Antidepressants May Be No More Effective Than Placebo: But What About St. John’s Wort and Other Herbal Medicines?

When going thru hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and can affect anyone at any age. Characterized by anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), despair, and pessimism, depression has high morbidity and recurrence.[1] Overall, more than 50% of the general population in middle- and high-income countries will suffer from at least one mental disorder at some point in their lives. This is obviously a major public health problem with significant consequences for society.[2] We need clear guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work for treating depression.

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Two New COVID-19 Vaccines on the Horizon – They’re Different and Appear to be Safer

The mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna have been heavily promoted for ending the Covid-19 pandemic. With claims that they are ‘extraordinary’ and ‘revolutionary,’ these vaccines have occupied center stage for more than a year.

The CDC is not accounting for COVID-19 risk factors or natural immunity. It is hard to believe that the risk benefit balance favors a 15-year-old young man who has recovered from COVID-19, and who has detectable antibodies, getting two doses of an mRNA vaccine. Such an individual is accepting a non-negligible risk of myocarditis, with limited upside in terms of decreased risk of severe infection.[1]

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Managing the Risk of Blood Clots and other Possible Side Effects of the Covid-19 Vaccines

Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. If we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success. Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Although there’s a current flurry of concern about the possible link between blood clots and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the reality is that there is a risk of potentially dangerous blood clots and/or platelet disorders with all of the vaccines that are being used for Covid-19.

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COVID-19 Vaccines, Variants, Immune Health and Traditional Medicine Use Across the Globe

In the aggressive response to the global health emergency, many are having a hard time trying to find reliable data to effectively address a host of concerns about the virus itself, as well as the short and long-term risks associated with the new vaccines (currently Moderna and Pfizer), especially due to their origins (mRNA), potential adverse effects, and whether or not they will be effective against the new variants. There are many questions and concerns, and not a lot of data, given the short time the pandemic and the vaccines have been in existence. Many are also wondering whether or not they are protected from the virus if they have already gotten it and have built antibodies. The media has led us to believe that natural immunity is not effective at preventing a second infection however, according to the scientific data, natural immunity is highly protective, at least in the first six months to a year (the time frame for which we have data).[1],[2] COVID-19 continues to be an evolving disease that requires a sophisticated and myriad approach. A wholistic framework employing traditional herbal medicines and key nutrients to support the immune system and mitigate side effects is an important and under-recognized strategy in this complex environment. Several Asian countries are studying herbal medicines in COVID-19 as part of a multifaceted approach to control the severity and morbidity of the disease.

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Understanding Cancer Glucose Metabolism:

The Role of Polyphenols and Botanicals in Metabolic Reprogramming

According to the World Health Organization, one-third of all cancer deaths are preventable through an increased consumption of natural compounds able to modulate key molecular signaling cascades that ultimately inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] 

One of the many cancer targeting effects of botanical and food compounds is their ability to increase efficiency of energy metabolic pathways and potentially reprogram cancer cell metabolism. The metabolic properties of malignant cells differ significantly from those of normal cells, providing the potential to target cellular metabolism to improve the selectivity of anticancer therapeutics.[7]

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New Data on COVID-19 and Promising Research on Natural Medicines

As we transition into fall and winter and COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rise dramatically, it’s clear that the virus isn’t going away any time soon. Although the promise of a vaccine is on the horizon, there’s no certainty as to its long-term effectiveness and many are concerned about the safety of its contents.

I continue to find compelling information that supports the use of natural medicines such as medicinal mushrooms, elderberry, and vitamin D against infections, as well as new facts and insights into how COVID-19 spreads and what populations are most vulnerable and why. All of this supports my belief that there is a great deal we can do to obtain robust health and build our immunological defense against pathogens, and thereby significantly reduce our risk of contracting the virus and the dreaded complications associated with it.

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