Artic Ruby Oil & Fat Reduction

My Chorale Pic“It’s hard to imagine that one the of the world’s most serious health problems, visceral (gut) fat, (dubbed the killing fat because of its association with heart disease and diabetes) can be reduced, if not eliminated, by simply ingesting a small amount of oil extracted from a tiny sea organism Calanus finmarchicus found off the coast of Norway,—a sea organism whose phenomenal health benefits lay dormant, actually ignored by leading scientists, until a Norwegian outlier, Dr. Jan Raa, decided to look deeper.”

We now have Artic Ruby Oil in stock at the clinic.  Listen to this video for more information. This is a very promising nutritional supplement.

Dr. Anthony Palombo

(337) 802-5510

tpal70@gmail.com

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

My Chorale PicCoconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.

Click on this link to read and learn about the benefits of coconut oil.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/cold-truth-coconut-oil-10-facts-need-know/

 

My Easter Message: Grow Up!

Scan_Pic0002It’s Easter Sunday morning. My wife and I are enjoying a late breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon with a fruit & yogurt side dish of strawberries, raspberries and bananas.  We’re having a wet Easter Sunday here is Louisiana which will likely damper Easter egg hunts (pun intended).

Along a less surface and shallow vein, my thoughts turn to what’s going on in the churches around town and throughout the Christian world and noticing my/our total absence from it all, marveling at the transformation we have gone through over the decades of waking up and growing up spiritually.  For my part, I went from directing the choir for an Easter Vigil Mass in St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans as an young aspirant for the Roman Catholic priesthood fifty-plus years ago to complete non-participation in religion of any kind.  Now I don’t even believe in the “heaven or hell” reward or punishment scenario of what life is all about on this planet.  I’ve come to know, however, that I experience hell here on earth when I break the laws that govern heaven. Hell is living in Heaven on earth while ignoring the laws that govern life itself. The law of Love, for example, governs all of creation and would govern human affairs if human beings would let it.  When I read the Gospels in seminary, I recall Jesus saying “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Turn around – that’s what repent means –  and see that heaven in within you and all around you.  Just look at the picture of that passion flower up top. Click on the picture to enlarge it. Now look and see what heavenly beauty in manifesting through it. What exquisite design! What awful power and control at work!  We are already in Heaven. We just need to turn around and notice it.

On this point, I found this video this morning when I opened Facebook. It speaks for me in all ways. (The video doesn’t appear in email notifications. You’ll have to go to the blog itself.)

My Chorale PicI will leave you to ponder these words in the silence of your heart. Have a blessed Easter/Spring Solstice.  Celebrate Light and Life bursting out all over with flowers and green leaves on winter-barren trees.

To your health and maturity,

Dr. Tony Palombo

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for an interesting article about how sound can extinguish fire.

 

 

“d-alpha tocopherol” Is NOT Vitamin E

My Chorale PicAre you taking 800 units of “vitamin E” every day? If so, you may be doing more harm to your body than good. Read this report by John Courtney, former head of Research & Development for Standard Process Laboratories for thirty years. When you’re finished reading, you will have a clear understanding of what vitamin E is and is not..

IT’S ABOUT FUNCTION, NOT POTENCY

Functions of Vitamin E: promotes cell repair, anti-scarring, increases tissue resistance to stress, (supports skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons), specific support to cardiovascular system, source of manganese and selenium and aids in pituitary function.

John Courtney: Our VITAMIN E Complex product (CATAPLEX E) presents a situation similar to our other vitamin formulas. Dr. George Goodheart, for instance, who has developed this muscle testing technique, AK, frequently lectures to doctors, and he always calls one up and checks him for vitamin E. He will say: “You’re deficient in vitamin E.” The doctor usually says, “That’s impossible. I take 800 units of vitamin E every day.” So George says, “Take one
now.” So the doctor takes one and George tests him and there is no change. So he gives the doctor one of our two-unit CATAPLEX E tablets and the doctor becomes stronger.

This is what I mean by function. We are interested in making a product that has function, and we give it to the doctor no matter what it looks like on the label. Granted, they would not sell in health food stores because people try to read labels and they don’t understand them. Instead of reading the ingredients, they read how many units of something and that throws them off.

