Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Opinion Piece - Simple & Effective vs Expensive

A news story the other day just fried me to no end.  It seems Gilead Sciences, an american pharmaceutical company is licensing  their hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, to 7 Indian companies, to make it more available to 91  developing nations. The usual cost is $1000. per pill. A 12 week regimen would cost $84,000.! Gilead is also going to introduce their own product at only $300. per pill. What a great company huh?  What galls me is the simple fact that milk thistle ( Silybum marianum) is probably the best natural product on earth to treat any liver problem, including all the forms of hepatitis. In the american market, a guaranteed potency product with 85 % sllymarin is only about $ 20.00  a month. Are you kidding me?  Over the years we have had two of our customers taken off the liver transplant list simply by using milk thistle seed extract! We even have doctors who hand out our informational literature to their patients because they have seen the results of using milk thistle by their own patients.
The pharmaceutical industry must be responsible to its investors, so instead of looking at an alternative, which could probably be grown in the countries targeted, become a cash crop to help the developing nations, and maybe cut american health costs, the big guys will just keep gouging us and putting out press releases to make everyone think they are responsible corporations. Unbelievable...

Monday, October 27, 2014

MRSA, Oxycontin/Oxycodone substitutes, False claims

NATURES  Rx  May  2009

Lots of notes this month.
Recently my wife, Kathy Duffy, spent our entire radio program covering the topic of MRSA(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Many of you have heard of MRSA, and have heard you must wash your hands or use anti bacterial  hand cleaners  frequently.  The problem arises when people over use the hand cleaners and the germs continue to become more resistant. Fortunately, several studies are showing Tea Tree oil( Melaleuca  alternafolia) in strong (5%or more) concentrations are destroying MRSA colonies. Kathy explained how mixing several essential oils in combination was effective in controlling the MRSA. The oils discussed included Tea tree, True Lavender( Lavandula angustifolia), Oregano(Origanum vulgaris),Eucalyptus( Eucalyptus globulus), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), Palmarosa (Cymbopogon motia), and Bergamot (Citrus bergamia).  Recipes were given and concentrations were discussed during the program. I am a bit reluctant to go into detail in the column, for fear people will go to the bath shops or perfume counter and buy cheap and mislabeled  fragrances. The show is available on cassette or CD for a nominal fee. The show notes are available at HERBARIUM free of charge. Kathy stressed  repeatedly you must use pure therapeutic grade oils  and change the ratios frequently.

I read in the morning paper there is a shortage of Oxycodone and Oxycontin in  Western Mass and indeed the whole country but the pharmaceutical companies say they wil have enough to go around by May. Why am I mentioning it? In the story it stated people are using Oxycontin and its generic form for bursitis, and arthritis and lower back pain. Wow!  The article also stated abuse of this drug can lead to addiction. Folks, I know people who used this stuff for a few days and got hooked! Oxy is a great drug for severe pain, but for heavens sake try something safe and effective and non-addicting for arthritis bursitis and lower back pain. How about a chiropractor?  Massage? How about Tumeric, California poppy, Jamaican Dogwood, Scullcap, Mineral tea(HERBARIUM blend) mineral supplements such as magnesium?  It seems to me people are using a cannon to kill a fruit fly here.

Two more articles appeared recently. One reported fish oil did not offer much help for heart attack patients.  Of course when the subjects are all using blood thinners, a cholesterol medication and aspirin, the addition of ONE fish oil capsule probably would not help. How could you tell?  Wouldn’t having a control group using only the fish oil  have been a better test? How about using a therapeutic dose? One tablespoon of fish oil is usually recommended, (for those of you in Rio Linda, that would be about nine capsules).
The other story was a column from Jane Brody of the New York Times. Ironically enough the story appeared on April Fools Day.  She stated that vitamin E was bad for you. Unfortunately, Ms Brodie did not check her facts. There was no study, it was in fact a meta- analysiswhich is very different. I was interviewed by TV22  the day this story first appeared and  read the American Heart Association press release. It was four paragraphs long, three of which talked about the safety  and efficacy of Vitamin  E for a variety of problems,at the normal dose of 400iu’s. The Heart Association said doses of 1200-2000 iu’s of vitamin E should not be taken without a doctors’ supervision. This was a non story and still is.   This woman had the gall to pull up a story that was FIVE YEARS OLD and had been discredited by several  publications and organizations since then.  Why? Journalistic integrity indeed….
 If you want real information and need to check facts try websites such as Medline plus,  Pub Med, National Institute of Health or the National Library of Medicine just to name a few.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Homeopathy, Vitamin D

