Olivia Newton-John needs no introduction. With a 50 year musical career and more than 100 million albums sold including: four Grammys, ten number one hits, and awards too numerous to name. Her starring roles in Grease and the cult classic Xanadu came with praise from Billboard Magazine, naming Olivia one of the Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Women Artists in 2015.
Recently, she took to the stage with some music greats, including Sir Elton John, Queen, Adam Lambert, and Michael Buble, for a charity concert, Fire Fight Australia, benefiting the victims of the fires in Australia, the country where she was raised.
But, cancer doesn’t recognize talent or success, and celebrities are not spared from heartache, disappointment, and life-threatening illness.
Newton-John’s first diagnosis of breast cancer came in 1992, with Olivia undergoing surgery and nine months of chemotherapy. This experience caused her to become devoted to breast health advocacy, forming a partnership with Austin Campus in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. She founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre with a focus on the alternative therapies that were offered to her during her cancer treatments – including, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga.
With mindfulness a focus, she then opened Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia. The retreat has garnered many accolades, including third on TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Celebrity-Owned Hotels in the World; as well as the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2018 #1 Global Hotel of the Year.
In 2008 Olivia married “Amazon” John Easterling, known for his advocacy to protect the Amazon Rain Forest. He’s also a Master Herbalist, and has been working with plant-based remedies for more than 30 years.
When Newton-John’s cancer reared its ugly head again in 2013, this time in her shoulder with mets to her lungs, Easterling was ready.
Guanabana, camu camu, cat’s claw, Sangre de drago, and various medicinal mushrooms were some of the super foods from the Amazon that Easterling formulated for his wife; including a strong tincture made with his own process using cannabis.
Just six weeks after starting the cannabis and plant-based protocols, Olivia’s daughter, Chloe, flew into Los Angeles for a group viewing of the scans. Where nine spots had presented prior in her lungs, now there were four – with her cancer markers substantially down.
“We expected the radiologist to roll his eyes,” Easterling said. “But, he asked us to send him all the data! He wanted to know everything we were doing, right down to the plants, formula and dosage.”
Reoccurrence, More Plants
In 2017 Olivia began a residency in Las Vegas and admitted to slacking on her maintenance protocols to keep the cancer at bay. The first red flag was an assumed sciatica flare-up. By September of 2018, she said the pain was excruciating, while doing a wellness walk in her home country of Australia.
“That’s when we found the tumor had metastasized to my sacrum, as Stage Four,” she explained. “I was lucky enough to be able to check myself in at my own wellness center in Melbourne. It was wonderful to be able to experience all the therapies myself. I painted and practiced mindful meditation. And, though Australia is not yet legal for cannabis, we are working on change with our own research.”
Targeted photon radiation and morphine was prescribed for the pain, along with the plant remedies (less cannabis), including algae and fucus, as Easterling advised, as they help chelate the excess radiation.
A Life of Herbs
“Our garage is full of herbs,” Olivia mused, while John listed the poundage of medicinal plants from around the world in the couple’s garage in California, turned apothecary stash.
Easterling grows a number of cultivars with a focus on the plant as chemovar, a more scientific way to view the many compounds, via terpene and cannabinoid extraction from the whole plant, treating the cancer while strengthening the immune system, quelling illness.
Running 26 chemovars of flower material in dry ice, he separates and concentrates the trichomes, extracting in cold alcohol using Extrcatohol, a 190 proof organic sugar cane alcohol, then filtered. He calls this formulation Extract One Tincture.
The Extract One Tincture is a full profile extract of cannabinoids in their acidic or A-form, with naturally occurring terpenes. Some of the Extract One Tincture is run in a distiller with heat, decarboxylated, and concentrated into an oil, or Extract Two Oil.
Important to note: There are more than 140 known and researched cannabinoids found in cannabis, out of nearly 500 beneficial compounds.
Extract Two Oil is a fully decarboxylated oil, with high concentrations of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
He then blends the highly soluble Extract Two Oil, into the Extract One Tincture. Olivia takes the tincture using a dropper, consuming 1500 milligrams throughout the course of the day, working out to about 600 milligrams of THC and 200 milligrams of CBD in both Acidic and decarboxylated forms.
Patients must work their way up to a therapeutic dose of the highly psychoactive formulation, to successfully deal with cancer cell death, while building the immune system and healing any damage done from the traditional treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.
