Generic: Hoxsey formula
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Antimony trisulfide, aromatic USP 14, arsenic sulfide, berberis root, bloodroot, buckthorn bark, burdock, cascara, licorice, pokeroot, prickly ash bark, red clover, stillingia root, sulfur, talc, trichloroacetic acid, zinc chloride.
"Hoxsey formula" is a misleading name because it is not a single formula, but rather is a therapeutic regimen consisting of an oral tonic, topical (on the skin) preparations, and supportive therapy. The tonic is individualized for cancer patients based on their general condition, the location of their cancer, and their previous history of treatment. An ingredient that usually remains constant for every patient is potassium iodide. Other ingredients are then added and may include licorice, red clover, burdock, stillingia root, berberis root, pokeroot, cascara, Aromatic USP 14, prickly ash bark, and buckthorn bark. A red paste may be used, which tends to be caustic (irritating), and contains antimony trisulfide, zinc chloride, and bloodroot. A topical yellow powder may be used and contains arsenic sulfide, talc, sulfur, and a "yellow precipitate." A clear solution may also be administered and contains trichloroacetic acid.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
The original "Hoxsey formula" was developed in the mid- 1800s, when a horse belonging to John Hoxsey was observed to recover from cancer after feeding in a field of wild plants. These plants were collected and used to create a remedy that was initially given to ill animals. Different historical accounts state various herbs included in the original formula. The formula was passed down in the Hoxsey family, and John Hoxsey's great- grandson Harry Hoxsey, an Illinois coal miner, marketed an herbal mixture for cancer and promoted himself as an herbal healer.
The first Hoxsey clinic opened in the 1920s in Illinois, and Hoxsey therapy became popular for cancer in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, with clinics operating in multiple states. The Hoxsey clinic in Dallas was one of the largest privately owned cancer hospitals in the world. However, after legal conflicts with the American Medical Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the last U.S. clinic closed in the 1950s. The formula was passed to Mildred Nelson, a nurse in the clinic, who used the formula to open and operate a Hoxsey clinic in Tijuana, Mexico.
There is a lack of well- designed human studies available evaluating the safety or effectiveness of Hoxsey formula.