We talked about vitamin E as classified by the government as “tocopherol.” There are seven tocopherols in all, alpha being one of them. The government has decided to rate any vitamin E product according to the amount of alpha tocopherol it contains. The tocopherols are antioxidants, just like ascorbic acid. They are a part of the E complex, but they are not the active ingredients. Their function is to preserve the active factor. Tocopherols are measured on the basis of cell growth.

Kids who have acne have it at a time when their sex organs are beginning to develop and require vitamin E. If they’re not getting enough vitamin E in their diet, the gonads begin to take the vitamin E that would otherwise be used in the maintenance of the health of the skin. So there begins to be abnormal skin growth.

On the other hand, the entire E complex contains the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin F is part of the E complex, as are Vitamins A and K. There are some forms of vitamin D and manganese in the E complex as well. The traditional source for vitamin E is vegetable oils. But the best quality vitamin E comes from whole vegetables. Green lettuce is one of the best sources, and the pea plant is what we use and is about equally as good. We raise green peas on our farms and press the juice out and vacuum dry it. This is our E concentrate. It is high in manganese. The manganese is combined with the protein, vitamins and other
trace minerals in the plant in the growing process. You could call our CATAPLEX E a “naturally chelated” product.

“Chelated” means “combined.” If you take any high potency laboratory-chelated products, your body has to do some combining in order to make them work. But if you take your minerals the way nature provides them, combined with protein and vitamins through the growing process of plants, they are bound to work.

For example, we could take vitamin E and separate the tocopherols from the manganese. Putting them back together in the laboratory, chelating them artificially, we would find they wouldn’t work. But they worked before you took them apart. Dr. Lee used an analogy to illustrate this point.

The same point applies to all of our products. He said you can give a chemist a watch and he can analyze it for content. Then hit it with a hammer and give it back to him. Although it is the same watch, it has now lost its function. A nutritional concentrate is an organized mechanism that has a function. If you break the function by separating the parts, the body can no longer use the mechanism. High potency’ vitamin E products are made this way.

Tocopherols are broken down and separated from oils, the natural tocopherols are separated from vegetable oil. Then they are packed into a gelatin perle and you have a high potency vitamin E product, a 200 or 500 International Unit vitamin E product. That means 200 or 500 International Units of alpha tocopherol, because the government insists that the potency of the product is measured by the amount of alpha tocopherol it contains. Of course, the reason for doing this is to give the public a “high potency” product. Although the label of such a product will say “all natural” or “organic” – it was taken from oil, a natural source – it’s still not food. It’s an incomplete product. You are getting lots of tocopherols, but none of the active components of the E complex: the F, A, K, D, manganese, etc.

Our VITAMIN E is a two International Unit product. Each tablet contains two International Units of alpha tocopherol. The remainder of the tablet is composed of all the other vitamin E components. How do the high potency vitamin E products work? By preserving the active components of the E complex which still remain in the patient’s tissues. If you recall, the tocopherols are an antioxidant. So the patient’s symptoms, such as angina, will disappear, but often only temporarily. The body is designed to utilize food in its whole form. If you eat incomplete foods, such as refined tocopherols, all the missing factors are borrowed from the tissue reserves in order to make the partial food usable. Sooner or later, depending on the patient’s past eating habits, there will be a deficiency of those nutrients, causing what’s referred to as a “reversal of symptoms.” This means there is a recurrence of the same symptoms, which were causing the problem in the first place, often to a more serious degree.  

Bicknell and Prescott, in their book THE VITAMINS IN MEDICINE, talk about bone decalcification and other problems caused by the use of excessive alpha tocopherol. So, high potency vitamins are similar to drugs in their effect. They cause a masking of symptoms, which eventually creates additional problems. Dr. Lee used to say that using high potency vitamins was like whipping a tired horse; he would be stimulated to run faster but sooner or later he collapses because you never fed him. Sometimes doctors call us for help with patients with cramps. This could be cramps anywhere in the body-the legs, abdomen, heart, etc. They will say, “I’ve tried everything I could nutritionally, calcium, magnesium, etc., and the patient still has cramps.” Then we ask if the patient is taking high potency vitamin E. Many times they are, and the cramps developed after they started taking the high potency vitamin E. Then, of course, we suggest the doctor take the patient off the high potency vitamin E product.

