Aloe Arborescens: Healing Cancer and Other Diseases for Centuries

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The Tradition and Folklore of Aloe Arborescens Proven by Modern Science

I always find it fascinating when modern science finally catches up to ancient tradition. When you can point to specific actions within the body and say “oh, that’s why this has been working for so long.” Aloe arborescens is just one of many cases of this happening. Going all the way back to the time of Moses, God was pretty big on washing hands before meals and other regular occurrences. But, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s when a doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis came along and hypothesized that surgeons should wash their hands and instruments with chlorine before going from an autopsy to a surgery that the scientific reasons for washing hands began to come into view. At the time, Dr. Semmelweis was actually ridiculed by his peers and was never able to get anyone to take him seriously, but I think time has shown who was right on the issue.

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In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon points out that while yes, our ancestors did eat whole grains, they soaked them overnight first, a step most of us miss today. She points out that most grains contain high amounts of phytic acid which end up binding to nutrients and blocking their absorption. Soaking or fermenting grains breaks down this phytic acid along with difficult to digest proteins such as gluten and even encourages the production of many beneficial enzymes. As her book was about nutrition, Sally wrote “this is not a place to speculate on the mysterious instructive spirit that taught our ancestors to soak and ferment their grains before eating them; the important thing to realize is that these practices accord very well with what modern science has discovered about grains.”

Now, what does hand washing and grain soaking have to do with aloe? People have been using the stuff medicinally for thousands of years!! The Ebers Papyrus is one of the two oldest surviving medical documents in the world. Written by the Egyptians, who called aloe “the immortal plant” in 1550 BC (although some say as far as 3000 BC), the document shows they were using aloe for various ailments all the way back then. It’s been used medicinally by ancient Greeks, Arabs, Jews, Mayans, and the list goes on. Legend even has it going back to the lost city of Atlantis! The important thing to note is that for whatever the reason, people have somehow known for a long, long time that the aloe plant is an incredible healer.

People Unable to Afford Cancer Treatment Healing Left and Right!

The modern history of aloe and cancer goes back to Brazil in the late 80’s where Catholic priest Romana Zago was stationed at the time. In conversation with a priest ministering to the nearby shantytown of Rio Grande, he learned that the locals had been using a simple recipe made from aloe arborescens, a cousin of aloe vera, which is abundant in those parts, to cure themselves of cancer for years. The people of the town were much too poor to afford to go to the hospital, even for serious conditions like cancer, and consequently this recipe had been passed around by word of mouth so much so that the whole town knew of it and used it whenever one of them got cancer. This priest went as far to say that the recipe was so widespread and so effective, that only those who no longer wish to live die of cancer in town, the rest take the recipe and live.

With this story and the recipe fresh in his mind, Father Zago was called to take confession from and give last rites to a local man with a massive tumor in his abdomen who had been declared untreatable by doctors and given days to live. He performed these duties, but also tried to tell the man’s wife about the recipe he had learned of. The wife had already resigned herself to her husband’s death and could not be convinced there was anything that could be done for him. The next day the priest saw the man’s son, who was much more open to trying something new to save his father and promised he would make sure he got the mixture.

A week later, Zago ran into the man’s daughter who had been preparing the recipe and giving it to her father. She told the priest that the doctors had sent the man home to die, and he was still extremely weak, but they had noticed that the massive swelling in his abdomen from the tumor had receded substantially. Zago felt this meant the tumor was shrinking and told the daughter to keep hope. Sure enough, the man slowly but surely began to regain strength, and was eventually back to his regular life like nothing had ever happened. He was still alive in full health when Zago wrote his first book in 2002.

Father Zago went on to Israel shortly thereafter, later Italy, and continued to recommend the mixture to everyone with cancer he was made known of. In his book, Cancer Can Be Cured!, he lists case after case (after case, after case) of people he witnessed first-hand go from having days or weeks left to live to making full recoveries from cancer. Zago has since written multiple books on aloe and dedicated his life to spreading the word about the curative properties of this plant. As he says in the book, “Plant an Aloe arborescens shoot; this will give you a complete pharmacy, which God places at your disposal.”

The Recipe

The exact recipe Zago lays out in the book, having been changed slightly from experience from what he first started with, is as follows:

1. Half a kilo (1.1 lbs.) of honey. Do not use synthetic or refined honeys and general fakes.

2. Between 40 and 50 ml (6-8 tsps) of grappa, whisky, cognac, etc. (pure alcohol, wine, beer and liqueurs cannot be used). Note: 40-50 ml is the equivalent of a measure of whisky or a small coffee cup. 3. 350 grams (.77 lbs.) of Aloe arborescens leaves. Use three or four leaves, depending on their length.

Zago, summing up the functions of the three ingredients, says “This remedy results in a complete cleansing of the organism, thanks to the honey, which reaches the furthest zones of the body. And the aloe… carried by the honey, is an important agent of healing,” and “as for the alcohol, it serves to dilate the blood vessels and thus facilitate the general cleansing. In the space of 15 days, the blood is completely purified.”

