Psychobiotics, the Pharmacology of Probiotics, and Our Body’s Naturally Innate Pharmacy

Psychobiotics, the Pharmacology of Probiotics, and Our Body’s Naturally Innate Pharmacy

About the only independent variable appearing to cause permanent change in the gut is dietary change, but did you know that your microbiome and microflora are drug manufacturers?

It’s a little known fact that one of our body’s innate pharmacies resides in our gut.

Where, exactly, in our gut, you ask?

Well, in neurochemicals isolated in various microbial species whose diversity depends on our microbiome’s health. This speaks to another emerging area of interest: probiotics as pharmacy.

This article will briefly discuss five neurochemical isolated from various genera of normal gut bacteria:

1. GABA: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, helping to induce a parasympathetic response, and significantly impacting and regulating various processes both physiologically and psychologically. Several animal studies indicate that various species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are capable of producing GABA in the gut. (1, 2, 3, 4)

2. Norepinephrine: Escherichia, Bacillus, and Saccharomyces. Norepinephrine is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter active during a sympathetic response which is upregulated during fight or flight and acts as a stress hormone. Several animal studies have shown that various species of Escherichia, Bacillus, and Saccharomyces play a role in upregulatting and producing norepinephrine. (5, 6, 7, 8)

3. Serotonin: Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia, and Enterococcus. Serotonin is a key hormone, an estimated 90% of which is thought to be produced in the gut, that is key in mood stabilization and happiness, as well as impacting learning, attention, and memory processes. Several animal studies have indicate that various species of Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia and Enterococcus play a role in serotonin production. (9, 10, 11, 12)

4. Dopamine: Bacillus and Serratia. Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in our ability to experience pleasure, as well as cognitive control in our prefrontal cortext. Several animal studies have shown that certain species of Bacillus and Serratia play a key role in the production of dopamine. (13, 14)

5. Acetylcholine: Lactobacillus. Acetylcholine is the main neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system and its receptors are present all throughout our smooth muscle, blood vessels, and even heart muscle, as it helps to downregulate the function of certain organs during rest and digest. Several animal studies show that various species of Bacillus and Serratia are capable of producing acetylecholine in the gut. (15, 16)


  1. Bravo JA, Forsythe P, Chew MV, Escaravage E, Savignac HM, Dinan TG, Bienenstock J, Cryan JF. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 20;108(38):16050-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102999108. Epub 2011 Aug 29. PMID: 21876150; PMCID: PMC3179073
  2. Patterson E, Ryan PM, Wiley N, Carafa I, Sherwin E, Moloney G, Franciosi E, Mandal R, Wishart DS, Tuohy K, Ross RP, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Stanton C. Gamma-aminobutyric acid-producing lactobacilli positively affect metabolism and depressive-like behaviour in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 8;9(1):16323. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51781-x. PMID: 31704943; PMCID: PMC6841999
  3. Duranti, S., Ruiz, L., Lugli, G.A. et al. Bifidobacterium adolescentis as a key member of the human gut microbiota in the production of GABASci Rep 10, 14112 (2020).
  4. Yunes RA, Poluektova EU, Vasileva EV, Odorskaya MV, Marsova MV, Kovalev GI, Danilenko VN. A Multi-strain Potential Probiotic Formulation of GABA-Producing Lactobacillus plantarum 90sk and Bifidobacterium adolescentis 150 with Antidepressant Effects. Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2020 Sep;12(3):973-979. doi: 10.1007/s12602-019-09601-1. PMID: 31677091
  5. Lopes, J.G., Sourjik, V. Chemotaxis of Escherichia coli to major hormones and polyamines present in human gutISME J 12, 2736–2747 (2018).
  6. Strandwitz P. Neurotransmitter modulation by the gut microbiotaBrain Res. 2018;1693(Pt B):128-133. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2018.03.015
  7. Galland L. The gut microbiome and the brainJ Med Food. 2014;17(12):1261-1272. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.7000
  8. Malikina KD, Shishov VA, Chuvelev DI, Kudrin VS, Oleskin AV. [Regulatory role of monoamine neurotransmitters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells]. Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. 2010 Nov-Dec;46(6):672-7. Russian. PMID: 21261078
  9. Mayr A, Hinterberger G, Dierich MP, Lass-Flörl C. Interaction of serotonin with Candida albicans selectively attenuates fungal virulence in vitro. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005;26(4):335-337. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2005.07.006
  10. Yano JM, Yu K, Donaldson GP, et al. Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis [published correction appears in Cell. 2015 Sep 24;163:258]. Cell. 2015;161(2):264-276. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.047
  11. Banskota S, Regmi SC, Gautam J, Gurung P, Lee YJ, Ku SK, Lee JH, Lee J, Chang HW, Park SJ, Kim JA. Serotonin disturbs colon epithelial tolerance of commensal E. coli by increasing NOX2-derived superoxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 May;106:196-207. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.02.034. Epub 2017 Feb 17. PMID: 28216386
  12. Evrensel A, Ceylan ME. The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2015;13(3):239-244. doi:10.9758/cpn.2015.13.3.239
  13. Liu J, Xu F, Nie Z, Shao L. Gut Microbiota Approach-A New Strategy to Treat Parkinson’s DiseaseFront Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020;10:570658. Published 2020 Oct 22. doi:10.3389/fcimb.2020.570658
  14. Zhu F, Li C, Chu F, Tian X, Zhu J. Target Dysbiosis of Gut Microbes as a Future Therapeutic Manipulation in Alzheimer’s DiseaseFront Aging Neurosci. 2020;12:544235. Published 2020 Oct 6. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2020.544235
  15. STEPHENSON M, ROWATT E. The production of acetylcholine by a strain of Lactobacillus plantarum. J Gen Microbiol. 1947 Sep;1(3):279-98. doi: 10.1099/00221287-1-3-279. PMID: 20270627
  16. Yong SJ, Tong T, Chew J, Lim WL. Antidepressive Mechanisms of Probiotics and Their Therapeutic Potential. Front Neurosci. 2020;13:1361. Published 2020 Jan 14. doi:10.3389/fnins.2019.01361
The Potential Impact of Cholecystectomy on Drug and Xenobiotic Metabolism, and Liver Detoxification

The Potential Impact of Cholecystectomy on Drug and Xenobiotic Metabolism, and Liver Detoxification

Cholecystectomy is a common surgical procedure in which the gallbladder is removed, usually because of bile duct stones or gallstones. (1)

Bile acids are made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, but when the gallbladder has been removed, there is no place for them to be stored. (2)

Bile acids are required particularly for the promotion of lipid absorption, but they also play a significant role in activating enzymes responsible for phase I, phase II, and phase III metabolism in the liver. (3)

Hence, if someone has had a cholecystectomy, then their primary detoxification pathways will be compromised by the fact that they are bile acid deficient.

