This is a Mexican drink made from deep red hibiscus flowers. A little of the Jamaica flowers goes a long way so this is a fairly inexpensive drink – you can make gallons of this from one bag of Jamaica flowers. You can find alternative recipes on the internet this isn’t a set in stone recipe. My goal is to use some of our immunity boosting / cancer fighting ingredients so I modify it to include as many as possible.
Power-up tip: In Spanish Jamaica is pronounced ‘hah-my-kah’
4 quarts water
2-3 cups Jamaica flowers
2 or more cinnamon sticks – I also have used powder but buy a good brand for potency
Ginger – I mash several pieces
Allspice – I use a teaspoon or two of powder
Cloves – I use 3/4 teaspoon whole cloves or powder
Orange (I have also tried apple slices or pineapple instead of orange all work)
I use a covered pot and put in all the ingredients except for the honey, orange, apple and/or pineapple slices. I don’t boil the water just cook them on low heat for 45 minutes or so. I don’t want to risk excessive heat breaking down any of the ‘good stuff’ since my main purpose is not to make a refreshment but to load up my body with anti-cancer ammunition.
I usually do all of this before bed and let it sit all night, then strain it the next morning. By that time it looks like deep purple dye. Finally I add my apple, orange and/or pineapple slices and adjust with raw honey as needed.
Note: it’s best not to go overboard with the honey if you’ll be drinking this multiple times per day especially if you have diabetes or other health issues.
Then I fill a large insulated beverage container with ice and the magic purple potion and I try to drink a glass at least once per hour throughout my workday.
Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa aka Roselle) is a sort of tropical hibiscus. It is not the same as Hibiscus rosa-sinesis which most people are familiar with though they are related and Hibiscus rosa-sinesis also provides health benefits. This page which show you how to identify the differences. Hibiscus vs Roselle: How to Tell the Differences
Related: Healthy Foods, Cancer & Immunity Boosting
Getting old can bring with it wisdom, an ability to deal with difficult circumstances and a greater appreciation of the the value of human life.
It can also bring with it a lot of ‘uh-oh’ moments that hopefully are not captured by someone with a YouTube account and a large following.
I had one of those moments this week. Rather than hide it and hope nobody finds out, I figured I’d share. Laughing feels good.
I was at the oncologist laying on my back while a machine beamed radiation into my body in an effort to kill the cancer. I had to pull down my shorts to expose the area from my stomach to about half of my private parts. The technicians and nurses lay a towel across the area for which I am grateful. I feel a little vulnerable with people in the room, staring at intimate portions of my ageing anatomy despite understanding that it is necessary.
It goes fast, and everyone is kind. They know me by name. We talk a little before and after about common things. Still I pull my pants up as quickly as I can while trying to hide my discomfort. I’m sure they know but we tacitly agree it didn’t happen.
I am relieved and stop by Albertson’s to pick up some groceries on my way home. I look down and see a white square hanging from the left leg of my shorts. I assume it is my long underwear – the elastic is a bit worn. I look around to make sure there are no witnesses and pull up on the waistband but instead of disappearing up my short’s leg the square is now a rectangle. Confused I decide the white fabric waving like a parley flag from my leg must be a broken pocket. I stick my hand in my pocket, intent on pulling up the torn edge so it is out of view, but the pocket is intact.
And then it dawns on me.
In my haste to pull up my pants after my treatment I pushed the towel that covered me INTO MY SHORTS! Well what could I do? I now had about a foot of white towel hanging from my leg. I proceeded to pull and roll it as quickly as I could and stuck the resultant melon-sized bundle in the trash can. I didn’t look up but definitely heard snickering as I headed down the aisle to get some yogurt.
The next day when I went for another dose of radiation I confessed to inadvertently stealing a towel and when I told the story we all had a good laugh.
About this post:
I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and have just begun the process of it all. Still scheduling scans, hormone therapy, radiation and trying to prepare my wife as best I can in case things don’t go well. This page is me thinking out loud and trying to improve my odds. Cancer is nothing to mess around with. It is a leading cause of death that accounted for 1 in 6 deaths worldwide in 2020. This post does not offer miracle cures. Many of the items listed here have been studied in a lab but not on humans. I am trying them because they are readily available and used every day as food or for their purported health benefits. I figure that unless I abuse them I have nothing to lose. I am listing them here as a starting point for your own research but if you are sick consult with your doctor.
