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Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease

Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease

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Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (6 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
1,989 pagine
30 ore
Pubblicato:
Sep 20, 2013
ISBN:
9781620551318
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

A scientifically based herbal and nutritional program to master stress, improve energy, prevent degenerative disease, and age gracefully

• Explains how adaptogenic herbs work at the cellular level to enhance energy production and subdue the pro-inflammatory state behind degenerative disease

• Explores the author’s custom adaptogenic blends for the immune system, cardiovascular health, thyroid function, brain health, and cancer treatment support

• Provides more than 60 monographs on herbs and nutritional compounds based on more than 25 years of clinical practice with thousands of patients

Weaving together the ancient wisdom of herbalism and the most up-to-date scientific research on cancer, aging, and nutrition, renowned medical herbalist and clinical nutritionist Donald Yance reveals how to master stress, improve energy levels, prevent degenerative disease, and age gracefully with the elite herbs known as adaptogens.

Yance’s holistic approach, called the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS), is based on extensive scientific research, more than 25 years of clinical practice, and excellent results with thousands of patients. It centers on four interconnected groups of health tools: botanical formulations, nutritional supplements, diet, and lifestyle. Defining three categories for adaptogenic herbs, he explains how formulations should combine herbs from each category to create a synergistic effect. He provides more than 60 monographs on herbs and nutritional compounds as well as custom combinations to revitalize the immune system, build cardiovascular health, protect brain function, manage weight, and support cancer treatment. He explains the interplay of endocrine health, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, thyroid function, and stress in the aging process and reveals how adaptogenic treatment begins at the cellular level with the mitochondria--the microscopic energy producers present in every living cell.

Emphasizing spirituality, exercise, and diet in addition to herbal treatments and nutritional supplements, Yance’s complete lifestyle program explores how to enhance energy production in the body and subdue the proinflammatory state that lays the groundwork for nearly every degenerative disease, taking you from merely surviving to thriving.
Pubblicato:
Sep 20, 2013
ISBN:
9781620551318
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Donald R. Yance Jr., CN, MH, RH (AHG), is a clinical master herbalist and certified nutritionist. He is the founder of the Mederi Centre for Natural Healing in Ashland, Oregon, the president and formulator of Natura Health Products, and founder and president of the Mederi Foundation. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.


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  • Even in healthy persons, the thymus naturally begins to shrink after puberty, eventually becoming barely discernable from surrounding tissue. In fact, shrinkage of the thymus is so common that it is considered by some to be one of the biomarkers of aging.

  • Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, nucleic acids, polyamines, and amino acids that synthesize connective tissue. It increases the overall numbers of white blood cells, acts as an antioxidant, and aids the secretion of growth hormone and insulin.

  • Elevated Uric Acid (Gout)A high uric acid level in the body, associated with the arthritic condition known as gout, has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular trouble;¹⁷⁷ men with gout have higher-than-average rates of heart attack and angina.

  • Implementing the use of adaptogens, along with a good dietary program, exercise, rest, and appropriate nutritional supplementation, is an excellent way to slow down aging, inhibit chronic disease, and improve the overall quality of life.

  • When ordering blood tests for my patients, I routinely run a glycated hemoglobin (also referred to as a hemoglobin A1c) test to evaluate their status. The ideal range for this marker is less than 5.8 percent.

Anteprima del libro

Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism - Donald R. Yance

ADAPTOGENS

in Medical Herbalism

"Donald Yance has yet again set a benchmark for complementary, botanical medical books. Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism is both thorough and accessible, and it provides clear understandings of the importance of these herbs in health and disease prevention. What distinguishes Donnie’s book from the many available in the field is his grasp of the essential issues and his deep exploration of the resources, demonstrated by his faultless referencing. It will become the standard by which future books will be judged.

DANIEL WEBER, PH.D., PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR INTEGRATIVE ONCOLOGY AND CHINESE MEDICINE, EDITOR OF THE JOURNAL OF CHINESE INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE, AND VICE CHAIR OF ONCOLOGY AT THE WORLD FEDERATION OF CHINESE MEDICINE SOCIETIES

A breakthrough in herbalism! This book should be in every household.

CHRISTOPHER VASEY, N.D., AUTHOR OF THE ACID–ALKALINE DIET AND OPTIMAL DETOX

"This is a wonderful, deeply informative, and comprehensive book. . . . I strongly recommend Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism to anyone who is devoted to preventing, healing, or recovering from a chronic condition. It is my hope and prayer that this book becomes a mainstay in general public education and dialogue as well as in integrative medicine and integrative oncology."

ROBERT ZIEVE, M.D., PRESIDENT OF THE CENTER FOR HEALTHY MEDICINE AND AUTHOR OF HEALTHY MEDICINE: A GUIDE TO THE EMERGENCE OF SENSIBLE, COMPREHENSIVE CARE AND BEYOND THE MEDICAL MELTDOWN: WORKING TOGETHER FOR SUSTAINABLE HEALTH CARE

Western medicine needs medical herbalism, and Donnie Yance provides comprehensive natural medical knowledge of adaptogens and their companions along with insightful information on vitality and health. The book also contains useful monographs and extensive journal references for practitioners.

STEVEN MAIMES, COAUTHOR OF ADAPTOGENS: HERBS FOR STRENGTH, STAMINA, AND STRESS RELIEF

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND DEDICATION

This book has been several years in the making, and I am deeply grateful to those who have provided inspiration, support, and encouragement along the way.

The late Dr. Ben Tabachnik, my friend and colleague, was instrumental in the creation of the adaptogen formulas that I use today that have benefited so many people. Although I had used adaptogens in my clinical practice for many years, meeting Ben in 1999 deepened my interest in these remarkable healing plants. As a senior scientist for the National Research Institute of Sport in Moscow during the 1970s and ’80s, Ben implemented scientific discoveries in biochemistry, pharmacology, and nutrition into the training programs of top-level athletes, including members of the Soviet Union’s national Olympic sprinting team. In 1990, Ben immigrated to the United States, where he continued to coach elite athletes. Ben’s first book in English, Soviet Training and Recovery Methods, introduced to the American public the concept of using natural anabolic agents—herbal adaptogens—for improving athletic performance. Ben maintained that the same catabolism (breaking down) that occurs in elite, competitive athletes could also be seen in normal people under everyday stressful conditions. In our collaboration, Ben and I were inspired to create adaptogenic formulas to benefit a wide range of people, from my patients with chronic diseases like cancer to anyone interested in maintaining optimal health and vitality.

Donald Yance with Dr. Ben Tabachnik, March 2003

I would like to dedicate this book with love and gratitude to a very special man in my life, Shelley Shelley. Shelley, whom I consider to be my adopted father, is truly an amazing man who has given and taught me so much. At two years shy of one hundred years of age, he believes wholeheartedly in the benefits of herbal and nutritional medicine. He is involved in and supportive of all of my endeavors and encourages me with his steadfast faith in the work I do. I also want to thank Paul Dujardin, another wonderful man whom I have known as long as Shelley, and who has also believed in me and supported me.

