Ingrid Naiman

Like many today's world, I grew up in the city and was exposed to the same indoctrination as others whose conventional educations touted the miracles of modern medicine and the benefits of the measures employed to destroy germs. I was given no reason to question the superiority of man over Nature nor perhaps mind over emotion, this despite a formative incident at age three when I tried valiantly to dissuade my parents from forcing a smallpox vaccine on an unwilling and struggling child. Much of the first half of my life was dominated by health complications stemming from excessive vaccinations and inoculations; and the second half of my life has been characterized by a different struggle, one for fresh understanding of the world in which we live and the mechanisms of adaptation and acculturation that actually determine "survival of the fittest."

When I left my job with the U.S. Department of State in 1970, I began an entirely new quest, first for consciousness and the integration of the new understandings and later for practical ways to express the balance that was contributing to the reconstruction of my life, this after seeing the flaws of capitalism, democracy, conventional medicine, and, sorry to say, what I came to see as fossilized and no longer adequate religious leadership.

My quest began with resignation from my work as an economist, partly because of inability to believe in the "mission" of the U.S. Government and partly to claim control over my "self" through being able to choose my own treatment for the fevers that had plagued me since joining the State Department. There is nothing unusual about my conversion to Buddhism, about spending more time in meditation and contemplation than in libraries, about becoming a vegetarian, or about my career change. Many others were going through similar metamorphoses and reinventions of the self. I became a medical astrologer, transforming a hobby into a profession.

Astrology is, of course, a complex discipline in its own right, but medical astrology requires a knowledge of healing. It became important to understand the nature of health and disease and to forge the skills necessary to heal. My entry into this vast new world was mystical, incredible, blessed, and totally awesome. I found myself enjoying remarkable clairvoyance, listening to discourses by teachers no else could see, and pouring over hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books on medicine and metaphysics, always searching for an interface.

In the beginning, I felt that all healing could be achieved by shifts in consciousness; but as time progressed, I began to look for physical catalysts that would support changes on the emotional and integration at the spiritual level. Inch by inch, I approached the world of Nature—and, I am embarrassed to say, often fell into the error of seeing Nature as providing the means for physical healing and the soul as having the keys to deeper levels of healing involving our relationship to the Creator and our own spirits.

I have to say that fast as I was awakening, I remained quite retarded for a very long time. This web site is my penance for many years, probably lifetimes, of seriously faulty relationships to Nature. I hope I live long enough to repair the damage caused by my own ignorance.

I saw my first cancer patient in 1972. From her, I learned much. She had both breasts amputated on the same day. Two teams of surgeons operated simultaneously and, as an astrologer, I had cautioned her against working with one of the doctors. Months after the operation, one side of her body had healed and the other had not. I developed concepts of relationships based on astrochemistries that twist and turn between individuals. Her situation urged me against viewing diet or drugs as solutions for cancer because, had any of them worked, they should have worked on both sides of her body.

The second patient was arrested for laetrile possession and incarcerated in a federal prison for possession of a vitamin found in bitter almonds, this while a cancer death sentence loomed over him. I am extremely happy to say that he is very much alive and well today. He has a prominent presence in the world as an environmentalist, and his cancer was cured entirely by "magic and mysticism" since he was deprived of treatment while in federal custody. More importantly, he has been entirely cancer-free for three decades.

Perhaps these experiences contributed to my own slowness in discovering Nature's medicine chest. In any event, by 1980, I realized that most people did not share my view of cancer. They believed their conditions to be physical, and they tended to seek physical solutions for what they considered to be physical problems. I had begun studying Ayurveda, under a yogi, and was interfacing the system of the elements in food and herbs with astrology and psychology. I started to develop an intense interest in spices as metabolic regulators.

As noted, I was not a brilliant student when it came to Nature. Another decade passed, and a particularly potent experience was ushered into my life by yet another patient. As we were driving one day, Susan asked, "Who did that?" I knew she had seen something through the car window, but I had no idea what. She was shaken. She said, "Who hurt him?" I didn't have a clue what she was seeing because we were on a dirt road in the country with no one else in sight. Susan had seen a broken branch on a tree and concluded that the bulldozer driver who bladed the road had hurt the tree. To be absolutely honest, I had no interest in the tree at all, but I was deeply moved by Susan's evident traumatization by what she obviously perceived as reckless brutality.

