How to Apply The Third Law of Healing, The Law of Cure

How to Apply The Third Law of Healing, The Law of Cure

The direction of healing proceeds in the body in four universal ways:

From above downward, from within outward, from most important to least important organs, and in reverse order of symptom occurrence.

“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.”

—Samuel Hahnemann, MD (1)

The third law of healing is the Law of Cure. Cure simply means the restoration of normal structure and function in the organism, a return to health. There can be no cure if there is no disease or dis-ease, just as there can be no normal without the reality of possible abnormality.

The body is exceedingly intelligent, operating in predictable ways that can tell the skilled practitioner in which direction healing is proceeding. There are four universal ways in which healing progresses in the body. Constantine Hering, MD, lived in the 1800s and first summarized these four directions, known as Hering’s Law of Cure. (2)

The Law of Cure

The direction of healing proceeds in the body in four universal ways: (3)

  1. From above downward
  2. From within outward
  3. From more important to less important organs
  4. In reverse order of symptom occurrence

Caution: By the way, these directions should not be used to diagnose disease or healing in yourself. They are subtle signs, not hard-and-fast rules, and require years of medical training and practice to observe. Also, these potentially observable signs and symptoms of healing can be subtle and must be taken into account only when treating the totality of the person. You should work with an integrative medicine practitioner, such as a naturopathic doctor trained by an accredited naturopathic medical school, and even better, one who is also affiliated with the Naturopathic Medicine Institute (NMI).

The First Direction of Healing: From Above Downward

The first direction described in the Law of Cure is that healing or cure will move in the body from above to below, or from the top down. This means that a presenting symptom or a condition may move vertically down in the body, in the direction of the head to the toes. A simple example would be a chronic rash on the chest that moves down, for example, to the groin area, and eventually to the legs. When it resolves, it will do so in its original area(s) first, as it moves inferiorly. Another example of a potential sign or symptom of the first direction of healing would be arthritic pain moving down from the neck to the fingers.

The First Direction of Healing: From Above Downward

The first direction described in the Law of Cure is that healing or cure will move in the body from above to below, or from the top down. This means that a presenting symptom or a condition may move vertically down in the body, in the direction of the head to the toes. A simple example would be a chronic rash on the chest that moves down, for example, to the groin area, and eventually to the legs. When it resolves, it will do so in its original area(s) first, as it moves inferiorly. Another example of a potential sign or symptom of the first direction of healing would be arthritic pain moving down from the neck to the fingers.

The Second Direction of Healing: From Within Outward

The second direction, which can be more complex, is that healing or cure moves from within outward. In other words, the signs and symptoms of healing can move from a deeper layer of the body to an area more superficial. This could be seen in an infection resolving in a deeper layer of the skin first, while maintaining its appearance on the surface of the skin. The dermis heals before the epidermis. A more complex example would be a respiratory condition like asthma improving or resolving, while external symptoms, such as a rash on the arms, appear to worsen.

The Third Direction of Healing: From More Important to Less Important Organs

The third direction is the progression of healing or cure from a more important organ to a less important one. The body protects its most important organs with more resources than the less important ones, in much the same way that a military expedition is organized to protect its higher officers more than its armed forces on the periphery. The organs are ordered in the body, from most important to least important. The brain and the heart are the most important, and organs such as the lungs and the urinary tract are of less importance. You can barely exist, at least consciously, for a minute without your brain or your heart fully functioning appropriately, but you can exist much longer with a barely functioning digestive tract.

The third direction of the Law of Cure explains why conditions like lower respiratory tract and urinary tract infections are much more likely to occur than brain infections or heart infections. An example of the third direction of the Law of Cure would be a chronic respiratory infection improving, but then a patient presenting with an eczematous rash, signaling that the process is moving from the lungs to the skin.  A direction of healing is proceeding. In this example, the skin is seen to be of less immediate importance than the lungs.

Of course, the reverse can also be true, signaling a worsening of the overall condition of the organism: disease can progress from the skin, for example, to the lungs, such as in what is often seen in the atopic triad. The atopic triad is a three-fold presentation of disease, where a child with eczema subsequently develops seasonal allergies and asthma after using steroids for a period of time, showing a progression rather than a remission of disease. (4)

These signs and symptoms are mere guideposts used by the skilled health practitioner to inform their treatment of the individual, to know if a person is on the path of cure. The Law of Cure is not a hard-and-fast rule that can be readily understood by the layperson and used to diagnose and treat a disease. The Law of Cure embodies a principle which informs clinical case prognosis and provides information about how to understand whether disease or cure are imminent. Always talk with your doctor about your condition and allow them to be your healthcare collaborator and guide. In other words, don’t try this at home.