I also thank God as I know him in the cosmos and through my personal Eastern-Christian Franciscan faith, God as we find him in one another through our love, and God as we find her in all of nature—most especially in those humble healers we often call weeds.

I am grateful for my loving, beautiful, and supportive wife, Jen, who has unwaveringly held the vision for this book from the very beginning, and who has worked by my side through the lengthy process of bringing it to fruition. To my children, Stella, Coltrane, and Clarissa: may you be inspired by these plants and infused with their healing properties and wisdom throughout your lives. To Laurel Vukovic, I offer my gratitude for your tremendous ability to capture my voice and articulate my message to the world in an eloquent way; you are a gifted writer and a joy to work with. And my thanks also go to Suzanne Sky, who acted as the master architect in the early stages of organizing material for this book.

Donald Yance and Shelley Shelley

CONTENTS

Cover Image

Title Page

Epigraph

Acknowledgments and Dedication

Foreword by Dwight L. McKee

Introduction

WHY HERBAL MEDICINE?

ADAPTOGENS: THE FOUNDATION OF HEALTH

THE PRACTICE OF LISTENING

OUR HEALING JOURNEY

BEYOND SURVIVING: THRIVING

PART ONE: ADAPTOGENS

Chapter 1: My Healing Philosophy

TRADITIONAL HEALING

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN HERBAL MEDICINE

ELI JONES’S CONSTITUTIONAL APPROACH

THE ECLECTIC TRIPHASIC MEDICAL SYSTEM (ETMS)

Chapter 2: Adaptation and the Stress Response

A CONCEPTUAL VIEW OF STRESS AND WELLNESS

THE PROCESS OF ADAPTATION

HOMEOSTASIS: CLAUDE BERNARD AND WALTER CANNON

HANS SELYE’S GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME

ADAPTATION ENERGY

ALLOSTASIS AND ALLOSTATIC LOAD

PLASTICITY AND ADAPTATION

LIFE FORCE

ENERGY SYSTEM ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH

ADDICTION TO STRESS

ADAPTIVE CAPACITY: HEALING AND RECOVERY

Chapter 3: Vital Energy and the Neuroendocrine System

VITAL FORCE: MITOCHONDRIA, ATP, AND THE CELLULAR ENERGY SYSTEM

ANABOLIC (ENERGY-IN) AND CATABOLIC (ENERGY-OUT) METABOLISM

THE PROCESS OF ENERGY TRANSFER

VITAL ESSENCE: THE NEUROENDOCRINE SYSTEM

SELYE’S GAS MODEL AND THE STRESS RESPONSE

HOW STRESS AFFECTS THE ADRENAL GLANDS

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS: ORCHESTRATING THE RHYTHM OF THE LIFE FORCE

THE CHRONIC STRESS RESPONSE

ADAPTOGENS SUPPORT RECOVERY FROM THE STRESS RESPONSE

Chapter 4: The Metabolic Model of Aging

ENHANCING METABOLIC FUNCTIONING AND MAINTAINING IMMUNE PROTECTION

MITOCHONDRIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY

THE IMPACT OF OXIDATIVE STRESS

CELLULAR TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

THE HORMONAL NETWORK

ASSESSING YOUR METABOLIC AGE

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

PROTECTING BRAIN HEALTH

Chapter 5: Adaptogens, the Ultimate Evidence-Based Medicine

A MONUMENTAL ERA OF PARAMOUNT DISCOVERY

EARLY RESEARCH ON PANAX GINSENG

ELEUTHEROCOCCUS, THE PROTOTYPE ADAPTOGEN

ADAPTOGENS DEFINED

HOW ADAPTOGENS WERE INTRODUCED TO AMERICA

APPLICATION IN SPORTS MEDICINE

ADAPTOGENS AND THE NEUROENDOCRINE SYSTEM

ADAPTOGENS ENHANCE GENERAL RESISTANCE

ADAPTOGENS NORMALIZE THE HPA AXIS

ALLOSTATIC OVERLOAD AND CORTISOL

Chapter 6: Adaptogen-Based Formulations as the Foundation of Health

ADAPTOGENS IN MEDICINE

ADAPTOGENS BALANCE THE STRESS REGULATION SYSTEMS

THE PARADOX OF ADAPTOGENS

ADAPTOGENS REGULATE METABOLISM AND VITAL ENERGY

ADAPTOGENS REGULATE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

ADAPTOGENIC REMEDIES REPLENISH HEALTH

Chapter 7: Harmonizing with Adaptogenic Blends

AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO HEALTH

COMBINING HERBS FOR SUPERIOR RESULTS

ADAPTOGENS ENHANCE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF OTHER COMPOUNDS

CATEGORIES OF ADAPTOGENS: PRIMARY, SECONDARY, AND COMPANION ADAPTOGENS

CREATING HEALTH WITH ADAPTOGENIC BLENDS

Chapter 8: The Thyroid and the HPA Axis

THYROID DISEASE

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THYROID HEALTH

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF THYROID HORMONES

HOW ADRENAL HEALTH AFFECTS THE THYROID

ASSESSING ADRENAL-THYROID AXIS DEFICIENCY

BASAL METABOLIC RATE

BALANCING THE HPAT AXIS WITH HERBS AND NUTRITION

SPECIFIC COMPOUNDS TO SUPPORT THYROID FUNCTION

DIETARY MODIFICATIONS TO IMPROVE THYROID FUNCTION

Chapter 9: Cardiovascular Health

LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

TEN WAYS TO MAINTAIN CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

REGULATING ADMA

OTHER CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS

CONCLUSION

Chapter 10: Revitalizing the Immune System

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN STRESS AND IMMUNITY

CELLULAR ENERGY AND FREE RADICALS

THE IMMUNE-ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

THE THYMUS GLAND AND IMMUNE FUNCTION

ADAPTOGENS, STRESS, AND IMMUNITY

TUNING HORMONE ACTIVATION AND INFLAMMATORY PATHWAYS

IMMUNONUTRITION

Chapter 11: Adaptogenic Remedies in Cancer Therapy

A MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO HEALING

THE WHOLISTIC APPROACH TO TREATMENT

EVALUATE AND ADDRESS THE THREE MAIN ENERGETIC NETWORKS

THE ROLE OF ADAPTOGENS IN CANCER PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

THE IMPORTANCE OF IMMUNOTHERAPY IN CANCER TREATMENT

PHENOLIC COMPOUND ACTIVITY

RADIATION PROTECTION AND POTENTIATION

CHEMOPROTECTIVE ADAPTOGENS

ADAPTOGENS AS MODULATORS OF MULTIPLE CANCER-RELATED INFLAMMATORY PATHWAYS

INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT PLAN

Chapter 12: Healthy Brain and Aging in the Metabolic Model

MITOCHONDRIAL EFFICIENCY

GLYCATION

OXIDATIVE STRESS

HOMOCYSTEINE

NEUROENDOCRINE AND ENDOCRINE DYSFUNCTION

INFLAMMATION

ADAPTOGENIC REMEDIES THAT PROMOTE NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH

Chapter 13: Bone Health

COUNTERING THE FEARS

HEALTHY BONE FUNCTION AND PEAK BONE MASS

FOODS THAT IMPROVE BONE HEALTH

HERBAL MEDICINE FOR OSTEOPOROSIS

CONCLUSION

Chapter 14: Weight Management

MEASUREMENT OF OBESITY

THE HPAT AXIS, ENERGY METABOLISM, AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

METABOLIC SYNDROME, HORMONES, AND ABDOMINAL OBESITY

WHY WE GAIN WEIGHT AS WE AGE

A WHOLISTIC APPROACH TO WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Chapter 15: Exercise, the Best Medicine

ENERGY TRANSFER AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

THE EXERCISE HABIT FOR HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS

HOW ADAPTOGENS ENHANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE

Chapter 16: Eating for Optimal Health

WHICH DIET IS RIGHT?

