For over three decades, Harry Hoxsey (1901-1974), a self-taught healer, cured many cancer patients using an herbal remedy reportedly handed down by his great-grandfather. By the 1950s, the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic in Dallas was the world's largest private cancer center, with branches in seventeen states. Born in Illinois, the charismatic practitioner of herbal folk medicine faced unrelenting opposition and harassment from a hostile medical establishment. Nevertheless, two federal courts upheld the "therapeutic value" of Hoxsey's internal tonic. Even his archenemies, the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration, admitted that his treatment could cure some forms of cancer. A Dallas judge ruled in federal court that Hoxsey's therapy was "comparable to surgery, radium, and x-ray" in its effectiveness, without the destructive side effects of those treatments.
But in the 1950s, at the tail end of the McCarthy era, Hoxsey's clinics were shut down. The AMA, NCI, and FDA organized a "conspiracy" to "suppress" a fair, unbiased assessment of Hoxsey's methods, according to a 1953 federal report to Congress. Hoxsey's Dallas clinic closed its doors in 1960, and three years later, at Hoxsey's request, Mildred Nelson, R.N., his long-time chief nurse, moved the operation to Tijuana, Mexico.
The Bio-Medical Center, as the clinic is now called, treats all types of cancer, with Nelson overseeing a staff of fully licensed medical doctors and support personnel. The records indicate that many patients, some arriving with late stages of the disease, have been helped and even completely healed of cancer by the nontoxic Hoxsey therapy, which today combines internal and external herbal preparations with a diet, vitamin and mineral supplements, and attitudinal counseling.
The medical orthodoxy labeled Harry Hoxsey "the worst cancer quack of the century." His herbal medicine was denigrated as worthless, simply "a bottle of colored water" containing extracts of useless backyard weeds. FDA officials would go to patients' houses, intimidate them, tell them they were being duped by a quack, and take away their Hoxsey medicines. The American Cancer Society added the Hoxsey therapy to its blacklist of Unproven Methods in 1968, using its customary phraseology about the lack of any evidence that the treatment works.
Yet no representative of the ACS has ever visited the Bio-Medical Center or scientifically tested the Hoxsey remedies. Hoxsey repeatedly urged the AMA and NCI to conduct a scientific investigation of his formulas, but his pleas went unanswered. Instead, his practice was outlawed, the FDA banning the sale of all Hoxsey medications in 1960. His therapy was driven out of the country by a close-minded medical fraternity that continues to view inexpensive, nontoxic herbal medicine as a direct competitive threat.
Today we know that Hoxsey's plant-based remedies contain naturally occurring compounds with potent anticancer effects. According to eminent botanist James Duke, Ph.D., of the United States Department of Agriculture, all of the Hoxsey herbs have known anticancer properties.1 ~ All of them are cited in Plants Used Against Cancer, a global compendium of folk usage of medicinal plants compiled by NCI chemist Jonathan Hartwell. Furthermore, Duke noted, the Hoxsey herbs have long been used by Native American healers to treat cancer, and traveling European doctors picked up the knowledge and took it home with them to treat patients.