fluoxetine study which Prozac, it was found at least as effective as Prozac for depression. It's been found to be as effective as hydrocortisone in the animal model. It's been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in the human model. It's even been found superior pre-clinically to chemotherapy agents, which unfortunately often, as I understand, cause the death of the patient. So to me it's definitely one of the best herbs on the planet. And people really need to know more about it.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, it's incredible. And you've got so many articles here on some of the treatments with it. One of the things I've seen some research on it with is cancer. I know that this is another touchy thing that I would just love to hear your thoughts on, but I know that the cancer industry today is one of those industries that doesn't seem to like the word "natural cures." Or I don't even know how they feel about turmeric. What are your thoughts on our cancer system today and the way that they're treating cancer, versus what place do you think herbs like turmeric have in this?
Sayer Ji: That's a great question, Josh. Thank you. I mean, to me, because this has been a primary advocacy of mine is really first people need to understand that what we understand about cancer today is absolutely false. Meaning the way that they envisioned it for at least half a century was that it's just a bi-product of genetic mutation in the nucleus of the cell. The cell gets all deranged and goes rogue and starts replicating clonally, just making a big mess without any kind of logic.
But what we know today is that cancer is a very organized phenomenon. And it's actually something the body does in response to conditions within the cell that are natural, meaning if you introduce radiation, if we introduce chemicals that are carcinogens or you deprive the body of its optimal nutrition then the cell goes through a change in the way it behaves which is called a phenotypal change consistent with cancer.
So most people don't realize that cancer is really not so much something that just happens in the genes like some kind of genetic time bomb you inherited from bad genes from your parents. Rather it's a byproduct of the post-industrial revolution. And those cells are trying to survive.
What's most ironic about the situation is that these are cells that go through immortalization. So the cells are actually causing harm in your body because they won't die which is a very interesting fact. There are many explanations for why this happens, one of which is that it's a survival instinct. The default state of the cell is to replicate and not die. It's only later in the development of multicellular organisms that the cell decided, "Okay, well, my hair, my skin, my pancreatic cells are going to basically die at some point and be replaced by stem cells, while my germ cells, which are my sperm and if you're a woman an egg cell will live on forever."

Well, cancer basically takes back that immortality, and I think the reason is because it's being whacked by all of these factors that are so unnatural to it, that are so preventable, meaning don't ingest aspartame. Don't saturate your body with sunscreen full of petrochemicals, which are carcinogens. Don't expose yourself to unnecessary medical radiation. And guess what? Cancer probably won't emerge in your body. 
So given that circumstance and that context, I think what's happening today is people are not realizing fully it's not just about trying to find natural substances to prevent cancer. It's about removing the cause. And once you remove the cause of cancer by getting back into an optimal nutrition, focusing on things like raw juices and getting rid of all the sugar, which is known to be carcinogenic, focusing on eating foods that are consistent with your own bio-individuality, your genetic background, what happens is that cancer doesn't have an environment within which it thrives. And that's really the cure is you remove the cause.
Now, given that I said that, there's always another level, which is that today there's no cognizance of this at all. And if you go into a hospital today, they literally have McDonald's set up within the hospital complex. And what they're doing is they're exposing "people with cancer" with radiation and chemotherapy, which is an intrinsically carcinogenic. And they're being faced with taking a highly toxic chemo therapeutic agent like 5-fluorouracil, which is so deadly. It's so bad that arguably the drug is actually causing the death of the cancer patient. Statistically they write it off as, "Oh, the cancer took the patient." But the chemo agents are so toxic that I think they're actually killing most of the people with cancer.
So in that circumstance, we have research on Green Med Info showing even things like pineapple core extract, which is bromelain, is more effective than 5-fluorouracil for killing and dissolving tumors. Turmeric has been shown in a number of studies to kill multi-drug resistant cancer cells. So the idea is that as we move towards a natural cure movement is people are going to start understanding that they don't need to use the conventional approaches. They have choices.
In the medical system you have a choice. You have every right to stand up and say, "You know what, doctor? I don't want to take this particular intervention." I have a right to try a natural approach." And that would include things like Gerson Therapy, using juices all day long, natural interventions, detoxification. That's certainly where I would like to see the future of medicine go.