Being a fair psychologist, I knew that the key to her own illness had to share some common denominator with the wounded tree. The trick would be to find the parallel and bring it forth for healing. I regret to say I utterly failed to contribute to her healing, and this plummeted me into one of the darkest nights of my soul, years of self-recrimination and feelings of adequacy.

When I tried to piece myself together again, I was bitten by a black widow spider and spent a year listening to voices no one else could hear and finally, finally understanding began to seep into some of the denser parts of my psyche. . .

I have written several books on cancer, one that is astrological (and not even slightly related to the sign of the same name) and one that is botanical as well as some smaller works. I also have three other web sites dealing with cancer, a very large one called Cancer Salves and a self-help one called Cancer Checklist plus one for practitioners. In addition, there are three astrological web sites and a very popular site called Kitchen Doctor as well as a personal site called Soaring Spirit with Tears. You might say that I have a web presence, but this site, as I said, is my penance, not for failing to prevent death, but for something for which I am more directly responsible.

Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatmentwas first published in 1990 as set of instructions for people using bloodroot escharotic pastes in the treatment of their cancer. Thanks to a Andrew Weil, I was deluged by e-mail from people seeking more information on this herb. I responded by starting my first web site and then by publishing the book.

In the course of my research on this fascinating treatment, I became interested in the nuances of the methodology and pharmacology of the formulas, and, here's the rub, I become partial to an even more endangered species of herb: goldenseal. Unlike 30+ years ago, I am no longer naive. I know that cancer is disease affecting at least one-third of the world's population, that modern treatments are failing to extend life appreciably, and that any alternative treatment with the slightest credibility will be sought by desperate patients and those who love the patients. I know that the more my book is read, the more the demand for these precious Native American plants will increase. I therefore want to do my part to encourage conservation and cultivation, not only of bloodroot and goldenseal but of all plants with known medicinal benefits, whether as humble as the dandelion or as prized as ginseng.

Because my interest is no longer strictly with people, but with all life on this Planet—including animals and plants—I want to do my part to protect plants while at the same time providing plant medicine to suffering creatures: human, feathered, furry, and even abject like the spider who taught me how the anger we disavow materializes in venom and how like all others of God's Creatures, she desires to be loved and appreciated for her work in maintaining the matrices upon which light travels.

My own path has been one journey of countless journeys on a Planet I sometimes refer to as "the drama Planet." Tragedy occurs because we have failed to harmonize the wills we have been allowed to flex at the expense of Divine Intent. Even for those who are completely devoted to attaining higher consciousness and living as spiritual beings, there is often a rejection of the material realm because it is seen as inferior to Spirit or as an object of attachment. I propose another view. The Plant Kingdom, as I have come to know it, is a place where Divine Light is intensely concentrated. Just as the leaves perform the remarkable task of photosynthesis, enabling us to experience life through respiration, the piety of flowers concentrates inspiration in a form that can elevate awareness of the Love that sustains the Universe.

The Plant Kingdom suffers from many of the same diseases as the animal and human kingdoms. It is having to mutate to adapt to burning acids in the air and water, in pesticides and herbicides. It has to accommodate itself to the reckless destruction of habitat by predatory "civilization." Just as we struggle for sensible solutions to challenges we face in our personal lives and in our global relations, so plants are struggling against all sorts of savagery: GMO encroachment and planned obsolescence of indigenous species, regulations on seed transport, homicide of pollinators—the list goes on and on. It is my hope that this site will shift this picture. For those who have not already fallen in love with Nature, I hope the material on this site will instill a reverence for plants and plant medicine. For those who are already far beyond me in their conservation efforts, I commend you for your efforts and invite you to share your interests and information on this site. For those who, like me, are involved with plant remedies, I pray that we take our responsibility to the Plant Kingdom as seriously as we take our obligations to our patients.

God bless!

Ingrid Naiman
31 January 2003

Cancer Salves:
A Botanical Approach to Treatment











Seventh Ray Press
Poulsbo, Washington
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2003, 2006, 2014