Archive for the ‘diet and nutrition’ Category

Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins? The Truth About Exercise & Detoxing


Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins? The Truth About Exercise and Detoxing

By Beth Janes Posted 06-01-2020

Exercise is one of those things that’s so good for you and has so much science backing up its advertised health benefits, it’s not hard to believe one more proclaimed benefit: That a good, sweaty workout would help expel toxins. After all, your body only has a few ways to get rid of waste, and it makes sense it would do so through the pores of its largest organ — skin — if given the chance.

In reality, the link between exercise and detoxification isn’t quite so simple. Exercise does play a huge role in the process, but it doesn’t have much to do with sweat. While researchhas found traces of heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium in the sweat of those with high blood levels of the toxins, for example, whatever toxins are released through perspiration (if any) are likely an overall drop in the bucket compared to what’s eliminated via urine and stool.

Man in the gymnasium after workout. He is sweaty, exhausted and wiping the face with a towel

“Sweat is certainly an area of interest, and there’s the possibility that some things do come out in sweat,” says Dr. Bill Rawls, M.D., medical director of Vital Plan. “But sweat’s primary function is thermoregulation, not detoxing. The main way your body removes toxins is through the liver and kidneys, which process them and turn them water soluble so they can be expelled through urine and stool.”

Even so, being active does play an integral role in the detoxification process. Keep reading to learn more — plus natural ways to maximize the cleansing power of exercise.

Movement Matters for Detox

For all of you who hear the word exercise and automatically think it means you must hit the gym, break into a jog, or otherwise go hard, relax — literally. While there’s certainly benefits to intense physical activity, low-to-moderate intensity activities are also extremely good for you, especially when it comes to detoxing.

“What we all really need is to just be active and move more throughout the day, and that can mean anything, really,” Dr. Rawls says. For example, everyday leisure activities like walking, biking and kayaking count.

Woman in denim apron and hat working with rake in public garden

So does housework, gardening, and other “work” you might otherwise have a machine do, which might mean raking leaves versus blowing them, or washing dishes by hand instead of loading them into the dishwasher. “Our bodies were designed to move, and up until about 100 years ago, when we started processing and using petroleum, that’s what we did,” Dr. Rawls says.

Unfortunately, the modern world has dealt most people a one-two punch when it comes to toxins: Not only are we moving much less than our ancestors thanks to machines, appliances, cars, and industrial processes, we’re also exposed to many, many more toxins because of those exact things. We’re also exposed to toxins from cleaning and other household items, self-care products, as well as in food in drinks in the form of herbicide and pesticide residue, plus chemicals from plastic packaging.

Shot of young woman with back pain sitting on the sofa in the living room at home.

“All those toxins are not compatible with human life; they damage cells and DNA, they inhibit normal functioning of cells, and they interfere with cellular messaging systems,” Dr. Rawls explains. Many also are free radicals that directly attack cells.

All combined, toxins put an enormous amount of stress on cells, causing them to burn out faster, which ultimately accelerates aging. In other words, detoxing is not only key for your health and healthy functioning of your systems now, it’s an investment in longevity, he says. And that’s why exercise, especially, which is already a multifaceted, well-known age decelerator, is the perfect detox tool.

3 Ways Exercise Supports Your Body’s Detoxification Processes

1. It Improves Circulation.

All cells are water-based and bathed in what’s called extracellular fluid, which helps encourage cells to release toxins and carry them away to the liver and kidneys for disposal, Dr. Rawls says. However the less you move, the more that fluid stagnates and the more toxins build up in your system and can do damage.

“You don’t have to do triathlons or run 10 miles a day,” says Dr. Rawls. “Just make it your goal to move more throughout the day, which is enough to flush out toxins from cells and the fluid around cells and keep it flowing.”

2. Exercise Lowers Inflammation.

Physical activity has also been proven time and again to help control inflammation, which reduces your body’s overall toxic load. Because while there are plenty of toxins we take in from the external world — from air pollution or pesticides, for example — chronic inflammation is itself toxic to our cells and produces an overabundance of natural “toxins.”

Here’s what’s happening: Under normal, healthy conditions, the body uses free radicals to break down cellular waste — the byproducts produced by cells as they make energy as well as other debris like bacteria or neutralized viruses. That waste is then carried away through the lymphatic system and filtered out in lymph nodes. The process is typically tightly controlled because free radicals also break down healthy tissue.

human cells receiving attack from free radicals

However, when cells are stressed due to environmental toxins, as well as psychological stress, a poor diet, lack of sleep, and other factors, cells produce more waste and burn out more quickly. That leads to a flood of excess free radicals, which also begin breaking down more and more healthy tissue, leading to more waste. It’s a vicious cycle that contributes to chronic illness and accelerates the general aging process.

