The Whole Herb


Every day, millions of people take high blood pressure medicine, aspirin, anti-depressants, sleep aids, nasal decongestants or other pills.  According to Dr. P. Yutsis, more than 150,000 Americans die every year from taking the wrong prescription drugs or from the serious side effects of drugs.

  1. In the U.S. we take more drugs than any other country and live shorter lives!
  2. Europe averages 46 percent less drug use than the U.S., Japan 80 percent less and China 95 percent less. What’s wrong with this picture?
  3. The use of herbs and natural medicines is considerably higher in Europe and Asia, where options are available to try the less invasive therapies before venturing into complex drug treatments.

Modern medicine tells us that drugs are safer and more effective than herbs.  The claim stems from the fact that pharmaceutical companies submit their products to extensive testing, often for eight to 12 years, at astronomical costs which are eventually passed on to the consumers.


In the Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs, Robert Pinco, former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s over-the-counter drug review process, explains that:

  • More than 75 percent of common medications did not meet rigorous standards.
  • Of those drugs approved by the FDA, more than half were found to have serious safety problems after they were on the market.
  • Research shows, reactions to FDA-approved medications caused death in over 100,000 Americans annually and injure 2 million more.
  • By comparison, serious problems with herbs are rare.


To understand the difference between drugs and herbs,  focus on how they work.

  1. Pharmaceutical drugs are highly purified, and concentrated chemicals act by blocking processes of the body. This often gets rid of the symptoms but may create undesired side effects.
  2. When we drink a tea or take a tincture of an herb, we are taking in the whole plant, with thousands of compounds. It is the combination of all these compounds that accounts for a plant’s effectiveness and safety. This is called synergy.
  3. For example, there is no evidence that hypericin, the active ingredient in St. John’s Wort, is really an anti-depressant. It is the synergistic effect of the whole plant that helps with depression.
  4. Ephedrine, the constituent in ephedra, will raise heart rate and blood pressure in concentrated extract doses, but this is counteracted in the whole tea by pseudoephedrine which lowers those body functions.

Wholeness is the Key. 

Plants work by effecting favorable changes in our physiology, allowing the body to return to a balanced state.  In the holistic tradition, the body knows how to heal itself and will do so given proper assistance.  Herbs are our allies in this process.

Examples of herbs that have immediate results:

  • Three or four cups of slippery elm bark tea soothe the digestive and intestinal tract and help improve an irritable colon.
  • Echinacea and goldenseal help fight common colds.

Examples of herbs that act over a long a period of time:      (Their strength is in nutritional value and prevention. Herbs are foods that build up our body and correct underlying problems, with less risk than synthetic drugs.)

  • Astragalus, a time-honored Chinese herb, builds the immune system by stimulating white blood cell production.
  • A few cloves of garlic a day lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Ginseng, the whole root, strengthens our ability to cope with stress.


Dr. Rudolph Ballentine, author of Radical Healing, states;  “To heal is to make whole, and part of our wholeness is our connection to the plant life of the planetê.   Using plants as medicine is simply a means of reasserting that connection and revitalizing our participation in the planetary whole.”

Mary Jo Ruggieri PhD. RPP

Holistic Health Consultant


Healthy Tidbits


Complementary Medicine Surges Forward


Medical schools, hospitals and allied healthcare seem to be rolling out the red carpet for Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners. They are trying to understand these new complementary therapies while attempting to integrate them into existing medical systems.


Why CAM?

A recent consumer survey indicated two reasons consumers were using CAM.

  1. they were dissatisfied with conventional medicine,
  2. these health care alternatives mirrored their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life.

This was reported by Astin, in “Why Patients Use Alternative Medicine,” Journal of the American Medical Association. May 20, 1998


See the changes and implementation of CAM at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City  Donna Karan supports CAM at Beth Israel



Did you know?

  • 75 out of 117 U.S. Medical schools offer elective courses in CAM (Eisenberg,Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998)
  • 60% of doctors recommend alternative therapies to their patients at least once
  • 47% of the doctors in the study reported in this study reported using complementary therapies for themselves. (Borkan, “Referrals for Alternative Therapies,” Journal of Family Practice, 1994)
  • Since these studies there has been a 68% increase in medical schools that offer CAM

It might be useful to note that much of the information presented by the Eisenberg study and the Borkan study was presented in the mid 1990’s.

