In my search for useful cancer information I came across a site this morning called www.chrisbeatcancer.com, about a young man from America who turned to a raw vegetable diet in preference to chemotherapy, after an operation to remove a large tumour from his colon.
He refers to a recent study excitingly named Antiproliferative and antioxdant activities of common vegetables which greatly encouraged him. In this ingenious study, extracts from common vegetables were applied to tumour cell lines and the results monitored. You can read the full report here, but one quite incredible conclusion was that of all the cancer types tested, garlic stopped each one in its tracks!
The results are summarised in charts shown below (click to magnify):
The vegetables are listed in order of efficiency at preventing cell proliferation, with the most effective at the lower y-axis and the least effective at the top. I was impressed enough to start eating garlic raw, and it’s worth noting that by comparison, the more popular lettuce and carrots had no noticeable effect on most cancer cells tested; in general, cruciferous and allium vegetables were the star performers.
It’s strange how popular literature often reflects truth, perhaps completely inadvertently. Perhaps it is this very trait which makes an idea popular, appealing to something we cannot consciously explain. We know the human mind does have an ability to detect what is significant to us without a reasonable intellectual explanation: it is said that women can detect genetic signatures in pheremones, finding a mate attractive even in spite of appearances.
In Collodi’s 1883 Pinocchio, the memorable idea that the puppet’s nose grew whenever he told a lie must have seemed an absurd stretch of the imagination – Collodi couldn’t have known that telling a lie does actually cause an extra influx of blood to vessels in the nose.
If there was an entity most suitable to represent cancer, it would have to be the vampire: a remorseless, energetic, malicious life force active at night, alive and yet not like us, taking any opportunity to divert a blood supply for its own use from within your living tissues, carrying you, by stages, to the grave. In Bram Stoker’s 1897 Dracula, van Helsing protects Lucy from the Count by placing garlic around her neck, a strange idea which was actually borrowed from much older Romanian folklore.
How important is the imagination of man? Unfettered by stubborn worldly problems, it can uncannily predict scientific advances, as in Jules Verne’s incredible 1865 story about a manned projectile flying to the moon from a launch pad in Florida. Florida! How crazy is that? The imagination seems to grasp a possibility in its entirety long before it could become a reality. In an absolute sense, every enterprise begins in the imagination, and how else could we achieve anything, even the writing of an essay, without first imagining it?
Religious lore, too, has been coloured by imagination, a neccessary device to invoke ideas beyond words, and for which there will be as many languages as in the temporal world, each with its own character and appeal. But at the core of each is impressed the idea that by following a certain way of life, one rises to a transcendent level of consciousness, and by ignoring such precepts, degenerates to a discordant and painful existence. What else is this, if not the story of man’s evolution to genius, or his degeneration to insanity?
Even so, the prescience of some imaginative tales is very hard to explain. Everyone is familiar with the Titanic, which sank in April of 1912 after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Well, a story written 14 years earlier by Morgan Robertson also features a triple-screw ocean-going luxury liner with the same top speed, the same capacity of 3,000 and displacement of 45,000 tons, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg, in April. Great loss of life was incurred because the owners, considering the ship indestructable, never thought it worthwhile to put too many liferfats aboard. The unsinkable ship was named: the Titan.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ..Albert Einstein