“In short, chronic inflammation is a reaction to the whole plumbing system of the body becoming overwhelmed and getting clogged and backing up,” Dr. Rawls says. “Your cells are so polluted that your system is collecting waste at a faster pace than the normal flow can get rid of.” Physical activity is effective because it helps both reduce inflammation and help clear lymphatic congestion.

3. It Helps Reduce Places For Toxins to Hide.

Fat tissue seems to be one place certain toxins like to hide once they get inside your body. And research suggests those who are overweight or obese tend to have higher body burdens of common environmental toxins. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, helps reduce fat tissue and keep your weight and, potentially, the amount of toxins in your system in check.

Herbs That Support Your Detox Efforts

Increasing your daily activity will go a long way toward more effective detoxification. Add supportive herbs into the mix, and the results are likely to be even better. Here are a few areas and specific herbs to focus on, according to Dr. Rawls:

Multitasking Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogens are very beneficial overall because they help balance and support a number of different functions and systems. One of their most important jobs, however, is supporting the immune system, which controls your body’s inflammatory response. So while they’re well-known for their anti-inflammatory powers, they also help protect the vascular system and liver.

Look for:

Herbs That Enhance Blood Flow

Plants known to help protect cardiac function and your vascular system help ensure good circulation and blood flow for the carrying away of toxins. They also contribute to the cardio-protective effects of exercise, Dr. Rawls says.

Look for:

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

Most herbs have anti-inflammatory (as well as antioxidant) powers. However certain plants and other substances are known to help system-wide inflammation, as well as the inflammation that can contribute to the painful joints that otherwise may make exercise uncomfortable.

Look for:

Herbs That Support Healthy Liver Function

“We’re exposed to so many toxins these days that we’re burning out our liver cells quickly,” Dr. Rawls says. Herbs that help protect liver cells do so by increasing their natural antioxidant protection. And the healthier your liver, the better the detoxification process.

Look for:

No matter what you do when you start to think about optimizing your body’s detoxification powers, be wary of products that claim too-good-to-be-true cleansing powers. Most of them simply pump you full of natural laxatives without actually addressing the bigger, underlying issues, Dr. Rawls says.

The truth is, you already have the best detox tool available — the ability to move. Look at products, then, that help support healthy functioning of your cells and body so you feel motivated, energized, and ready to get up and go.

1. Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr and Riina I. Bray. 2012. “Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review.” J Environ Public Health. 184745.
2. University of Arkansas Medical School. “Can you sweat toxins out of your body?” UAMC Health. March 8, 2019.
3. Hammer, Mark, Sabia Severine, G. David Batty, et al. 2012. “Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers Over 10 Years: Follow-Up in Men and Women From the Whitehall II Cohort Study.” Circulation. 126(8):928–933
4. Ertek, Sibel and Arrigo Cicero. 2012. “Impact of Physical Activity on Inflammation: Effects on Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Other Inflammatory Conditions.” Arch Med Sci. 8(5):794-804.
5. Dimitrov, Stoyan, Elaine Hulteng and Suzi Hong. 2017. “Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation.” Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 61:60-68.
6. La Merril, Michele, Claude Emond, Min Ji Kim, et al. 2013. “Toxicological Function of Adipose Tissue: Focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants.” Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Feb; 121(2): 162–169.
7. Kim, Min-Ji, Philippe Marchand, Corneliu Henegar, et al. 2011. “Fate and Complex Pathogenic Effects of Dioxins and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Obese Subjects Before and After Drastic Weight Loss.” Environ Health Perspect Mar;119(3):377-83.


What Can We Learn From Our Current Affairs? (Go here for Video)

What Can We Learn From Our Current Affairs?Picture

By, Dr. Robert Waters

If we can learn anything from the current world-wide infection, it is that we need to take care of ourselves. If we make ourselves resilient…if we maximize our biochemical health, we will be able to resist diseases, viral and otherwise. Data from around the world indicate that old, frail people and people with serious illnesses like diabetes and emphysema are overwhelmingly the ones that get seriously ill and die from the present virus, and indeed, from influenza outbreaks every year. Very healthy people and children may only experience mild symptoms or none at all. In addition, more and more studies, have revealed that the lower a person’s vitamin D level, the more susceptible the victim becomes to serious illness or death. Deficiencies of other nutrients like zinc, C, A, Omega-3 also weaken us.