THE ENERGETICS OF FOOD

THE COMPONENTS OF AN EXCELLENT BALANCED DIET

ENJOY FRESH, LOCAL FOOD IN SEASON

CREATE COLORFUL MEALS FOR HEALTH

CONSIDER YOUR ANCESTRAL HERITAGE

EAT LESS TO LIVE LONGER

EMBRACE THE SLOW FOODS MOVEMENT

BEVERAGES

GOOD NEWS ABOUT SIN FOOD

GOOD NUTRITION ALLEVIATES STRESS

Chapter 17: Mastering Life and Wellness through Spirit

OPTIMAL WELLNESS AND STRESS MANAGEMENT

SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY LIFE

THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE AND STOP WORRYING!

NURTURE CLOSE FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY

NOURISHING SPIRITUAL CONNECTION THROUGH CONTEMPLATION AND MEDITATION

FINDING MEANING THROUGH PRAYER

LOVE AS MEDICINE

NURTURING SPIRIT THROUGH ART AND MUSIC

LIVING WITH THE UNKNOWN

CULTIVATE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD LIFE’S TRANSITIONS

Conclusion to Part 1. The Future of Medicine

PART TWO: THE MONOGRAPHS

Acerola

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Amla/Indian Gooseberry

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Aralia

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Ashwagandha

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Astragalus

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

B Vitamins

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

Bacopa

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Bilberry

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Colostrum

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Cordyceps

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Creatine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Devil’s Club

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Elderberry

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Eleuthero

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Epimedium

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Eurycoma

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Fish Oil Rich in EPA and DHA

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Ginger

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Ginseng

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Glutamine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Goji Berry

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Gotu Kola

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Grape Seed, Grape Skin, and Japanese Knotweed (Hu Zhang)

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Green Tea

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Hawthorn

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

He Shou Wu

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Holy Basil

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

L-Arginine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

L-Carnitine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

L-Tryptophan

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Licorice

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Magnesium

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Marapuama

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Mucuna

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Mumie

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

NADH

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Nettle

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Notoginseng

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Oat Seed

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Pantethine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Pantocrine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Poria (Fu Ling or Fu Shen)

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Reishi

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Rhaponticum

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Rhodiola

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Rooibos

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Rose Hips

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Rosemary

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Royal Jelly (and Propolis)

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Saw Palmetto

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Schisandra

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Shatavari

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Siberian Pine Seed Oil

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Siberian Sea Buckthorn Oil

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Suma

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Tribulus

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

TRADITIONAL USE

MODERN RESEARCH

Turmeric

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Tyrosine

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Vitamin D3

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY:

MODERN RESEARCH

Whey Protein Concentrate

OVERVIEW AND AUTHOR’S COMMENTARY

MODERN RESEARCH

Appendix. The Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS)

THE WHOLISM OF ETMS

THE THREE BRANCHES OF ETMS

THE PRACTICE OF HEALTHY MEDICINE

Footnotes

Endnotes

Index

About the Author

About Inner Traditions • Bear & Company

Copyright & Permissions

FOREWORD

Ihave known Donnie Yance for over a decade and have actively collaborated with him for the past five years. We were drawn together by our mutual interest in developing a comprehensive approach to help people dealing with the challenges of cancer.

Following the completion of my medical training and internship in 1975, I began to explore what has become known variously as integrative, holistic (wholistic), or functional medicine. Many people with cancer who were interested in a similar approach sought me out as a clinician.

After studying many of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches to cancer therapy and having practiced integrative medicine for twelve years, I became frustrated by the limitations of what I was able to achieve, and I decided I needed to study the other side. Later, I became more appreciative of what I had been able to achieve with CAM after being immersed in the somewhat futile approach of conventional oncology to metastatic cancers, with the exception of germ cell tumors, lymphomas, and leukemias.

I returned to hospital-based postgraduate training in 1988, completing an internal medicine residency at Los Angeles County Hospital, followed by residencies at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Stanford University Medical Center. I then pursued a three-year fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, and did two years of research in tumor immunology in the immunology division of the Scripps Research Institute. After obtaining board certification in internal medicine, medical oncology, hematology, and, subsequently, nutrition, as well as integrative and holistic medicine (board certifications that had not been available when I was clinically active in these areas between 1975 and 1988), I began to practice the emerging discipline of integrative oncology—initially in a private and hospital-based practice, and then as a consultant to other physicians working with cancer patients, from both the integrative medicine and oncology sides.

When I first met Donnie in 1999, I was impressed with the depth and breadth of his knowledge of laboratory medicine, oncologic pathology, and molecular oncology, as well as his expertise in nutrition and botanical medicine. Despite his lack of formal training in medicine, Donnie knows more about molecular oncology than any oncologist I know, with perhaps the exception of myself. And although I have studied botanical medicine intensively for the past five years, I have no hope of ever matching Donnie’s expertise, which he has refined from more than twenty-five years of intensive study.

Botanical medicine encompasses a vast knowledge base. Students from four-year didactic botanical medicine programs (as used to exist in the United Kingdom) graduate with a mastery of 400 plant medicines. There are over 4,000 plant medicines in common use around the world, and more than tenfold that number known to have medicinal qualities. The only MDs I know who are true experts in this area studied and practiced herbal medicine for many years before going to medical school, as once in medical school and when practicing medicine thereafter it is very difficult to find the time and resources to even begin to master and integrate botanical medicine. even in naturopathic medical training, which emphasizes nutritional and botanical medicine a great deal more than conventional allopathic medical training does, there is not much more than a single year of study in botanical medicine. This is enough to get an overview of the field, but a huge amount of postgraduate training is necessary to develop true expertise in this field.

The emerging science of epigenetics—the ways in which our environment, diet, and lifestyle powerfully affect and modulate the expression of our genes—has made it clear to me that herbalists have been expertly manipulating epigenetics through their deep understanding of the impact of plant medicines on human health, without having any awareness that they are actually manipulating gene expression.

