My search for a possible cancer cure began in late 2004 when I found out that my cousin, lifelong friend and running buddy, Jeff Johnson, had been diagnosed as having stage-three melanoma. The cancer had appeared out of nowhere and so it was quite a shock to my cousin and everyone close to him. As luck would have it, I had spent a lot of time the previous four years or so working on my dream of someday posting a website aimed at helping aging baby boomers and others live longer, healthier and happier lives. Naturally, a lot of my research involved searching for ways to ward off and treat diseases and ills such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney and liver disease, and so forth. When I found out about my cousin, I already had a head start on knowing where and how to look, and so I began to redouble my efforts and focus my research more on cancer. As a result of my research, I found a lot of very good information about fighting cancer and other diseases, boosting our immune systems and improving health in general – much of which you may find in my simple “How to Live a Long and Healthy Life” book. However, it was not my research that led me to finding out about the magical, miraculous oleander plant – it was a card game!
Yes, the way I first heard about the healing powers of oleander happened one evening when I was sitting down at a friendly card game and mentioned my cousin’s cancer. An acquaintance of mine whom I had known for a few years and who had worked for the American Medical Association at one time, looked across the table at me and, as serious as could be, said “I know a cure.” He then proceeded to tell me an amazing story of what he knew about oleander. Later, I found others who told me essentially the same basic story, although each person seemed to have a slightly different version. I fully expect that the story is headed toward The Lost Book of Herbal becoming a modern day legend someday. Although the versions I heard have differed somewhat, the basic story line I believe to be essentially correct is as follows:
In the early 1960’s a Turkish doctor by the name of Huseyin Ziya Ozel was searching for a cure for his pet dog’s cancer when he noticed that a large number of Turkish villagers referred to him came from high altitudes and he thought that perhaps there was more to the story than just the higher incidence of skin cancer associated with higher altitudes:
In many versions of the story, Doctor Ozel was reported to have observed Turkish villagers drinking an oleander remedy, which pretty much correlates with the description of Oleander Leaf on the American Cancer Society website, where it states that Doctor Ozel started his study of oleander because of folk traditions that suggested that an extract from oleander was active against leukemia. It should be noted that Doctor Ozel’s daughter Sumru disputes this version and states that Doctor Ozell “studied folkloric remedies and discovered that poultices made of crushed oleander leaves and flour were applied topically to wounds and produced amazingly fast healing of the wounds.” The author suspects that this version may have been put forward to put distance between what Ozel observed and what he later patented in order to protect the patent from challenges.
According to Ozel’s daughter, Doctor Ozel made an observation that the majority of cancer patients referring to him were coming from an altitude above 600 meters. He thought that there should be a correlation between the rate of cancer occurrence and some environmental influence.
Whatever the actual truth, Doctor Ozel obviously did observe Turkish villagers using oleander and did review that use as well as a number of environmental factors, and he proceeded to continue his research on oleander based on what he found.
Further research showed that Nerium Oleander was most abundant in lower altitudes and practically did not exist at high altitude. Satisfied that he may have determined the cause of the villager’s good health, Doctor Ozel became intrigued with the plant and began to prepare and work with various extracts of Oleander himself in 1966 while he was the head of the surgical department at Mugla State Hospital of Turkey.
Doctor Ozel first conducted animal studies to determine that the substance was non-toxic and, once he determined the toxicology and effects of Nerium Oleander Extract (or NOE), he conducted further experiments and developed his treatment in various forms until he eventually started tests on terminal human cases.