Herbal Medicine

Herbal High Road Can Alleviate Pain Precisely: Formulas for Acutely Painful Conditions Aimed at Restoring and Correcting Underlying Pathology

July 7, 2020

Pain is of course a good way to get our attention that something is wrong in the body. We can ignore less urgent symptoms for months and even years on end, but not pain. Treatment of patients with painful conditions and acute pain often has several goals. We expect to offer something that will assuage […]

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Petasites for Pain and Inflammation

June 30, 2020

The Petasites genus comprises 15 to 20 species, and all have been used to treat pain, inflammation, and allergic hyperreactivity. Petasites species are large-leaved, moisture-loving plants native to temperate woodlands of northern Asia, Europe, and North America. They are sometimes referred to by the general name sweet coltsfoot because of similarity to Tussilago. Petasites are in the Senecioneae tribe of the Asteraceae […]

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Seaweed, Chewing Gum, and GERD

June 23, 2020

Botanical Insights Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine (H2) acid blocking drugs are the mainstay of acid reflux treatment. With an estimated 100 million people experiencing occasional symptoms, and 15 million suffering from heartburn on a daily basis, sales of these drugs currently exceed 10 billion dollars per year. However, the innocuous public opinion regarding ant-acid […]

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Traveler’s Diarrhea: Prevention and Treatment

June 16, 2020

Spending half the year in third-world countries for the past 5 years has put traveler’s diarrhea high on my radar. Statistics have shown that traveler’s diarrhea is almost part of the price of traveling to exotic locales and is somewhat hard to avoid when venturing outside of cloistered 5-star hotels. And if you are not […]

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Materia Medica Review for Gastrointestinal Inflammation

June 9, 2020

Irritable bowel, food intolerances, stress-related digestive disorders, ulcerative pathologies, and infectious and dysbiotic gastrointestinal complaints are among the most common of all patient complaints in general family practice. The acute pain, nausea or bloating, and discomfort occurring with many of these conditions will respond well to herbal therapies, especially teas because direct surface contact is […]

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Botanical Management of Difficult Skin Conditions: Psoriasis and Vitiligo

June 2, 2020

In the May issue I wrote a general article on research of herbs affecting collagen and the health of the skin. My investigations turned up so much interesting research on a variety of skin conditions that I wanted to continue presenting the information in this issue. I would like to share information on Apiaceae family […]

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Photosensitizing Herbs: Skin Diseases and Cancers

May 26, 2020

Although photosensitizing herbs are a cause of concern for obvious skin damage and dermal inflammation, they also have many medicinal effects when used in appropriate dosages. The main photosensitizing herbs are in the Apiaceae family, but Monarda of the Lamiaceae family is photosensitizing, and the most potent photosensitizer known is hypercin in Hypericum of the Hyperiaceae family. The Apiaceae […]

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Protecting and Supporting Skin Integrity

May 19, 2020

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve investigated the research on skin supportive herbs. I’m not getting any younger and cosmetic injections are not my style. And I’m not that vain as to consider surgical methods. I just wanted to do my homework on what research was out there on herbs and the skin, which I’ve summarized below. Are […]

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Botanical Management of Streptococcal Infections of the Skin

May 12, 2020

Group A streptococci are a leading human pathogen and worldwide health issue. In chronic skin infections, the goal of supporting a healthy ecosystem to invite desirable microbes and protective skin barriers should be equal to the combat of the pathogen. Herbs are excellent in this regard as they can simultaneously support skin health and provide […]

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Using Plants to Treat the Spirit

May 4, 2020

Plants are living beings. Although most of my articles have focused on the plant-based chemistry and research of botanical medicine in terms of diseases, enzyme systems, antioxidant activities, etc., what first got me interested in botanical medicine was a love of nature and the plant realm. I am comforted in the forest; I find joy […]

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Herbal Treatment Approaches to Insomnia

April 28, 2020

Sleep, and probably even dreaming, is essential to good health. Over the years I have seen enough people with sleep disorders to group them into several general categories: basic stress and nervous disorders, blood sugar and cortisol dysregulation, menopausal and hormonal imbalances, and musculoskeletal pain and physical restlessness. Each of these is best addressed with […]

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Anxiety and Depression: A Materia Medica Review

April 7, 2020

By numerous accounts, a large percentage of the US population is using antidepressant and anxiolytic medications. This may say a lot about the condition of the human heart and soul. A 2005 survey1 done by Kaiser Permanente reported that the use of antidepressants by youth, mostly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, doubled in the decade between 1994 […]

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Botanical Therapies for Headaches

March 24, 2020

Headache Pathophysiology and Botanical Considerations Headache is one of the most common medical complaints treated in general clinical practices and is a significant public health burden, in terms of suffering, disrupted family interactions, and lost work and wages. Headaches can have numerous underlying causes, such as stress, hormonal, vascular, allergic, dysglycemia, exhaustion, chronic constipation, and […]