In the twentieth century, the rapidly escalating sciences of chemistry and pharmacology gave birth to the pharmaceutical industry, with the development of ever more potent compounds designed to inhibit specific targets within human metabolism and pathology. Many of our modern pharmaceutical compounds originally were isolated from plants, then purified, synthesized, and altered, both to increase potency and to make them patentable (since for some reason our current patent law developed to consider natural compounds as being unpatentable). In the developed world, such pharmaceutical compounds, active in the nanomolar to picomolar ranges, have largely replaced the botanical medicines of our ancestors, which we now know contain many complex chemical compounds, active in millimolar to micromolar ranges—about a thousand-to a millionfold less potent.

The high potency of pharmaceutical medicines is very valuable in the emergency medical setting, where we want to own the physiology of the patients in order to control it for their short-term benefit. However, we are learning that it is exactly the lack of such potency in botanical medicines that underlies their ability to modulate and integrate human physiology rather than control it; this is precisely what makes them so useful as long-term medicines. For example, emerging research in the field of epigenetics in cancer has shown that drugs that remove methyl groups from DNA do this in the regions where we want them to but also in the regions where we don’t want them to. Plant-derived polyphenols such as curcumin (from the spice turmeric) actually remove methyl groups from DNA in tumors from areas where we want them to (in order to restore expression of tumor suppressor genes) and also add them to DNA sequences that we would like to silence (such as oncogenes); this makes the tumor cells behave more like normal cells. None of our pharmaceutical drugs possess this apparent intelligence. Donnie would say that the intelligence exhibited by plant medicines derives from the divine source of all creation; evolutionary biologists would say that it derives from the intelligence of evolution, which is probably saying the same thing.

Simply put, pharmaceutical drugs are designed to suppress symptoms, not to reorganize and harmonize physiology. Since 1980, the consumption of prescription medications in the United States has increased eighteenfold, with a concomitant decline in most measures of health. Clearly, the strategy of a pill for every ill is not working well, at least in terms of public health.

This book focuses on the special botanical compounds and plants that have been identified as adaptogens, a term coined in the 1960s by Russian scientists, the story of which you will find within these pages. Adaptogenic compounds are almost exclusively plant derived, and they share the ability to increase resilience to stress of any sort—environmental, emotional, mental, or physical. They also normalize functions, raising those that are too low while dampening down those that are too high. In terms of plant intelligence, these are the geniuses of the plant kingdom. Many of the primary adaptogens are plants that grow in extreme and stressful environments, such as Siberia. Presumably the plants produce these adaptogenic compounds in order to survive under extreme conditions, and the same compounds lend this capacity to us when we consume these plants.

Despite the complexity and sophistication of modern medicine, plant medicines, which scientists have recently been investigating with sophisticated technologies, have been found to be equally if not more complex and are often not yet well understood on a mechanistic level—despite the fact that we have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years of successful use of them in maintaining and restoring human health. Many of the scientists who have chosen to study the inner workings of plant compounds are from Asian cultures that have their own rich traditions of botanical medicine, and their populations still largely depend on these plant remedies for healing.

What I would like to see is a new era of pharmaceutical medicine in which we return to bioidentical compounds—compounds that exist exactly as they do in plants, but produced in much greater quantities at much less cost by modern chemical synthesis—rather than their patentable high-potency analogues (though we would still have many of these on tap for use in acute and emergency medicine). These bioidenticals are chemical compounds that have come to us over the course of millions of years of plant evolution and have coevolved with insect, aquatic, invertebrate, mammalian, and human life.

Of course, plants can be toxic too, especially if misidentified or used inappropriately, but they are not the never-before-seen-on-earth products of pharmaceutical chemists, which have been designed to inhibit a specific enzyme, and which have been tested on rodents or in vitro tissue cultures and then studied in a few thousand humans for a few years. Often we don’t learn of the toxic effects of some of these medicines until they have been in widespread use for a decade or more.

I believe that developing bioidentical synthesized plant-derived compounds, to be used along with the actual plant extracts in all their amazing complexity, could spark a revolution in health care. Of course, there would be a huge amount of research involved and major innovations required in patent law and business models in order to successfully incorporate this approach into our existing systems. But I predict that these compounds would be found to be far safer and more useful in the long-term remediation of many of the complex chronic diseases that have largely replaced the infectious diseases of yesteryear. Indeed, I have recently heard of interest within the pharmaceutical industry in combining specific nutrients and herbs with pharmaceuticals in order to decrease some of their toxicity.

Perhaps a bioidentical revolution based on plant medicines will come to pass in pharmaceutical science and industry—or perhaps not. In the meantime, we can all improve and safeguard our health by studying the work of Donnie Yance and those like him who study both the wisdom of our ancestors and the knowledge from our current sciences, and learn which plants to eat, which ones to use for medicine, which ones to enhance our performance and vitality, and how to live our lives in a simpler, more natural, and healthier way.

DWIGHT L. MCKEE, MD, CNS, ABIHM

Dwight L. McKee, MD, CNS, ABIHM, is a diplomate of the American Boards of Medical Oncology and Hematology. He is board certified in nutrition, integrative medicine, and holistic medicine. He chairs the scientific advisory board of the Mederi Foundation, which promotes a wholistic, comprehensive approach to healing and wellness; is the scientific director for LifePlus International; and was a consultant to the San Diego Cancer Research Institute from 2002–2010.

INTRODUCTION

The quest for a long and vital life is ancient and universal. Throughout history, human beings have sought to optimize health and longevity, employing a variety of approaches, from the simple to the complex and from the mundane to the esoteric. Although Americans are living longer than ever before, their life expectancies lag far behind those of other developed nations and most of the population over the age of sixty-five has at least one chronic health condition, such as hypertension or arthritis, and poor overall quality of life.¹ As the average life span has increased, we have continued in our search for ways to improve our well-being and quality of life. I like to refer to this as healthy aging. The elderly population in the United States has grown from three million in 1900 to thirty-nine million in 2008, with a projected growth to almost ninety million by 2050. As our population ages, there is an increased risk of chronic disease and an overall decline in quality of life.² In 2005 133 million Americans—almost one out of every two adults—had at least one chronic illness.³ And seven out of ten American deaths each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke account for more than 50 percent of all deaths each year.⁴ This book provides a blueprint to providing a revolutionary and comprehensive approach to healthy aging.

Today, with so much information on health available, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. In addition, people often tell me how daunting it is to balance the everyday demands of life while incorporating the lifestyle choices that can help prevent disease.

Unfortunately, for many people a health crisis must occur before they pay attention to their health. While in the midst of a major heath challenge it can be overwhelming to make sense of the array of wholistic and conventional medical options. The reality is that few of us are prepared to handle the complicated decision-making process that a serious medical condition requires. Oftentimes I find that people want to do whatever it takes to get rid of the disease, regardless of the consequences and without a true understanding of the underlying causes that undermined their health in the first place and brought them to their current state of disease. This is one of the primary reasons why I encourage people to maintain optimum health while they are still healthy, rather than waiting until some kind of crisis occurs. The vital question remains: how can we achieve vibrant, lasting health and well-being?

