Mother Earth Living

Guinea Hen Weed: The New Way to Fight Against Cancer?

By Lisa

I am a mom with a million things to do and not enough time to do it all. I’m loving every minute of it, though.  I’m homeschooling my two children and together we are learning to use our yard to grow as much as we can.  We’ve become passionate about collecting plants. We also keep hens, a few ducks, quail, a couple bunnies, red-wiggler worms, honeybees and dairy goats on our old tennis court. If you’d like to see what we’re up to, visit Pick Me Yard.

Cancer is defined as an uncontrolled growth of a group of cells in the body. There are many types and locations of cancer cells, as well as many treatments. It used to be a running joke that the Jamaicans touted ganja as a cure for cancer. “Yeah man, it cure your cancer ya’ know.” We would laugh, but the joke was on us when it turned out to be kind of true. Although cannabis does not cure cancer, research shows that it can definitely help fight it. So when my friend from Jamaica recently told me about guinea hen weed being a possible treatment for cancer, I didn’t laugh. I listened intently.

Dried guinea hen weed.

Guinea hen weed (Petiveria alliacea) is an herb that grows wildly all over the island of Jamaica and it’s showing a lot of promise in the fight against cancer, including breast and prostate. 

I’ve done a lot of research on the fascinating herb and learned that it’s been used in herbal medicine for quite a long time. It’s been used for pain relief and ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, flu and cold, infections, and … cancer. Guinea hen weed has been studied in-depth recently by scientists and there’s lots of information about it on the internet.

Dried guinea hen weed in the palm of my hand.

Out of 1,400 plants that were studied by The University of Illinois for cancer prevention and treatment, guinea hen weed was found to have phytochemicals that directly kill cancer cells. The news gets even better. This herb can actually pinpoint and kill only the cancer cells. At the same time, the herb boosts the immune system and helps the disease-fighting cells to do their job. Do you find this herb as fascinating as I do?

Now the negative news. It can cause miscarriages and abortions. It also acts as a blood thinner because it contains a small amount of coumadin. Oh … and it really stinks. It stinks so much so that Jamaicans have used it traditionally to keep bad spirits away. They spread the leaves around to deter duppies. (Duppies, a Jamaican word for ghosts.) My Jamaican friend told me this and he swore he wasn’t making this up. I was thinking of trying it. 

I bought this bag of guinea hen weed at a health food store in Kingston at a local mall called Sovereign. The price on the label says $200, but that’s in Jamaican dollars. It was around $3 in US dollars.
Photos courtesy Pick Me Yard

I tried to get a picture of the plant. We hiked through my friend’s jungle-like yard to the spot where it was growing. When we reached the spot, he started cussing. He said people keep stealing it from his yard. So, I didn’t get the photo.

It is common sense that medical claims should always be discussed with a licensed practitioner. If you know someone with cancer, guinea hen weed might be a good one to discuss.

Come grow with us at Pick Me Yard.

*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. It is also recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications.

  • Published on Jan 16, 2012
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