Our approach is to give the patient the specific food factors which he’s lacking, along with the associated factors, which make it work. In the case of angina, we would recommend CATAPLEX E2. It’s the part of the vitamin E complex, which preserves calcium in the tissues. A person with angina is usually deficient in this food factor, so he develops cramps in the muscles of his heart. One final word about our CATAPLEX E, and this applies to our other products as well. Sometimes tablets from different lots will be different in color, This is due to variables in the conditions under which the peas were grown — moisture in the air and soil, the mineral: content in the soil, etc. Since we don’t color or sugar-coat our tablets, they don’t always look alike. We have always felt this better than having to use artificial dyes or coating in order to give the tablets a uniform appearance.

Now you have a complete picture of what vitamin E actually is. The same applies to so-called “vitamin C” which the FDA says is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is no more vitamin C than an orange peal is the whole orange. Ascorbic acid is the anti-oxidant envelope in which the active and functional ingredients of vitamin C are contained and protected. More on this in my next blog.

Here’s to your health

Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN – Chiroparctor and certified practitioner of Applied Clinical Nutrition.

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for more informative and inspiring articles.

Living Medicine Vs Pharmaceuticals, part 3: Herbs that Cure

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When you use a living medicine and get well, you feel that the world is alive and aware and wants to help you. People often talk about saving the Earth, but how many times have you experienced the Earth saving you?

My Chorale PicI’ve been sharing an interview with herbalist Stephen Buhner in THE SUN magazine on the efficacy of herbal medicine and the dangers of placing our healthcare system in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry, which the Medical profession relies entirely on when it comes to prescribing chemical drugs to relieve the symptoms of disease. While drugs do relieve symptoms – the reason people go to doctors in the first place – they do not effect a cure. They’re not designed to. Besides making huge profits for the Big Pharma, drugs are designed to relieve pain and mask symptoms — a purpose that has great meaning and usefulness in a hospice care facility but little if any meaning and value in a facility that claims to render “health care.” Herbs, on the other hand, are designed by Mother Nature to effect a cure. The main requirement, however, is patience on the part of the patient. (Pun intended.)

Herbs do not cure. Rather they give the body living medicine the body can work with to cure itself of disease. It is the inborn Intelligence of the body, of course, that directs the healing process–Life. And Life works within the time frame of its own wisdom and cycles. Drugs interfere with those cycles by nullifying the symptoms of pain and malfunction that trigger the healing process. Herbs facilitate the healing process. It just takes time.

For example, anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the inflammation in tissues and joints that, for one thing, stop us from doing what is damaging the tissues and joints. We won’t do what hurts. That’s the body’s wisdom at work, which we defeat when we take pain killers.  The other and main thing, however, is that inflammation is the first and initiating phase of the healing process. When you nullify this phase, you stop the repair process of the damaged tissue, which means you’ll never experience healing as long as you’re taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol or any number of other pain killers. It’s that simple.  Stephen Buhner tells his personal story working with herbs.

Ahuja: What was your first experience with herbal medicine?

Buhner: When I was thirty-four, I became quite ill with severe abdominal cramping. The doctors didn’t know what it was. I met a local herbalist, and she mentioned that a certain plant growing in the forest around my house was good for my condition. The doctors wanted to do exploratory surgery, but instead I ate some of the plant. The pain was about half as severe the next time it happened, and the next time about half again, until finally it just went away. After that, I began to take control over my own health.

Ahuja: What was the plant?

Buhner: It was a perennial herb called osha. I just dug up the root and began eating it. It’s got a spicy, celery-like taste. Not only did I feel my body getting better, but I could feel, inside, some living entity that cared about me. It’s difficult to explain, because it’s not something we generally talk about in the West. When you use a living medicine and get well, you feel that the world is alive and aware and wants to help you. People often talk about saving the Earth, but how many times have you experienced the Earth saving you?