Dr. Axe: Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more. And I know one of the other things I want to mention to everybody is Sayer here has a fantastic book. In fact, what I believe to be probably the simplest but most thorough book on the natural cancer killers that are out there today. And the book is called The Cancer Killers. He co- authored that book with Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Charles Majors. Check it out. If you go to, check out The Cancer Killers.
If you or anyone you know has cancer, I couldn't recommend a book more. In fact, any time anybody is diagnosed with cancer asks me, "Hey, what do I need to do?" I just tell them, "Hey, go get the book The Cancer Killers." And so again check it out there,, great place to find it.
Let's talk about another herb that is in that family along with turmeric as a cancer killer along with many other health benefits. Let's talk garlic.

Sayer Ji: Yes! I love garlic! Garlic is really one of the oldest remedies known to man that has been shown to have powerful healing properties. At GreenMedInfo, I think we have 100 different diseases that have been shown to benefit from garlic. Some of the most therapeutic of all diseases that it's good for are cancer, interestingly enough. Garlic is certainly considered more of an antiseptic. But when it comes to the research itself, I think it's pretty clear that garlic is one of the biggest anti-cancer agents on the planet.
When it comes to infection, because that's what most people think about when they think of garlic—against vampires, which is a metaphor for an evil germ pathogen trying to kill us from the outside in—studies on amoeba, cholera, Clostridium, Cytomegalovirus, Helicobacter pylori, which is basically responsible for ulcers, herpes simplex, Klebsiella, MRSA, which everyone is so afraid of because it's the drug that the CDC claims is a nightmare bacteria they have no way to actually defend you from. Well, guess what? Garlic has been clinically proven to kill MRSA.
Parainfluenza virus, periodontal infection, pneumococcal infection, streptococcus mutans which causes cavities, even group B strep, which the CDC now requires all pregnant women to receive intrapartum antibiotics. This means at the moment of birth when the microbiome is being transferred over to the infant, they want to give the mother these antibiotics that prevents that implantation in the infant because they're concerned that group B strep is causing problems. Well, garlic actually kills that strain.

Then you have streptococcus pyogenes, thrush. It really goes on and on. And this is only the surface of what they've already studied. My understanding is that garlic has these essential oils that pretty much produces almost like a force field. So if you're concerned about Ebola, if you're concerned about a new type of influenza, why not just use good ole grandma's chicken soup and use the garlic? And just saturate yourself in the beautiful medicine that has been provided by our ancestors. I think the research really does support that today, Josh.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, I totally agree. I know for myself, any time over the years where I've traveled too much, not slept enough, felt like I was coming down with a cold, I'll make this mixture with garlic and apple cider vinegar. And it works. It's powerful.
Sayer Ji: Beautiful. Beautiful.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, so let's talk. We got a couple more here. One is honey. I think raw honey or Manuka honey, both forms, there are so many researched benefits. But also it's kind of used as a sweetener. But I think it's gotten this bad rap as well because it contains fructose. What are your thoughts on using honey as a form of medicine and then just as a food in general?
Sayer Ji: It's a great question. I think you're right. I think there's a misconception about honey, although it is definitely a precious commodity. And we are seeing globally the bee colony collapse phenomena, thanks in part to agrochemical corporations like Dow and Monsanto basically trading insecticidal sort of herbicides, which a side effect is that it's killing all the bees. A lot of vegans, for example, say don't eat honey because you're taking their food from them.
There's something unique about honey. It's like milk. It's like there's two substances we know of on the planet that were produced just for food. Not for us necessarily, but for other species. And honey is one of them. But honey, when it comes to the research, just blows my mind. Like if you go on Medline, you type in the word "bee," type in the word "honey," you will get tens of thousands of studies now showing the benefits of the different compounds that the hive produces.

And it extends beyond honey. Propolis, which is the mortar for the hive. You have bee venom, which interestingly enough is an incredible anti-inflammatory. It's like the homeopathic 'like cures like' concept. If it causes pain in someone who's healthy well then someone who has pain, it might help them. Royal jelly, which is actually produced exclusively for the queen bee and helps her differentiate into one, but has been shown to have powerful therapeutic effects. And then bee pollen, which has a lot of effects. Some people know it for energy and allergy.
So honey is really a complex food. And although it contains fructose, it's actually chock full with all these other oligosaccharides. And what we're learning about, which is true for milk as well especially breast milk, is these oligosaccharides contain information which literally call in different types of bacteria to populate our gut. So when you're eating honey, it actually brings in certain strains of beneficial bacteria, like lactobacillus which are coded in the information of the food to say, "Hey, come on and live within us."
And, in fact, in terms of the bee, if this midgut that's been found to be populated by beneficial bacteria that are over 60,000,000 years old in terms of their lineage. And when you eat raw honey, you sometimes actually get some of the same bacteria from those honey bees that will then populate your gut and provide benefits that go so far back in time that it really roots you back into the essence of health.
When it comes to honey's benefits, one of the interesting things is if you take aspirin—which hopefully you do not out there because turmeric, for example, is a good alternative; aspirin is very gastro ulcerative—honey actually protects against that. So if you are taking it, one integrative approach you can take is to take honey with your aspirin or even your ibuprofen.
It heals bacterial infections very effectively. You mentioned Manuka honey, which is from New Zealand. And it has a specific compound that's extracted from the Manuka flower that's been found to be extremely effective against MRSA. That's methicillin-resistant staph, the so-called flesh-eating super bug that the CDC is freaking out about. Well, hello, CDC. Please tell the public about the reality of natural flower- based remedies.