The other day, my daughter was at a grocery store and saw an older man with a mask at the checkout. The young man bagging groceries was also wearing a mask; the older man then complimented the employee for wearing a mask. Most of the people in the store, including the cashier and my daughter, were not wearing masks. My daughter then noticed that the mask wearing customer had one item in his cart – a case of soda pop. This got my daughter thinking about how our focus has been really skewed – from taking care of ourselves and thus preventing or minimizing the results of an infection (things we have control over) to worrying about wearing masks, gloves and drowning ourselves in hand sanitizer.

When I started my practice in 1983, I entitled it Waters Preventive Medical Center. I had adopted the idea that “we are what we eat” and also, how we digest that food. In addition, I also learned early on that in the last century, humans have intoxicated the Earth and themselves with 10’s of thousands of new synthetic chemicals and millions of tons of toxic metals.

Because of my extensive background in molecular biology and biochemistry and also serendipitous encounters with patients suffering from unique clinical syndromes who couldn’t be effectively treated with the standard therapies I learned in medical training, I centered my practice on replenishing the body with unprocessed, whole organic food. Body systems can’t be repaired without adequate biological building blocks – nutrients – vitamins, minerals and essential fatty and amino acids.

I also adopted various interventions to rid the body of the myriad of metallic and organic toxins that every one of us has accumulated. This is done primarily through the use of chelation therapy to remove toxic metals like lead, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, arsenic. The organic poisons from plasticizers to pesticides are best removed by sauna therapy. Of course, we also use various herbs and gastrointestinal detox procedures.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but most patients that come to me are already suffering with significant symptoms or overt disease states. While nutritional interventions and detoxification procedures are the center piece of treatment, we go into detail to uncover and address the various underpinnings of their condition.

Like all physicians, we start with a thorough history and physical. This includes a look at their family, occupational and dental histories. Risk factors are thus identified that are contributing to their complaints.

We then dig deeper through extensive laboratory evaluation. Most MD’s look at basic tests: blood counts, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel and maybe a thyroid test. This isn’t nearly enough to understand and treat most illnesses. For example, do you know your vitamin D level? This “vitamin” is actually a steroid hormone that activates 100’s of genes related to bone health, immunity, neurological and psychological function, blood sugar regulation and much more. In fact, virtually every cell has receptors for the active form of vitamin D.

We also measure trace elements like zinc and copper; iron status – too much is as dangerous as not enough; fatty acid content of cell membranes; markers of free radical damage and, of course, endocrine functions. The later includes evaluation of adrenal, thyroid and sex hormone biology.

2500 years ago the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates said: “All disease begins in the gut.” The scientific work done over past decades has documented his statement to be absolutely true. Gut health is related to every system of the body. The series of organs from your mouth to your colon contain the organs of digestion and also a population of microorganisms numbering 10-fold our own cells. The scientific library Pubmed (The National Library of Medicine) at last look listed 70,734 scientific treatises on the topic of the relationship between this “virtual” organ and every cell and tissue in our body.

We evaluate the members of this digestive community – both beneficial and pathogenic – the capacity of the digestive juices to break down our food; the presence of inflammation; the production of the vitally important short chain fatty acids, synthesized by our bacterial partners and the immune status of the gut.
After the lab tests are obtained, we advise a nutritional regimen to regain and maintain your health. This is not a diet! It is a return to your ancestral way of eating. We help you individualize this to fit your lifestyle and medical needs. The most important thing to do is eliminate the toxic substance called sugar.
We also begin correcting your chemistry with nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, endocrine balancing molecules and in some cases, small doses of pharmaceuticals such as low doses of the immune-regulating agent naltrexone. We also address the pharmaceuticals you are presently taking and attempt, over time, to reduce or eliminate them if possible.

In summary, if we can take anything away from the current situation, let it be the need to have robust health. Real health gives resilience and resistance to disease. Prevention.


For more:

Top 5 Herbs to Fight Free Radicals and Boost Your Immunity

Top 5 Herbs to Fight Free Radicals and Boost Your Immunity

By Dr. Bill Rawls Posted 04-24-2020

A strong immune system has always been essential for good health, and it’s even more vital in these uncertain times. Not only do we need solid internal defenses to fight viruses and other illnesses, they also help keep us healthy while we manage the increasing amounts of psychological stress we’re all dealing with — from a bleak news cycle, worry about our loved ones or ourselves, disrupted routines, close quarters, and a number of other things out of our control.

While there are many ways to bolster your immune system, one approach is through controlling or balancing free radicals. You probably have a general sense of what free radicals are — as well as their “opposite,” antioxidants. At least, perhaps, you understand that free radicals are usually “bad” and antioxidants are “good.”

But the story is much more nuanced, and it’s worth understanding the details in order to take a strategic approach to improving immunity.

Free Radicals: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Here, five must-know facts about free radicals:

1. Your Body Needs Free Radicals to Live.

The human body uses oxygen to make a specialized type of free radical called reactive oxygen species. These act as a sort of catalyst, plucking electrons off carbohydrate and fat molecules to destabilize them, which allows your body to more easily convert those nutrients into usable fuel for energy. Without them, you’d die.

2. Free Radicals Indiscriminately Break Down Molecules.

The problem is that mitochondria — the power plants of cells — and every other part of the body are made of similarly high-energy organic molecules like fats and carbohydrates. And so they’re equally susceptible to being destabilized by free radicals.

In other words, the free radicals the body produces to help it more easily generate energy can destabilize whatever other molecules are in the vicinity. That means they also end up breaking down mitochondria and affecting DNA — it’s the price of generating energy.

3. The Immune System Employs Free Radicals for Its “Cleanup Crew.”

Free radicals are deployed by your immune system to break down old cells and other cellular “debris.” That makes it easier for your body to clear them from your system.

Similarly, the immune system uses free radicals to help attack, destabilize, and dispose of harmful microbes in your system. In short, we have to put up with a certain amount of free radical damage in order to both produce energy and keep our bodies from becoming a sludge pile of cellular waste and harmful microbes.

That residual damage is essentially what ages us over time or contributes to illness. It’s why older adults are often more vulnerable when they get sick: More of their mitochondria and DNA have burned out from free radical damage, and more cells have died.

As for the cells that remain, they don’t produce as much energy, and DNA doesn’t reproduce as healthy of cells — including cells of our immune system. So, in older folks, immune systems don’t hum along at quite the same pace as they do in younger people.

4. Antioxidants Help Maintain Balance.

Antioxidants that the body produces and that you get from plants like fruit, vegetables, and herbs help control free radicals by neutralizing their activity; they donate an electron so that the free radical can’t pluck it off a cell. They essentially help police the free radicals so that there’s enough activity to do their job of breaking down fuel and debris while minimizing the damage to healthy tissue, mitochondria, and DNA.

5. Damaging Free Radicals Are All Around Us.

Along with the free radicals your body naturally produces, there are a number of other sources and types we’re exposed to. For example, the refined fats in many processed foods are very brittle and break apart easily, and those pieces then turn into damaging free radicals.

city view hidden my smog

Other aspects of processed foods, as well as pollutants and toxins in the air and pesticides in food, likewise act as free radicals in our system. Psychological stress can also set off a chain of events that trigger excess free radicals and damage.

The Free Radical-Inflammation Cycle

When cells are under stress from free radicals, they must work harder and produce more energy to try to keep up. But the harder cells have to work and the more energy they produce, the more free radicals they produce. That then also leads to more waste byproducts.

What’s more, because it’s the job of the immune system to clear up that waste — which it uses free radicals to do — more free radicals flood your system, creating a vicious cycle. All together, it puts an enormous amount of strain and pressure on your body’s systems, and particularly your immune system.

What starts happening: The immune system can’t keep up with the buildup of cellular debris and other waste. And, it’s so preoccupied, it can’t manage the waste and byproducts generated by your body’s microbes, either. All of that waste builds up around cells, creating what we think of as harmful inflammation — it’s as if your body’s sewer system gets clogged and starts backing up.

Conversely, under more normal circumstances, the healthy action of free radicals leads to some inflammation. When it’s kept in check, it’s a controlled burn. Think of how forest rangers might set small fires under safe conditions to help maintain the health of a forest and reduce the risk of larger fires down the road. The same is true in your body: A normal inflammatory response is not only good, it’s necessary for life.

fire growing in dark image

But just as with forest fires, problems occur when the flames rage uncontrolled. When free radicals overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and waste builds up, it triggers chronic or uncontrolled inflammation.

And that can ravage your system over time, contributing to a whole host of problems. For example, it can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, chronic illness, and more, as well as accelerating the breakdown of cells — including immune cells.

Maintaining Balance is Key.

The goal, then, is to limit external sources of free radicals and maintain a careful balance of internal sources of free radicals. You can’t stop those produced from cells as they generate energy, and you need those produced by the immune system to clean up our body’s waste byproducts.

But you can reduce the influx of free radicals from external sources, and you can take other actions to protect your cells from becoming stressed and keep your microbiome in balance, which curbs runaway inflammation. Here’s how:

Freshen Up Your Diet

Minimize your intake of processed and high-carb foods, which increase free radical activity and inflammation. Instead, load up on more fresh, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods.

Iridescent food. Creative composition made of fruits and vegetables in rainbow colors on white background, flat lay

Brightly colored fruits and veggies, especially, like berries and leafy greens, as well as certain spices and herbs are loaded with antioxidants shown to fight free radical stress and inflammation. One review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition specifically found that higher intakes of fruits and veggies both reduce harmful inflammation and enhance immune cells.

Avoid Toxins.

Try to spend as little time as possible in highly polluted areas, which are known to trigger inflammation and cell death. In addition, use gentle, naturally sourced cleaning products, and eat organic foods whenever possible to minimize toxin intake.

Stay Active.

Moderate exercise helps reduce inflammation, as well as helps control inflammation-stoking stress. One study, for example, found that even just 20 minutes of activity could reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.

Mind Your Microbes.

An impressive 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut. The more you can feed your good gut bacteria foods that are fresh, fiber-rich, and plant-based, the better. The microbes will be less stressed, and better able to help send and receive messages, enabling your immune system to more effectively respond to threats and control unnecessary inflammation.

Taking herbs known to balance the good microbes in your gut and support your immune system is also a great strategy. Three of my favorite herbs for balancing the microbiome are andrographis, cat’s claw, and berberine.

The Power of Herbs

In addition to consuming antioxidant-rich produce, nuts, and other plant foods, herbs offer an excellent line of defense against free radicals and extra support for your immune system. Here’s why.

Over the centuries, all plants developed antioxidant defenses to protect themselves from various environmental stressors. And that’s especially true of herbs, many of which are still cultivated in the wild, where they’ve been able to retain naturally high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Or, they’ve been specifically cultivated for potency, not for taste.

Herbs with alternative medicine herbal supplements and pills

So, which herbs are best for fighting free radicals? All of them do, to some extent, but there are two smart strategies you can use when picking herbs to optimize your benefits.

First, combine synergistic herbs that come from different environments. If the environment in which an herb evolved and the stress factors it deals with informs its defenses system, it makes sense to consume herbs that come from both high and low altitudes, warm and cool climates, for example. That will give you the broadest action and support possible.

Second, consider herbs’ other properties beyond being effective antioxidants. For example, look for herbs that also help balance hormones or your microbes, or that shore up communication between parts of the immune system. That way, you not only address the damage done by free radicals, but you get the additional supportive benefits as well.

5 Antioxidant, Immune-Supporting Herbs

While many different herbs could be on this list, these five provide potent and broad benefits, not only in terms of their antioxidant power, but in their overall ability to support your immune system, health, and longevity.

1. Rhodiola

Rhodiola rosea blossom by springtime at solar day.Beautiful green background

An adaptogen that grows primarily in harsh, Northern climates including Siberia, rhodiola helps the body manage and become more resistant to stress — both physical and emotional. It also supports and protects immune function and cells, helps balance hormones, and may enhance energy and stamina. One review, for example, noted that the herbal extract has been found to have both anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties.

2. Reishi Mushroom

reishi mushrooms growing on wood

Although a fungi, reishi is often referred to as an herb because of its range of benefits. As a fungi, though, it naturally confronts excess stress from microbes, which gives it specialized powers to help rev up our own immune system against pathogenic microbes. That helps keep our microbiome — and, by extension, our immune system — balanced and healthy.

Research also suggests reishi may help increase the activity of immune cells and boost production of cytokines, cells in the immune system that act as messengers or effectors of other cells. Other studies have found reishi extract bolsters the activity of two of our body’s natural antioxidant enzymes — superoxide dismutase and catalase — which help fight damaging reactive oxygen species.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric powder in white cup.

This spice, which gives curry its bright yellow color, is loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols. While these antioxidants are effective at controlling free radicals, researchshows what traditional medicine practitioners have known for centuries: That turmeric is also a potent anti-inflammatory. That means, while it controls inflammation through its effect on free radicals, it’s also helping to regulate the messaging systems of the immune system and your body’s inflammatory response.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, for example, do this by blocking an enzyme called COX-2, which “turns on” inflammation. But these drugs don’t do anything to stop the source of the inflammation, and they also block COX-1, a beneficial enzyme that helps protect our stomach.

Turmeric, on the other hand, decreases the formation of COX-2 in the long term, while its antioxidants help address the cause of inflammation. It also doesn’t impact COX-1. So, in the long run, turmeric helps better regulate and normalize the body’s inflammatory response.

4. Shilajit

black shilajit powder pile in front of mountain view

Another example of an “herb-adjacent” compound — meaning not technically a herb but often discussed with other herbs or referred to as one — shilajit is actually a herbomineral substance. Found in the Himalayan, Ural, and Caucasus Mountains, it seeps out from between rocks as a gummy substance (before it’s processed and purified into a useable form), the result of plant materials being compressed into the earth and decomposing.

Because of that, shilajit is concentrated with antioxidants from a variety of different plant sources. Much of its antioxidant properties comes from fulvic acid, which is produced from organisms in the soil.

In addition to its antioxidant powers, the acid may help regulate immune function and improve gastrointestinal function, according to research. It’s also known to help improve resistance to stress and guard against inflammatory conditions.

5. Gotu Kola

green Got Kola leaves

Unlike many of the other herbs and substances mentioned here, gotu kola grows primarily in tropical and subtropical locations, including the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and India. The herb itself is a member of the carrot family, although it’s closely related to and resembles parsley. In India, it’s even eaten as a leafy green, and it’s known for its content of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C and carotenoids.

However gotu kola contains other powerful antioxidant phytochemicals, too, including triterpenes. It’s also a natural mood stabilizer that may help balance and manage the stress response by revitalizing the central nervous system and promoting production of GABA, a neurotransmitter linked to calm and relaxation, suggests a paper the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. For those and other reasons, it’s traditionally been used as a general longevity and brain tonic.

While there are a lot about these times we can’t control, one thing you can do is take care of your immune system. Support it, so that it can better support you and keep you healthy now and for the long-term.

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8. Li, Yonghong et al. “Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention.” Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2017 Dec; 3(6): 384–395.
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Viruses & Immunity – Dr. Waters “Fix Your Soil and the Seeds Can’t Grow”


From Dr. Waters…


The human immune system is designed to recognize and protect us against numerous pathogens and other foreign substances. However to be effective, like any other body system, it must have the necessary raw materials to orchestrate that process. The current virus infection dominates the news and the advice we are receiving to protect ourselves from the virus. We have been told to wash our hands, stay at least 6 feet away from other people and only go out for essential purposes – to get food, medicine or to perform jobs that the government has deemed necessary or essential. Very little has been offered beyond those measures.

Louis Pasteur has been credited for bringing attention to microorganisms as the cause of disease. His contemporary, Antoine Beauchamp, had a different position in this regard. The difference between their views of human illness can be summarized as resulting from “The Seed” (Pasteur) vs. “The Soil” (Beachamp). Pasteur supposedly, while on his deathbed from pneumonia, conceded that Beauchamp was correct – he was dying not from the germ that causes pneumonia but rather the condition of his body, his soil. We can think of the soil as the general health of the body and its immune system. A germ can only grow in a body whose soil was fertile for the germs growth – a body whose immune system was impaired. This is obvious to anyone who gives it some thought. If this were not true, EVERYBODY would get a cold or the flu when such viral diseases appear in a community.

Beyond isolation and handwashing as the only answers for addressing the present virus problem, there have been other voices recommending both prevention and treatment for viral and other infections. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the chief of the Center for Disease under President Obama, wrote an editorial describing the importance and recommending the use of vitamin D to both prevent and improve the outcome of people infected. He even explained how vitamin D can dampen the cytokine storm that is the real cause of death in infected patients.

Second, the Shanghai Medical Society released a protocol recommending the use of high dose intravenous ascorbic acid, vitamin C, for the treatment of this virus. This treatment has been effective for a variety of infectious diseases since it was applied in the late 1940’s here in the United States. It has proven antimicrobial effects as well as cell-protective effects during viral and bacterial infections. I have been utilizing intravenous ascorbic acid treatment successfully for 35 years, for viral infections such as upper respiratory infections, mononucleosis, shingles and influenza. IV vitamin C is being used in China and even in some emergency rooms in New York City to treat the current virus. To reiterate, the actual reason why a person with the the current virus gets so ill that they may need a respirator or even dies, is that their body gets so inflamed in the process of attempting to control the virus that their cells and tissues get irreversibly damaged.