It goes without saying that a person who has had cholecystectomy is thereby more likely to have toxins build up in their system, tissues, and blood, which means that supporting the detoxification pathways in patients who are missing their gallbladder is essential. (4)

Also, supplementing with bile salts may be necessary, but it is essential to consult your naturopathic doctor instead of self-diagnosing and self-treating.


  1. Njeze GE. GallstonesNiger J Surg. 2013;19(2):49-55. doi:10.4103/1117-6806.119236
  2. Secretion of Bile and the Role of Bile Acids In Digestion. (n.d.).
  3. Hoekstra R, Nibourg GA, van der Hoeven TV, Plomer G, Seppen J, Ackermans MT, Camus S, Kulik W, van Gulik TM, Elferink RP, Chamuleau RA. Phase 1 and phase 2 drug metabolism and bile acid production of HepaRG cells in a bioartificial liver in absence of dimethyl sulfoxide. Drug Metab Dispos. 2013 Mar;41(3):562-7. doi: 10.1124/dmd.112.049098. Epub 2012 Dec 13. PMID: 23238784.
  4. Grant DM. Detoxification pathways in the liver. J Inherit Metab Dis. 1991;14(4):421-30. doi: 10.1007/BF01797915. PMID: 1749210.
How to Apply The Second Law of Healing, The Law of Disease

How to Apply The Second Law of Healing, The Law of Disease

When nature’s laws are violated, three conditions in the body lawfully ensue which promote the development of chronic disease: toxicity, deficiency, and a lack of vitality.


“The primary cause of disease…is violation of Nature’s Laws [whose] effect[s] are identical with disease, because they tend to lower, hinder or inhibit normal function…and because they engender and promote destruction of living tissues.”

—Henri Lindlahr, MD, ND (1)

“What would it benefit a physician if [s]he discovered the origin of the diseases but could not cure or alleviate them?”

—Paracelsus (2)

The second law of healing is the Law of Disease. Your body is actively engaged in a dynamic exchange with the environment at all times, and when the environment is compromised, disease or dis-ease will occur.This shows up in three main ways: toxicity, deficiency, and a diminished vitality.

Imagine that your health rests upon a three-legged stool. If any one of the legs was to break, then you would topple over and hit the ground. In this analogy, hitting the ground is equivalent with being diagnosed with a chronic disease. Another name for this three-legged stool is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

The Triangle of Optimal Health

By turning our three-legged stool inside out upon itself, we have the Triangle of Chronic Disease. Your health is an expression of the status of these three pillars as: a lack of toxicity, adequate nutrient status, and a strong vitality. When one of them tips over, imbalance ensues and most likely a disease will be diagnosed by a physician.

The Triangle of Chronic Disease


The first leg of our three-legged stool is nontoxicity, but a nontoxic lifestyle is becoming more and more challenging to achieve in our world. 100 years ago, the word toxemia was used generically to mean “toxicity in the blood,” as expounded upon by physician John Henry Tilden, MD, in his book Toxemia Explained in 1926. (3) According to the theory of toxemia, when the blood is impure, the tissues and organs are also awash in impurities. With increasing toxicity, oxygen and nutrients are inadequately delivered via the blood, as binding sites for enzymes, hormones, nutrients, and cofactors are disrupted, and oxidative damage runs rampant. (4)  Studies show that white blood cells and platelets decrease with exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), organochlorine pesticides (OCP), and solvents; red blood cells become stippled with arsenic and lead poisoning; liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increase with cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure. (5)

On a day-to-day basis, our bodies are exposed to thousands of manmade chemicals. We have specific organs of elimination, such as the liver and kidneys, which are dedicated 24/7 to cleaning our blood and efficiently removing toxins from our bodies. In fact, pharmaceuticals are profiled based on their degree of potential liver and kidney toxicity, i.e., hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, respectively. (6) It is especially important that we support our organs of elimination, as they have to work overdrive simply by virtue of our being alive on the planet in today’s age of toxicity, first described by journalist Rachel Carson in her classic 1962 book, Silent Spring.(7)

Toxins can also sequester in the gut in a thin, polysaccharide-rich matrix to which bacteria and other microbes adhere, called a biofilm, and where some studies indicate that diseases such as Lyme can undergo changes and evade the immune system. (8, 9) These toxins can eventually make their way to the blood. (10)

Nutrient Repletion

The second leg of our three-legged stool is nutrient repletion, which also can be challenging for our bodies to adequately achieve today. Minerals, in fact, are the cofactors of life, and the main source of these nutrients is our food supply, as expounded upon by Joel Wallach, DVM, ND, in Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. (11)   However, studies show declining fruit and vegetable nutrient composition over decades globally. (12)  One can compare USDA food tables from many decades ago to today’s to note this trend, although comparison can sometimes be apples to oranges, no pun intended. (13, 14, 15)  For example, one study concluded that we have to eat eight oranges today to get the same amount of vitamin A that one orange would have provided our grandparents. (16) The decline in nutrient densities in our agricultural soils and in our food supply correlates with a decline in our blood and tissue saturation, as well. (17)

Our topsoil no longer contains the nutrients it once contained, after decades of serial depletion. (18) The EPA requires that nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus be returned to topsoil in agricultural fertilizer, but other nutrients, such as trace minerals like iron, copper, iodine, zinc, selenium, and chromium, are not considered necessary, though nutritional biochemistry dictates that optimal health relies upon having them in trace amounts in our bodies. (19)

