“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.
My intention for this article is to give you scientifically valid information about the Covid-19 vaccines so that you can make an educated decision about whether or not to get one. Personally, I have complete faith in the tools I employ to optimize my own health and support my immune system to protect me from becoming ill. My opinion is that for those who are not in great health or are not taking a health supportive protocol (including supplementing with, at a minimum, vitamin D and zinc), those over age seventy-five, anyone who is obese, and those with a pre-existing condition(s), the vaccine would be a wise choice given the high risk of long-term complications and death in these populations.
In addition to all the many benefits of herbal medicines against viral infections, which I will discuss here further, nutrition is equally as important and essential to boosting the immune system. According to the World Health Organization, healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals and adequate hydration are vital to wellness. Individuals consuming a well-balanced diet are healthier with a strong immune system and have a reduced risk of chronic illness and infectious diseases. Insufficient levels of zinc, vitamin D, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and other important nutrients can lead to coronavirus infection.,, Zinc in particular plays a critical role in all components of the immune system. A brand-new study just published found that low zinc levels are associated with severity of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome by Covid-19.  Eating a diverse, wholesome, plant-based diet and supplementing with these key nutrients has never been more important!
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.
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.
“When one tries to rise above nature, one is liable to fall below it.” – Sherlock Holmes
Exploring ‘Sherlock’s Corner’ of Mederi Medicine
From a wholistic perspective, cancer and other complex diseases require a deep investigation in several areas and involves the layering of various lenses, both macro and micro. Aptly, the Mederi Medicine approach has been greatly influenced by the problem-solving methods of the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. This is why I refer to the investigational component of Mederi Medicine as “Sherlock’s Corner”, to pay homage to Holmes’ logic.
Of equal relevance to the exploration, collection, and analysis of data in medicine is the understanding and application of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the science and method of interpretation, the process that helps us determine what is most relevant when considering the information within the context of a patient’s life story, which involves communication and relationship. Dr. Drew Leder explains that “Clinical medicine can best be understood not as a purified science, but as a hermeneutical enterprise: that is, as involved with the interpretation of (methodological) texts.” He suggests that the hermeneutics of medicine can be broken down into four text categories: “the “experiential text” as the patient’s experience of the illness; the “narrative text” as the history of the illness; the “physical text” as the objective examination of the patient’s body; the “instrumental text” as the construction by diagnostic technologies.” The information generated, when pooled together, can be useful in developing an understanding of the underlying disease, as well as a treatment plan. Leder further suggests that: “Certain flaws in modern medicine arise from its refusal of a hermeneutic self-understanding…in seeking to escape all interpretive subjectivity, medicine has threatened to expunge its primary subject–the living, experiencing patient.”