Candida, which is interesting. Most people think, "Oh, sugar feeds yeast." Well, it turns out that it has antifungal, anti-candida properties. Dental plague, a lot of new research shows actually is more effective than the chemical use in most dentistry offices, which is chloroxedine. Dermatitis, interestingly enough, if you have this flaky scalp, a new study this is human, showed that just applying honey daily basically killed and reduced the inflammation associated with that flaky scalp phenomena. A lot of people use chemicals to do that. And it doesn't always help.
Diabetic ulcer, herpes-related ulcers, meaning if you have in the corner of your mouth this weird ulcer, you can actually use honey. It goes on and on. So, honey is true medicine on the highest order possible. And I think people need to understand too, if you're getting honey, make sure it's not necessarily adultered because a lot of it they put corn syrup in today. You really want to ultimately know your local bee farmer. And get in touch with your community-supported agriculture in order to obtain a form that's not hurting the environment.
Dr. Axe: Yeah, I couldn't agree more, Sayer. And I just wanted to make a few side notes here. It's amazing when you look at it and even the way you elaborated on these oligosaccharides and really supporting the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
I saw some good research on Manuka honey and the treatment of ulcers and even SIBO—small intestinal bacterial overgrowth—which was just really, really incredible. Because a lot of people think oh well, if you're doing sugar, like you said, it's going to cause candida, but not with raw honey. One of the studies you were referring to out of Texas A&M, they said seventy-seven percent of the honey that you buy in your grocery store has zero pollen.
Sayer Ji: Wow, really?

Dr. Axe: Pretty much it's been turned into corn syrup almost in terms of how bad it is.

Sayer Ji: That's terrible.
Dr. Axe: But the good news is, as you're saying, if everybody listening if you do what Sayer's suggesting, go to your local farmer's market. Meet your local Beekeepers. And get your honey there. You're going to be able to get some really good quality raw honey that's absolutely fantastic. And let's talk here one of, I think, a surprising thing for somebody, for many people, they may not have heard of this, but frankincense oil. Frankincense obviously I'm sure dated back a very long period of time. You've got a great article on your site on this. Let's talk about the number five food here, or herb that could save your life. Let's talk about some of the benefits of frankincense especially with cancer.

Sayer Ji: Yeah, it's amazing. You think of the magi who went to visit Baby Christ and obviously who were ahead of the curve. They were trying to bring gifts of healing to Jesus. And it turns out that there's a lot of research actually today on boswellia, which is one of the compounds in frankincense. People don't realize that, but when you go to your health food store and you buy boswellian capsules, that's frankincense. It's an incredible aroma. If you put it on, and you smell it and you kind of get into the olfactory dimensions of this herb, you start to recognize, wow, this is really healing and beautiful.
Well, a lot of research has accumulated. There was actually a recent study that found that it kills ovarian cancer in a way that a lot of the chemo agents don't do. It's very selective. It's able to kill just the cancer cells, whereas a lot of chemo agents out there, they basically broad spectrum kill any cell that replicates rapidly. So this is one of many compounds out there today that actually has benefit for cancer.
But the thing about frankincense is a lot of the research is actually on this broad spectrum lipooxygenase inhibitor property. So it's a LOX-2 inhibitor. And therefore is able to reduce inflammation that a lot of associate with just common aches and pains, whereas it's not a patented chemical like ibuprofen.
Which, by the way, if you take ibuprofen, there's two compounds in there. One of them is oppositely angled so that it actually contributes to cardiovascular mortality. There was a Lancet study that showed the ibuprofen maybe as toxic as Vioxx, which kills more people every year than were killed in the whole duration of our conflict in Vietnam, over 50,000 a year. And the reason is because that ghost molecule was not identified until later.
So Naproxen, for example, if you're going to take a pharmaceutical, doesn't have that ghost molecule. But, hey, why even mess with the whole pharmaceutical chemist pot? Why not use a natural compound? So boswellia is one of the few things that is actually quasi-marketed for this. I mean, there's certain FTC rules that prevent you from saying this is basically an alternative. But if you go out there and you look at boswellia supplements, you'll find that it actually is marketed for inflammation and arthritis.

