On this page, I would like to explain how you may formulate the anticancer remedy from raw Field Bindweed (Covolvulus arvensis) and not be overly worried about producing a formula containing toxic alkaloids as is often so warned against in the literature. First, lets revisit exactly the history of medicinal Convolvulus:
Leaf & Flower infusions . . . . . . in Russia it was used for various female diseases in childbirth, i.e. uterine bleeding, vaginal discharges, etc. Other internal uses could involve chronic bronchitis, ascites, tracheitis, acute respiratory infections; and externally applied to treat dermatitis, ringworm, boils, ulcers.
In Central Asia, the juice of the plant is used as a choleretic (stimulates liver function) and for headache, ear diseases, spleen, lungs, liver, asthma, gynecologically, anticancer, arthritis, a detoxifying agent for toxic bites, non-healing wounds & ulcers, cosmetically used for removing freckles and age spots. In the form of powders for weeping wounds and ulcers.
In Bulgaria, bindweed is included in cases of hepatitis, cholecystitis, gallstones, cirrhosis of the liver.
It has been shown that water and ethanol extracts of the aerial parts have anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, hypotensive, myotropic, diuretic effects; stimulates coronary blood flow rate, normalizes blood pressure, accelerates blood clotting, anti-tumor activity, inhibit the growth of sarcoma, exhibit antibiotic activity. Juice from the flowering plant has an anesthetic, antibacterial, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing effect.
In Tibetan traditional medicine, the aerial part of the plant, leaves and flowers are used in arteriosclerosis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and as a sedative.
In Mongolian and Indian traditions, decoction of the roots for eye diseases, as a laxative, bed-wettings, dermatitis.
In Korea, a decoction of seeds is used as a diuretic, anthelmintic, laxative, swelling of various etiologies, nephritis, coughing, heart and kidney failure.
Western Europe, bindweed roots are used in gastritis, enterocolitis, gastric diseases, toothache, for fainting, flu.
Lastly, thanks to the Riordan Clinic, modern research has shown it to be an effective immune system stimulant and anti-tumor medication. Click the side button to the right for more information on this research. This new research suggests Bindweed extract could benefit and perhaps cure many types of cancers. It should also be useful in various infections where the immune system could benefit from being stimulated.
As with most medications, they should be used very cautiously or not at all, depending on the individual being treated. Bindweed is no exception. It should be used with caution in all cases in patients undergoing healing from various types of wounds or tissue trauma. This is logical in that if Bindweed retards the blood supply of the cancer tumor, naturally, it will do the same for other regions in the body that require blood vessel proliferation such as is seen in general healing . It is contraindicated in conditions where vascular formations are desirable, i.e. heart disease, an active healing wound, etc. Do not take for 2 weeks before and after surgery, or during pregnancy or lactation.
As is characteristic of herbal medicine, dosages are always hard to pin down. After all, this is one reason why herbal medicine became obsolete in the modern world of industrial style medicine. In modern medicine, one needs specifically pure compounds to be prescribed in specific accurate doses. Scientific trials document the dosage ranges to narrow limits. Herbal medicine is a completely different animal when compared to our modern synthetics where often precise dosages are the norm using precisely measured and produced chemicals. If one gives too much or too little, then one can often quickly get in trouble. On the other hand, herbal medicine by it nature cannot operate this way. Any individual plant will have varying amounts of the active medicinal compound within itself depending on a host of factors, i.e. temperature, drought, rain, soil properties, how it was processed and stored, etc, etc. When one wonders how much to give of any herbal remedy, it all depends! The beauty is that for the most part, herbal remedies are non-toxic and there is a wide safety range. So one must always treat the individual patient as a new patient with an herb remedy that may vary in strength and, if no response is seen, rise dosage and/or frequency. Start low and rise dosage as needed.
This is sort of like prescribing Vitamin C: Dr. Levy points out in his book, Curing the Incurable , that Dr. Klenner "....always based subsequent dosing on the degree of general clinical response and the extent of which an elevated temperature had been lowered from the previous vitamin C dose." This may exactly be another reason why modern physicians tend to ignore Vitamin C protocols along with many herbal remedies. They do not want the intensive labor of continually monitoring the patient for future adjustments in C dosages. This is very much like how herbs should be prescribed and why herbs lost popularity for the modern synthetic medicines. The dose's response dictates the next dosage level. Not a good paradigm for a factory, cookie-cutter medical practice! As an example, some viral infections can easily burn up 300-400 grams of Vitamin C daily. One must give that much to stay even with the fight for health! Levy writes: "The rule of thumb in vitamin C treatment of viral diseases is to continue increasing the dose as long as the clinical response is inadequate or unsatisfactory and to continue the treatment period until all clinical symptoms have disappeared." This same rule in many cases befits herbal prescribing as well!
As far as Field Bindweed extract is concerned, we need to basically do the same thing though there may be initial perimeters one can follow starting out dosing. In the published 2002 Trial, Effects of a high molecular mass Convolvulus arvensis extract on tumor growth and angiogenesis, it was found that mice implanted with tumor cells and fed a high dose of 200 mg/kg per day, had tumor growth inhibited by 70%. This was the highest dosage. The commercial Bindweed product, Vascustatin suggests a daily dose of 4 capsules that contain 140 mg of PGM (the active ingredient in bindweed). C-Statin™ capsules, another commercial product suggests a daily dose of two capsules equaling 500 mg. Going back to the first case of the Oklahoma woman with ovarian cancer which brought Bindweed to the attention of the Riordan Clinic, it is written she took a few drops every day of the Bindweed tincture and/or also drank the Bindweed tea every day.