Additionally, studies indicate how modern pharmacology depletes key nutrients in the body. For example, statins can deplete CoQ10, causing mitochondrial dysfunction; (20) metformin can deplete B12, causing anemia and neuropathy; (21) and oral contraceptive pills (OCP) are known to deplete folate, B vitamins, and vitamins C and E along with magnesium, selenium, and zinc, (22) which can lead to a myriad of side effects described by women’s health expert Jolene Brighten, ND, in her book Beyond the Pill. (23) Other drugs can simply cause malabsorption, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which inhibit gastric acid secretion and significantly increase the risk of B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium deficiencies. (24) Therefore, our nutrient status setback is like a stick with its two ends: a nutrient-impoverished food supply and nutrient-depleting drugs.

Selenium is required for a functioning thyroid to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, (25) the body’s main metabolic director. And chromium is required for insulin to push glucose into our cells so that we have stable blood sugars and energy. (26) Without sufficient selenium and chromium repletion in our food supply, it is no wonder that we are living with epidemics of chronic disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (27) and type 2 diabetes mellitus. (28) Though correlation does not equal causation, one need only comb through dozens of studies on PubMed to extrapolate that nutrient deficiencies are root causes of chronic disease. (29) For example, animal studies conducted in poultry nutrition have identified exactly how much chromium is required for a hen to lay healthy eggs (30) and that chromium deficiency induces diabetes. (31) Also, methylation defects called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (32) in our genes and (subsequent) nutrient deficiencies (33) can drive mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

A Strong Vital Force

The third and final leg to our stool of health is directly connected to the Law of Vitality. The opposite of a strong vital force can be described as a diminished vitality, or a compromised vital force. One of the pioneers of naturopathic medicine, Henry Lindlahr, MD, ND, stated that the effect of a lowered vitality is a root cause of chronic disease. (34) When the homeostatic mechanisms of the body, which are programmed to restore normal structure and function in our organism, do not have enough energy, then after a period of time chronic disease ensues, no matter how hard the body tries to heal itself.   Naturopathic doctors and other integrative health practitioners, such as functional medicine doctors, each have their own ways of measuring and assessing vitality: by a combination of reviewing case history, performing a physical examination, running routine and specialty labs, and observing the way the patient responds to certain modalities.

When the vital force is drastically diminished, it sets one up for the onset of chronic disease, such as Lyme disease. (35, 36) In the twenty-four hours after the antibiotic treatment of some active infections—such as syphilis or Lyme—some patients experience fever, chills, myalgia, and skin rashes called Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction (JHR). (37) First described in the early 1900s, this reaction is now popularly known as herxing, and its pathogenesis is mostly thought to be due to the release of toxins in the blood while microbes, such as spirochetes, are dying. (38) This can be akin to the septic shock induced by bacterial infection. (39) The pathogenesis of the Herxheimer reaction is poorly understood, but it illustrates that when the body is releasing toxins, the strength of the vital force will be intimately linked to the degree to which the person’s immune system responds.

Naturopathic doctors refer to some acute reactions or infections as a healing crisis, which means that the body is primed to move through an imbalance by an acute response evolutionarily designed to restore balance, and that the body has sufficient resources and a strong enough vital force. Mark Hyman, MD, an avid proponent of functional medicine, has referred to it as a detox crisis. (40) Jared Zeff, ND, who was voted Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 1989 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, (41) states, “There is no cure for the common cold; the cold is the cure.” (42) 

In other words, the onset of an upper respiratory infection, for example, with all of its classic symptoms of cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, and mild fever, is usually just a healing crisis—that is, the body throwing off an imbalance, reducing toxicity, and pushing through to a restoration of normal. It is a kind of spring cleaning of the body, if you will.

How Can We Apply the Law of Disease to Benefit Our Health?

The point of view that chronic disease is a result of toxemia, deficiency, and lack of vitality—informed by an ever-growing body of scientific research—runs counter to the conventional notion that chronic disease is some kind of genetic accident which must be suppressed, and which is generally considered irreversible. A paradigm of disease states that once we are pinned with a chronic disease, we must live with and manage it the remainder of our lives. The unconventional new paradigm of health shows that there are laws of nature governing the development of chronic disease, and that chronic disease is reversible if we harness the healing power of nature.

The Law of Disease, when understood, can help us not only to ward off the development of chronic disease but also to improve its expression and even resolve it. We need to keep the three legs of our seat of health sturdy and upright. Turning the Law of Disease inside-out upon itself, then, it can be said that robust and optimal health—free of chronic disease—expresses itself as a biological ecosystem free of toxicity, replete in adequate nutrients, and strong in its vitality. This is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

When you learn to engage in diet and lifestyle activities which promote detoxification, nutrition, and life enhancing vitality, then you can set yourself up for a life free of chronic disease.

Applying the Law of Disease:

Explore the Law of Disease by engaging in the following activities:

1. Engage in activities which are detoxifying, such as saunas, various forms of hydrotherapy, or regularly being outdoors in nature.

2. Here is a classic home hydrotherapy treatment, called the Warming Socks Treatment or the Magic Socks Treatment, which can help speed recovery from a cold or flu, as well as improve congestion in the head and chest.

The Magic Socks Treatment

You will need one pair of cotton socks (60%+ cotton) and one pair of wool socks (60%+ wool). At bedtime, feet should be soaked in hot water for one minute. After wetting cotton socks in cold tap water, wring out completely until no longer dripping. Place wet socks on feet, and pull dry wool socks over cotton socks. Repeat this procedure for three nights, or until ailments, such as fever and congestion, have cleared or improved significantly. Caution: Those with chronic health conditions or immunocompromise should consult their doctor before starting this treatment.

3. Eat clean, local, organic, nontoxic, nutrient-dense, whole foods whenever possible, such as by shopping at your local farmer’s market. Eat a diet suitable to your constitution and your beliefs, whether it be according to blood type (43) or the Carroll Food Intolerance Method®, a modified paleo or keto, vegan, vegetarian, Weston A. Price style, (44) or some other diet.