HERBAL MEDICINES AND THEIR HEALING GIFTS

Here are a few herbal medicines with which I am familiar:

BoswelliaBOSWELLIA – is a natural anti-inflammatory that does not interfere with the healing and repair process. It rather helps it work faster. It is especially effective in the intestines when they become irritable. Cases in point are IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. I use Boswellia Complex by MediHerb and Standard Process Labs, which is a synergistic combination of Boswellia gum, Celery seed,  Ginger, and Tumeric.  These and other compounds work together to:

  • Support the normal function of the kidneys to clear acidic waste products effectively, like uric acid that causes gout.
  • Maintain and support healthy joints.
  • Promote the body’s normal resistance function.
  • Support healthy circulation.
  • Support healthy response to environmental stresses.
  • Provide antioxidant protection.

Scan_Pic0005ECHINACEA – here is an herb for the immune system, and its healing gift lies primarily in its root and less in its foliage.  This herb does not stimulate or activate the immune system, as is commonly thought, but rather acts as a modulator to the immune system, regulating its response to various stress needs in the body. In the case of infection, it up-regulates the immune response and boosts the white cell count. In the case of autoimmune disease, it down-regulates the immune system. As with all systems in the body, balance is the key to healthy function.

Master Herbalist Dr. Kerry Bone of MediHerb has thoroughly researched this herb and here is what we now know about Echinacea:

  • Echinacea is both misunderstood and underestimated. There are many Echinacea products available which differ according to species, plant part, quality markers and dosages. The wide variety of products available is why there is controversy surrounding Echinacea and its effectiveness.
  • Echinacea is commonly thought of as an herb for winter season stresses and only for short-term use. Kerry Bone’s applications for Echinacea are much broader than this and you may wonder why this is. Kerry has spent many years both researching and prescribing Echinacea for thousands of patients. His passion for Echinacea led to the MediHerb research project and a greater understanding of Echinacea and how it works. For full details of MediHerb’s Research visit mediherb.com and search for The MediHerb Echinacea Research Story on the Echinacea – A New Understanding page.
  • The research results validate the traditional wisdom of Echinacea, and that is to achieve good clinical results you must use only a root preparation with high levels of alkylamides. An important aspect of any herb, or nutrient for that matter, is its bioavailability. Echinacea angustifolia and E purpurea contain high levels of alkylamides which are easily absorbed in the body.
  • MediHerb’s Echinacea Premium is the best Echinacea product on the market because of its high levels of alkylamides. You can tell if the Echinacea product you are taking is derived from the root by how it imparts a persistent tingling sensation on your tongue.
  • Daily dosage with Echinacea Premium (1 a day) will help keep your immune system balanced and ready to respond to the stress needs of the body.

BacopaBACOPA HERB – helps in the retention of memory. I have had students taking Bacopa while listening to lectures and studying for exams. This helped them retain what they were hearing and reading. Then, when exam time came along, they would switch to Ginkgo Biloba, which helps in memory recall.  MediHerb’s Bacopa Complex combines the herbs Bacopa, Schisandra, Eleuthero and essential oil of Rosemary. These herbs contribute key phytochemicals that combine with many other compounds to:

  • Enhance mental clarity and support cognitive function.
  • Support normal memory function.
  • Support physical endurance.
  • Ease the effects of temporary and occasional environmental stress.
  • Nourish the nervous system.

Ginkgo BilobaGINKGO BILOBA – helps in memory recall and has a variety of healthy benefits.  MediHerb’s Ginkgo Forte contains flavonoids, terpene lactones (including ginkgolides and bilobalide) and other phytochemicals that work synergistically to:

  • Support memory and cognition.
  • Promote alertness and mental clarity.
  • Help support healthy mental function.
  • Support good health in older adults.
  • Promote healthy circulation to the brain and peripheral areas of the body which is important for the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients.
  • Support a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Support and encourage healthy blood.
  • Provide antioxidant support to help protect nerve cells and other tissues.
  • Support normal hearing.
  • Support eye health.
  • Beneficially modulate cortisol during periods of stress.
  • Reduce the congestive symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE – is the herb of choice for diabetics in Australia, which many folks use exclusively to regulate their blood sugar. It literally nullifies the sweetness in sugar. When you put a little bit of Gymnema tincture into your mouth, or suck on a tablet, you will not be able to taste the sweetness in candy for several minutes. You will taste the flavor of a mint, but not its sweetness.  MediHerb’s Gymnema 4g tablet and its Gymnema 1:1 tincture deliver a powerful dose of this amazing sugar-destroying herb, which is effective in diabetic and hypoglycemic conditions alike. The complex mixture of saponins (gymnemic acids) and other compounds work together to:

  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels when combined with a balanced diet.
  • Maintain normal cholesterol levels in a normal range.
  • Help support normal cravings for sugar in the diet.

