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.
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There is substantial evidence that spiritual well-being is an important determinant of overall health, longevity and quality of life, especially in patients with severe illness. But while most physicians would agree that spiritual well-being is an important factor in their patients’ health, the spiritual needs and well-being of patients are largely ignored and rarely addressed by healthcare providers.
I believe this is a significant oversight in patient care. Spirituality is perhaps the single most important source of strength and direction in life. When we incorporate spiritual well-being into healing, we recognize that people are not simply physical bodies requiring only mechanical fixing.
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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.
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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)., 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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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.
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“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.
Continue reading “Seeking Purity of Heart and Oneness in the New Year”