Cancer is the one word that’s on almost every dog owner’s mind. And if cancer isn’t on your mind, it should be … statistically, your dog has a 50/50 chance of getting it.
My old Chili developed cancer a couple of years back, after she needed an emergency spay. And I’ve seen great results with these three herbs and I’m happy to say Chili is still with me and I’ve managed to keep her cancer at bay with these three herbs.
My other dogs also get these herbs. Living in the country, I never know when farmers spray the surrounding fields so I’ve always got cancer on my mind and I always take steps to prevent it. After all, the best cure for cancer is prevention.
So here are my top three herbs for cancer …
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and its oil is very powerful.
Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids but not all of them are psychoactive (which means they can act on the brain and affect mood). Compounds such as cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD) and other forms of THC have been shown to carry health benefits, even without the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), which is the psychoactive compound.
Cannabis oil has been used for centuries for pain relief, heart, eye and skin health, but research shows that it can be effective in both treating and preventing cancer.
Spanish researchers at Complutense University published a 2009 study showing how THC could cause the death of brain cancer cells in mice. The THC caused autophagy, which is a mechanism where cancer cells destroy themselves, and the tumors shrunk in size. And this benefit was also shown in human patients with brain tumors and with cannabidiol (CBD) without delta-9-THC.
Cancer cells are different than normal body cells because they never die on their own. Normal cells that are old or damaged carry programming that causes their death. Cancer cells no longer have this ability and the mutated cells continue to grow and divide and eventually form tumors, which begin to interfere with the body’s organs. Both THC and CBD have been shown in multiple studies to cause apoptosis, or cancer cell suicide, and halt the growth of tumors.
Cannabis has also been shown to prevent metastasis, or the spread of cancer through the bloodstream. And for animals suffering from lack of appetite, which often accompanies cancer, cannabis can stimulate the appetite.
And finally, studies on cannabis show that both THC and CBD can prevent the development of blood vessels in tumors, which blocks their access to nutrition and starves them.
While there are no long-term clinical studies on cannabis in dogs with cancer, there’s enough compelling research to add it to my list of top cancer-fighting herbs.
There are many manufacturers of cannabis and CBD oil for pets in most countries (although it can be a bit difficult to find products with large amounts of THC because this is a regulated substance in most countries). But overall, CBD and cannabis oils are inexpensive and easy to use – just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp and cannabis oil both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa. But hemp has been bred through the centuries for use in clothing and oils and this has changed the plant somewhat.
While hemp seed is high in cannabinoids, it contains very little THC and this is the main difference between hemp and cannabis. While most hemp carries about 1% delta-9-THC, cannabis or marijuana can vary from 5-20%.
Hemp oil also contains a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which can help to reduce chronic inflammation and support the immune system. And hempseed oil has been shown to reduce metastasis and cancer growth in brain, breast and lung cancer.
Hemp seed also contains plenty of vital minerals like manganese and zinc, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
To give your dog hemp seed, you can grind it fresh or buy it as an oil. Just add a teaspoon for every pound of food (but try to avoid combining hemp with poultry as it can upset the fatty acid balance).
Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, have been extensively studied for their role in cancer treatment and prevention. The American Cancer Society claims “Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”
A 2012 study on rats showed that curcumin could prevent bladder cancer in rats … and for my dogs (and most dogs), this is an important benefit since so many of our dogs are exposed to lawns treated with insecticides and herbicides, which are a major cause of bladder cancer.
The curcumin in turmeric has also been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of mammary cancer cells, prevent and inhibit brain tumors, prevent the activation of mast cells by controlling inflammation and can cause apoptosis (cancer cell death) in osteosarcoma and prevent its metastasis.
Turmeric carries many other health benefits too … it’s been shown to be just as effective as aspirin and ibuprofen in reducing pain, some studies have shown it to be just as effective as steroids and it’s a potent anti-inflammatory. And cancer and other chronic diseases such as allergies, arthritis, kidney disease and more are all caused by chronic inflammation.
The curcumin in turmeric is hard for your dog to absorb because it’s not soluble in water, so you should combine it with an oil such as coconut oil. Here are the ingredients you’ll need and directions:
You can add the Golden Paste directly to your dog’s meals by mixing it with some water or kefir. Most dogs don’t mind the taste at all!
- 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder (make sure it’s organic so it contains lots of curcumin and is free of pesticides)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup organic, cold pressed coconut oil
- You can also add 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper to increase its absorption
Mix the ingredients together in a saucepan and set it on medium/low heat for 5-10 minutes, until it forms a paste. Let the mixture cool, then place it in a jar and store it in the fridge for no more than two weeks.
- Small dogs should start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day
- Medium dogs can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day
- Large dogs can start with 3/4 teaspoon per day
- Giant dogs can start with 1 teaspoon per day
This is a rough starting point, but you can increase the amount from there, up to about a Tbsp for larger dogs. But you’ll want to give turmeric in smaller amounts a few times a day because curcumin leaves the body quickly.
If your dog is on any medications, check with your vet before giving him turmeric as it can interact with some medications, including anti-inflammatory, diabetes and chemotherapy drugs.
These 3 herbs can be an important defense against cancer in your dog. And, just like it helped Chili, they can help inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancer in your dog. Let’s face it … we live in a toxic world and giving this little help to your dog is a little bit of insurance and investment in his health and longevity.