Dr. Axe: Wow.
Sayer Ji: And, oh, by the way, cancer is an inflammatory state, which is consistent with the concept that boswellia or frankincense would be really good for inflammation and/or cancer.
Dr. Axe: Love it, Sayer. Well, great information. I want to encourage everybody here, as well. If you want to get more information about some of the things that Sayer's talking about, check out his website:, amazing evidence- based research. One of the last questions I have for you here, Sayer, is do you think times are changing? Are we going to see natural cures offered in the future even as part of our medical system? What do you think?
Sayer Ji: That's a great question, Josh. Thank you. I would say absolutely because of necessity. When we look at the present pharmaceutical model, we're talking about markups of cost that are over 100,000 times, which means that it's almost like the federal reserve. They basically can still coin capital by fiat. They can just generate value from nothing because that's the basis for the global currency.
In the drug markets, the same thing applies. They take a poison. They patent it. They make all these outlandish claims. And they say basically this is worth 500,000 times what we invested into the production of it. And, of course, they have a billion dollars of clinical trials to pay off. So in some way it's justified. But the idea is that natural substances are consistent with our biological inheritance, our physiology.
And certainly the future of medicine will be acknowledging that grandma was right. If you're sick, take chicken soup. Okay, Ebola virus is hitting your neighborhood? Well, guess what? It's doubtful that a pharmaceutical intervention or vaccine is going to do anything but cause more harm. Let's start using natural compounds.

And I will encourage everyone out there to please visit Medline. You don't even have to go to GreenMedInfo. Go to the actual mother site,, 23,000,000 studies that you have paid for with your taxpayer money and start doing your own little googling, your own little spelunking. If you find some good studies, email us. We'll put them on our database. But the idea is that people need to realize that the science supports the tradition. And it doesn't involve patented chemicals.
Dr. Axe: Amen. Well, I couldn't agree more. Well, guys, you've been hearing Sayer Ji and myself here talking about some of the natural cures that are out there that a lot of people aren't aware with. And if you want to go to the site that has I believe to be has the best research and evidence to support what we're talking about, something that has literally hundreds of thousands of medical references, check out

And, by the way, Sayer on there has a great health newsletter. I would check out his popular articles section. He's got so many articles on there that are just surprisingly very well written, but yet meat and potatoes in terms of really going through the best overall ways to also implement some of these herbs into your health. And so again check out Also his co-authored book, The Cancer Killers. You can find that there on
Any last words of advice here, Sayer, for somebody who is just getting involved into this natural cures movement on ways that they can start? What are some of the first action steps you'd say for people who are saying, "Okay, I want to start using these. But I haven't done this before."
Sayer Ji: Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. I would say the number one thing I advocate for is please remove grains from your diet. And I know you do the same, Josh, which is again why we're such close colleagues and admirers of one another. And exercise. Like that's the whole point. Nutrition's great. But if you really put in the effort and you bring yourself to a peak level where you feel like you're going to die—but you're not—you're going to start experiencing regenerative phenomena in your body that will truly bring you back to the basis of your power and your ability to heal.
So I would say eliminate grains. Incorporate high-nutrient low-carb hydrated vegetables. Start getting high-quality protein sources in. In fact, a lot of the recommendations you make, Josh, I am completely in agreement with. Start incorporating more fats into your diet. Don't be afraid of them. It's really excess protein actually and excess carbohydrate that I think causes the most problem.

And also open your mind. Like start being aware that your body is a miracle. Every moment that you're alive is not being caused by the foods you're eating or not eating. It's because you're like a miracle in existence. And the body heals when you let it. And half of that at least is your mindset, just being aware that we are destined to be healthy. And we just have to stop interfering with that with negative thoughts and thinking there's some cure outside of us in pill form.
Dr. Axe: Awesome. Well, thanks, Sayer. Well, again, everybody, check out, the world's number one source for evidence-based natural cures, at least in my book. This has been Sayer Ji and Dr. Josh Axe here with The Natural Cures Movement. Hey, thanks, guys.
[Important Qualification: The purpose of this presentation is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure your condition. These interviews are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with your medical professional if you have questions. ]

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