I will continue sharing information about popular herbs and their benefits in my next post in two weeks. Until then, here’s to your health and natural healing.

Anthony Palombo, DC

CAUTION: Herbs are powerful natural medicines and should not be used indiscriminately. None of the above information should be construed to diagnose or treat any disease nor to preclude sensible medical care and professional supervision. Medi-Herb and Standard Process products are only available through licensed physicians and certified healthcare professionals and should only be used under the supervision of an certified herbalist or healthcare practitioner.

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for an interesting series of articles about the Golden Age of Aquarius.

Living Medicines Vs Pharmaceuticals, part 2: Healing Herbs

“When you use a living medicine and get well, you feel that the world is alive and aware and wants to help you. People often talk about saving the Earth, but how many times have you experienced the Earth saving you?”

Healing Herbs
Stephen BuhnerI find it interesting that toxic plants often move into damaged landscapes. Some specimens are harmful to cattle or sheep who graze the land. Others interfere with industrial agriculture or threaten people. They all have the same purpose: stopping the source of the damage so that the landscape can regenerate itself. —Stephen Buhner

My Chorale PicTo heal means to make whole again that which has been fractured or fragmented. What Stephen Buhner describes above about “toxic plants” moving in where landscapes have been damaged speaks to the intelligence of healing herbs. These botanical plants have a living, functioning intelligence. As part of our Mother Earth from which our physical bodies arise, their energetic fields are connected to our energetic fields by way of which they speak to us. When we give them our attention, ask them the right questions, and then listen to their answers — which may come in the form of an attraction toward them, or even an aversion — they reach out to help us with their healing essences.

We’ve all had the experience, when out in Nature, of being attracted toward certain plants and flowers. Could that attraction and repelling be telling us something about the gift of healing being offered to us by the plants and flowers?  Of course, some plants warn us to stay away from them, such as poison ivy or poison oak, if we have an allergic condition.

I love the way Stephen Buhner goes about introducing his clients to herbs in this interview by Akshay Ahuja in the December, 2014 issue of The SUN magazine.

Ahuja: How do you go about treating patients as an herbalist? 

Buhner: It’s a relationship, not a technique. My clients often feel lost and alone in their suffering. They need human companionship and also a sense of companionship with the living world. If I can, I’ll take them into the woods and introduce them to the plant that will be helping them. 

In my book “The Lost Language of Plants” I tell the story of a twenty-eight-year-old woman who was going through a messy divorce. Her periods were extremely irregular, with heavy cramping and bleeding, and her hands were always cold. I could see that her whole body was closed off, curled in on itself. Her fingernails were chewed back deeply, as if she were eating herself alive. 

I told her there was a plant I thought she should meet. We went for a walk through a pine forest, and when she saw the plant at the edge of a stream, a kind of force drew the woman and the plant together. The plant was Angelica, which has been used for thousands of years to help treat menstrual cramping. She spent a long time with it, then said a prayer and asked for help, and then we went to look for just the right Angelica. When we found it, she dug up the root, which has a beautiful smell. On the walk back she held it close to her. She was already carrying herself differently. The healing had started. 

She took a tincture made from the root, and within a month her period had normalized.

HERBS GROW WHERE THEY ARE MOST NEEDED

We are more connected to our immediate environment than we may be aware. I am convinced that many of the viruses and bacterial infections we encounter are an integral part of our local habitat — unless they are transported by travelers from other parts of the world, as was the case with the Ebola virus.  It’s common knowledge as well that for every disease and ailment there’s a plant remedy in the botanical world. I would be curious to know what kind of herbs are growing in that part of Africa where the Ebola virus erupted. I am equally as curious to know what kind of herbs grow abundantly in my neck of the woods. Buhner addresses this subject in the interview:

Ahuja: Many of the plants in Herbal Antibiotics aren’t native to North America, Do you think people should look first to the plants around them for medicine?

