It is ironic that just as the world seems to be emerging from one global catastrophe, as if on cue, another one comes along to take its place. The war between Russia and Ukraine has become a significant source of stress for many people around the world. In this case, the stress as well as the conflict's geographic and historical associations may call to mind a specific herb, known for its role in stress relief.
Sodium is an essential constituent of every tissue in the body, whereas mercury is a toxin with no known role in physiology. Salt is so crucial to physiology that many mammals will actively seek it out in the form of salt licks and so important to humans that it was once used as currency, whereas mercury exposure is associated with neurodegenerative disease and is widely feared. But if a patient suffers from hypertension it is likely to be salt they are told to avoid, even though a drastic reduction in sodium intake has been shown to have only a minimal effect on blood pressure, resulting in average reductions in the order of 5.5/2.8 mm Hg .
It's hard to think of a chronic disease that has not in some way been associated with excessive inflammation and/or excessive weight gain. It's also hard to think of a more elegant way to naturally address both of these concerns than by correcting the ratio of omega-three to omega-six fats in the body since a preponderance of omega-six from consuming diets high in linoleic acid is now thought to be a major contributor to both.
As a healthcare provider, there are few things more satisfying than watching a patient's condition improve or resolve completely with a single treatment. Among the many holistic treatment modalities, homeopathy is one of few that targets the vital force directly, and has been the agent of some of the most dramatic natural cures, in some cases the sole agent. In some cases, it is a single dose of a single remedy, and these cases are perhaps the most satisfying although more often, it requires repetition of the remedy or multiple remedies to achieve a satisfying result, as anyone who has worked with homeopathy knows.
Encouraging patients to make healthy lifestyle changes is integral to the practice of holistic medicine, since so many modern diseases relate directly to modern lifestyles. The new year provides a perfect occasion to prioritize this with patients, since so many people spontaneously resolve to relinquish old habits around this time, or begin new ones, often with the specific goal of improving their health. But we all know from experience how many of these people are likely to fail, and wonder perhaps if there are natural means to assist patients in keeping their new year’s resolutions to become healthier.
While science can discover new uses for plants, and prove what we already know, it often seems that in the realm of botanical medicine, there is tremendous pressure to use science from a defensive position, to justify the new “alternative” practice of continuing to do something that has worked for generations. From a world-historical perspective, the bizarre modern experiment of not using plants as the primary source of our medicines is in fact the alternative practice.
The seasonal transition to autumn brings with it cooler days and darker nights, but while some relish this change it can also wreak havoc on patients with certain mood disorders. The remarkable association between winter darkness and depression has been termed seasonal affective disorder, but the onset of autumn can affect other mood disorders as well. Less well-known is the autumn spike in manic episodes for patients with bipolar disorder, a condition increasingly recognized to follow complex seasonal patterns.
Sometimes, treating digestive disorders can require unraveling a complex tangle of interrelated psychological, immunological, and gastroenterological factors. It can involve identifying and addressing such problems as hypochlorhydria, histamine intolerance, hiatal hernia, microscopic colitis, ileocecal valve dysfunction, or a microbiome devastated by multiple rounds of antibiotics. Other times, the most intractable digestive disorders can be effectively addressed by simply eliminating one particular food trigger from the diet.
The prevalence of myopia, or an inability to see distance objects clearly, has skyrocketed in young children over the last year. After optometrists noticed an alarming increase in the number of children needing corrective lenses, a study published by the American Medical Association found that myopia has doubled and in some places
Given the rapidly aging population, there is an increasing demand for methods to support healthy brain aging and address the changes in cognitive function often associated therewith.
Although corticosteroid withdrawal is a verified phenomenon, and has been reported in some cases to persist as long as 6-12 months[i], patients are not supposed to be experiencing side effects years after discontinuing their medication. Yet, sometimes patients report stubborn weight gain, beginning while taking a course of corticosteroids, which never went away and seems to resist all efforts to reverse.