The Fourth Direction of Healing: In Reverse Order of Symptom Occurrence

The fourth direction of healing is the reversal of symptoms occurring in the order in which they first appeared in the body. An analogy to the progression or remission of disease would be taking a walk into a park and having to exit the park the same way in which you entered in order to return to your car in the parking lot. If you are to return to health, you often have to circle back whence you came; this can often show up as the reoccurrence of symptoms experienced long ago, as healing and cure proceed in the body.

Let’s move back to our example of the atopic triad, which is the three-fold presentation of eczema, allergies, and asthma in a child.Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, in a child often progresses to a condition where chronic hay fever or seasonal allergies then ensue, leading to eventual onset of chronic asthma, a process known as the atopic march. (5) In fact, up to 80% of children with eczema also have asthma or allergies. (6) An example of the direction of healing occurring in the child would be the asthma resolving or improving but then the reappearance of chronic eczema on the child’s skin, even though the child has not had this condition, with that particular presentation, for a few years. The lungs are more important than the skin for immediate survival, so this example also combines more than one of the four directions of healing.

Another example comes directly from one of my patient’s reports. She spent several weeks detoxifying for hours daily in an infrared sauna, when an old severe sunburn that she had experienced many years ago, reappeared on her torso, with exactly the same presentation as from the past. Over the course of several days, the burn from the past resolved and her skin and scarring cleared for the first time in years.

Again, these are crude, anecdotal examples to attempt an explanation of the Law of Cure, purely for illustration, but you must always work with your doctor, as each individual is unique and this potentially observable language of the progression of cure in the human body should not be used to diagnose and treat oneself or one’s family members, but should be applied and observed with the help of a naturopathic doctor or skilled integrative medicine practitioner. The directions of the Law of Cure can serve as guideposts along our healing journey as we resolve chronic disease in our bodies.

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

Well, first of all, we must work with a trained practitioner; but we can also generally benefit from the knowledge that conditions affecting our more important organs, such as our brain or our heart, are usually more likely to be more serious than conditions affecting, for example, our urinary tract or our lungs.

We can seek out the help of naturopathic doctors to work with and enhance our body’s healing mechanisms, rather than suppress our symptoms with polypharmacy and potentially drive the disease deeper into our bodies.

Applying the Law of Cure:

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

1. Write a letter to yourself about what your life would be like if you were free of chronic pain or chronic disease. How would things be different? Describe what it would be like using all five of your senses.

2. Pay deep attention to your symptoms and to the way they change over time. Journal about your health, if you want to.

3. Pay particular attention to the condition of your skin and realize that the skin is like a mirror of our internal health. Work with a naturopathic doctor to develop “clear skin from within,” as skin expert Trevor Holly Cates, ND, would call it. (7)

4. Take an inventory of the various diseases, illnesses, and injuries that you have experienced over your life.

5. Seek out a naturopathic doctor or another skilled, medically trained integrative healthcare practitioner, such as a functional medicine doctor, to help. guide you on your healing journey.

6. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because __________.

 

Resources:

  1. Hahnemann, S., and C. Hering. Organon of Homoeopathic Medicine. Charleston: BiblioLife, 2010.
  2. Hahnemann, S., et al. The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoepathic Cure. New Delhi: Jain, 1896.
  3. Saine, A. “Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?” Canadian Academy of Homeopathy. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.homeopathy.ca/articles_det12.shtml.
  4. Zheng, T. “The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma.” Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology 5, no. 2 (2014): 202. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.1000202.
  5. Hill, D. A., and J. M. Spergel. “The Atopic March: Critical Evidence and Clinical Relevance.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 120, no. 2 (2018): 131–37. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2017.10.037.
  6. Eichenfield, L. F., et al. “Atopic Dermatitis and Asthma: Parallels in the Evolution of Treatment.” Pediatrics 111, no. 3 (2003): 608–16. doi:10.1542/peds.111.3.608.
  7. Cates, T. Clean Skin from Within: The Spa Doctors 2-Week Program to Glowing, Naturally Youthful Skin. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds, 2017.
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

Nontoxicity

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 _________.

