I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council, a leader in providing objective information on the various uses of herbs in both healing the body and in commerce I will act as an expert advisor on herbs and the skin.
Herbs are very helpful for a variety of skin issues. Many of the herbs I have been using for years are just now appearing in products on the exhibit floor of the American Academy of Dermatology national meeting. For example, licorice and curcumin are being incorporated into anti-inflammatory herbal preparations. Green tea extract and red wine resveratrol are being used as part of the antioxidant mix in anti-aging products applied to the skin.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the future on natural and herbal skin care.
The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces the addition of several new members to its Advisory Board. These esteemed individuals — with diverse academic backgrounds ranging from analytical chemistry, oncology, and pharmacognosy to environmental science, aromatherapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine — are committed to promoting healthier living through herbal and plant-based medicine. Advisory Board members volunteer their time to peer review articles that appear in HerbalGram, HerbalEGram, HerbClips, and various ABC publications. Additionally, HerbalGram editors seek feedback and advice from Advisory Board members on issues such as research questions, article ideas, ABC policies, book reviews, and much more.
The new Advisory Board members include an oncologist, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a dermatologist, a nurse/aromatherapist, a nutritionist, a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine, a mycologist, a geneticist, two pharmacognosists, two family practice physicians, two natural product chemists, and two environmentalists.
“We are deeply grateful to include these experts on the ABC Advisory Board,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “For many of these individuals, receiving official ABC Advisory Board status simply formalizes an already established, long-term relationship in which many of these friends and colleagues have been contributing their time and expertise to ABC and many of its publications as expert peer reviewers. The wide spectrum of scientific and clinical expertise held by these individuals as a group reflects the increasing complexity and sophistication of the modern herbal movement and of ABC’s vital nonprofit educational mission.”
I recently was a featured speaker at a conference for holistic skin care professionals, teaching them the basics of my nutritional treatment of skin conditions. the conference title was the AHSCP Holistic Skin Care Conference 2012, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan and sponsored by Elina Organics.
The title of my presentation was, “The scientific basis for treating inflammatory conditions of the skin with natural therapies.” This is part of my effort, along with my blog, upcoming chapter, and upcoming book, of helping more people to understand how important it is to employ Holistic Dermatology in helping people improve their skin.
Check out a copy of Prevention Magazine this month; I’m quoted in the current November 2012 issue of Prevention, in their article, 10 Things to Eat for Perfect Skin.
I discuss the relationship between eating sugar and the accelerated breakdown of the collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to wrinkles. Sugar binds to proteins in the skin forming Advanced Glycation Endproducts (or AGE’s). These AGE’s stimulate enzymes that chew up to collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin. Check out the article for the full story. (Prevention, Nov 2012, p 52)
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
Vitamin D is back in the news, with recent studies showing that fewer people need Vitamin D supplements, according to new FDA guidelnes. I disagree with these new guidelines because they’re based on a study I find sorely lacking:
For example, there was unfortunately no examination of Vitamin D and bone health in this study. Also, the effect of higher vitamin D levels on boosting immunity in such a way as to counteract autoimmune disorders was neither mentioned, nor investigated.
The studies also purport that lower levels of Vitamin D did not affect overall mortality in a totally mixed and kidney disease population. They even mention that Vitamin D was associated with kidney disease and some cancers.
Such studies with no regard for the complex underlying way a supplement acts on the human body (and specifically immune system and bones) can only serve to confuse physicians and the general population. Until I see careful studies of people with different illnesses, and studies that contradict what has been shown in the immune system, I will continue to consider the new lower vitamin D levels recommended as insufficient for certain individuals with disorders of the immune system.
What’s worse, this kind of study and the headline stories about the supposed conclusion of this meta-analysis in the press could harm hundreds of thousands of people who actually do need more vitamin D because of the condition they have or the condition of their immune system. For example, another recent study showed that people with pneumonia had better survival if they had higher Vitamin D levels, and that the benefits depend on the type of Vitamin D taken (Vitamin D3 possibly being superior to D2).
We will keep you up to date exploring the many aspects emerging on this important vitamin, Vitamin D, as it relates to the skin and the immune system.