Olivia took small drops of tincture throughout the day, working up to a larger dose in about six weeks’ time.
It wasn’t easy for Newton-John to open up about her cannabis use, as her image has been squeaky clean for as long as we’ve known her in the public light. Admittedly, she had tried cannabis years ago and had a bad experience, so wrapping her head around the fact that the plant could help with her cancer treatments was initially a challenge.
“Cannabis initiates a number of healing responses that can result in apoptosis, cancer cell death – while healing and strengthening the body,” Easterling explained. “Another important part of the larger picture is the starting material and how the plants are cultivated.”
Easterling grows the cannabis in their garden bio-harmonically, using a microbial blend of bacteria with a gemstone elixir and Amazon herbs that go directly into the soil with product, Bio harmonic Tonic, under his company, Happy Tree Microbes.
From Pharma to Farmacopia
Currently Olivia uses just one prescription medication to block estrogen. Last year she was down to just 12 milligrams of morphine a day, from 60 milligrams months prior. Using a formulation from her husband John’s garden of a multi-cultivar blend, she’s successfully weaned herself off of all prescription pain killers, including OxyContin.
A cancer diagnosis often comes with a dependency on pain killers, such as OxyContin or oxycodone, another term used for the drugs classified as opioids.
Cannabis as an analgesic for pain is a given, but finding your dose with the highly psychoactive oil is another thing altogether, and why Newton-John took time to titrate off the opioids, while upping her cannabis oil intake, as she became more used to the activated THC, which can test upwards of 80 to 90 percent.
Using suppositories bypasses the digestive system and liver, causing no head-high, allowing the patient to take a higher amount of oil at one time. This can also aid in replacing opioids, if the patient is sensitive to THC.
Plant Assisted Therapy
In the U.S., Greener Pastures Recovery has developed PAT, or Plant Assisted Therapy for addiction recovery, successfully replacing drug and alcohol addiction, with plant-based remedies with cannabis and other beneficial plants at the core of its therapies (Weed World issue #139).
Developed by founder, Ron Figarrato, the PAT program boasts an unheard of 96 percent success rate of recovery from a range of addictions, including opioids.
“In the PAT program clients learn about plant-based formulas, including Kratom, passionflower, chamomile, milk thistle, kava, moringa, valerian, St. John’s Wort, ginseng, turmeric, and cannabis,” Figarrato shared. “Cannabis options include THC or CBD only, vaporizing with pens, tinctures, flowers to smoke, infused oils, edibles and body creams.”
While all of the synergistic therapies at Greener Pastures cover cognitive, experiential, mind-body-energy, diet, and mindfulness, the careful use of cannabis, Figaratto said, enhances all of the other therapies.
With the U.S. national average of relapse, post-recovery programs, hovering at 60 percent, Greener Pastures’ numbers are promising. Yet, in 2019, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that cannabis would not be an acceptable alternative treatment for opioid replacement in recovery programs, halting Figaratto’s plans of going forward with approved FDA trials for the PAT program.
According to the U.S.’s Center for Disease Control, in 2019, an average of 130 people died per day from opioid overdoses, with an estimated 49,000 deaths in 2018. Providing education on using cannabis oil in place of opioids would be a first step in dealing with the opioid epidemic, globally.
Today, the couple have embraced the cannabis community and advocacy of the plant, speaking out at medical conferences together.
Easterling travels the world with Newton-John, sharing her story and his formulations, educating about beneficial plants. He still oversees his company, Happy Tree Microbes, promoting its Bio-Harmonic Tonic to the cannabis community and beyond.
“Olivia’s markers are going down, the tumors are shrinking and disappearing, and her energy and mobility keeps improving” he surmised. “We are just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, while spreading the word to help others.”
For more information on Olivia Newton-John visit, http://www.olivianewton-john.com/
For more information on Happy Tree Microbes visit, www.happytreemicrobes.com
For more information on Gaia Retreat & Spa visit, https://gaiaretreat.com.au/
For more information on Greener Pastures and Plant Assisted Therapy (PAT) for addiction recovery visit, https://www.greenerpasturesrecovery.com/pat
For more information on Greener Pastures and Plant Assisted Therapy visit, https://www.greenerpasturesrecovery.com/pat
Published and Written by Sharon Letts in Weed World Magazine Issue 146