Buhner: The book was written to offer alternatives to people who might die of a resistant infection, so I wanted to list anything they could reliably use in that circumstance. Still, many natural antibiotics do grow in the United States. I live in the Southwestern desert, and Bidens grows all around our house. It’s invasive. Sida grows along the Gulf Coast, and some Sida species grow in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They’re all considered invasive. In fact, the most potent medicines for emerging infections tend to be invasive botanicals that people are busy trying to eradicate.

These invasive plants don’t move into a region for no reason. Take, for example, the berberine-containing plant Phellodendron. Berberine-containing plants are used to treat parasites and infections from yeast, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Goldenseal was probably the most potent berberine plant in the U.S. until it was harvested to near extinction in the late 1800s. Phellodendron, which is a massive tree,is invasive in exactly the same range that goldenseal was removed from. And if you cut just one branch, you’ve got enough berberine
plant to last a year.

I’ve found that if people are ill, the plants they need are almost always growing in their vicinity. I’ve watched plant populations change around me in places I’ve lived for thirty-some years, and they seem to shift in response to changes in my own disease complexes. This sounds airy-fairy to the Western reductive mind-set, but people have been commenting on it since Hippocrates. Plant populations rise and fall according to the needs of the ecosystem in which they grow, and that includes the animal life there, which includes us.

Ahuja: Yet we act to remove invasive plants from ecosystems.

Buhner: Yes, these plants are seen as alien invaders…. Its not understood that dandelion and burdock and a host of other common plants are non-natives that moved in and established a balance with local ecosystems, or that many of the plants targeted for eradication happen to be effective against the exact diseases that local people are contracting. Japanese knotweed is invasive all up and down the East Coast, and its root is the most specific medicine there is for the treatment of Lyme disease. Theres a Lonicera species a honeysuckle that reduces mosquito egglaying wherever it grows. The mosquitoes that it discourages happen to carry dengue fever and a number of other viruses that cause encephalitis – inflammation of the brain. And it turns out that the plant is also a treatment for inflammation in the central nervous system.When plants move into an ecosystem, they do so because the ecosystem has been disrupted. The problem is that people dont ask, Why is this plant here?

Buhner offers suggestions on treating specific health conditions which I thought my readers would find helpful.

Aruja: My father is around sixty. I dont think he could imagine being without his daily blood-pressure pills. What are some alternative treatments for his condition? 

Buhner: Regular fasting will lower blood pressure and keep it low. Certain kinds of simple, focused meditation will lower it. And many herbs, such as hawthorn and garlic, will do the same.

Ahuja: Have you worked much with cancer? 

Buhner: I havent. The only type I have regularly treated is skin cancer, usually on the face. I learned the use of a traditional herb for it from a Mexican curandera many years ago. The root of Swertia radiata also known as monument plant or green gentian – is finely powdered, then mixed with Vaseline (nothing else will do) and applied to the cancer. Its left covered for three days. Once the bandage is removed, the cancer generally comes with it or lifts off with minimal effort. I have never had that treatment fail. It is easy, efficient, and noninvasive. . . . 

I apologize for the lengthy excerpts, but I wanted to share with you the spirit and energy of the interview as well as the content, which sometimes direct quotes best convey.  We will explore some of the more specific uses of healing herbs in the next post. Until then, here’s to your health and haling . . . naturally!

Anthony Palombo, DC

Visit my HealingTones.org blog for inspiring articles on various topics. Current theme is “Golden Age and Golden Race.”

Also visit Laurence Layne’s Herb Shop online at HerbShop.HealingWatersClinic.com for great information about herbs along with easy ordering of products.

Credits: The picture above is by Roger Davies and is used in the article in The SUN which I am referencing.

CAUTION: Herbs are powerful natural medicines and should not be used indiscriminately. None of the above information should be construed to diagnose or treat any disease nor to preclude sensible medical care and professional supervision. Medi-Herb and Standard Process products are only available through licensed physicians and certified healthcare professionals and should only be used under the supervision of an certified herbalist or healthcare practitioner.

