The Truth about Herb-Drug Interactions: An Honest Evaluation of the Benefits and Risks When Weighing Scientific Data and Clinical Experience

“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.”  ~Sherlock Holmes.

Conventional medicine has long been wary of traditional herbal medicine, particularly when it comes to the potential interactions of herbs and pharmaceutical drugs. However, the focus of conventional medicine always seems to be on the negative interactions of herbs and drugs, when in fact, herb-drug interactions can often be positive.

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Seasonal Respiratory Support

With cold and flu season upon us, now is the perfect time to consider herbal remedies for supporting respiratory health. During the fall and winter it is important to focus on strengthening the lungs with warming foods and drinks such as soups and hot teas, as well as specific tonic herbs. In my practice, I rely on botanical formulations of herbs that have a long history of traditional use for respiratory well-being to help us better adapt as we move into the colder months.

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Current Research into Botanicals and Cancer

As a follow-up to my post last week, Botanical Medicine: A Symphony in Harmony Against Cancer, I want to present some of the latest research into botanicals and cancer.

Researchers are investigating the potential of botanicals to treat all types of cancers, studying the use of natural compounds to prevent or reverse the process of carcinogenesis. For example, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most fatal cancers. Despite advances in the management of HNSCC, the overall survival for patients has not improved significantly due to advanced stages at diagnosis, high recurrence rate after surgical removal, and second primary tumor development. To develop approaches that can intervene at any stage of cancer development requires understanding of the crosstalk between cancer signaling pathways and networks to retain or enhance chemopreventive activity while reducing known toxic effects. Researchers are discovering that many natural dietary compounds have been identified as multiple molecular targets, effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer.1

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Botanical And Dietary Supplement Alternatives To Statins

Fish oil capsules

I’ve had numerous requests for information regarding specific dietary supplements and herbs that can help to normalize cholesterol profiles. Because there is so much misinformation regarding cholesterol, I want to reiterate that cholesterol is not the evil monster that it is made out to be.

Cholesterol is a lipid that is critical for the proper functioning of the body, and is used to build cell membranes, create sex hormones, aid in immune health and tissue repair; and facilitate digestion. However, elevated LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol, in the presence of prolonged inflammation, oxidation (of LDL cholesterol) and elevated blood glucose and insulin levels can contribute mightily to cardiovascular disease.

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A Botanical Approach To Hypertension

Hawthorn Fruit

Hypertension—also known as high blood pressure—afflicts more than one-third of American adults. This common and serious condition can cause life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, heart or kidney failure, and more. Although drugs are the treatment of choice in conventional medicine, hypertension is primarily the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. In most cases, I find that high blood pressure can be effectively normalized with proper diet, exercise, stress management, and appropriate herbal remedies.

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