Obviously not everyone has an aloe arborescens plant in their back yard to go pick leaves from and an extra pound of honey laying around to make this with. I’ll tell you more about where we get our mixture from at the bottom but if you’re in a hurry and have heard enough, it’s here.

It should be noted, we held off from using this mixture until Ryder was a bit over a year old old due to the unpasteurized honey which some feel can contain bacteria that could be harmful to infants (although many cultures do give honey to their infants and feel it’s not a problem). Interestingly, honey also has many healing properties on its own. The alcohol also didn’t excite us, but relative to the entire mixture it’s a very small amount.

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Where Science Meets Tradition

Just as with so many other folk and ancient medicines, modern science is now backing up what people have somehow already known for a millennia. The two main benefits of the plant are immune stimulation and a blood cleansing, or detox, effect. This white paper, Immunomodulatory and Protective Action of Aloe arborescens and Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera), is littered with studies touting the health and specific anti-cancer benefits studies are finding of the two aloe plants. Again, aloe arborescens is a cousin of the better known aloe vera plant. The two contain many of the same beneficial compounds, aloe arborescens is just said to have more of some of the main ones we’re looking for in cancer applications.

From the paper: “These aloe species contain several very large polysaccharides (many sugars) consisting of glucose (blood sugar) and mannose (various plants) which, when administered to animals and humans, cause the release of substances from certain white blood cells that form and activate natural killer cells (NKC) that attack cancer cells and cause their demise (death). (1) Natural killer cells are part of the natural immune system and they kill tumor cells and cells infected by viruses. (2) Natural killer cells do not require programming by prior contact with antigens. (3) Natural killer cells attach to a cancer cell and inject chemicals that can kill the cancer cell in less than five minutes. One of the great advantages of such a system for destroying cancer cells is that it can destroy every last cancer cell, something none of the other modes of treatment can accomplish.”

I love this last line about natural killer cells being able to destroy every last cell. Yes, chemo can kill many types of cancer cells, no one disputes that. But the reason for the response being partial, or apparently complete with relapses in the near future, is that it doesn’t finish the job. The body, in particular the immune system, is what picks up the slack at the end of the day. Sometimes this does happen all on its own, but why wouldn’t we do everything we can to give our kids’ bodies every tool we can to help?

One of the studies mentioned in this paper took 240 patients with “advanced cancer and poor clinical status” and split them up into two groups, one receiving chemotherapy alone and the other receiving chemotherapy with the aloe honey mixture. “… the percentages of complete responses (CR) and partial responses (PR) achieved in patients concomitantly treated with aloe were significantly higher than those who received chemotherapy alone (40/119 (34%) vs 23/121 (19%), p<0.01. A CR occurred in 12/119 (10%) in patients concomitantly treated with aloe and only 4/21 (3%) patients treated with chemotheraply alone” So just using this aloe and honey mixture effectively doubled these particular patients’ chances at a very favorable outcome and tripled their chances of a complete response… Tell me again how natural treatments don’t have any effect and there’s no data out there to support them?

No, the aloe group’s results weren’t 100% but 1) cancer drugs costing hundreds of thousands of dollars don’t get these kind of results, 2) If anything, I’d be interested to see a third group WITHOUT chemo (but of course that’s neither here nor there in the world of cancer as no chemo really isn’t an option), 3) If these patients already had “advanced cancer and poor clinical status” that means they’d already been through the ringer of conventional treatments with subsequently ravaged bodies and it’s absolutely astounding that just adding the aloe mixture was able to turn so many of them around (imagine if they’d taken it right from the start), and 4) Cancer Tutor rates the aloe formula a Stage IV Supplemental Protocol, meaning you can take it on top of other conventional or natural protocols to greatly increase their efficacy. That’s what I love about natural non-toxic treatments in general… They’re NON-TOXIC and generally work synergistically with one another so you can combine them for even better results (like all the various delivery methods of vitamin C I wrote about a couple articles back).

In another study, researchers implanted two types of tumor cells in mice, fibrosarcoma and lymphocytic leukemia. The mice were then injected daily with varying amounts Aloctin A, a glycoprotein found in the leaves of the aloe arborescens plant, and the results on the tumor were observed. Of the six mice that were given the highest dosages, four of them showed a complete inhibition of tumor growth (compared with 0/10 of the mice not given Aloctin A). The leukemia group was measured by way of survival time, with the group of mice receiving the highest dosages surviving 120% of the time the mice not given Aloctin A did. The article also goes on to say that they tried exposing cancer cells directly to Aloctin A in vitro (in a test tube, petri dish, etc.) and no effect was seen, indicating that the Aloctin A wasn’t killing the cancer cells directly, but rather ramping up the mice’s immune systems to do the job.

