“Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. If we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success. Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts.” ― Buckminster Fuller
Although there’s a current flurry of concern about the possible link between blood clots and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the reality is that there is a risk of potentially dangerous blood clots and/or platelet disorders with all of the vaccines that are being used for Covid-19.
Vaccines, masking, and social distancing appear to be slowing the spread of COVID-19. But the devastation wrought by the pandemic goes far beyond the physical illness caused by the disease. For many people, the psychological effects of the pandemic have been equally debilitating.
A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 found that many adults report difficulty sleeping (36%), problems eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), including a weakened immune system caused by worry and stress over the coronavirus.
The Anti-Infectious Medicinal Properties of Propolis
If I had to choose a favorite natural medicine for healing, it would be propolis. I was first introduced to propolis and other bee products like honey, royal jelly, and bee pollen in 1976 while working at my first job at a natural food store in Connecticut. There, I was fortunate to meet Ed Weiss, a wonderful beekeeper and producer of bee products who was known as the “Bee Man.” Ed began his love affair with bees in 1974, and devoted more than four decades to educating people about bees, protecting them, and producing Wilton Gold, an excellent honey. Ed wrote a beekeeper’s handbook called “The Queen and I,” a comprehensive and charming classic now in its third printing. The book describes his love for the bees, opening with “I have been having an affair,” and provides practical information for building a hive and caring for these unique and beneficial creatures. In my four decades of clinical practice, I’ve witnessed the beneficial healing effects of propolis for a wide variety of health conditions—including viral respiratory illnesses.
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.,,,,,
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.
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.