You might have learned that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has been used to treat patients. This had originally been rejected by the mainstream media. Why? There is a well-known explanation for why this agent is effective – it reduces the hyper inflammation generated by the cytokine storm that Dr. Frieden talked about in reference to the ability of vitamin D to help the body deal with the infection. In fact, hydroxychloroquine also alters the pH in compartments of certain white cells called macrophages. Many viruses invade our body and multiply in small chambers in the macrophages known as lysosomes. Viruses require the lysosomes to have an acidic pH in order to multiply. Hydroxychloroquine blocks acid production in these lysosomes and thus the viruses cannot multiply.

We may ALL get exposed to the current virus, the question is how our bodies will be able to deal with it without becoming gravely ill or dead. This brings us back to the argument between Pasteur and Beauchamp. Is it the seed or the soil? You can control the soil and use your own intelligence to avoid the seed, especially if you are immune compromised. If your soil is deficient in its ability to handle the fight with the seed, the virus itself, you are more likely to become gravely ill rather than just experience a form of the common cold. But the truth is you CAN improve your soil, your immune system and its ability to protect you against the virus.

The actions to accomplish this include:

  • Eating a wholesome diet. Unprocessed and organic. Animal products, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Avoid all processed food and especially sugar.
  • Get some sunshine and physical activity every day.
  • Replace nutrients that are known to be deficient in most people based on the federal government surveys. This means, along with Dr. Frieden’s recommendations, the following:
    • Vitamin D 5000 units daily
    • Vitamin C 2000 mg daily
    • Zinc 25 to 50 mg daily
    • Fish oil derived vitamin A 5000 units daily

Most people are also deficient in magnesium and the longchain omega-3 fatty acids. These should be added if you’re not already on them and, as Dr. Frieden said in his editorial, take a good multiple vitamin and mineral. I would also suggest you take one without iron as many of us are overloaded with this metal.

If the person still becomes very ill, find an MD who can prescribe hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin. Studies overseas in France and elsewhere have shown that this combination can ameliorate or stop the infection. These are inexpensive, readily available drugs. The FDA has already released hydroxychloroquine for use in the treatment of the current virus. Azithromycin is already widely available and used to treat many infections.

In my opinion soil is of the utmost importance. The seed cannot grow if your immune system is resilient. If you believe you are compromised and may be unable to fight off the virus, stay home and do the things that I have indicated. Ask people to bring you good food and the supplements I have listed. If you get ill ask a doctor to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and if it all possible intravenous vitamin C.

Even if you contract the virus, you can mitigate its effects on your body. Hopefully you can change the outcome from the need for a respirator to a condition similar to a common cold. Fix your soil and the seeds can’t grow.


Stay well!

For Dr. Waters’ presentation to the support group which goes far deeper into the topic:

For more: using the anti-viral remdesivir.


85 COVID Patients: Zero Hospitalizations & No Deaths

At my office, the Center for Holistic Medicine (CHM), we have had 85 COVID patients. At this time, no one has been hospitalized, no one has been diagnosed with pneumonia, and there have been no deaths.

There are five practitioners at CHM: Drs. Brownstein, Ng, Nusbaum, Jenny Drummond, PA, and Taylor Easson, NP. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, I have been asking my partners how their COVID patients are doing. As of this week, we have had 85 patients either diagnosed with COVID or suspected COVID.  I am pleased to report that our patients are doing well with this illness. (Note, since new guidelines have come out stating that any suspected COVID patient can be diagnosed with COVID, I am lumping COVID and suspected COIVD patients together for this post.)

I first reported to you about COVID on January 26, 2020. That was the first time I presented our protocol of using vitamins A, C, D, and iodine not only to support the immune system but also to treat viral infections. In that post, I also pointed out how important eating a healthy diet is.  The importance of using intravenous nutrient therapy, especially vitamin C, was mentioned. Finally, I suggested that, with coronavirus, it would be wise not to get a flu vaccine since the flu vaccine has been shown to significantly increase the risk of coronavirus and other flu-like viral infections.

