Can faith heal?

HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - By Keke Collins bio | email

HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - Inside Linda Gadson's Hollywood home baskets full of what appear to be medicine bottles sit. The labels smattered across them read Hallelujah anointing oil.

Gadson has been making it since 1986 and said the idea came to her early one morning when God spoke to her while she prayed.

"He said, 'There's an oil that I'm going to give you that you can use to anoint people with,'" said Gadson.

For almost 40 years, Gadson has worked with the Rural Mission, an organization serving low-income families.

Her second job is at home, in a prayer room. There are pictures and stacks of yellow notebooks listing the names of people who have come to her for help throughout the years.

"I don't give anybody false hope. I make it clear to them I'm not a doctor, I'm not a healer, but I know God has used me mightily as an instrument," said Gadson.

The oil's ingredients include olive oil, rosemary and kosher salt, but Gadson said it is the prayer she says before administering it that makes it work.

Two breast cancer patients said daily applications of the oil, prayer and modern treatment have helped them survive the disease thus far.

"I believe it was a combination of all of it... and with prayers and stuff, all of it," said Edith White.

"A lot of people say I'm lucky. I'm not lucky. I'm blessed because the simple fact is I'm still here," said Claudelle Gadson.

The doctors who have been treating White and Claudelle Gadson for breast cancer said the patients have accomplished what they would have expected in the allotted timeframe.

For 20 years, Dr. Dana King of MUSC has studied religion and healing. King said many studies show a strong faith will not cure cancer but can help decrease side effects.

"You will be more likely to have fewer complications, less anxiety, less depression, and less pain if you are a person of faith than not," said King.

Prior to heading into heart surgery in 2006,  Linda Gadson put a lot of faith in the oil.

"The Lord had already told me to have the anesthesiologist to anoint my feet every hour on the hour. Now that was crazy to tell a medical doctor like him, but I did," said Gadson.

During surgery, Gadson said her heart stopped beating twice when her lung collapsed, but said it was oil and faith that ultimately saved her life. The experience made her determined to share the oil with others, which she normally gives away unless recipients choose to make a donation.

"I'm on a mission and that mission is to change the lives of people who have been hopeless," said Gadson.

To read more about Dr. King's faith healing study, click here.

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