4. Drink filtered water by using an advanced filtration system, if possible, in order to remove impurities such as PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins sometimes present in public water supplies.

5. Engage in a spiritual or communal practice which provides you with a deeper sense of meaning, such as by going to church or finding a meditation group.

6. Reduce stress by regularly engaging in activities which calm down your nervous system and induce a parasympathetic state, such as floating in a sensory deprivation float tank or practicing yoga.

7. Work with a health practitioner, such as a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor, who can help you to identify your nutrient deficiencies, unique to your predisposition and biology, so that you can address them with supplementation and foods rich in these nutrients.

8. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because _________.


  1. Lindlahr, H. Nature Cure: Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2006.
  2. Paracelsus, and A. E. Waite. The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombast, of Hohenheim, Called Paracelsus the Great: Now for the First Time Faithfully Translated into English. Eastford: Martino Publishing, 2009.
  3. Tilden, J. H. Toxemia Explained: The True Interpretation of the Cause of Disease. Minneapolis: Filiquarian Publishing, 2007.
  4. Pizzorno, J. E. The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health and What We Can Do to Fix It. New York: HarperOne, 2018.
  5. Pizzorno, J. “Conventional Laboratory Tests to Assess Toxin Burden.” Integrative Medicine (Encinitas) 14, no. 5 (2015): 8–16.
  6. Lin, Z., and Y. Will. “Evaluation of Drugs with Specific Organ Toxicities in Organ-Specific Cell Lines.Toxicological Sciences 126, no. 1 (2011): 114–27. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfr339.
  7. Carson, R. Silent Spring. Boston, MA: Mariner Books, 2002.
  8. Domenico, E. G. D., et al. “The Emerging Role of Microbial Biofilm in Lyme Neuroborreliosis.Frontiers in Neurology 9 (2018): 1048. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.01048.
  9. Berndtson, K. “Review of Evidence for Immune Evasion and Persistent Infection in Lyme Disease.” International Journal of General Medicine 6 (2013): 291–306. doi:10.2147/ijgm.s44114.
  10. Hyde, J. A. “Borrelia burgdorferi Keeps Moving and Carries on: A Review of Borrelial Dissemination and Invasion.” Frontiers in Immunology 8 (2017): 114. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00114.
  11. Wallach, J. D., and M. Lan. Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. Bonita: Double Happiness, 1996.
  12. Davis, D. R. “Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?” HortScience 44, no. 1 (2009): 15–19. doi:10.21273/hortsci.44.1.15.
  13. Davis, D. R., M. D. Epp, and H. D. Riordan. “Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23, no. 6 (2004): 669–82. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719409.
  14. Marles, R. J. “Mineral Nutrient Composition of Vegetables, Fruits and Grains: The Context of Reports of Apparent Historical Declines.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 56 (2017): 93–103. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2016.11.012.
  15. Are Depleted Soils Causing a Reduction in the Mineral Content of Food Crops?” Depleted Soils. Accessed November 24, 2019.
  16. Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?Scientific American. Accessed November 24, 2019.
  17. Wallach, J. D., and M. Lan. Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. Bonita: Double Happiness, 1996.
  18. Tan, Z. X., R. Lal, and K. D. Wiebe. “Global Soil Nutrient Depletion and Yield Reduction.” Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 26, no. 1 (2005): 123–46. doi:10.1300/j064v26n01_10.
  19. Agriculture Nutrient Management and Fertilizer. EPA. 2019.
  20. Deichmann, R., C. Lavie, and S. Andrews. “Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction.” Ochsner Journal 10, no. 1 (2010): 16–21.
  21. Aroda, V. R., et al. “Long-Term Metformin Use and Vitamin B12 Deficiency in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 101, no. 4 (2016): 1754–61. doi:10.1210/jc.2015-3754.
  22. Palmery, M., et al. “Oral Contraceptives and Changes in Nutritional Requirements.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 19, no. 13 (2013): 1804–13.
  23. Brighten, J. Beyond the Pill. New York: HarperOne, 2019.
  24. Heidelbaugh, J. J. “Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency: Evidence and Clinical Implications.” Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety 4, no. 3 (2013): 125–33. doi:10.1177/2042098613482484.
  25. Ventura, M., M. Melo, and F. Carrilho. “Selenium and Thyroid Disease: From Pathophysiology to Treatment.” International Journal of Endocrinology (2017): 1–9. doi:10.1155/2017/1297658.
  26. Linus Pauling Institute. “Chromium.” Oregon State University. 2019.
  27. Zaletel, K., and S. Gaberscek. “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: From Genes to the Disease.” Current Genomics 12, no. 8 (2011): 576–88. doi:10.2174/138920211798120763.
  28. Morstein, M. Master Your Diabetes: A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017.
  29. Ikeda, J. “Eat for Life: The Food and Nutrition Board’s Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Disease.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57, no. 2 (1993): 233–34. doi:10.1093/ajcn/57.2.233-a.
  30. Khan, R. U., et al. “Modes of Action and Beneficial Applications of Chromium in Poultry Nutrition, Production and Health: A Review.” International Journal of Pharmacology 10, no. 7 (2014): 357–67. doi:10.3923/ijp.2014.357.367.
  31. Havel, P. “A Scientific Review: The Role of Chromium in Insulin Resistance.” Diabetes Educator 3 (2004): 1–14.
  32. Lynch, B. Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health. New York: HarperCollins, 2020.
  33. Bjorndal, C. Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine. Edmonton, Can.: Natural Terrain, 2017.
  34. Lindlahr, H. Nature Cure: Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, 2006.
  35. Greenspan, J. Rising Above Lyme Disease: A Revolutionary, Holistic Approach to Managing and Reversing the Symptoms of Lyme Disease—and Reclaiming Your Life. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds, 2019.
  36. Ingels, D. The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response and Beat Lyme Disease. New York: Avery, 2019.
  37. Butler, T. “The Jarisch–Herxheimer Reaction After Antibiotic Treatment of Spirochetal Infections: A Review of Recent Cases and Our Understanding of Pathogenesis.” The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 96, no. 1 (2016): 46–52. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.16-0434.
  38. Rudenko, N., et al. “Metamorphoses of Lyme Disease Spirochetes: Phenomenon of Borrelia Persisters.” Parasites & Vectors 12, no. 1 (2019). doi:10.1186/s13071-019-3495-7.
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How to Apply The First Law of Healing, The Law of Vitality

How to Apply The First Law of Healing, The Law of Vitality

The body has an innate ability, which is ordered and intelligent, to heal itself. When we realize that we can facilitate and augment this healing ability, we can align with the laws of nature.