A Phenomenal Detox

As noted earlier, the second beneficial effect of aloe arborescens is a detox effect. From the website we get Ryder’s aloe mixture from: “The purifying action of aloe juice is due to several molecules. Aloin is an active principle exclusive to the aloe plant and made up of anthraquinone glycosides. Its therapeutic effects are summed up as purging, detoxifying, and markedly antibiotic. Aloe-emodin… possesses bacteriocidal and laxative properties and can boast a marked anti-tumoral effect… The complex sugar, acemannan coat(s) and permeate(s) all the gastrointestinal surfaces, increasing the fluidity and the permeability of these membranes. In this way, it allows the easy expulsion of toxins and an even faster absorption of nutritive factors. This stops the immune system from intervening in internal digestive support, which could cause its compromise, and saves the immune defenses for where they may be really needed.”

As with any good detoxifier, don’t be surprised if your child experiences a few detox symptoms early on such as diarrhea, skin rash, or even vomiting. These are all signs that the body is purging itself of toxins, and while unpleasant at first, are sometimes necessary to get all the bad stuff out.

How We Use Aloe Arborescens

The adult dose and frequency recommended by Father Zago is one tablespoon three times a day, 10-20 minutes before a meal. For Ryder, we keep the same intervals but only use a teaspoon as the dose. Originally, Zago recommended this protocol 10 days on, 10 days off, but later on he gave it continually with no ill-effect. We’ve been giving it to Ryder every day for several months now and he’s been doing great on it, although as we transition more from “treatment” to “maintenance” we will probably start following the 10 day plan. Also, it’s very important to note that to preserve its efficacy, this mixture should get as little exposure to sunlight and oxygen as possible, so it should be kept in a dark bottle (as the aloe we use comes in) in the fridge and taken as soon as possible after it’s poured. It’s also advised to give the bottle a good shake before each use to ensure the proper ratio of ingredients.

Perhaps what we love most about this mixture for Ryder… is that it’s delicious!! Due to the small chunks of aloe leaves in the mixture, we were never able to get this one down the feeding tube (we STRONGLY recommend a feeding tube when dealing with cancer, see the Six Things We Did First document you get by entering your email address on our homepage, and also read Leanne Woodland’s story for more on this) without dealing with a lot of clogs. So as soon as Ryder was able to take food by mouth after his heart surgery (he had a heart anomaly that prevented him from eating in addition to the cancer) we started mixing a teaspoon with a few ounces of water in a little spice jar and giving it to him by mouth. As he’s gotten better at drinking he’s been taking it straight out the jar, but before that we were taking it up in the glass syringes (why use plastic when you can use glass?) we used to use for the feeding tube and squirting it right into his mouth which he seemed to enjoy.

As noted earlier in the article, we’ve been ordering the premade mixture. We go with the consensus which is pretty strong out there on which one to use, Supreme Immune Health Formula from Aloe Products Center, particularly due to the reason that it’s the only one Father Zago himself endorses… His picture’s right on the bottle! After clicking around researching this article, I did see a couple places you can order fully grown aloe arborescens plants (which I’m now very tempted to do, looks like they’re pretty low maintenance!), so that is another option too and one that we will hopefully explore ourselves down the road!

To wrap up, of course there’s no silver bullet for all cancers in all situations that anyone’s found yet, and with cancer more often than not parents don’t even have a choice when it comes to whether or not to give their child conventional treatment. That being said, with all the studies and testimonials readily available on its benefits, we feel aloe arborescens has been an incredible addition to our balanced protocol.

God’s Peace and Godspeed.


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Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

References used for this article:

Aloe Arborescens with Honey and 1% Alcohol Remedy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

An Aloe Arborescens Education. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2015, from

Danhoff, I. (2013). Immunomodulatory and Protective Action of Aloe arborescens and Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera). Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

Davis, R. (2015, January 12). The Doctor Who Championed Hand-Washing And Briefly Saved Lives. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

Euler, L. (n.d.). The Plant that Cures Practically Everything. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

Imanishi, K. (1993). Aloctin A, an active substance of Aloe arborescens Miller as an immunomodulator. Phytotherapy Research, 7(Special Issue), S20-S22. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

Kehr, W. (2015, August 4). Aloe Arborescens Cancer Protocol Stage IV Supplemental. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from

Knox, A. (2004, June 8). Harnessing honey’s healing power. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from
LISSONI, P., ROVELLI, F., BRIVIO, F., ZAGO, R., COLCIAGO, M., MESSINA, G., . . . PORRO, G. (2009). A Randomized Study of Chemotherapy Versus Biochemotherapy with Chemotherapy plus Aloe arborescens in Patients with Metastatic Cancer. In Vivo, 23(1), 171-175. Retrieved September 28, 2015, from

Zago, R. (2002). The knowledge, The Conclusive Recipe. In Cancer Can Be Cured!