That post seems like a lifetime ago even though it was only 10 weeks ago. During that time period, my message has not changed.  In fact, after witnessing the results our patients have experienced, I am more convinced than ever that a holistic approach like I presented above should be the first-line treatment provided to any COVID patient.

The human body is a true wonder. Given the proper support, it can do wonders. And, when the body is healthy, it can withstand and overcome an infectious illness like COVID.

The initial conventional approach to COVID was to encourage people to wash their hands (a good thing). As things worsened, the only other conventional idea was to quarantine. When the disease spun out of control our Government and conventional medicine panicked.   They had no real therapies to help COVID-suffering patients except for supportive care. Thankfully, a few conventional therapies, like hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, have been promoted—though many in conventional medicine were downplaying it for far too long.

At my office, we were ready.  The first 24 years of practicing holistic medicine was our time to figure out what worked and what did not work for people suffering from viral infections. That set us up to be ready for this pandemic.

In my blogs, I encouraged people to take high doses of vitamins A, C, D, and iodine at the first sign of an illness. In our practice, this was sufficient for the majority of our COVID patients. I (and my partners) have no doubt that the vast majority of COVID patients would avoid a deterioration of their symptoms if they started this protocol at the onset of symptoms.

However, some became more ill or did not start the oral supplements early enough into their illness. Those patients needed additional holistic therapies. These included nebulizing hydrogen peroxide and iodine along with intravenous nutrient therapies.

To protect our staff and healthy patients, we did not treat sick COVID patients inside my office. We were gowning up and meeting our patients at their automobile at the back of our building and administering IVs and ozone therapies. Some of these patients were very sick. So far, they all recovered. I have shared some of their stories via a skype interview on previous blog posts. To watch a few of our patient testimonials go to:

There Is Still Hope Out There (3/28/20): Christopher

There Is Still Hope Out There (3/30/20): Jeremiah

There Is Still Hope Out There (4/05/20): Kendra

I think the end is in sight. We seem to be crossing over the hump of this dreadful disease. I have no doubt we will be in a much better position over the coming two weeks.

Folks, I hope the Powers-That-Be learn from this catastrophe. In the future, we need to focus on supporting the host rather than conventional medicine’s focus on killing the infectious organism.  We do not have a vaccine or any other conventional therapy that is successful at destroying COVID. In the future, I can guarantee you there will be other infectious illnesses that conventional medicine has no treatment to offer.  Instead of waiting for the hail-Mary from conventional medicine, it is better to be prepared and have your body ready to fight back. This can be achieved by following my original instructions; eat a healthy diet, maintain optimal hydration, exercise, and correct nutrient imbalances with vitamin and mineral supplementation.

If you don’t have a holistic doctor, it is past time to find one. At my office, we are happy to see you or do a telemed appointment. If you are interested in this please email Ann Salomon at

A holistic doctor can help you achieve your optimal health. Conventional doctors, on the other hand, are busy diagnosing pathology and prescribing the drug to treat that diagnosis. The problem with the conventional model is that the drug prescribed does not promote health as nearly all drugs poison enzymes and block receptors in the body.  There is a time and a place for drug therapies, but they are well over-prescribed in the US. The use of many drug therapies leaves the body depleted of vital nutrients that it will need when confronted with something like COVID.

As I previously stated, the Center for Holistic Medicine currently has 85 COVID patients who are all doing well and have not been hospitalized. There were some I was worried about—they kept me up at night. I called them daily to monitor their progress. Having them increase the frequency of nebulizing hydrogen peroxide and iodine helped them all. Some of the sickest were advised to nebulize every hour or two for a short period.  IV therapies and ozone treatments have helped many.

This therapy has worked for helping COVID patients. It is sad that hospitalized COVID patients are not given the proper nutritional support when they are admitted. In a perfect world, I would immediately start an IV of vitamin C and begin nebulizing any hospitalized COVID patient with hydrogen peroxide and iodine.   I am sure that would markedly lower the need for mechanical ventilation.

Final Thoughts:

Like most holistic therapies, the earlier they are started in a disease process the better they perform. AT THE FIRST SIGN OF A VIRAL ILLNESS I ENCOURAGE MY PATIENTS TO START MY VIRAL PROTOCOL OF TAKING VITAMINS A, C, D AND IODINE.   Due to the severity of COVID, I now recommend starting to nebulize hydrogen peroxide and iodine early into the illness as well.

Better times are coming. Keep me updated on how you are doing. I will much more to talk about in relation to COVID. More posts will be coming soon.

To All Our Health,