“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must come from nature, with an open mind.”

—Paracelsus (1)

“Nature is the physician of diseases.”

—Hippocrates (2)

“The human body possesses an inherent ability to heal itself through the mechanisms of homeostasis—restoring balance in structure and function and adapting to environmental change.”

—Benedict Lust, MD, ND (3)

The first law of healing is the Law of Vitality. This law is based on the fact that we have the inherent and innate ability to heal ourselves. Our health is governed by the vital force (or vis), which is always working to restore normal structure and function to our body.

The vital force, naturally enfolded within our nature, has been known by several names through time: the vis, prana, chi or qi, and so on. (4) Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is credited with calling this force the vis medicatrix naturae (Latin translation from Greek), meaning “the healing power of nature.” (5)

Could it be that our birthright is health, not disease? When you realize that the vital force restores health, then you discover that your biological status quo is balanced, homeostatic health and wellness. The more you experience health, the deeper you realize that it’s a spectrum of potential.

If you happened upon a baby bird struggling to break free from its eggshell, would you help it out? The struggle to break out of its shell (a process called “pipping”) is a necessary part of a bird’s biology. (6) The bird will strengthen its legs by pushing against the shell, and transition from relying on egg blood vessels that transfer oxygen through the calcium carbonate to taking its first breath of air. (7) In fact, hatching is the culmination for the bird from fertilization through incubation.

“The shell must break before the bird can fly,” said the poet Tennyson. (8) What he failed to mention was that the bird must break the shell itself. You cannot break the shell for the bird unless, of course, you are the bird. And the same goes for the process of healing. No one can engage in it for you by proxy. No one can heal you; there is only self-healing, enfolded within the laws of nature. Only you can heal yourself, with the help of your body’s vital processes. You can rely on the Law of Vitality residing within you. The vital force has got your back!

Take an adult stem cell, technically called a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), in the body. It is multipotent, meaning that it has the potential to become various kinds of tissue—such as skin, gut, bone, or blood—depending on the environment it differentiates in. (9) When stem cells are traveling in the blood, they literally home in on areas of inflammation or tissue damage, fostering a regenerative healing response by releasing a cascade of medicinal signals. (10, 11) We have yet to understand exactly how this homing happens, but the process is rapid. (12)

In fact, Arnold Caplan, considered the father of the MSC, later said its moniker was inappropriate and it should be called a medicinal signaling cell. (13) Caplan’s proposed new name reflects the homing ability and the fact that MSCs also secrete medicinal bioactive factors in areas where they are needed. The vital force is much like an MSC in the body. It moves to where it is needed: marshaling resources, engendering homeostasis, and healing by way of expressing itself in the language of symptoms.

But if the vital force is always working to heal you, then it is possible to work against it as well. If you work against the forces in your body, you’ll most likely only prolong whatever imbalance you may already be experiencing, or you could even drive the problems deeper into your body.

Generally, each of us enters this world a newborn with a full vitality. At first, for the most part, we recover quickly from illness and injury. In our youth, our immune system can more easily stave off the ills of the world, the ever-present onslaught of viruses and bacteria to which we are continuously exposed. One crucial activity our immune system engages in is clearing away senescent cells that have lost their function and have been shown to engender disease-promoting inflammation, an immune surveillance which is impaired with aging. (14)

As we grow older, a familiar story unfolds: our health takes a turn for the worse. We may begin to get sick more frequently or feel like something is off or just not right. When we do get sick, we stay sick longer and our episodes are more intense. Perhaps we simply no longer feel well; our energy seems to diminish with each passing year, however subtly, until one day we wake up to a vital force that feels lackluster. To rephrase anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, our vitality is now but akin to faint sparkles near our shoes. (15) These sparkles are all that’s left of a luminosity which once ignited our whole being as children. With age, immune cells required for a robust immune system, such as B and T cells, diminish in their production, and our bone marrow and thymus gland function become compromised. (16)

As our vital force seems to lose its luster with each passing moment, our immune systems can weaken to the point where we don’t seem to get acutely ill anymore. For many, a significantly diminished vital force may coincide with the progression, or even the presentation and subsequent diagnosis by a physician, of a chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

In other words, this common process of devitalization, due to various internal and external forces present in our environment since birth (i.e., environmental toxicity, poor diet and lifestyle, stress, age, etc.), can set us up for worsening health. Our existence becomes hampered by the gradual yet steady onset of a chronic disease which perpetuates itself. We may experience a series of acute health crises as we tread upon our path, and then suddenly find ourselves riddled with a constellation of chronic diseases—managed by an ever-growing team of specialists who do not communicate with each other—and medicated by an ever-plentiful cornucopia of polypharmacy. (17)

Although we are living more than twice as long as in 1900, (18) conventional medicine, which is supposed to help us get well, may turn out to be a failure at keeping our health condition from worsening. Our drug-managed disease may now set us up for the development of new symptoms and possibly even drug-induced disease (DID). (19) A plethora of side effects and complications, induced in part by conventional medicine, may lead to increased morbidity and mortality. (20, 21) In fact, properly prescribed medications are the third leading cause of death in the US. (22)

But the Law of Vitality reminds us that there is another, unconventional paradigm: (23) a paradigm of health, not disease. This new paradigm is wellness-oriented and constitutes “the evolution of medicine,” as integrative medicine advocate James Maskell calls it. (24) We can begin to see that our signs and symptoms are a language that communicates our body’s attempts to restore normalcy. We can learn to understand and to speak in the language of the vital force. Only by supporting and enhancing the efficacy of the vital force can we truly realign with the laws of nature and prevent (as well as reverse) chronic disease.

