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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Seeking Purity of Heart and Oneness in the New Year

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you” ~John Wooden, UCA Basketball coach

As we move into the New Year, I pray that we all seek and find ways to live a balanced life, and in so doing, help to restore balance to our relationships and our world. Balance requires groundedness, steadiness, and stillness, allowing our actions to be guided by reflection and inner prayer. As difficult as it may sometimes be, God calls us to devote ourselves to bringing love and compassion to all in order to restore harmony and goodness in our fragmented world.

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Winter Solstice Reflections on Silence

As I sit in reflection in the very heart of the darkest time, the shortest day of the year, I am more aware than ever of the importance of silence, the silence that surrounds us as the world quiets, and the silence we find within ourselves when we stop and listen.

When I am silent, I hear my true self and access the depths of my soul. When I am silent, I hear with a caring heart. Silence teaches us to know reality by respecting it where words have defiled it. In silent reflection, I am able to abandon myself to the will of the Divine One. If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything because we have said everything before we had anything meaningful to say.

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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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Herbs and Spices as a Path to Health and Wellbeing

In the Kitchen with Donnie

As a passionate home chef, I can’t imagine cooking without a full array of herbs and spices. And as an herbalist, I can’t imagine creating a health protocol without the use of herbs and spices. Fortunately, culinary and medicinal herbs are often one and the same. As Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

As an herbalist, nutritionist, jazz musician, and chef, I find that food preparation and cooking is similar to combining herbs for medicine or composing music. Home cooking is a creative endeavor, and the reward is a delicious and healthy meal that can be savored with family and friends.

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