Almost like a bad Halloween movie, data (re-)emerged in the press recently that both chicken and rice may be contaminated with arsenic.
Why? Well, turns out that arsenic is used in chickenfeed in the US to prevent certain diseases and make the chickens’ flesh pink. Arsenic finds its way into rice that is grown in soil where crops like cotton were grown before with arsenical pesticides.
Arsenic-based pesticides are also used in potato and tobacco farming, so groundwater and wells near those farming areas may also be contaminated by arsenic. Arsenic is a cumulative poison that builds up in the body, and has been linked to formation of skin cancers as well as cancers inside the body. Wouldn’t you think that a government so conscious about health and health costs would figure out how to get the arsenic out of such basic foods?
Some level of cooperation and compromise between polar opposites based on common goals and commonalities in a shared vision is necessary to bring about a healthy future for everyone. That includes not only the poor but also the wealthiest people on Earth, all of whom have the potential to understand how their own lives could be better by making more enlightened choices for personal, community, and world health in their sphere of influence.
If you are someone who has perhaps given up hope in the past, feeling that your care for your health and the environment was a lone cry in the wilderness, I want to offer a new possibility for you. That you are not alone, and it is worth stepping up to taking a stand for what you care about.
I am finding that I can feel the hand of Spirit in my own life, when I bring that Light into my heart and my actions. I am beginning to realize that I am, I could be, the kind of person I have always wished I could be. I want to invite you to join in the flow of those who feel and act as I do and want to do. Join me in becoming one of the millions, perhaps billions of other humans and creatures on this planet who are doing the same.
Our very health and survival is based not only on our own personal choices, but on how healthy our options are in the “soup” of our environment in which we eat, breathe, and swim. The trail we leave behind in that soup, individually and collectively, determines how healthy we and those around us will be for generations to come.
I believe that there are millions of us who wish to leave a clean, healthy trail in our wake, or better yet, to leave no trace of pollution after we’re gone.
And I believe that there are billions of us, no matter what their creed and affiliation, who want to have the highest possible degree of health, well-being, productiveness, and longevity for themselves, their children, grandchildren and communities at large.
Science is an important foundation of our understanding of the truth. Through science, we understand the “how” and some of the “why” of medicine and healing. Yet, there are other foundation stones that are also important. For example, many cultures have created valuable forms of science and medicine (in this case, by “science” I mean methodical study). Asian cultures created incredibly precise and methodical forms of medicine like acupuncture and ayruveda, through a completely different set of cultural understandings.
Our western version of science should never be our only guiding light, because the application, emphasis, and direction of science depends on the level of intentions of those who apply it.
Also, science is a constant rapid expansion; each year, we are tracking and studying smaller and smaller events–every seven years, we have an entirely new palate of factors we use to direct our studies. Western science is beginning to “catch up” to Asian philosophies in the past decade, in the way that we have begun to move from thinking in terms of chains of events to interactive symphonies of factors. Our leading mathematics of understanding, now explores probabilities rather than direct proof of cause.
For nearly 3 decades, my colleagues in the world of Integrative Medicine and Holistic medicine have been warning about the consequences of excessive antibiotic use, calling for the use of more probiotics and other measures to prevent the consequences of antibiotic use in the digestive system, including yeast overgrowth.
Protocols suggested include probiotics as the foundation for treatment of gut issues. Use of probiotics by physicians for problems associated with antibiotics goes back much further than our three decades, but during the recent 30 years or so, probiotics use seems to have been forgotten by the majority of doctors practicing in this country.
The traditional medical establishment seems to have rediscovered probiotics an article printed in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association)–at least for the condition of diarrhea, which would be a more obvious manifestation of antibiotic overgrowth of yeast and other resistant organisms.
I welcome this study in a popular journal, even though it lacks a prominent mention of the possible relationship to yeast overgrowth from antibiotic use and the other synergistic measures that would help with this problem. Perhaps someday, integrative physicians like myself will be recognized as clinical pioneers than as quacks. And to the authors of the article who have recently explored this treatment, I must add, “You don’t say; what a surprise!”