Man Cures Cancer on the Isle of Ikaria Naturally

Andrea Frazzetta/LUZphoto for The New York Times
 I love reading natural cancer cure stories. The story of Stamatis Moraitis caught my eye due to the fact it did not make much sense.  I had to search for the real reason for his cure.  There was no chemotherapy, thank God, no surgery, no supplements and no expensive protocol.  Moraitis simply had a will to live, but most importantly he was ready to accept his destiny and chose to go back to his homeland of Ikaria to spend out his last days.  Surprisingly to this day Moraitis is still alive since 1976 when he was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer.

Stamatis Moratis' Story

In 1943 Stamatis Moratis was a Greek war veteran from the Isle of Ikaria and came to the US to treat his badly mangled arm which happened during combat.  He traveled from Turkey where he escaped and survived a gunshot wound and ended up on the Queen Elizabeth where he served.  He eventually crossed the Atlantic and end up in Jefferson, New York.  In Jefferson he survived doing manual labor and later on he would move to Boynton, Florida.  He would marry a Greek-American woman and have three children.  He owned a 3 bedroom home and even a 1951 Chevrolet.  He appeared to have a very good life.

Then in 1976 he had difficulty climbing the stairs and he had to give up smoking and he went to the doctor. The doctor diagnosed him with lung cancer and gave him 9 months to live.  Back in 1976 healthy alternative diets were almost non-existent and the only know treatment was chemotherapy and radiology.  Moratis was in his mid 60's then.

He considered staying in the US to be treated for his cancer so he could be near his children, but instead chose to go back to his country of Ikaria and die in peace under the shade of the oak trees overlooking the Aegean Sea.  One of the reasons for his decision was the cost of a funeral.  In the US the cost of a funeral was in the thousands of dollars but in Ikaria he could be buried for $200 and he could give the rest of the money to his family.

Both Moratis and his wife, Elpiniki moved in with his parents and lived in a tiny house.  There he spent most of his day in bed.  Once his friends discovered he had returned to Ikaria they started coming over to his house and talking to him for hours and drinking wine together.

Ikaria is known for longevity and healthy living. Their diets consists of legumes, wine, plenty of greens and olive oil.  Most say that the key to their longevity is the socializing and companionship there.  

Moratis started feeling better and decided to plant a garden. He knew he would never be alive to reap the benefits, but he wanted to enjoy it for awhile.  Six months later he was still alive and both he and his wife enjoyed the greens and easy living from his garden.

His health continued to improve and he added a few rooms to his parents house so his children could visit and he expanded the orchards so that he was producing 400 gallons of wine a year.   Moratis is now 97 years old, has no cancer and still enjoys his life.

How did Moratis Cure His Cancer?

Is it that simple? According to Moratis his cure was that he went home to Ikaria to live.  His diet was simple enough, but was it really what he ate or what he did not eat? Their diets are void of sugar and white flour and red meats.

They drink a "mountain tea."  This mountain tea consists of wild marjoram, sage, type of mint tea (fiskouni), rosemary and a drink made form dandelion leaves with a bit of lemon.  People of Ikaria think to theirself that they have this wonderful beverage, but really they are drinking medicine, stated a local doctor.  Another

tradition in Ikaria was to start their day with a spoonful of honey.


An Example of The Isle of Ikaria Diet

Their diet was also typical: a breakfast of goat’s milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. Lunch was almost always beans (lentils, garbanzos), potatoes, greens (fennel, dandelion or a spinach like green called horta) and whatever seasonal vegetables their garden produced; dinner was bread and goat’s milk. At Christmas and Easter, they would slaughter the family pig and enjoy small portions of larded pork for the next several months.

Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou of the University of Athens, an expert on the Mediterranean diet helped administer surveys, often sitting in village kitchens to ask subjects to reconstruct their childhood eating habits. She noted that the Ikarians’ diet, like that of others around the Mediterranean, was rich in olive oil and vegetables, low in dairy (except goat’s milk) and meat products, and also included moderate amounts of alcohol. It emphasized homegrown potatoes, beans (garbanzo, black-eyed peas and lentils), wild greens and locally produced goat milk and honey. 


The people on the Isle of Ikaria are simple people. They don't care about the time and sleep in.  They take a few naps in the afternoon and money is not a big issue.  They keep enough for wine and a bit of food and what ever is left, they give to the poor.  The average age of people when they die is 90 to 100. 

The people of Ikaria have lower incidence of disease, cancer, heart disease and more.  Is it the fact that they drink wine in moderation or is it more to do with the social atmosphere combined with a plant base diet?  Either way Moratis and his wife live a happy life on the Isle where people forgot to die, Ikaria.

To Read More of the Story by Dan Buettner in Detailed: The New York Times