Living Medicine Vs Pharmaceuticals, part 1: The Antibiotic Crisis

Stephen BuhnerPhysicians continue to utilize antibiotics without much thought. We focus on the misuse of painkillers, when the most dangerous thing we do is overuse antibiotics. Resistant bacteria are a more severe problem for the survival of this civilization than oil depletion, global warming, topsoil erosion, and water scarcity. —Stephen Buhner

“Stephen Harrod Buhner On Plant Intelligence, Natural Healing, And The Trouble With Pharmaceuticals”

My Chorale Pic

The December issue of SUN magazine carried an insightful, though sobering, interview with an herbalist that I thought would be an inspiring and deeply meaningful article to review and share in my Health Light Newsletter blog.  The interview is by Akshay Ahuja, writer for the SUN and production manager for Ploughshares, an organization that works with churches, governments and civil societies, in Canada and abroad, to advance policies and actions to prevent war and armed violence and build peace.

Stephen Buhner was born in 1952 in the Midwest where he was introduced to his healing ministry through his great-grandfather, a country physician in rural Indiana.  At the age of sixteen he left home to attend college in California. From there he traveled and settled in the high mountains of Colorado, where he built a “turn-of-the-century cabin that he lived in for four years.” His path to becoming an herbalist started out with a personal healing of severe abdominal cramps with the perennial herb osha root.  His encounter with this herb was more than remedial and had a spiritual and vital quality to is, as he recalls in the interview.  He currently lives in Silver City, New Mexico.

I just dug up the root and began eating it. It’s got a spicy, celery-like taster. Not only did I feel my body getting better, but I could feel, inside, some living entity that cared for me.  It’s difficult to explain, because it’s not something we generally talk about in the West. When you use a living medicine and get well, you feel that the world is alive and aware and wants to help you. People often talk about saving the Earth, but how many times have you experienced the Earth saving you?

I love this man’s insight into the natural botanical world of herbs and his thoughtful perspectives on both the natural healing and modern medical models. He covers a lot of territory, so it may take a couple of posts to do the interview justice. This is, I feel, a very timely and important mile-stone article.

Let’s start with the heart of his message: the overuse of antibiotics that has resulted in the evolution of bacteria into “superbugs.”  To gain a perspective on how this has come about, we need to consider the history and evolution of our medical system. Buhner, who has spent his entire life exploring herbal medicine and has published several books on this and related topics, gives some very thoughtful consideration to this in the interview, which can best be presented in his own words. In his 1999 book “Herbal Antibiotics” he speaks to the heart of the “flaws” of what he calls “technological medicine.”

“By declaring war on bacteria,” he writes, “ we declared war on the underlying living structure of the planet.” Buhner maintains that, through indiscriminate use of antibiotics, we have created “superbugs” with few effective pharmaceutical treatments, wreaking havoc in hospitals and making future pandemics likely.

Asked what is wrong with the medical system in the USA, Bunher gives a very interesting synopsis of its relatively brief history, starting at the close of the nineteenth century when homeopaths were plentiful and allopaths were fewer and the poorest of the various groups of physicians.  The discovery of penicillin changed all that.

Allopathic physicians argued that their training was based on science and was thus more legitimate than other medical traditions and would provide safer interventions. With a lot of lobbying, they managed to get control over medical practice and have the other approaches outlawed. After the discovery of penicillin in the 1920’s, antibiotics became a primary aspect of allopathic practice. The drugs were so effective against previously difficult-to-treat problems, such as infections in burn patients, that Western cultures completely embraced allopathic healing. In 1942 the entire worlds supply of penicillin was 8.5 gallons about seventy pounds. By 1999 the production of antibiotics in the U.S. alone reached 40 million pounds per year.

Unfortunately medical researchersbeliefs about bacteria were very wrong. Researchers said it would take roughly a million years for bacteria to develop widespread resistance to antibiotics through spontaneous mutations. They assumed bacteria were stupid, when in reality bacteria are highly sentient. They communicate by means of a sophisticated language – as sophisticated as ours. They recognize their kin. They protect their offspring. They create chemicals designed to produce specific outcomes in living systems, which certainly fits any definition of tool-making.

Weve tended to view bacteria as a collection of single-celled entities, but when many of them join together, its more proper to look at them as a swarm intelligence. And complex organisms such as plants, animals, and insects are, in essence, communities of bacteria.

