“The greater the suffering, the greater God’s love is bestowed onto you.” Padre Pio
People have been increasingly distancing themselves from each other, even before this horrific pandemic hit. Years ago, in an interview with Self magazine, I was asked what I thought the number one contributor was to our poor health. My answer then was the same as it is now—a lack of intimacy. We’re losing the quality and ability to relate, not just to each other, but to our environment and Nature. For example, people go for walks, but instead of quietly connecting with nature, many are focused on their phones. People at my gym walk around with earbuds in and don’t make eye contact with each other. We are lonely, and most of us don’t even know it. With the sudden onset of COVID-19, we’ve isolated even more. Meanwhile, the opportunity to be present and in tune with our surroundings and each other exists every day. Even if we are physically distant, our deep presence can make even the briefest or seemingly small encounters more lasting and meaningful.
Health Optimization and Adaptogens –
An Effective Strategy Against Pathogens
In general, I
am astonished by how little attention is placed on the value and importance of
good health in our society. In the face of the current pandemic, with
underlying co-morbidities present in an estimated 60% of the population,
increasing the risk of death from complications, there is an even greater
urgency to educate our communities and urge our citizens to adopt the key
components to optimal health. For example, there is now a clear association
between diabetes and increased mortality and severity in COVID-19 pneumonia,
and ocular symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2).
These and many other underlying conditions can be successfully managed by
applying the fundamental building blocks to optimal health and wellness, which
include nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle, and diet. The more robust our
health at the molecular, cellular, and organ system levels, the better equipped
we are to resist and recover from disease.
The vibrant colors we observe in plants serve a
different role depending on the organism being considered. For the plant itself, the pigments may aid in
the absorption of light and photosynthesis, as well as contribute to metabolism
and reproduction. For birds and insects,
the pigments provide a signal to the availability of food, such as nectar or
pollen. For humans, the pigments may
provide a clue of the type of health benefits we are likely to incur upon
unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it
is one of those things which give value to survival.”
Lewis, The Four Loves
these unprecedented times, it’s important for all of us to focus on positive
steps that we can take to stay healthy, not only physically, but also emotionally
and spiritually. As difficult as things may appear to be, remember that within
every crisis lie opportunities for growth and change.
information can spread like wildfire, particularly during times of fear and
uncertainty. Right now, there is misinformation circulating about elderberry (Sambucus nigra) and COVID-19.
Elderberry extract is being falsely accused of triggering a cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome (CRS), an intense inflammatory response that can be deadly. During the SARS epidemic, CRS caused severe lung damage and was a driving factor in many fatalities.
A fever can actually benefit a sick person, and both traditional
healthcare practitioners and now even modern researchers have attributed
tendencies to over-treat to “fever phobia”–a fear that fever is harmful, which likely
originated after the introduction of anti-fever drugs like Tylenol.
Fever is a protective adaptive response that should be allowed to run its course under most circumstances. This approach has been supported by several recent randomized controlled trials.1