In my personal pilgrimage as a practitioner of herbal and nutritional medicine, I am increasingly aware that most people I encounter, regardless of their complaint, condition, or disease, have a common theme underlying their poor health: the loss of true vitality. This loss of vitality affects people of all ages, economic and social statuses, and nationalities. I believe that we must exhaust all possible therapeutic resources in order to understand and address the root cause of this deficiency.

My research and clinical experience have led me to an understanding of the central role of vital energy in health, and I have observed how stress drains this vital energy, causing disease, premature aging, and chronic conditions of poor health. I believe that all living organisms possess a spirit-driven inner force, a cosmic intelligence that is the source of all biological phenomena and that directs all internal healing responses. This book explores how our individual vital energy and our unique personal and physiological responses to stress affect our health and longevity, and how a specific group of elite herbal remedies known as adaptogens—incorporated into a comprehensive integrative protocol based on botanical medicines, nutritional supplements, dietary improvements, and lifestyle changes—can dramatically improve our lives.

WHY HERBAL MEDICINE?

Herbal medicine utilizes botanicals as vital elements in treating chronic and acute illness. Fundamentally it is directed at addressing and removing the cause of suffering, enhancing a person’s constitution and vitality, and not merely alleviating symptoms. The underlying philosophy of traditional herbal medicine expresses the basic understanding that healing comes from the wisdom of God and is thus inherently found in nature.

Humans and plants have coevolved over millennia and are intimately and inseparably related, from food, through medicine and healing, to spirituality. Herbs provide us with a profoundly appropriate and harmonious form of medicine, engaging, involving, and directing energy toward healing and well-being and enhancing our life force in a unique manner. Herbs support the will of the life force; the innate healing force within must desire to be well and herbs, in turn, lend a helping hand. Otherwise, the human-to-plant relationship is incomplete, and the healing power is compromised.

Herbal medicine, both ancient and modern, is vastly complicated and at the same time surprisingly simple. Modern scientific research is engaged in an ongoing process of validating the foundational principles and practices of traditional herbal medicine, providing new insights at the molecular, cellular, and genomic levels. These insights enable ever more refined, targeted, and individually tailored therapeutic strategies that are increasing the efficacy, scope, and success of herbal medicine.

The advent of genomics—scientific information about the composition and functions of genomes—has created unprecedented opportunities for increasing our understanding of how nutrients modulate gene and protein expression, and ultimately influence cellular and organismal metabolism. The diverse tissue and organ-specific effects of bioactive botanical components include gene-expression patterns (transcription); organization of the chromatin (epigenome); protein-expression patterns, including posttranslational modifications (proteome); as well as metabolite profiles (metabolome).

In some cases where the disease process is at least partially understood, elements of protection can be related to a single compound or structurally related group of compounds in the herb. Some of the bioactive components of herbs include the following groups: polyphenols, isoflavones, saponins, terpenoids, isothiocyanates, phytosterols, phytates, and fatty acids.

These and other specific compounds found in herbs are often druglike, yet herbs are not drugs, even though pharmaceutical companies may extract or synthesize various plant compounds to use as drugs. Herbs—in their whole plant form—differ from drugs in that they work through cooperation with the body’s natural processes rather than by domination and suppression. Herbs enhance the body’s healing and protective responses, in contrast to drugs, which merely act functionally by artificially blocking or chemically replacing physiological functions—such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers for treating hypertension or hormone replacement therapy for menopause. Herbs are pleotrophic, which means that they act in a multitude of ways and pathways to modulate and normalize physiological functions. Unlike drugs, herbs are much more than the sum of their parts. For example, although scientists often attempt to isolate one particular constituent of a plant to explain its healing properties, the answer is rarely that simple. Most of the time it is the complex interaction of the many different constituents of a plant working together and balancing one another that creates the healing effect.

There’s no question that modern conventional medicine has made huge strides and saved countless lives, especially in the field of emergency medicine. But when it comes to the prevention or treatment of chronic illnesses, conventional medicine is frequently unable to offer long-term improvement or enhanced quality of life. In contrast, traditional healing systems, which go back thousands of years, offer an expansive view of chronic illness that is often deeply therapeutic; such systems utilize time-honored approaches like acupuncture, diet, herbs, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle modification.

Practitioners of traditional medicine regard most clinical conditions as marked by various degrees of chronic debility. Conditions such as allergies, anxiety, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, emotional stress, headaches, heart disease, persistent respiratory and gastrointestinal complaints, skin conditions, stiff joints, and viral and fungal infections are all linked by a common thread: a lack of vital energy caused by the failure to adequately maintain a state of healthy balance. The fundamental focus of traditional, nature-based medicine is to support the person’s constitution and vitality through the intelligent use of herbal or other natural compounds that enhance the body’s innate healing processes.

As we study the ways in which herbs work, we come to understand the various levels of relationship between herbs and the human body. On the most basic physical level, we can identify a plant’s chemical compounds and observe the various physiological reactions elicited in the human body. On a deeper level, there is the effect of the external environment in which the plant developed. Factors such as animals, insects, rain, soil, sunlight, temperature, and wind influence a plant’s growth and vitality, and therefore its ability to act therapeutically in the human body. On a more esoteric level, herbs also have the ability to attune and harmonize the energetic, informational, and physical levels with the true essence of the spirit within.

Illness often takes years to develop and frequently has many causes, some of which cannot be readily quantified in conventional medical thinking or terminology. To address such conditions therapeutically, it is important to allow the given remedies and protocols time to both connect and work with the inherent healing wisdom that exists within each one of us. In beginning a journey of healing, it is essential to cultivate patience and to remember that all of life is in motion and is continually adapting and evolving.

In my practice, I find that one of the most deeply rewarding aspects of helping people lies in employing traditional approaches such as herbal medicine to promote health and harmony of the spirit, mind, and body. Herbal medicine is uniquely appropriate for healing because herbs support balance, which is one of the fundamental objectives of any health-related intervention. I believe that herbal medicine represents an understanding of healing that comes from the wisdom of God and is inherently found in nature (in Latin, natura). This wisdom is spiritual and dwells within all human beings as well. Unlike current conventional medical practices, which view the body as being somehow separate from the mind and spirit, herbal medicine is transformational in the sense of fully integrating all aspects of what it means to be a human being, and in so doing it can carry us into the infinities of life. Herbalism practiced in this way is an integration of science, art, and the divine. It is at once scientific, improvisational, and philosophical.

Herbal medicine, practiced within the framework of a traditional system, involves a person-to-person relationship. Of key importance is the practitioner: When entering into a healing relationship with an herbal practitioner, it is important to learn who the practitioner is. What is his or her approach to medicine? How deep is his or her understanding of herbs? And does this person have the ability to listen deeply and to then formulate an appropriate approach for a given individual? I create my healing protocols based on a philosophy of strengthening the whole person from within, because I strongly believe that a systemic lack of vitality leads to premature aging, and eventually to disease. This approach increases vitality and promotes overall healing for people of all ages while improving our ability to maintain optimal health as we face the challenges of life in the twenty-first century.