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Opiate Addiction: Pathophysiology and Herbal Interventions

March 24, 2020

Opiate addiction is an enormous and devastating health  problem worldwide, with over 5 million active addicts in the United States alone.1 And not only the addict is affected; marriages suffer or are ruined; jobs are lost; meaningful relationships to people, other hobbies, nature, and the world at large are lost; and, most of all, the mind […]

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All About Autoimmune Thyroiditis

March 17, 2020

Autoimmune diseases of the thyroid are on the rise worldwide, believed to be due to nutritional and environmental factors including exposure to heavy metals, organochlorides, pesticides,1 and tobacco smoke.2 Autoimmune thyroid disease, namely Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, involve T cell-mediated inflammatory processes and affect approximately 5% of the population; the incidence of elevated anti-thyroid antibodies is […]

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Improving Estrogen Dominance With Food and Herbal Medicine

March 10, 2020

Estrogen dominance is extremely common in the general U.S. population and is associated with the discomforts of PMS, the pathologies of breast cysts, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, as well as contributory to the emergence of hormone-related cancers such as breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancer. For several decades, an unanswered question has been whether […]

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Melissa and Other Dopaminergic Herbs Useful in Treatment of PCOS

March 3, 2020

Dopamine is increasingly being recognized as a key regulatory neurohormone in the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Dopamine and L-Dopa inhibit the release of some pituitary hormones. Most notable are prolactin and luteinizing hormone (LH); possibly inhibited is thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and, in some cases, so is growth hormone (GH). Insulin response and complex feedback loops […]

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Book Review – Herbal Formularies for Health Professionals, Volume 1: Digestion and Elimination

February 27, 2020

Medical Resources for NDs: A Review of Current Publications for the Naturopathic Industry After reading this first volume from Dr Jill Stansbury, my immediate reaction was that I can’t wait for the remaining 4 in her series. Herbal textbooks are not widely available, to begin with, and this series promises to be a cornerstone not […]

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Inositol Compounds: Effects on Fertility, Ovarian Function, & Insulin

February 18, 2020

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of infertility, affecting from 5-10% of all women. PCOS is commonly associated with insulin resistance, even in those with a normal body mass index (BMI). Insulin-sensitizing compounds not only improve insulin resistance and reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, they may also improve ovarian response to […]

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Treating Autoimmune Diseases: A Functional Approach for Practitioners

February 13, 2020

If you have patients with an autoimmune condition, it’s not surprising. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a division of the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune diseases affect over 23 million Americans.1 Other estimates push this number to over 50 million, because while there at least 80 different autoimmune-related diseases and conditions, only […]

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Calming Effects of Lavender Comparable to Diazepam

February 11, 2020

  Lavender is a flowering plant from the mint family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae) and is known not only for its beautiful purple flower and sweet fragrance, but also for its calming and soothing effects.  Diazepam is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, and certain types of seizures. Known commercially as […]

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The Emerging Diagnosis of Lower Urinary Dysfunctional Epithelia

February 11, 2020

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is frequently reported to affect women 5 times more often than men; however, these statistics may reflect the fact that men are often labeled as having nonbacterial chronic prostatitis rather than IC. In many cases, the symptoms of chronic nonbacterial prostatitis may be identical to and indistinguishable from the symptoms of IC […]

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Curcumin: A Potential Powerhouse for RA Treatment

February 6, 2020

In conventional practices, NSAIDs and glucocorticoids are used the most frequently for RA treatment, but they also bring with them a host of side effects, especially in long-term use. Possible adverse effects include stomach and liver damage, allergic reactions, lowered immunity, increased blood pressure, lowered red blood cell activity (myelosuppression), and increased risk of osteoporosis.1,2 Worse […]

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PSA: A Failed Screening Test

February 5, 2020

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protease produced by prostate cells to liquefy the semen. Though it is found in non-prostatic cells in minute amounts, it is largely a product of the prostate and thus fairly specific for problems in that organ. Unfortunately, the idea that PSA levels are a direct marker of lethal prostate cancer […]

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Hypericum Lights the Path Toward New Bladder Cancer Therapies

February 4, 2020

St John’s wort for cancer? Bladder cancer is more common in men, for unknown reasons, and is most frequent in later decades of life, presumably due to long-term exposure to carcinogens and epithelial irritants. Carcinoma of transitional epithelium is the most common type of bladder cancer, followed by squamous cell carcinoma, which is most often […]

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The Harmony of Inside-Out and Outside-In: A Comprehensive Approach to Skin Conditions

January 30, 2020

As naturopathic doctors, we have a comprehensive approach to treating our patients. In this way, we differ from conventional practitioners of medicine. One way this is very evident is our perception and care for our patients’ skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body and can be seen as a barometer of what […]