We may have to tread on the dark pathless ground in the wood where only we can tread to follow the calling of our healing journey. To quote mythologist Joseph Campbell, who inspired George Lucas to create Star Wars, “You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path.” (25) This may be a long, arduous path, with many twists and turns; we may not ever return home from whence we originated. But we can rest assured that the Law of Vitality is there for us to apply in our own lives, a perennial philosophy of health and wellness.

However, the Law of Vitality is much more than a philosophy or myth to live by. It is an ever-present reality living in us; our bodies are always trying to heal themselves, and we can learn how to allow and enhance this naturally occurring process. We can learn from those who know, such as people who have struggled with and resolved chronic disease. Is it any wonder that many of the best health and wellness books were written by people who healed themselves of a chronic disease, such as Terry Wahls, MD, and her healing journey with multiple sclerosis (MS)? (26) “May the vital force be with you, grasshopper.”

We can seek out someone who can help us along the way, such as a naturopathic or integrative medicine practitioner. We can take the first step in a journey which may unfold into a new life free of chronic disease.  We can align with our body’s keen attempts to heal itself, rather than engage in conventional practices which, especially when carried out over long periods of time, may only engender further suppression of our symptoms and may even drive our diseases deeper into the recesses of our bodies.

Globally, hundreds of millions—over 157 million, estimated by 2020, in the United States alone (27)—are struggling with a chronic disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, more than 50 percent take more than two, and one in five are on five or more prescription medications. (28)

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed “almost 50% of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and 50% of patients fail to take them correctly.” (29) Some common types of irrational use include the inappropriate use of antibiotics, polypharmacy, and the overuse of injections. (30) In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands die each year due to adverse drug reactions (ADR). (31) In fact, iatrogenesis (that is, healthcare intervention–induced harm) is the fifth leading cause of death in the world, (32) and it is estimated that 5 to 8 percent of all hospitalizations are due to ADRs. (33)

The journey of chronic disease remission may be long and toiling, or it may be short and sweet. There are many ways to get to a renewed vitality; we only need to choose a path that fits our self-expression. We can choose a porridge just right for us, as Goldilocks would have it. We can experience the Law of Vitality, unlocking “spontaneous healing,” (34) as Andrew Weil, MD, called it, by supporting rather than suppressing our innate healing capacity.

How Can We Apply the Law of Vitality to Benefit Our Health?

If you desire to enjoy the benefits of a strong vital force, then you have to regularly access experiences and environments which support and enhance vitality. This includes breathing clean air and drinking filtered water; consuming a diverse, nutrient-dense diet; engaging in stress reduction and regular exercise; enjoying a natural environment with exposure to the elements whenever possible; and engaging in regular immersion in a supportive and loving community, whether it be family, friends, a spiritual group such as a church, or those united by shared interest or cause. It would be wonderful if these things were readily available to everyone, but not all of them are, for various reasons, such as socioeconomic status. However, some alternatives and options are accessible to most, such as the ability to take walks in the local park, engage in home workouts, or surround ourselves with nontoxic friends who build us up rather than put us down.

It is important to note that applying the Law of Vitality has just as much to do with not doing certain things. On a basic level, this means not doing the things that make us feel bad, such as spending time with people who put us down or eating foods that make us feel like crap. On a more superficial level, this also means not regularly going for the quick fix (such as the pink boxes of Prilosec at Costco for heartburn).

When we suppress the things which irritate or pain us, such as acid reflux or a tension headache, by literally turning them off with drugs, we engage in the practice of regularly untuning ourselves from and becoming numb to the signs and symptoms—the language of our vital force—that our bodies are using to communicate with us. Also, because the body is extremely intelligent, there is usually a reason behind the often painful and unsettling goings-on. If we interfere too often with natural processes, we risk disturbing a fragile ecosystem whose innate programming is to restore normal structure and function.

This is the problem with the approach known as the Doctrine of Suppression, upon which most of conventional medicine is established. Basically, this doctrine is founded upon the notion that we can suppress a symptom, such as a headache, with a medication, thereby turning off our experience of the pain. This is much like snipping the wire to the dashboard engine warning light in our car, rather than hiring a mechanic to look under the hood. Naturopathic doctors will look under the hood for you; they won’t just snip the wire.

Human beings are infinitely more complex than motor vehicles, yet every mechanic knows that automobile functions are intimately entwined: there is a reason a warning light comes on, much the same way that there is a reason a tension headache occurs.

If we merely suppress the symptom without addressing its root cause, then the body will have to compensate in some other (perhaps unseen) way, in order to restore homeostasis. This will likely produce side effects which often get dubbed as a new disease or condition. For example, when we get cold, the temperature center in our brain triggers responses that help to warm us up, such as shivering which causes heat to be generated by our muscles, or goose bumps which trap an air layer near the skin to retain heat. (35) These are compensatory evolutionary mechanisms to keep us from freezing to death, and if we took anti-shivering or anti-goose bumps medications to turn these symptoms off, then our bodies would have to find other ways to thermoregulate, such as by increasing hormone release to raise heat production.

In general, every occurrence in the body has a reason behind it, and everything we do in response has a consequence. When we choose not to suppress our symptoms but rather to work with the wisdom of the body to help the body get what it needs, to stimulate and enhance the vital force, then we apply the Law of Vitality in our lives.

Applying the Law of Vitality:

Explore the Law of Vitality by engaging in the following activities:

1. List the five things which make you feel the most vital in your life. Do more of these things.

2. List the five things which make you feel the least vital in your life. Do less of these things.

3. Engage in some form of hydrotherapy, which enhances the vital force, as well as benefits different systems, such as the digestive, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. (36) This can include steam rooms and saunas, hot springs, sensory deprivation float tanks rich in magnesium salts, showers and baths, saline pools, foot soaks, and any other therapy using water. Generally, it is best to always end with some form of cold, even if it’s thirty to sixty seconds in a cold shower. Here are two versions of home constitutional hydrotherapy treatments, the original therapy of which was pioneered by O.G. Carroll, ND: (37, 38)

a. While lying supine, cover the anterior torso with two hot large hand towels folded in half (four thicknesses or layers of terry cloth) soaked in hot water tolerant to touch, leaving in place for five minutes.

Home Hydrotherapy—Supine/Hot

Home Hydrotherapy—Supine/Cold

Then, replace hot towels with one cold large hand towel folded in half (two thicknesses or layers of terry cloth), leaving in place ten minutes or longer, until towel is warmed. Cover body with blanket, preferably wool or Vellux, to retain body heat during length of treatment. Then repeat entire procedure on posterior torso while lying prone. This version will usually require having someone assist in placing the towels. The total time will be approximately one half hour.

Home Hydrotherapy—Prone/Hot

Home Hydrotherapy—Prone/Cold

b. Alternative: Immerse entire body in hot bath or shower for five minutes. Then dry off quickly with towel, soak a towel in cold water, wring out completely, and wrap around both sides of torso, or from armpit to groin. Cover body with wool or Vellux blanket, leaving the cold towel wrapped for twenty minutes, or longer, until towel is warmed.

4. Spend time in nature regularly, such as by taking walks in the park or by camping, when possible. Spend time in the sun. Walk barefoot in the grass. Breathe fresh forest air, or try the Japanese art of “Forest Bathing,” which consists of simply spending time in the forest in order to rejuvenate and promote health. (39)

5. Swim in rivers, lakes, and streams. Visit the ocean and breathe in the fresh salty air while running your bare feet through the surf and ocean water.

6. Obtain quality sleep by focusing on setting in place suitable supportive habits. Limit exposure to junk light a couple hours before bed, such as from cell phones and fluorescent light bulbs. Limit screen time before bed, choosing instead to read a physical book or meditate. Study your own sleeping patterns and figure out what bedtimes are optimal for you, such as what matches your lifestyle or your chronotype. (40) Drink herbal teas, such as chamomile, if need be. Use blackout curtains and remove your phone, as well as any other active electronic devices, from the bedroom, or minimally, put them in airplane mode so as to limit the electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) they may harmfully emit.

7. Seek out a naturopathic doctor or integrative medicine practitioner who can help guide you along your healing or health and wellness journey. Seek out therapies that enhance or stimulate the vital force, such as acupuncture, reiki, homeopathy, craniosacral therapy, or other alternative vitality-enhancing modalities.

8. Please fill in the blank:

I’m grateful for my health because _________.


  1. Paracelsus, and Waite A. E. The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombast, of Hohenheim, Called Paracelsus the Great: Now for the First Time Faithfully Translated into English. Eastford: Martino Publishing, 2009.
  2. Hippocrates et al. Hippocrates. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
  3. Lust, B., et al. Collected Works of Dr. Benedict Lust: Containing the Books Yungborn, the Life and Times of Dr. Benedict Lust and Pilgrimages to the Great Masters: As Well as Several Shorter Articles and a Selection of Relevant Photographs. Seattle: Healing Mountain Publishing, 2006.
  4. Coulter, I., P. Snider, and A. Neil. “Vitalism—A Worldview Revisited: A Critique of Vitalism and Its Implications for Integrative Medicine.” Integrative Medicine 18, no. 3 (2019): 60–73.
  5. Hippocrates et al. Hippocrates. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
  6. Brooks, W. S. “The Mechanism of Pipping in Birds.” The Auk 87, no. 3 (1970): 458–66.
  7. Birkhead, T. Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
  8. Tennyson. The Complete Works of Tennyson. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1908.
  9. 9 Ullah, I., R. B. Subbarao, and G. J. Rho. “Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells—Current Trends and Future Prospective.” Bioscience Reports 35, no. 2 (2015). doi:10.1042/bsr20150025.
  10. 10 Khaldoyanidi, S. “Directing Stem Cell Homing.” Cell Stem Cell 2, no. 3 (2008): 198–200. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2008.02.012.
  11. Lin, W., et al. “Mesenchymal Stem Cells Homing to Improve Bone Healing.” Journal of Orthopaedic Translation, 9 (2017): 19–27. doi:10.1016/
  12. Riordan, N. H. Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide. Southlake, TX: Neil Riordan, 2017.
  13. Caplan, A. I. “Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Time to Change the Name!” STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 6, no. 6 (2017): 1445–51. doi:10.1002/sctm.17-0051.
  14. Ovadya, Y., et al. “Impaired Immune Surveillance Accelerates Accumulation of Senescent Cells and Aging.” Nature Communications 9, no. 1 (2018): 5435.doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07825-3.
  15. Castaneda, C. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.
  16. Montecino-Rodriguez, E., B. Berent-Maoz, and K. Dorshkind. “Causes, Consequences, and Reversal of Immune System Aging.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 123, no. 3 (2013): 958–65. doi:10.1172/jci64096.
  17. Dagli, R. J., and A. Sharma. “Polypharmacy: A Global Risk Factor for Elderly People.” Journal of International Oral Health 6, no. 6 (2014): i–ii.
  18. Roser, M., E. Ortiz-Ospina, and H. Ritchie. “Life Expectancy.” Our World in Data. 2013.
  19. Tandon, V. R., et al. “Drug-Induced Diseases (DIDs): An Experience of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital from India.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research 142, no. 1 (2015): 33–39.
  20. Pizzorno, J. “Can We Say ‘Cure?’” Integrative Medicine (Encinitas) 15, no. 5 (2016): 8–12.
  21. Lazarou J., B. H. Pomeranz, and P. N. Corey. “Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies.” Journal of the American Medical Association 279, no. 15 (1998): 1200–5.
  22. Gøtzsche, P. C. “Our Prescription Drugs Kill Us in Large Numbers.” Polish Archives of Internal Medicine 124, no. 11 (2014): 628–34.
  23. Kresser, C. Unconventional Medicine: Join the Revolution to Reinvent Healthcare, Reverse Chronic Disease, and Create a Practice You Love. Austin: Lioncrest Publishing, 2017.
  24. Maskell, J. The Evolution of Medicine: Join the Movement to Solve Chronic Disease and Fall Back in Love with Medicine. n.p.: Knew Books, 2016.
  25. Campbell, J., P. Cousineau, and S. L. Brown. The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work. Novato: New World Library, 2014.
  26. Wahls, Terry L. The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles. London: Vermilion, 2017.
  27. About Chronic Conditions.” National Health Council. 2016.
  28. Zhong, W., et al. “Age and Sex Patterns of Drug Prescribing in a Defined American Population.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 88, no. 7 (2013): 697–707. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.04.021.
  29. The Safety of Medicines in Public Health Programmes: Pharmacovigilance an Essential Tool.” World Health Organization. 2006.
  30. The Safety of Medicines in Public Health Programmes: Pharmacovigilance an Essential Tool.” World Health Organization. 2006.
  31. Peer, R. F., and N. Shabir. “Iatrogenesis: A Review on Nature, Extent, and Distribution of Healthcare Hazards.” Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care 7, no. 2 (2018): 309–14. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_329_17.
  32. Peer, R. F., and N. Shabir. “Iatrogenesis: A Review on Nature, Extent, and Distribution of Healthcare Hazards.” Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care 7, no. 2 (2018): 309–14. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_329_17.
  33. Verma, R., B. Vasudevan, and V. Pragasam. “Severe Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions.” Medical Journal Armed Forces India 69, no. 4 (2013): 375–83. doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2013.01.007.
  34. Weil, A. Spontaneous Healing. New York: Random House, 2000.
  35. Morrison, S. F. “Central Control of Body Temperature.” F1000Research 5, no. 880 (2016): 880. doi:10.12688/f1000research.7958.1.
  36. Mooventhan, A., and L. Nivethitha. “Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body.” North American Journal of Medical Sciences 6, no. 5 (2014): 199. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.132935.
  37. Boyle, W., and A. Saine. Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy. East Palestine: Buckeye Naturopathic Press, 1988.
  38. Dick-Kronenberg, L. The Ultimate Text in Constitutional Hydrotherapy: A 100-Year Old Tradition of Clinical Practice. Spokane, WA: Carroll Institute of Natural Healing, 2012.
  39. Gilbert, C. Forest Bathing: Discovering Health and Happiness Through the Japanese Practice of Shinrin Yoku. New York: St. Martin’s Essentials, 2019.
  40. Breus, M. The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype—and Learn the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More. New York: Little, Brown Spark, 2019.
Dr. Ben’s Dairy-Free Broccoli Salad with Bacon Recipe