Disclaimer: In some cases supplements may interfere or be contraindicated based on medicines you are taking, the type of cancer or other factors. Taking dietary supplements before and during radiation and chemotherapy may reduce the effectiveness of treatment by also protecting the cancer cells. Always consult with your doctor first.. Remember that natural chemicals are still chemicals. Taking massive doses of ‘natural’ items isn’t automatically safe. Do your research. Don’t go overboard and always consult with your doctor.
This page is under active development.
Each item has a link to the research article that caused me to add it to my list. You should do additional research. Some include affiliate links to the items on Amazon. You may be able to find these items at your local supermarket, ethnic market or other online site. I won’t starve if you don’t buy them from my links so don’t worry. Get them wherever it makes sense to you.
Spices, Herbs & Condiments
- Tumeric [NIH], [Search: Tumeric & Cancer on NIH], [Amazon]
- Cinnamon [NIH], [Search: Cinnamon & Cancer on NIH], [Amazon]
- Cloves [NIH], [Search: Cloves & Cancer on NIH][
- Allspice [NIH], [Search: Allspice & Cancer on NIH]
- Cuachalalate [NIH], [Search: Cuachalalate & Cancer on NIH], [Amazon]
- Dandelion Root [NIH], [Search: Dandelion Root & Cancer on NIH], [Amazon]
- Garlic [NIH], [Search: Garlic & Cancer on NIH]
- Onions [NIH], [Search: Onions & Cancer on NIH]
- Cilantro [NIH], [Search: Cilantro & Cancer on NIH]
Fruits, Nuts & Flowers
Note: People with cancer might want to avoid peanuts out of an abundance of caution. This study indicates the possibility that a component of peanuts may facilitate the spread of cancer. More research is needed but I personally don’t want to take the risk while they sort it out.
- Apoptosis – is the process of programmed cell death.[…] In adults, apoptosis is used to rid the body of cells that have been damaged beyond repair […] also plays a role in preventing cancer. [source]
- Anthocyanins – are a class of water‐soluble flavonoids, which show a range of pharmacological effects, such as prevention of cardiovascular disease, obesity control and antitumour activity. Their potential antitumour effects are reported to be based on a wide variety of biological activities including antioxidant; anti‐inflammation; anti‐mutagenesis; induction of differentiation; inhibiting proliferation by modulating signal transduction pathways, inducing cell cycle arrest and stimulating apoptosis or autophagy of cancer cells; anti‐invasion; anti‐metastasis; reversing drug resistance of cancer cells and increasing their sensitivity to chemotherapy. [source]
- Carotenoid – yellow, red, or orange substance found mostly in plants, including carrots, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and many fruits, grains, and oils. Some carotenoids are changed into vitamin A in the body and some are being studied in the prevention of cancer. A carotenoid is a type of antioxidant and a type of provitamin. [NIH],[source]
Aqua de Jamaica is a refreshing Mexican drink made from deep red hibiscus flowers, cinnamon, cloves and other goodness. Here’s a link to my slightly modified version.
Clean Eating Kitchen – I spotted this great page by Carrie Forrest which includes a round-up of Cancer Fighting Smoothies which you might consider adding to your rotation.
It’s something we all know is coming but not usually when or how. Despite that we aren’t always ready for the words.
Today I found out I have prostate cancer. I recognized it was a possibility when my PSA numbers jumped from my previous routine test, and then the follow up test 4 weeks later showed the numbers jumped again.
I had a needle biopsy soon after and today got the call. “You’ve got cancer.”
The doctor explained the possible treatments and so far I’m leaning towards the radiation. I took some time at work, made a list of things that are supposed to have anti-cancer properties and placed an order on Amazon. I don’t expect a miracle cure but want to fortify my cells to resist Ukrainian style.
I’m not too scared right now but acutely aware off what this means. Time is running out. It is always running out but now I can hear the clock ticking.
My main concern is my wife. How will she handle it? We don’t have a bunch of money. We still rent and she won’t be able to afford the rent on her own. My term life insurance expires in two months so unless I die quick she won’t be getting anything from that avenue.
I need to live as long as I can, and I’ll burn the candle at both ends to set aside whatever I can for my family before I go.
I won’t pray for a miracle. My life is no more valuable than those Ukrainian children and their families who were senselessly killed this week -or of any other of my fellow humans who have gone before. We all walk this path from the moment we are born. I will pray for strength to endure. To last as long as I can for the sake of those I love. Hopefully I have enough time to do some good.
Of course I hope that my treatment works but I learned early that life is an uncertain road. It is rife with twists and turns and sudden drops but also with moments of surprising joy and light.
I hope you take that time to tell the people in your life that they matter. Love them while they are living. Tears of regret shed after they are gone serve no one but yourself.
That’s all for now. Let’s see how it goes.