Natures Rx Feb.2010

In the November 2009 issue, I addressed a question on homeopathy. I recently heard my old buddy Dr. Dean Edell make disparaging remarks about it, going so far as to say that Congress won’t do anything about this hocus pocus because they are afraid of our powerful lobby. Folks, in a weird way he is right. We do have the most powerful lobby in the country, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.  Congress should be damned afraid of us.  Check for yourself, the natural products industry in total can’t come up with the lobbying money of even one pharmaceutical company agri-business or food processor. But we have the vote.
Check out the DVD ”Food Inc.” or Michael Moore’s films about the health industry. Then you tell me who has the power in Washington. We, the PEOPLE actually have the last word, unfortunately our”representatives” like to push us up against the wall before we act. Act we have and act we will.
 Back to the main issue of homeopathy. I admit it is hard to fathom how a greatly diluted ingredient can have such an effect on the body, but to say it is all in our head is ludicrous. Answer me this, then. When homeopathic remedies are administered to animals and they respond and recover how did the person convince the dog or horse that it would work? Hmmmmmm.

Dear Jonathan, I recently was told by my doctor that I am deficient in Vitamin D. He prescribed 50,000 units. Isn’t that a high dose?  Anita, Springfield

Dear Anita, it does seem high compared to what used to be recommended, but that is a question for your doctor. I am sure he knows what he is doing for your situation. In general, everyones vitamin D levels are low. The government raised the level a couple of years ago. People who live in the northern part of the country do not get the sunlight which helps your body to produce vitamin D. Women especially are at a disadvantage because many of their skin products contain sunscreen products to protect against wrinkles and skin cancer.  Many of our customers are taking a supplemental 1-2,000 units of vitamin D-3 to help normalize their amounts.  There was a big push for the vitamin to help with your calcium absorption ( we have discussed this in past columns) What has been taking center stage is the latest studies showing  low levels of vitamin D being associated with increased incidence of colds and flu and other studies showing definite anti cancer activity. I am sure your high dose prescription is only for a short time to get your blood levels up to par, then you will probably be able to use a supplemental amount as I described earlier.

Dear Jonathan, I am taking a cholesterol medicine and the doctor noted my liver enzymes were not normal. I have to take the medicine, but I am worried about possible damage to my liver. Do you have any suggestions.  Beth, West Springfield

Dear Beth, I will do another column on cholesterol in the near future. In the meantime, try Milk Thistle.
It is the best liver tonic available. It can lower cholesterol, help normalize liver function, and even help regenerate liver tissue. It is an amazing gift of nature.

Monday, October 13, 2014


NATURES Rx    December 2009

Hello friends, recently I have received a surprising number of questions concerning asthma.  After talking to several people it appears that raking leaves is the culprit. Stirring up dust dirt and mold spores
Has triggered quite a few reactions. Granted this is not the only reason, but if you have been having problems and you have been doing yard work, it might be something to explore.
  It is estimated over 12 million Americans have asthma. There are two types. One is triggered by allergies ,one  has no known cause.  Some nutrients that may be helpful include magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin C. Other nutrients include beta glucan, CoQ 10, quercetin, essential fatty acids, MSM, and probiotics.
  Herbally, Astagalus, Butterbur, Elderberry, Eyebright Ginger, Mullein, Licorice and Nettle root have been found to help. From the Ayurvedic tradition comes Boswellia ,Khella, and Coleus Forskohli. One of the best remedies was Ma-Huang, or Chinese ephedra, but because some stupid and greedy marketers put it into diest pills and some stupid athletes and other people decided to take way over the recommended doses while taking other medicines  some seriuous problems arose. The Food and Drug Administration pulled MaHuang off the shelves several years ago.( Gee whiz, I thought the FDA said they didn’t have the authority to do that. Hmph, guess they were wrong.) You still may find asthma or respiratory formulas that contain American ephedra, or Brigham tea. The American form is milder, but it is hard to find. HERBARIUM has several products for asthma. Kathy’s DETOX tea is a favorite and is very effective for any and all respiratory problems, as is HERBARIUM brand Respir-ease. Buried Treasure hads a liquid formula that shares many of the same ingredients as the DETOX tea. B&T brand makes several homeopathic formulas for adults and children that can safely be used even if you are on inhalers. Finally there are several essential oils that can help  including Eucalyptus, Rosemary,tea tree, Pep