Ahuja: How does bacterial resistance challenge the current medical model?

Buhner: Since the end of World War II, the medical establishment has been promising that we are heading for some sort of disease-free future in which we will live to be 120 and never get sick. They almost imply that they can cure death. Scientists’ inability to predict the bacterial response undermines the entire world view that the allopaths disseminated – and still disseminate – about disease and the nature of the world around them. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that, in 2011, 722,000 people picked up infections in hospitals. About 75,000 of those patients died during their hospitalizations. And some sources give a much higher figure for annual deaths from hospital-acquired infections.

The allopaths’ lock on medical practice, which they insisted would create safer outcomes for the public, has not done so. All it has done is give one orientation toward healing a virtual monopoly on practice.

Ahuja: How would you treat a resistant infection with herbs?

Buhner: One woman who had undergone multiple antibiotic regimens over several years for a resistant staph infection (MRSA) came to me for help. She was about to lose her foot to the disease. It took a month to turn her condition around using an African herb called Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. Commonly used to treat malaria, it is also a broad-spectrum, systemic antibacterial with no side effects – at least, after twelve years of use, I have seen none.

Vancomycin is the antibiotic often used for staph infections. Besides being frequently ineffective, it has a long list of side effects. In general, herbal medicines have fewer or no side effects. They are composed of hundreds of synergistic compounds, whereas pharmaceuticals have just one compound, or perhaps a few. We have been at this antibiotic business only a century or so. Bacteria have been around for 3.5 billion years:

This begs the question, will not bacteria eventually become resistant to plant medicines? I love Buhner’s answer.

Buhner: With a pharmaceutical, the bacteria analyze the single compound and generate solutions to it, which they then pass on to other bacteria. Plants, on the other hand, generate multiple compounds that deactivate resistance mechanisms in the bacteria and enhance the activity of the plant’s natural antibacterials. Bacteria cannot easily counteract that kind of complexity. Also, plants aren’t trying to kill all the bacteria on Earth. They merely want to create a balance in which the plants and bacteria set limits on each other’s behavior.

Ahuja: There seems to be a general view that herbal medicine is fine for coughs and colds, but when something gets serious, you go to a conventional doctor.

Buhner: The pharmaceutical companies’ advertising campaigns are very good. We have been trained to think of technological medicine as the only reliable type and other approaches as outdated remnants of a prescientific age. Yet the majority of people I have met don’t much like doctors or hospitals. The one thing modern medicine is good at is trauma. If I get hit by a car, I will go to a hospital. But other than antibiotics and some surgeries, hospitals have little they can offer to cure disease. They can only address the symptoms.

Pharmaceutical companies are in business to make as much money as they can. They try to develop drugs you have to take for years and years, such as medicines for high blood pressure or depression. You don’t get well; you just keep taking the drug.

Buhner then cites an example of herbal practice in Africa, where the people can’t afford Western drugs and the infrastructure there doesn’t support drug manufacturing.  Local healers in Nigeria, for example, were asked what herbs they were using. Researchers then took the seeds from the best and most effective herbs and gave them to the people so they could grow their own plant herbs. This had a very empowering impact upon the people, not to mention its ecological friendliness.

I will continue sharing Stephen Buhner’s perspectives in the next post. I will close this post with words of a colleague in the healing field. “Nothing is wrong. Everything matters.” Allopathic medicine has played an important role in healthcare and continues to play a crucial role in the emergency room of our hospitals. On the other hand, pharmaceutical medicine’s days are numbered. Already pharmaceutical companies are getting out of the antibiotic business for two reasons. One, they don’t make a lot of money with the drug’s short-term usage. Two, “they know antibiotics are going to fail, and they don’t want to be the one holding the bag when they do.” According to Buhner’s latest information, the U.S. Government is taking over antibiotic research and production and will take all the blame when it crashes, and crash it will. “As David Livermore, the top antibiotic resistance researcher in Britain, put it, “It is naive to think we can win.”◊

Until my next post, here’s to your health and prosperity throughout the coming New Year.

Anthony Palombo, D.C.

Visit my HealthTones.org blog for more exploratory articles in the field of healing and transformation.