A herbalist who said he could cure cancer but put his patients at risk of cyanide poisoning has been banned from practising.
A herbalist who said he could cure cancer but put his patients at risk of cyanide poisoning has been banned from practising.

Cyanide herbalist banned from practising

A medical herbalist accused of offering to cure cancer and putting his patients at risk of cyanide poisoning has been banned from providing health services.

The Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner began an investigation into Ian Pile, who was operating in the Mount Gambier area, following a complaint from the public last month.

Commissioner Grant Davies said Mr Pile had been given an interim, 12-week prohibition order to restrict his practice while the investigation continued.

"Mr Pile provided herbs which may cause cyanide poisoning through their consumption," Commissioner Davies said in a public statement. "Also, I have information that Mr Pile suggested that he is able to cure cancer. Such representations do not accord with the prevailing views of medical experts in the treatment of cancer and are not founded in evidence."

"I consider that very vulnerable members of the public may be persuaded by this, leading to the compromise or undermining of appropriately prescribed treatment by a registered health care professional.

"Therefore, I considered it necessary to issue an interim prohibition order to protect the health and safety of the public while my investigation continues."

Mr Pile was previously investigated by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission when he was operating in Minto, southwest of Sydney, in 2016.

That investigation found Mr Pile had offered to treat a cancer patient by "cleansing her blood" and said she would be cured in "a couple of weeks".

The woman ended up in hospital with intense abdominal pain.

The NSW Commission found that Mr Pile had not acted in a safe or ethical manner. He had conditions put on his ability to operate in NSW.



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