Public told to avoid olive drink

The government and medical authorities yesterday urged Greeks to disregard claims that a pulp made of olive leaves can help treat cancer, stressing that there was no proof that the mixture had such healing properties. «No one has the right to play with the hopes of our ailing fellow citizens or with the health of the Greek people,» alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said. Meanwhile, a prosecutor ordered an investigation to determine whether the remedy posed health risks and to track down self-proclaimed healers believed to have been selling the green liquid. The Athens Medical Association warned citizens to be careful of untested remedies. «We urge the public to show extreme caution when considering therapeutic methods like the use of olive leaves, which have no scientifically proven benefits and are doubted by the medical community,» it said. Cancer sufferers were warned to be particularly careful and not to terminate conventional therapy as they could face the risk of relapse or a deterioration in their condition.

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