Science is just now beginning to unveil the intricate ways in which herbs help us at the molecular, cellular, and genomic levels. Researchers are discovering that herbs convey information to our genes in a variety of ways: by lending a helping hand in modifying gene behavior, inhibiting damage, repairing damage, or when cells have been irreparably damaged, by inducing apoptosis to prevent abnormal cell growth and cancer. These findings are so profound that science is merging with theology to provide a framework for a deeper understanding of the ways in which plants nurture, protect, and heal us. The ultimate reality is that botanical medicine goes far beyond the grasp of mere intellect. Herbal medicine is a kinship between the intellect (mind) and the mystical (spirit), and this needs to be acknowledged before the true healing potential of botanical medicine can be fully embraced by the modern medical world. The great gift of herbal medicine is that it humbly offers to us its healing power and its mystical wisdom, which we can only partially understand.

ADAPTOGENS: THE FOUNDATION OF HEALTH

The word adaptogen refers to the nonspecific, endocrine-regulating, immune-modulating effects of certain plants that increase a person’s ability to maintain optimal balance in the face of physical or emotional stress. These botanical agents provide the perfect antidote for the life-robbing deficiencies in vitality created by the demands of modern life.

In my two and a half decades of clinical experience, I have found that using adaptogens together with targeted nutritional remedies and supportive herbs (which I refer to as adaptogen companions) forms the basis of an effective health-supportive program that promotes a state of thriving, as opposed to merely surviving. In this book you will discover the ways that adaptogenic plants and nutritional compounds, combined with a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and appropriate exercise and rest, can help you build a foundation of vitality as well as an abundant reserve of energy for optimal health.

By exploring how stress affects the body, you will understand why adaptogens are essential as the foundation of any effective program for improving health and well-being, regardless of a person’s challenges or goals. Researchers are finding that adaptogens positively affect every aspect of human and animal health. In cancer research, there is substantial evidence that these beneficial plants decrease the risk of developing cancer, inhibit reoccurrence, and support the effectiveness of cancer-related treatments and recovery. Unique in the plant kingdom, adaptogens offer safe, effective, health-promoting benefits for everyone, regardless of age or health status.

Herbal adaptogens and adaptogenic formulations can be considered tonics for the entire body, including the adrenal glands, brain, heart, immune system, and liver, because they strengthen resistance to unfavorable influences and limit the consequences induced by chronic stress. In an ever-changing world, herbal adaptogens enable us to adapt and delay the ill effects of aging. They are the foundation of natural medicine for healthy aging.

THE PRACTICE OF LISTENING

On a personal level, the practice of herbal medicine for me is an exercise in listening at the deepest level, which I think of as making the connection and finding the harmony. This level of listening is a synthesis of knowledge and wisdom combined with prayer and focused intent. It is the place where the physical and the spiritual dwell together, reflect each other, and relate in such a way as to make a love offering for healing. I learned the concept of deep listening in two rather different ways: by experiencing life in a monastery and from being a jazz musician.

Playing jazz taught me to listen not only with my ears, but also with my soul. Such listening goes beyond the physical notes and beyond what the conscious mind can create. It is our deepest felt self, a place where we can leave the material world and be transported into another realm of existence where the soul can open and express itself freely. John Coltrane said to always keep listening, never become so self-important that you can’t listen. . . . You can improve as a player by improving as a person.⁷ My personal practice of herbal medicine, like the improvisation of a jazz musician, is infused with a spiritual force that harmonizes the unique rhythm and melody of each person while calling on the artful expression of human science and intellect—all with the intention of supporting the whole person in his or her fullest expression of being. The understanding of jazz is very much like the understanding of how plant medicines work in our bodies. Both jazz musicians and plant medicines can be defined as flexible; they change in response to the conditions under which they find themselves, and are therefore responsive to both internal and external influences. The jazz musician comes to the bandstand in the same way that an herbal medicine comes into our body. Both know how to perform at a high level, yet neither knows exactly what the immediate situation will demand. The jazz musician has no idea what will come out of the instrument during any given concert; likewise the herbal medicine will perform differently in response to the state of health or disease it encounters within the body. Both are free to express the meeting of the inner heart with the mind. Thelonious Monk, one of our greatest jazz artists, said, The inside of the tune is the part that makes the outside sound good. The deep applications of botanical, nutritional, and lifestyle medicines on the inside are the core of the healing that manifests on the outside. This foundational concept comes from the ancient Chinese practice of Fu Zheng, which supports the root well-being of the person; its name translates as to normalize the center and support the righteous qi. My approach is the same, which is to emphasize the practice of healthy medicine, which is aimed at the root source of ill health, with the primary focus being to bring about harmony and balance throughout the body in collaboration with the healing life force within.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originates in Eastern theology and philosophy; it is primarily rooted in Taoism, with aspects of Buddhism and Confucianism incorporated as well. Taoist philosophy had a strong influence on the development of TCM: The idea that humans are part of nature and need to live in harmony with nature is fundamental to the Taoist way of thinking. This point of view is expressed in the saying, As above, so below. From the Taoist perspective, health is viewed as both spiritual and physical, and balance can only arise when the physical (jing), subtle energetic (qi), and spiritual essences (shen) are perfectly balanced. In the West, the treatment of the mind, body, and soul are separated into the distinct fields of psychology, medicine, and religion. This viewpoint dominates modern medicine, and is viewed in most Western countries as the only viable approach to healing. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t provide a comprehensive picture of an individual and, as a result, any attempt at healing is fragmented and incomplete. In my practice, I find that taking the time to consider all aspects of an individual allows for the deepest healing to occur.

I assess each patient by applying various lenses; some are subjective and intuitive while others are totally objective and rationale; some look solely at the patient in front of me while others examine the patient’s inner terrain (or microenvironment); and some lenses focus on the disease state itself, if applicable. All of these lenses require the ability and desire to listen attentively, deeply, and prayerfully, pouring my heart and mind 100 percent into the relationship. My development as a practitioner, formulator, and writer comes from years of the utmost dedication and hard work, along with deep introspection as a human being.

I learned more about deep listening in the early 1980s, when I spent a couple of years in a Byzantine Franciscan monastery, where I studied to be a monk. There I learned that the life of a monk, first and foremost, is a life of prayer. This requires quieting the thoughts, listening to the spirit of God, and contemplating the will of God. Prayer is the place where God speaks to us and we respond. Second, I learned that the life of a monk is a spiritual practice that can be carried out both privately and publicly. Third, I discovered that it is a life in community; and fourth, that it is a life of responsibility for our service or mission.

Although I no longer live in a monastery, I choose to still live according to the principles of the monastic order; the difference is that I now see the world around me as my monastery. Truthfully, at times this makes me feel very out of place in the modern world, but I know in my heart and spirit that this is my life’s path. I know that I am on the right path because living in this way makes me sing inside. This is perhaps why I have come to view herbalism as the practice of listening and regard it as essentially a spiritual practice centered within the clinical practice of herbal medicine. Mother Teresa taught that the sick and suffering don’t need pity and sympathy; they need love and compassion. In her words, We cannot love and have compassion if we do not pray. The fruit of prayer is a deepening of faith and the fruit of faith is love. It follows that the fruit of love is service. Prayer enables us to clearly see God, and this in turn allows us to see God in one another. And so we begin. And as Mother Teresa said so beautifully, The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if we don’t put the drop in, the ocean will be one drop less. It doesn’t matter how many diplomas or degrees we have received, how much we make, or how many great things we have done. It is merely this: I was sick and you cared for me with all of your love.