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Urinary Colic & Lithiasis

January 28, 2020

Herbal Specifics Renal colic due to kidney stones can present as vague to excruciating pain, no matter the size of calculi. Renal colic pain is not due to the stone itself, but rather is due to obstruction of the urinary flow by the kidney stone causing increased pressure on the urinary tract wall, smooth muscle […]

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Interstitial Cystitis In Men

January 25, 2020

Tolle Causam For a long time the medical dogma has been that interstitial cystitis (IC) affects women 10 times more often than men.1 This idea was flawed for several reasons, particularly the simple absence of any attempt to look for IC in men with pelvic pain and instead labeling them as having chronic prostatitis. A large […]

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Addressing Acute Allergy Concerns Naturally

January 23, 2020

I occasionally have been guilty of wanting to be the quintessential ND, looking comprehensively at a patient’s presentation, scrupulously following our principles and digging deep to understand the multifactorial clinical tapestry as to effectively “identify and treat the cause(s),” unfortunately, sometimes all the while ignoring our hierarchy of care and the patient’s acute concerns: his […]

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Picrorhiza & Neopicrorhiza: Applications in Allergic & Inflammatory Lung Disorders

January 21, 2020

Neopicrorhiza schrophulariiflora and Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora have been used traditionally for allergies, asthma, and inflammatory disorders, including liver disease. Neopicrorhiza grows in high-altitude locales of the Himalayas and is an herbaceous perennial plant of the Scrophulariaceae family whose leaves, stems, and roots are used medicinally. Picrorhiza kurroa was the species originally used in Ayurvedic medicine; however, due to severe overharvesting, it is now […]

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The Stars of Medicine

January 20, 2020

Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine Naturopathic medicine is a practice of medicine that focuses on holistic care, proactive prevention, comprehensive diagnosis, and non-invasive treatment. By using interventions that are all-natural or low-risk, naturopathic doctors help restore the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors (also known as NDs) are hybrid doctors; we are trained not […]

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Beyond Saw Palmetto: The Complexity Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

January 15, 2020

The common condition benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) remains relatively poorly understood clinically. There is much room for improvement, including a long way to go beyond just providing Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) and clearing up all the misunderstanding of this herb’s role, in general. In this article, the causes of BPH will be discussed along with approaches to […]

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Choosing Among Adaptogen Herbs

January 5, 2020

Adaptogens, or safe herbs that help patients cope with stress, occupy a place of prominence in herbal medicine. Stress is a major factor in creating mind-body illness, and adaptogens are a useful part of correcting imbalances. Naturopathic physicians are generally familiar with the common adaptogens and many prescribe them routinely. However, many adaptogens are frequently […]

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Herbs For Sperm Disorders

December 29, 2019

Decreasing sperm counts and impaired function leading to reduced fertility are a major problem in the Western world, and growing worse. Numerous reports have documented declining mean sperm counts and increasing rates of asthenospermia in developed nations over the past 50 years (Carlsen et al., 1992; Auger et al., 1995). These trends have been increasingly […]

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Chronic Prostatitis & Pain: Getting To The Root And Resolving It

December 22, 2019

“Chronic prostatitis” is a common but under-recognized, poorly researched entity that addresses a spectrum of disease in men. It includes interstitial cystitis (IC), a condition formerly believed to occur largely in women until men were actually inspected and found to have it at similar rates; chronic pelvic floor hypertonicity; and non-inflammatory and neuropathic chronic pain […]

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Hypertension: A Symptom, Not A Disease

December 12, 2019

Tolle Causam Hypertension is regularly mismanaged in conventional and naturopathic medicine. The tyranny of the concept of “essential hypertension,” coupled with the widespread tendency to treat hypertension as a disease rather than a symptom, is at the root of this problem. Here, a more holistic approach to the patient with elevated blood pressure will be […]

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Cinnamon, Spice And Everything Nice: Insulin-Sensitizing Spices

December 4, 2019

In recent years, several common spices have received attention as possible insulin sensitizers. Many of these spices, including Cinnamomum spp (cinnamon, cassia) bark and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) flower buds, were once central players in the spice trade. These and similar flavorful, well-known herbs could become critical components for helping people overcome or avoid metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. Cinnamon […]

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Xenoestrogens: The Assault On Reproductive Health

December 3, 2019

Synthetic compounds structurally distinct from estrogen that nevertheless act as estrogen receptor agonists are known as xenoestrogens. The list of xenoestrogenic compounds that industry has polluted the globe with is long and growing—dioxins, phthalides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), DDT, organochlorines, bisphenol A, and so on. The worsening estrogenic soup we appear to be bathing ourselves and […]

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From Herbalist to Author: the Writer’s Journey

September 24, 2018

How long does it take to publish a textbook series? For this naturopathic doctor and renowned herbalist, the journey spans nearly a decade. “I think this is the culmination of my many notes and class handouts and conference venues and powerpoint presentations or lecture notes that I would give to students or give to conference attendees. […]

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