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Pursuit of Truth requires being and listening, rather than doing and assuming; and slowing down rather than speeding up. You must cultivate Truth. The great Eclectic School of Medicine of the early 1900’s had a Motto, which I stand by today. It read: “To Love the Truth, To Prove the Truth, To Apply the Truth, and To Promote the Truth.”

In today’s times, the term “evidence based medicine” is often used and in the past decade has been readily adopted largely by the naturopathic field when speaking in the context of plant-based medicines (the primary “toolbox” of wholistic practitioners) in an effort to gain more acceptance through applying equally high standards of “safety and validity” to those of conventional medicine. However, this is often far from what can be called “truth” since the motive behind clinical research is not to prove “truth” but to have a drug or device approved by the FDA. The problem with using “evidence based medicine” exclusively, rather than “evidence informed medicine”, which I prefer, is that the term originated from the randomized controlled trial research paradigm used to study drugs. Such clinical studies are set up specifically in a reductionist method, removing all variables, which is essential for a drug.


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When I think of foods that have “super” health-promoting properties, berries are on my list of top ten favorites. Not only are they delicious, but bilberries, black currants, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries, strawberries—in fact, every berry you can think of—offer an enormous range of health benefits. What all of these berries have in common are anthocyanins—the pigments that give them their rich deep red and purple coloring. Although berries are perhaps the best-known sources of anthocyanins, other foods with the same colorants—for example, beets, cherries, eggplant, plums, pomegranates, purple cabbage, purple grapes, and red onions—also contain these valuable compounds. Grape seed extract, an especially rich source of anthocyanins, is the most widely researched anthocyanin supplement. Another excellent anthocyanin source—and one of my favorites—is a blend of fruit anthocyanins, which contains red grape, elderberry, blueberry, aronia berry, pomegranate, and red raspberry.


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In the case of a serious life-threatening disease, such as polio, my opinion is to vaccinate.  The risk-to-benefit ratio is clear—get the vaccine and not polio! However, with less dangerous viruses, such as the measles, and with effective tools for supporting recovery within the botanical toolbox, I believe in NOT vaccinating against these illnesses. The result is betterment of the long-term vitality of the ‘Life Force,’ and specifically the health of the immune system. Recovering from a non-life threatening virus helps our immune system to become stronger. The long-term effects of vaccination against all childhood diseases is that our immune system gets no training and is therefore not prepared to fight off invading microorganisms. Illnesses like measles and chicken pox are not life threatening except in very rare cases. Choosing to effectively deal with an acute adverse reaction to a disease that is not life threatening and does not impose a high risk of long-term damage, should one be exposed, vs. mandated exposure to risks from vaccines in general is a debate that should not be taken lightly. The environment one lives and works in, lifestyle practices, as well as frequency of travel and avoidance of those with medical conditions of compromised immunity if unvaccinated or exposed to a contagious disease, must all be carefully weighed. Above all, I believe people should be given all of the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to vaccinations.


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Over the last few months, headlines around the world have focused on the Ebola epidemic sweeping West Africa. In early August of this year, the World Health Organization defined the outbreak as a Public Health Event of International Concern. Closer to home, the focus has been on the recent outbreak in the US, with calls for special hospitals equipped to handle Ebola and for specialists to recognize and treat the disease as well as to be trained in monitoring travelers at airports.1

I’ve recently had numerous inquiries from people who are concerned about Ebola. It’s important to understand that the possibility of an Ebola epidemic in the United States is extremely low.2 However, because of increasing concern about the disease, I’m presenting information from my research and guidance as far as what I personally would do if I was inadvertently exposed to the virus, or if I actually contracted the disease. Although I have no factual scientific data on any of these recommendations, based on the etiology of Ebola, I would look to the herbal toolbox I have used for decades as my first line of defense.


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Over the past several decades, the demand for medicinal herbal products has grown by leaps and bounds—as a result, the marketplace is flooded with thousands of herbal offerings, with more appearing every day. Not too long ago, if you wanted herbs, you pretty much had to grow or wild craft them yourself. But today, herbs and herbal formulations are dispensed by holistic healthcare providers, or can be self-prescribed by perusing the offerings at health food stores, pharmacies, “big box” stores, or on-line. Even the local gas station convenience store carries an assortment of caffeine-laced herbal energy drinks. The positive side of the flourishing herbal products industry is that people are recognizing the healing potential of medicinal plants, and are seeking an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. At the same time, I have significant questions and concerns that I believe need to be addressed.


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Whether it’s sauerkraut from Eastern Europe, miso from Japan, or yogurt from Bulgaria, cultures worldwide have appreciated the unique benefits of fermented foods for thousands of years. Traditionally, people have used fermentation to preserve foods or to make them more digestible; in the process, they found that these foods also kept them healthy.


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