Resources:

  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. https://soils.wisc.edu/facstaff/barak/poster_gallery/minneapolis2000a/.
  16. Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?Scientific American. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-aND-NUTRITION-LOSS/.
  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. https://www.epa.gov/agriculture/agriculture-nutrient-management-and-fertilizer.
  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. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/chromium.
  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.
  39. Nau, R., and H. Eiffert. “Modulation of Release of Proinflammatory Bacterial Compounds by Antibacterials: Potential Impact on Course of Inflammation and Outcome in Sepsis and Meningitis.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews 15, no. 1 (2002): 95–110. doi:10.1128/cmr.15.1.95-110.2002.
  40. Hyman, M. “8 Tips to Ease Detox Discomfort.” Dr. Hyman. 2016. https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/05/12/8-tips-to-ease-detox-discomfort/.
  41. Jared Zeff, ND.” National University of Natural Medicine. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://nunm.edu/2018-living-legend-jared-zeff/.
  42. Nature Cure and the Process of Healing.” Salmon Creek Clinic: Naturopathic Healthcare. Accessed November 24, 2019. https://salmoncreekclinic.com/articles-by-dr-zeff/clinical-theory/nature-cure-and-the-process-of-healing/.
  43. D’Adamo, P., and C. Whitney. Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Original Individualized Blood Type Diet Solution. London: Arrow Books, 2017.
  44. Price, W. A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Lemon
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 _________.

Resources:

  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/j.jot.2017.03.002.
  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. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy#life-expectancy-has-improved-globally.
  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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557247/.
  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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9555760.
  22. Gøtzsche, P. C. “Our Prescription Drugs Kill Us in Large Numbers.” Polish Archives of Internal Medicine 124, no. 11 (2014): 628–34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355584.
  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. https://nationalhealthcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/AboutChronicDisease.pdf
  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. https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/pharmacovigilance/safety/en/.
  30. The Safety of Medicines in Public Health Programmes: Pharmacovigilance an Essential Tool.” World Health Organization. 2006. https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/pharmacovigilance/safety/en/.
  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.

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

Calcium D-Glucarate: A Closer Look at Hormone Regulation

Calcium D-Glucarate: A Closer Look at Hormone Regulation

Calcium D-glucarate is a popular supplement with some buzz these days. It is used for cancer prevention, liver detoxification, and hormone regulation, but few know why exactly it’s recommended. This article will discuss why it’s used and whether it’s a band-aid or a root-cause approach to chronic disease.

What is Calcium D-Glucarate?

First, let’s take a closer look at the compound itself. Calcium D-glucarate is a calcium salt of D-glucaric acid, a non-toxic compound found in many fruits and vegetables, especially grapefruits, apples, oranges, and even cruciferous vegetables, such as broccolini and Collard greens, but in trace amounts. (1)

Red and blue illustration of a nerve cell

Calcium D-Glurate and Liver Detoxification

The liver works 24/7 to help carry waste products out of your body. The liver has three phases of detoxification, and the middle or second phase, or Phase II, uses a process called glucuronidation, which involves processing end-metabolite hormones such as estrogen so that as end-metabolites, they can safely move out of the body. (2, 3) All steroid hormones, for example, are detoxified in the liver via glucuronidation.

Calcium D-Glucarate and Beta-Glucuronidase

Oral supplementation of Calcium D-glucarate has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme produced by colonic microbiota heavily involved in liver detoxification. (4) This inhibitory enzyme can be produced excessively when our microbiome is compromised by a pathogenic bacterial foothold.

Beta-Glucuronidase Run Amuck

When our gut microbiota are thrown off, a state otherwise called dysbiosis generates a host of byproducts, which can lead to dysbiosis-associated changes. (5) Some common agents that can wreak havoc on our microbiome include antibiotics, such as clindamycin, and NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. (6, 7) One of these dysbiosis-associated changes include overproduction of the beta-glucuronidase. (8)

But the danger here is that if there is excessive beta-glucuronidase in the body due to pathogenic bacteria having taken ahold in the gut, then these end-metabolites of estrogen can be cleaved at the junction of (soon-to-be-excreted) toxin, and glucuronic acid. The toxin can then stay in the body and lead to the formation of carcinogens in the bowel, increasing the risk of cancer. This whole process can lead to the promotion of enterohepatic recirculation, wherein a toxic soup of toxins, hormones, and even drugs circulates freely throughout the body. (9)

Black and orange human liver illustration

A deeper discussion of enterohepatic recirculation can be saved for a future article, but it has been shown to lead, for example, to higher estrogen levels, which in turn increases the risk for breast cancer. In other words, elevated beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with hormone-dependent cancers.