Dr. Ben’s Dairy-Free Broccoli Salad with Bacon Recipe

This is a simple broccoli salad recipe that is wonderful to have on hand as a side dish to almost any meal. Feel free to customize it to your own liking.


1 lb. whole broccoli

1 Haas avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped

8 slices cane sugar-free pepper bacon

½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise

¼ cup plain unsweetened Kite Hill almond milk yogurt (or your favorite plain unsweetened dairy-free yogurt)

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1½ teaspoons white wine vinegar

½ cup toasted sunflower seeds

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cups diced red onion

1 medium shallot, finely diced

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 teaspoon of your favorite locally made hot sauce


On a large cutting board, cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain and chop into bacon bits. In small mixing bowl, whisk mayo, yogurt, maple syrup, vinegar, and hot sauce. In large mixing bowl, add broccoli and avocado. Then, add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, currants, red onion, shallot and bacon. Poor over dressing and toss until dressing is evenly distributed, adding salt and pepper while coating. Chill in fridge for one hour. Serve chilled in small bowls.


Three Reasons to Read My Book, “The Serpent & The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing”

Three Reasons to Read My Book, “The Serpent & The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing”

In my book, “The Serpent and The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing,” I present a paradigm of health with a practical, evidence-based approach to naturopathic medicine.

Globally, hundreds of millions—over 157 million in the United States alone—struggle with a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

But through the seven laws of healing, my book offers a definitive starting point for anyone looking to understand how to prevent and resolve chronic disease.

You, too, can embrace a new paradigm of health with this practical, evidence-based approach to alternative medicine.

Here are three reasons to read my book, “The Serpent and The Butterfly: The Seven Laws of Healing“:

1. Taking a Balanced Approach to Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is more divided than ever before between the bright, shiny objects of the latest anti-aging tech trends and reverence for the traditional roots of ancient medical wisdom.

While trend is not destiny, tradition can also fall out of vogue and become scientifically outdated.

Both sides argue for evidence-based medicine but the question, “Whose evidence?”

Some health and wellness fads fall on a spectrum from one extreme to another, yet one truth remains constant: people are seeking vitality.

I discuss what it means to take a practical, balanced approach that integrates science and technology with traditional wisdom.

2.  How to Use the Seven Laws of Healing to Optimize your Health

Our body is our messenger, even if we don’t always like what it has to say.

In order to find true health, it’s essential to support this messenger and become fluent and conversant in its language.

We must learn how to rely on and trust the laws of healing operating within the human body, which have been not only been steadfast through time, but now have a strong evidential basis in the sciences.

I articulate the seven laws of healing and what it means to trust these laws operating within the human body along with practical means in which to apply them to optimize health and prevent chronic disease.

3. How to Live a Disease-Free Life

The Law of Disease states that disease is an imbalance caused by three things: toxicity, deficiency, and lack of energy.

A life free of chronic disease starts with the knowledge of how disease is engendered in the human organism.

Turning the concept of The Law of Disease inside-out, we have what I call The Triangle of Optimal Health, which says that optimal health is maintained by three things: a non-toxic lifestyle, adequate nutrition, and a robust vitality.

I discuss how to use this knowledge to lead a non-toxic lifestyle, maintain an adequate nutrient status, have plenty of energy, live a life free of chronic disease.