Monday, October 6, 2014

Flu Shot & Alternatives

Nature’s Rx February 2009

Dear Jonathan, I recently heard on the news that everyone should get a flu shot and that the standard treatment is not working.  I hear a lot of people say they got the flu after taking the shots.  What do you recommend?      Ed- Agawam.
Dear Ed, I recommend you do what is best for you.   Talk with your doctor. I am not here to say don’t get a shot.  There are many people who are at great risk due to other illnesses, compromised immune systems, the young, the elderly, etc.  And they must do what is most beneficial for their health and well being.  Some people would not think of skipping their flu shots and there are others who would not get a shot if you paid them.  That is their choice. Many people have jobs and activities that put them in contact with sick people, be it retail work or a typical office environment. People will also not take care of themselves with enough rest and let themselves get run down which is a perfect opening for the flu bug.
 I have always thought the best way to avoid getting the flu is to keep your immune system functioning at peak levels. Remember, even getting the flu shot is not a guarantee you won’t get the flu.   In the natural realm there are some very effective products that can keep you as healthy as you can be and increase your chances of not getting the flu.

One of the best items in the well being arsenal is Elderberry (Sambucus nigra). Researchers in Israel found compounds in the elderberry that help to blunt the protein “spikes” of the flu virus which prevents the virus from penetrating the cell wall and turn your cells into virus factories. Add to that good ol’ vitamin C and you have a great combination. The vitamin C helps to strengthen the cell walls, so the C builds a tougher barrier; the elderberry blunts the spike, and good bye virus!

Zinc is a healing nutrient that is required for a robust immune system. Zinc lozenges are especially good as the zinc coats your throat and disrupts the virus’s ability to reproduce. This little trick was discovered by accident when a doctor couldn’t get a person to swallow her zinc tablets and suggested she suck on it. As it turned out she reported her sore throat had disappeared and the doctor was inspired to do further investigation.
Echinacea (angustifolia) is a traditional herb for colds and flu. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and works as an immune system modulator.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) is a well known herb used to help relieve fever, chills and achiness. It is often taken in combination with Echinacea.
Homeopathically, you may have heard of Oscillococcinum. This is a combination that many people swear by. These are usually found in three dose packages. Follow the instructions and you can knock out the flu before it has a chance to get you.
 There are a variety of medicinal mushrooms which can work well to guard against the flu. You can take these mushrooms individually, in prepared formulas or add them to your diet. Being of Polish extraction, I love a good hearty mushroom soup in the winter and when I can add medicinal mushrooms to the recipe that is just the icing on the cake!
Look for Agaricus blazei, Ice Man polypore, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Maitake (Grifola frondosa), Shitake (Lentinula edodes), Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus) or Cordyceps, (Cordyseps sinensis). These mushrooms have very powerful anti viral and immune enhancing activities.
One of the best products I have ever come across is call ACF (Acute Cold and Flu) formula by Buried Treasure. It is a liquid combination containing just about every cold or flu fighter you can think of, and it does the trick.
  There are dozens of other herbal and nutritional supplements available, too numerous to name for this article, but if you can start with any combination of the aforementioned items, you will be that much farther ahead in the game.

I know we have been focused on the flu, but colds are still knocking people for a loop. All of the items I have written about also fight colds. Besides, when you are coming down with something you do not know if it is a cold or flu, so why not use a combination of herbs that are anti viral, anti bacterial and immune enhancing?  So whether you get a flu shot or not, there are many natural l ways of protecting yourself and your loved ones.