A 2014 study, Cytotoxic Effect of Ethanol Extract of Convolvulus arvensis L (Convolvulaceae) on Lymphoblastic Leukemia Jurkat Cells, suggested interesting results about dosage of more not necessarily being better. The rate of apoptosis (cancer cell death) induction by C. arvensis ethanolic extract was found maximum (82.2%) at the lowest dose (10 μg/mL). As the dosage of the extract was increased, the apoptotic rate decreased. At the higher doses (50, 75 and 100 μg/mL) apoptosis induction in Lymphoblastic Leukemia cells was significantly reduced. Note also that this study was done with an extract made with ethanol. I don't recommend ethanol as an extraction agent as ethanol will more likely extract the toxic alkaloids, unlike distilled water.
Identifying Convolvulus arvensis:
It goes without saying, make sure you harvest the correct herb! Those related vine plants most likely confused with Covolvulus arvensis are: Ipomoea spp., Calystegia spp., Dioscorea spp. There are a large number of look-alikes out there! Believe me, I know! Field bindweed (convolvulus arvensis) belongs to the Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family) which is a large family. The bindweed we are interested in belongs to the Convolvulus L. (Bindweed) genus. The one that has given me ID troubles and maybe you too belongs to the Calystegia (hedge bindweed) genus. Calystegia is now accepted by most botanists as a genus separate from Convolvulus, although emerging DNA suggests that it represents a specialized off-shoot of Convolvulus! Hedge bindweeds also rightly known as "False Bindweed" do not produce as extensive or as deep of rootstock as does true bindweed. Be particularly observant not to confuse Calystegia sepium with Convolvulus arvensis!
The easiest way to distinguish Convolvulus arvensis from Calystegia sepium is by the small bracts well below the inflorescence compared to the large bracts that obscure the calyx in Calystegia sepium. Another tell-tale sign is that most parts of Calystegia sepium are markedly larger than those in C. arvensis. For example, in Calystegia sepium, the corollas are 4-7cm long and the leaf blades are 5-12cm long, while in Convolvulus arvensis, the corollas are 1.5-2.5cm long and the leaf blades are 2.5-5cm long. Calystegia sepium in folk tradition: the leaves have purgative properties. It is also used in liver disease. I have seen no data to suggest Calystegia sepium has the same PGM or other anti-tumor compounds characteristic of Field Bindweed. I can attest to the purgative actions of Calystegia sepium. My dog proved that property when I thought I was dosing her with Convolvulus arvensis!
One consistent difference between Ipomoea and Convolvulus seems to be in style form: Ipomoea is small and capitate, with 1-3 lobes. The style of Convolvulus is linear to oblong and there are always 2 lobes.
C. arvensis may be distinguished from Dioscorea species by its arcuate-pinnate venation with several main veins intersected by lateral secondary veins. Leaves of Dioscorea have 7-9 major veins each where as there are only three prominent veins on individual leaves of Convolvulus.
DIY Field Bindweed Extract Formula:
1) The first thing is to find a good natural growth of Field bindweed that has not been tampered with via pesticides, herbicides or close to the highways which could result in toxin accumulations. Below, (photo A) is a recent batch of field bindweed which I harvested. This came out of a winter wheat field in June, just before it was to be combined. The Field bindweed was dispersed throughout one corner of the field, twirling up around individual wheat plants. It was rather tedious work to separate it from the plant. Once I have collected the bindweed, as much of the leaf is removed from the stems as possible. We primarily only want the leaf. I ended up with about 340 grams that day.
Currently Under Construction. Tune back a bit later!
2) Next, the leaf is placed in a food processor (photo B) to chop, bruise and to break-up the general integrity of the plant to stimulate better extraction once it is placed in distilled water. If you leave much viney stem on, there will be a tendency to wrap around the blender's blade shaft which may require many stops & starts and further blendings. Photo C shows the chopped leaf being weighed to calculate the amount of distilled water to add.
3) Once chopped, the leaf is placed in a slow cooker (photo D) with the appropriate volume of distilled water. I tend to follow the guidelines of Riordan of 0.16 grams per mL of water. Since I am doing 340 grams of leaf, I will add 2125 mL of distilled water. This is calculated by dividing 340 grams by .16 = 2125 mL. However, if you don't want to sweat the details, just pour in enough water to slightly cover the plant material. That should be good enough. To the right is a photo of leaf and water in the slow cooker. I avoid boiling this solution even though the boiling was done for 30 minutes in the Extract patent and study. In herbal medicine, herbal infusions are never subjected to the high heat of boiling and I think this should be likewise followed in extracting bindweed. Herbal infusions are always gently heated below the boiling point and that is what I do. However, I simmer much longer than 30 minutes. I may simmer for 3-6 hours.
4) Once simmering has been completed, the raw solution is filtered through a common kitchen sieve (photo E) of some type or another to basically separated the gross plant material from the extraction liquid for further processing. One can make a very simple filtering apparatus by going to a dollar store and buying a few of those stackable plastic kitchen sieves. Buy two or three and place high quality paper towels in between each to make your filtration device. Simple.
5) Once you have done the initial filtering, I use my bench-top centrifuge to precipitate the larger particulate floating in the extract to the bottom of the tube into pellet form which allows one to easily pour off the supernatant, leaving the particulate behind. Of course, most people will not have a centrifuge in their house and it is not absolutely necessary. Instead to further filter your final solution, use a number of coffee filters in strainers until you get a very clear liquid. This method will be more tedious, but doable. One needs to eliminate the larger particulate as it has been shown to carry some of the toxic alkaloids into solution where a pure water extract will not so much, but in the end, do the best you can. Cancer is often a death sentence and we don't have to follow everything to the letter considering the lethality of our disease.