To me, the healing plants signify the invisible attributes of God, who is the origin, the exemplar, and the beginning and end of all that is alive. Within the humble herbs and all throughout nature, the invisible attributes of the Divine shine, being clearly seen and understood through the eyes of the heart. Before I listen to a client, I pray. Just as I should have clean hands to touch you, I need a clean heart to love. It is not how much we do, it is how much love we put into the doing. To love and to heal is not a luxury for the few; it is a simple duty for all of us to extend to one another.

OUR HEALING JOURNEY

Wellness can be defined as an emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual vitality that is supported by engaging in attitudes and behaviors that enhance quality of life. However, a true state of wellness is not merely the condition of the person. Our level of wellness is also influenced by and intertwined with the health of our family, community, and environment. Just as wellness is multifaceted, so is the etiology of disease. Disease manifests on more than one plane, from the most obvious physical levels to the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of being. Ultimately, to be fully well we must give love, receive love, and feel a true sense of belonging.

Healing is not a simple mathematical equation or a rational, self-centered, mechanical model as the prevailing biomedical worldview would have us believe. Healing is any experience that increases communication between the spirit, body, and mind, and allows us to move toward greater levels of self-acceptance, integration, and wholeness. True healing requires us to go deeper, to the center of our being. This is the first step in the quest for wholeness and health.

While on our healing journey it may be helpful to explore the following questions:

1. Who am I?

• Body type, genetics, constitution

The healing traditions of ancient medical systems have much to offer us in understanding some of the most basic ways in which we can support our health. For example, ayurveda, the ancient medical tradition of India, recognizes three basic constitutional types known as doshas: kapha, pitta, and vata. Each dosha has unique characteristics, and identifying your dosha or combination of doshas helps in understanding which foods and herbs will be most supportive. In a similar way, traditional Chinese medicine identifies five archetypes (earth, fire, metal, water, and wood), each with unique energetic, emotional, and physical qualities that are kept in balance with specific foods, herbs, and lifestyle choices. Knowing your cultural heritage is also helpful. For example, persons of African-American, Asian, or Eastern European descent should consider incorporating traditional foods into their diets.

2. Where am I?

• Geographical location, inner and outer orientation

A person living in a cold northern climate with little sunlight has very different needs than a person living in the tropics. For example, someone who lives in Mexico and moves to Alaska would be wise to consider making dietary changes to align with the new climate, such as eating more warming foods and increasing animal protein. He or she would also want to consider the impact that reduced exposure to sunlight has on his or her body and mood and make appropriate changes, such as increasing his or her intake of vitamin D.

3. When am I?

• Age, time of the year, lunar rhythms and circadian cycles

What we eat, how much sleep we need, and what we are able to do changes as we age. The same is true during different times of the year. During the cold winter months we have different nutritional and physiological needs than during the hot summer months. Making appropriate changes supports our ability to adapt to our external environment. For example, eating warm, nourishing foods such as curries, soups, and stews stokes our metabolic furnace to keep us warm during the colder months, while eating fruits and salads helps cool and refresh the body during the heat of the summer. What we consume during a specific time of day makes a difference, too. For instance, drinking thirty-two ounces of water early in the day is a health-supportive practice, but doing so just before bedtime is inappropriate because sleep will inevitably be disturbed. Likewise, eating a healthy sweet after a main meal will cause less dramatic shifts in blood sugar and insulin levels than does eating sweets on an empty stomach. Often in prescribing a protocol I specifically direct patients to take certain supplements early in the morning and others only at bedtime. I do this to harmoniously support the natural rhythms of the day.

4. Why am I?

• Philosophy, values, beliefs

In other words, what does my existence really mean to me and to others? Am I working at my job because it pays well or because it allows my essential self to manifest and grow as I experience life? When we live in alignment with our honest answer to the question Why am I? we are happier and more fulfilled, our stress level naturally lowers, and our ability to adapt is greater.

Chronotherapeutics

Giving different botanical and even nutritional formulations at different times of the day, including specific formulas before bed, is referred to as chronotherapeutics. For example, I often recommend the use of melatonin before bed to regulate circadian rhythms. Because the body restores itself during sleep, I often tell my patients to take cellular hepatic detoxification support and hormonal restoration supplements before bed as well. Chronotherapeutic botanical-based formulas attempt to optimize treatment-protocols in the following ways:

•  By achieving balance and harmony between yin and yang, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, cortisol and DHEA, and so forth

•  By enhancing anabolic restoration

•  By enhancing cellular and hepatic detoxification

These considerations are increasingly being taken into account in mainstream medicine, as can be seen in the emerging research on chronopharmacology and chronotherapeutics.

I ask myself these important questions daily because they are central to the relationships that make up the fabric of my life. These relationships exist within us, with others, with the universe, and with God. As we endeavor to understand and to live each of these unique relationships, we experience a harmonious balance of heart, mind, and spirit. These three aspects of our being are inextricably intertwined. Underlying it all, we must nourish faith to experience an understanding of our inner potential.

BEYOND SURVIVING: THRIVING

Aging is not about merely surviving. I truly believe that to be healthy in the wholistic sense of the word, we must consciously choose to live in accord with higher principles.

The endless pursuit of possessions in the material, physical realm creates a false sense of what we think we need or what we imagine will make us happy. As we shift our focus away from this futile pursuit, we recognize that to be truly happy and healthy we must live in harmony with ourselves, our planet, our understanding of the universe, and one another. We need to allow time to nurture intimate and important relationships and time to relax and replenish ourselves. As humans, we need to interact more with one another rather than with technology or electronics and the illusions they encourage. As we become more conscious, we can become resources for one another, supporting one another in resisting the negative effects of disconnected, stressful lives. Healthy aging is not merely a condition of the individual in isolation. It is influenced by multiple relationships and environmental factors as well.

I believe that life is meant to be a journey of change and healthy growth. May your journey be as rich and unique as you are as you learn the art of cultivating the kind of wellness that enables you to thrive. I believe you will find that this exploration will add not only years to your life, but also greater life to your years.

Part One

ADAPTOGENS

Keys to Optimal Health

1

MY HEALING PHILOSOPHY

A human being is part of the whole. . . . He experiences himself as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Judging from the innumerable over-the-counter and prescription drugs promoted by modern conventional medicine, one of the primary premises of this system is to provide better living through chemistry; this, in theory, is supposed to allow us to live longer, play harder, and suffer less. But the rising incidences of the diseases of civilization, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, multiple chemical sensitivities, obesity, and various autoimmune diseases, exposes the hollowness of this promise. The current widely accepted allopathic medical model views the person as being separate from his or her environment and fails to recognize the dynamic interplay between the two. Most disease processes are clinically viewed in terms of a single cause-and-effect model, such as the idea that elevated cholesterol causes heart disease. Many of us have recognized the limitations of such reductionist thinking and understand that health, disease, and life itself must be studied in totality, by exploring both the internal and external causes and manifestation of illness. In this approach, we choose treatments that support the innate healing capacity of the person rather than simply blunting symptoms or trying to change the results of blood tests.