Calcium D-Glucarate Benefits

 

Enter the supplement, calcium D-glucarate, supposedly to the rescue. Studies indicate that calcium D-glucarate will prevent the excess beta-glucuronidase from cleaving the end-products of estrogen, allowing them to remain glucuronidated and excreted properly.

Beta-glucuronidase actively conjugates estrogens into their active forms, a process which is impaired by dysbiosis and results in less circulating estrogen, which may contribute to conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. (10)

Calcium D-glucarate is thought to confer protective properties against breast cancer via estrogen clearance.

In mice models, D-glucarates appear to suppress cell proliferation and inflammation and induce cell apoptosis. They can potentially support proper cell death to keep malignancy in check. (11)

Other compounds thought to inhibit breast cancer include diindolylmethane (DIM) and isothiocyanates (sulforaphane) found in cruciferous vegetables. (12) Hence, eat adequate amounts of these sulfur-rich foods.

In other words, it is thought that oral supplementation of calcium D-glucarate is a way of favoring the body’s natural defense mechanism by upregulating the clearance of carcinogens.

Is Excessive Beta-Glucuronidase a Calcium D-Glucarate Deficiency?

Is the above a leading question? Somewhat. Is it a rhetorical question? Well, kind of. But the short answer is no.

Taking calcium D-glucarate, though it may be highly indicated, especially as part of a naturopathic or functional treatment plan, is more a band-aid treatment than a root cause approach. In other words, the right question is, “What exactly is mediating or causing the excessive beta-glucuronidase-producing dysbiosis?”

In other words, the root cause isn’t even the dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a symptom of an imbalance that likely has a multifactorial etiology that requires the assistance of a naturopathic physician or other integrative medicine practitioner.

The imbalance is occurring in the gut, and correcting whatever is causing the dysbiosis will improve symptomatology and potentially resolve the problem. Hence, taking calcium D-glucarate is a potential first step that should be part of a root cause-oriented approach to mitigate the effects of high estrogen, but it is only a band-aid.

Restoring Your Gut Microbiome

However, it’s best to start with restoring your gut microbiome by way of eliminating the instigators and mediators of dysbiosis, such as multiple rounds of antibiotics or a daily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, regularly eating your food intolerances, eating a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), being in constant fight-or-flight, or any other number potential culprits known to compromise gut function.

In other words, because the microbiome is one of the primary regulators of estrogen circulation, our hormones are more likely to remain in balance by taking care of our microbiome.

However, remember to consult your naturopathic doctor or your integrative medicine practitioner before considering introducing calcium D-glucarate into your supplement regimen.

Resources

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  2. Dwivedi C, Heck WJ, Downie AA, Larroya S, Webb TE. Effect of calcium glucarate on beta-glucuronidase activity and glucarate content of certain vegetables and fruits. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1990 Apr;43(2):83-92. doi: 10.1016/0885-4505(90)90012-p. PMID: 2346674.
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  8. Court MH. Interindividual variability in hepatic drug glucuronidation: studies into the role of age, sex, enzyme inducers, and genetic polymorphism using the human liver bank as a model system. Drug Metab Rev. 2010 Feb;42(1):209-24. doi: 10.3109/03602530903209288. PMID: 19821798; PMCID: PMC6174030.
  9. Roberts MS, Magnusson BM, Burczynski FJ, Weiss M. Enterohepatic circulation: physiological, pharmacokinetic and clinical implications. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2002;41(10):751-90. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200241100-00005. PMID: 12162761.
  10. Zółtaszek R, Hanausek M, Kiliańska ZM, Walaszek Z. Biologiczna rola kwasu D-glukarowego i jego pochodnych; potencjalne zastosowanie w medycynie [The biological role of D-glucaric acid and its derivatives: potential use in medicine]. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2008 Sep 5;62:451-62. Polish. PMID: 18772850.
  11. Zoltaszek R, Kowalczyk P, Kowalczyk MC, et al. Dietary D-glucarate effects on the biomarkers of inflammation during early post-initiation stages of benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice. Oncol Lett. 2011;2(1):145-154. doi:10.3892/ol.2010.221
  12. Thomson CA, Ho E, Strom MB. Chemopreventive properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(7):432-443. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuw010