Instead of accepting standard treatment and a hysterectomy, Catherine Boucher of Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman took the advice of her late grandfather. 'I heard him in my ear telling me to use spruce gum.

Catherine Boucher was diagnosed with a rare cervical cancer in 2003.

Instead of accepting standard treatment and a hysterectomy, the Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman took the advice of her late grandfather.

"I heard him in my ear telling me to use spruce gum."

Boucher says her grandfather used to take her out on the land and teach her about natural medicines, including spruce gum, which has been used as a traditional medicine for generations.

Spruce gum is dried tree resin. Trees exude resin to heal any damage to its trunk.

Boucher says traditionally the gum was boiled in tea, but she thinks eating it raw makes it more effective as a medicine.

"I froze it all, put it in a big bowl, crushed it all, made it look like sugar, and that's how I took my spruce gum."

Boucher ate a tablespoon of crushed resin every 12 hours. Within six months, Boucher's doctor at the Cross Cancer Institute told her that her cancer was shrinking.

"When she told me my cancer was shrinking, I decided not to have the operation and I would just carry on with my spruce gum."

She's now been cancer free since 2008.

"I don't know what is in there, but there has to be something in there to cure," Boucher says. "It's pure I guess."

Boucher shared her story with doctors last week at a wellness conference in Yellowknife.

The doctors involved in Boucher's case did not return calls for comment, but one doctor who researches holistic medicine at the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health says she's not convinced Boucher has found a new cure for cancer.

"There is usually more than one explanation for that kind of reality," says Dr. Farah Shroff.

Shroff says she doesn't want to discredit Boucher's claim, but an improved diet, more exercise and a positive state of mind could have played into Boucher's recovery.

"The human mind is a very very powerful tool that we can harness in our healing."

Meanwhile, Boucher is still taking the gum regularly and hopes other people will give it a try.

Responses to "First Nations Woman Claims Spruce Gum Cured Cancer"

  1. RedRover says:

    Where do you get the spruce gum? cynthiastewart@verizon.net

  2. tvizzard says:

    I'd like to know also where to get the spruce gum. tvizzard@live.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    You go out into the woods, find a few spruce trees and harvest the visible resin.

  4. Chaffee says:

    Thank You !! I am going to print off a photo of a spruce tree... and start collecting Spruce Gum... yes I have heard this before... also I have heard it is a superfood that one can live on if there is no food around... keeps hunger feelings away.. will also help loose weight...

  5. NYArtist says:

    No everyone can go out into the woods or knows how to collect the sap. Is there any way to buy this? szukidavis@aol.com/ Thank you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I'm from the north but heard it from our elders that it has many use's to human body.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Unknown says:

    ... Our people also use it as chewing gum

  9. Anonymous says:

    they are on trees and they dont sell in stores lol----thats a funny question---i got lots in my back yard

  10. Unknown says:

    From a spruce tree, where else Walmart?

  11. Unknown says:

    The elders used to chew for many ailments.

  12. Anonymous says:

    so true it cures anything.burns .scabes.ect

  13. Anonymous says:

    Most doctors will mostly try to diminish anyone's claims about a natural product that is and was used to heal ailments, because they are afraid that if this is proven and used for healing, the pharmaceuticals will loose millions on products they produce that claim to fight cancers and other ailments, when they use medicine(their product) they also produce other medicine that counters the effects of their first choice of medicine to fight ailments, which produces more other products to counter that medicine too, it just goes in circles and ensure profits, and will try to disclaim other products especially ones that are naturally abundant,,,,

  14. Anonymous says:

    Don't be rude!...take the gum off the trees and boil it!...my grandfather has cancer...85 years old!...healthy as a hawk!

  15. Anonymous says:

    One elder in NL made cream with it and gave it to me to put on my eczema covered hands..it worked.

  16. Unknown says:

    Being that you can purchase many resins, herbs and bark, I don't think it is a stupid question where to get it. Some people just like to be rude.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I make minigan with spruce and other pine gum and the healing properties are mind blowing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    My grandfather (93 when passed) gave it to us as kids for chewing gum, we called it frank-um.

  19. Unknown says:

    When I was a little girl my Dad would bring home pocket full of spruce gum. We use to call it frank gum we would chew it I loved to chew it .mom used to put it in a glass jar, I always knew were to get some......Nina

  20. Bob Hackett says:

    An equally powerful part of the healing process is to get yourself out into the woods where you can find these sorts of things. The forest can heal you just as surely as the medicine that grows there.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I live near a pine forest in Italy. Would pine resin work the same way?

  22. Unknown says:

    Chii Miigwetch for sharing ....I've always believed we get our medicines from the earth ...naturally, we just need to know how to do so, with respect for the medicines ... would love more info.. on natures native healing... thank you

  23. Anonymous says:

    I've just started collecting spruce gum while working I've heard it good for infected sores and also chew it as gum

  24. René says:

    What about fir gum, do any of you know if it has similar properties ?

  25. Unknown says:

    Many aboriginal peoples know that the sap from trees has amazing curative properties.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I just picked up today but I want to know if is the right one. I got it from pine tree and it's white or beige paste looking, when I hear it up, it does turns into this dark orange syrup color. I just want confirmation if I the right one.
    abee_47@hotmail.com. Thank you

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