I believe it is essential that the foundation of any system of health should be the study of optimal health. The disease-based focus of conventional Western medicine severely limits its ability to distinguish between pathology and the normal defensive mechanisms of the body. For example, when we get the flu, conventional medicine views the onset of fever and achiness as an enemy, when in fact these symptoms are signs of the healing responses of our innate vital life force as it reacts to a pathogen. The achiness results from the production of an immune cytokine called interferon, while fever is created by another cytokine called interleukin-1. Rather than suppressing these and other innate healing responses with drugs, traditional natural medicine works in harmony with the body to promote healing and recovery.

In many situations, conventional treatments can play an important role in the treatment of disease or injury. However, conventional medicine typically does very little to address the prevention of disease or to promote a state of optimal health, nor does it successfully treat subclinical or chronic diseases. For these concepts and approaches to health, we turn to modalities that have been traditionally used for healing by all cultures since the beginning of human existence: healing foods, herbs, music, prayer, touch, water, and, most importantly, love. The wisdom of the ancient healing systems need not be replaced by modern conventional medicine. Instead, modern conventional medicine needs to find its place within the poetic wholistic framework of traditional healing.

TRADITIONAL HEALING

As recognized by the World Health Organization, traditional healing systems around the world have successfully used plant medicines to maintain and restore health for thousands of years. These systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, view the human organism as evolving and self-organizing. They consider the interaction of matter and energy within a person in terms of the relationship to everything around that person as being integral to understanding health and illness.

The idea that energetic relationships within the body give rise to adaptation and healing, such as the vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature), is also a key principle of naturopathic and herbal medicine traditions. Vital to an understanding of healing is an exploration of aspects of energy utilization, including the impact of belief systems, lifestyle choices, sexuality, and spirituality. energetic relationships are important and relevant, yet because they cannot be methodically analyzed and explained on a biological or physiological level, they are misconstrued and largely ignored in Western medicine. The language and approach of traditional healing systems is better suited to exploring and understanding these concepts and interrelationships, which are essential for creating and maintaining optimal health, a state of being that is reflective not merely of the individual, but of the entire community, on up to the global scale to include all of life.

Over the years, I have drawn on the rich and practical information found in traditional medicines to form the foundation of my healing philosophy and approach to health. I consider myself an eclectic clinical herbal practitioner. My spirit and roots are in the American herbal traditions of the eclectic and Physiomedical movements, interwoven with concepts from traditional Chinese medicine, along with certain spiritual traditions, primarily Eastern Christian spirituality and Franciscanism, a Christian movement started by St. Francis of Assisi, and finally the influence of music, especially jazz and spiritual music, and specifically the music of John Coltrane. The philosophy and modalities of these healing traditions continually inspire my work. Since these systems of healing address the whole person, I use the spelling wholistic, rather than the currently accepted holistic, to embody this concept.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

In the paradigm of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), vital energy, or qi (sometimes spelled chi and pronounced chee), animates us as it moves through us. Qi is considered a tangible substance. Practitioners perceive and describe qualities of qi, differentiate between types of qi and their respective functions, describe where and how qi is formed, and explain how it travels through the body in specific pathways to keep us vibrant and healthy.

TCM regards harmony and balance to be essential qualities of good health and utilizes the ancient Taoist concept of yin and yang to understand and diagnose disease and to facilitate healing. The concept of yin and yang is a way to view relationships or opposing forces; it is not a stagnant thing. Most Westerners are familiar with the concept of yin and yang, the feminine and masculine forces, but may think of these two universal forces as opposites. The Chinese perspective of balance is radically different; it regards yin and yang not as static opposing forces, but rather as a constantly fluctuating dynamic. This is perfectly illustrated by the familiar ideogram that symbolizes yin and yang, which depicts the sunny (yang) and shady (yin) sides of a hill. Throughout the course of a day, as the angle of the sun changes, the yang side of the hill becomes yin, while the yin side transforms into yang. The characteristics of yin are substantial, cool, and moist, while the characteristics of yang are ephemeral, warm, mobile, and dry. In terms of homeostasis, yin belongs to all those physiological aspects that are inward, cooling, receptive, feminine, anabolic, and maintaining, while yang is warming, aggressive, transforming, and yet protective. Yin

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  • (4/5)
    Disclaimer: I received this book free from Healing Arts Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any form of compensation.I have always been interested in learning how we can fully integrated ancient herbal techniques with modern medicine in a way that would be meaningful and healthy. Donald R. Yance has found a way in which to marry the two in order to help people to overcome illnesses.The first part of the book is an explanation of how some of the ancient herbal practices started. Plus he shows a scientific basis on how herbalism can actually be beneficial. The second part of the book goes through a listing of various herbs and their usages.I loved that Yance had written the first part in a way that someone without even a rudimentary knowledge in how the body functions can understand and utilize this knowledge. However, it is also written in a way that those of us who do understand the mechanics of the various body systems don't feel like we are reading a primer. Yance is truly the master of balance in terms of his writing style.I was especially interested in the section on thyroid function since I suffer greatly from hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Even though I have read basically anything I could get my hands on regarding the thyroid, there were quite a few points that I hadn't realized until I read his explanation of the functions performed.Another section that really stood out for me is "Enhancing Metabolic Function and Maintaining Immune Protection". I had always known that when my thyroid functions were out of whack, that everything else was too. But for some reason, my mind just never grasped that it was really a double edged sword for me. Since I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, this means that I have an autoimmune disease that attacks my thyroid thereby decreasing its function. So when I get sick, stressed or have an allergic reaction, my body goes into gear & attacks the thyroid. The thyroid functions go crazy throwing all my numbers out of sync. With my numbers out of sync, my metabolism decreases and I do not get the nutrients that my body needs in order to keep my immune system in balance. With my immune system out of balance, it attacks my thyroid even more. So as you can see, unless I can jump off of this merry-go-round, it is an endless cycle.Yance not only describes how things work and what you should be doing, but also why. Sometimes, changes in our diets or lifestyles don't stick because we don't fully understand the reasoning or science behind it. We know we should avoid this food or should be getting more of this herb or supplement, but we don't know why or what function it actually portrays. This book describes all of that and more.I know that after my surgery, I am planning on starting on Rhodiola as a supplement for my thyroid. Yance states that this is the main adaptogen that he recommends. Plus it is also in the chapter regarding cancer. So that one herb will have multiple benefits for me. I would have loved to have started it right away, but unfortunately, when you are preop you are told to avoid any and all herbal supplements.
  • (4/5)
    Comprehensive and educational book regarding herbalism as a treatment for and prevention of illness. There is immense history and research concerning the values of integrating holistic and ancient practices into modern medicine.
    ARC received for review.