Many plant molecules, such as polyphenols, interact with and modulate key regulators of mammalian physiology in ways that are beneficial to health. The more we understand about this interaction, the more effectively we can target both the prevention and treatment of disease.
Polyphenol compounds, when ingested, interact with receptors and enzymes within the consumer. The fact that stress-induced plant compounds tend to upregulate pathways that provide stress resistance in humans and animals suggests that plant consumers may have mechanisms to perceive these chemical cues and react to them in ways that are beneficial. The term xenohormesis is used to explain this phenomenon (from xenos, the Greek word for stranger, and hormesis, the term for health benefits provided by mild biological stress, such as cellular damage or a lack of nutrition).
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.
is well known for the significant role it plays in immune response and immune
health. It enhances both innate and adaptive immunity, is vital for immune cell
function, and is crucial for the formation and modulation of inflammatory
processes. In persons with zinc deficiency, zinc supplementation improves not
only type I and II interferon production/response, but also immune cell
survival, maturation and function.1-4
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.
“I go into my library and all
history unrolls before me.” Alexander Smith
In Western tradition, boneset is perhaps the single most important
herb for combating the flu. There have been six major influenza pandemics (worldwide
outbreaks) since 1889. The 1918 influenza pandemic (“Spanish flu”) was the
deadliest pandemic in history. Approximately 5% of the world’s population was
infected, and the number of deaths has been estimated at 50 million (CDC).
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) might
be the single best herbal remedy for influenza. During the severe “Spanish Flu” pandemic, boneset was one of the safest
and most successful remedies employed and contributed much to the successful
management of the disease under the Eclectic treatment.
‘There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.’ ~Sherlock Holmes
Over the past 30 years, gluten has become the number one
villain among foods. At one time, an allergy to gluten was rarely seen. Today,
almost 3 million people in the United States have celiac disease, a serious
immune reaction to the protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Another 18 million
people are thought to suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which causes symptoms
similar to celiac disease (including diarrhea, fatigue, and nausea) but does
not damage the lining of the small intestine.