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WE HAVE many visitors to the farm. They include people on holiday in the valley who call in to buy our walnuts and chestnuts. A couple of years ago we were asked about 'green' fruit from our black walnut trees (Juglans nigra). The trees are named for their dark brown hardwood - when not being grown for walnuts the wood is ideal for making furniture and gunstocks due to its strength, durability and lightness.

This inquiry must have come between mid-December and early February, as we had some nuts to sell. (The nuts are normally picked from early February after they have ripened and darkened.) Then other people began to ask after the unripened nuts. One said the hulls contained a miraculous pesticide which could cure cancer. So my interest was aroused. More recently I learned the full story.

A North American biologist and naturopath, Hulda Regehr Clark, has published some interesting findings on the relationship between parasites and cancer, and her casebook makes riveting reading. Black-walnut hulls are used in treating her patients, since the hulls when still green are said to contain a substance that kills internal parasites. It is parasites she blames for promoting tumors - for details, see Appendix B - in league with bacteria, fungi, inorganic copper, cobalt and vanadium, malonic acid, and assorted carcinogens.

This grand conspiracy theory of tumor production is supported by an impressive body of evidence - more than 100 documented studies of her patients before and after treatment to remove these so-called cancer-promoting agents. Their cancers and other signs of poor health are reported to have cleared up once they took the self-administered treatment seriously and followed it rigorously. The goals of her treatment are to kill parasites, encysted eggs and microbes; to eliminate sources of isopropyl alcohol; and to warn people of commercial body products and foods micro-contaminated with industrial solvents and metals.

There are parallels here with the treatments I devised decades ago to cure my leukemia (1934) and the cancerous welt on my hand (1942). As related, when our soils went on strike in 1933-34 after the successive heavy applications of phosphate to tobacco crops, my own health took a dive. The weeds went on a growth spurt and there was a marked increase in activity by beetles, leaf hoppers, grubs and every kind of sucking insect. I don't know with certainty if parasites and bacteria conspired to make me sick with leukemia then, or were responsible for the tumor - I had no way to test this - but I think it is very probable, as everything around me was going wild under the influence of phosphorus.

I was able to beat cancer by means of a better balanced diet of fresh unprocessed foods supplemented with a level teaspoon of my alkaline-formula powder in the juice of half a lemon. (Today the formula is stronger, with the dosage to treat a person of 65kg and under being a mere 1/4 teaspoon a day for seven days and then 1/2 teaspoon every second day.) The salts in the supplement were chosen for their solubility but the sulphate salts I used are renowned also for their germicidal action. One of them, magnesium sulphate, or Epson salts, also kills tapeworms. Sulphur in salt licks given to my sheep and my policy of curbing our use of phosphate on pasture throughout the 1950s certainly inhibited the usual farm diseases such as foot-abscess, foot rot, pink-eye, pisal rot and clostridiums. And our sheep had very few problems with worms.

As to heavy metals causing disease, this is not surprising. Cadmium is a good example. It is commonly listed as a trace contaminant on bags of artificial fertiliser. It is in our foods because they are grown in superphosphate. Cadmium is so much a part of agriculture today that obtaining food with no trace of it may be close to impossible. Cadmium's action is to promote the build-up of cholesterol plaques in arteries in conjunction with phosphorus. If it were not in our food due to super, heart disease, the No. 2 killer of Australians, would scarcely be a problem.