07/27/07 - Â Health notes section
The new buzz on Life Mel Honey
76 year old Dr. Heime Geffen made a remarkable recovery from leukaemia, after taking 'LifeMel honey', made by bees that feast on specific medicinal herbs and other immune-boosting natural substances
The day before I telephoned Dr Heime Geffen in Canada last month, he had played nine holes of golf, taken out the rubbish and played bridge.
That's not extraordinary for many men of 76, but it was a huge event for him because in October 2006, Dr Geffen was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukaemia after radiation therapy for another form of cancer.
His doctors had abandoned chemotherapy in February this year, because his blood counts were so low.
"I had deteriorated physically to the point where I was virtually bedridden.
"I couldn't eat, I had sores in my mouth and I felt dreadful," he says.
How this turnaround happened has mystified everyone. It's just possible, although unlikely, that it could be a spontaneous remission or a delayed reaction to chemotherapy.
The other consideration is that, from April, this former family doctor has been taking twice-daily teaspoonfuls of LifeMel honey, made by bees that feast on specific medicinal herbs and other immune-boosting natural substances. His son-in-law heard about it from an oncologist in Israel (where the honey is manufactured), who had read a promising medical report and suggested it would be worth trying.
Within a week of starting the honey regime, Dr Geffen began feeling stronger and his blood counts started to improve.
By mid-May, they were virtually normal; he was out of bed and taking short daily walks.
He had been having frequent blood transfusions but no longer requires them.
His daughter Terri is so convinced that the honey has been the trigger for her father's recovery that she passionately wants to make it available to other cancer patients and is importing it into this country, with a percentage of the profits on each jar going to cancer charities.
So far, the research is promising but slight: one small study by doctors at the oncology unit of Sieff Hospital in Israel was published in the peer-reviewed journal Medical Oncology (vol 23, no 4, 2006), which reported that 12 out of 30 cancer patients given the honey after chemotherapy did not suffer the usual dramatic dip in white blood-cell count (neutropenia), and eight patients reported improvement in quality of life.
There are also many anecdotal reports that echo Dr Geffen's experience.
Leading clinical oncologist Professor Karol Sikora considers the LifeMel honey "interesting ï¿½ it's plausible that there are natural factors that stimulate bone marrow cells," but, he adds, "unfortunately, the research [so far] is not great".
Dr Geffen says he will go on taking the honey: "It's not proven but it's made from natural ingredients and there are no side effects. It is worth a try if you are at a dead end, as I was. My life has turned around." LifeMel honey, Â£45 for 250g inc UK p&p, tel: 020 7247 5497, lifemel.co.uk, and Victoria Health, tel: 0800 3898 195, victoriahealth.com
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