  • According to the current data coming out of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the trends for the use of CAM and the increase of CAM in medical schools and physician referrals continue to increase significantly since these studies. It is noted that one of the major increases in the use of energetic therapies such as Polarity Therapy, Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.

Read what a medical student, Jacob Conklin says about CAM and Holistic Healthcare.


Oh where, oh where has the ice cream gone?


In the past ice cream was made with fresh whole eggs, milk, natural sugars and fresh fruit. In today’s artificial world, lined with synthetic products, we have totally compromised the original Ben and Jerry’s model of ice cream.


Look at the ingredients that are now being used:

  • Diethyl Glycol- a cheap chemical used as an emulsifier instead of eggs, the same chemical used in anti-freeze and paint removers
  • Piperonal- used instead of vanilla- a chemical used to kill lice
  • Aldehyde C 17- used to flavor cherry ice cream is an inflammable liquid also used in aniline dyes, plastics and rubber.
  • Butyl Aldehyde- Used in nut flavored ice creams and is an ingredient of rubber cement.
  • Benzyl Acetate-used for strawberry flavor and a nitrate solvent.

So buyers beware! Get your ice cream radar out and ask your scooper what’s really in that scoop!

Reference: Hippocrates Health Program, Brian R. Clement,


Foods for Health

  • Sunflower Sprouts are a complete perfect protein food.
  • Eating starches and proteins together creates a sulfur compound in the intestine causing gas.
  • Ripe strawberry juice has been found to detox and eliminate fatty deposits from muscles and restore elasticity to the skin.

Reference: Hippocrates Health Program, Brian R. Clement,


Attention Crestor Users:  FDA Issues Drug Alert


US Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health advisory: Twenty-two members of the European Union have modified their labels for Creator to focus on case studies and reports of serious muscle toxicity (myopathy) from using Crestor.  The toxicity is more prevalent at the highest doses of 40mg of Crestor


FYI, Myopathy is a neuromuscular disorder which produces muscle weakness due to dysfunctions of the active muscle fiber. Symptoms include muscle cramps, stiffness, spasms, muscle aches, and weakness.

Reference: WDDTY What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You.


Holistic Health Research


US Study of Mistletoe as a Complementary Cancer Treatment


The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has completed enrollment in a study about the safety and effectiveness of Mistletoe for the treatment of some types of cancer. The study will also include the chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine.

  • Mistletoe is of interest because it has been used in Europe by itself and in conjunction with other cancer treatments in thousands of patients since the 1920’s.
  • Other study results suggest that Mistletoe may stimulate the immune system, enhance well-being and quality of life.

Study details    or for more information about Mistletoe


Mistletoe therapy is also known by the name Iscador   Weleda’s propriety cancer treatment

Additional Clinical Studies (compiled by Weleda)


Contributed by:

Heidi Beke-Harrigan, MLS, APP or


More Research Links


Keep up on the latest news in Complementary and Integrative medicine from the Health Freedom for All News

  • Blurred missions? Do government agencies and professional associations really promote health and the best interest of the American public, or commercial interests and profits?


Cleveland Clinic on the Move


The Cleveland Clinic offers online program for second opinions “My Consult Program”, contact


For more info

Good Links for Complementary Medicine.

  • Institute for Health and Healing Library,


Herbal of the Month

Schisandra  /  Wu Wei Zi   (Latin name “Schisandra chinensis”)


Increases the “Zest for Life”.   Schisandra is an excellent tonic herb (ok for long term use).  It has adaptogenic properties (helps the body fight disease and adapt to stresses).

  • Protects the liver and improves poor liver functions.
  • Respiratory tonic, expectorant and stimulates breathing.
  • Anti-oxidant to the nervous system, increases brain activity, concentration and coordination.


Tincture,  100 mg  2 x per day,   eat fresh berries,  or decoction of 5 gram crushed berries to 100 ml water and during 2 cups per day,  or mix dried berry powder in water.


The information in this email is for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment.  For medical needs, we recommend consulting your Medical Doctor, Dietitian or Mental Health Practitioner.