Please describe your background and experience in medical and natural health.
In 1987, I qualified as a Medical doctor from London University in the UK. I then worked as a hospital doctor in the UK for 4 years in various specialities, including medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, psychiatry, endocrinology, paediatrics and emergency medicine. Later, I attended Oxford University where I gained a PhD in Clinical Biochemistry. I then continued my research, publishing an academic paper, that many prominent scientists acknowledge to have created an entirely new field of medicine. The paper exposed the link between the toxic chemicals in our food and environment and the increasing global problem of obesity.
I have also published two books; The Detox Diet (Penguin UK 2002) and Toxic Overload (Penguin Putnam NY 2005). These publications showed the links between the toxic chemicals people are exposed to in everyday life and the main health issues of modern day life, such as cancer, lung and heart issues and a weakened immune system. The books also outline ways to make food safer and to improve health naturally, using foods, natural herbs and spices.
For many years I advised the Soil Association (the main body dealing with Organic Certification of foods in the UK) sitting on their food processing standards committee. I am currently a Visiting Fellow in Occupational and Environmental Health at Stirling University and for over 20 years I have been conducting research into how to improve health naturally.
As a trained medical doctor, please share your opinion on the importance of natural health from a doctor's perspective to increase resistance against the recent Covid-19 Coronavirus infection.
Media coverage of the recent Covid-19, Coronavirus has incited fear amongst many. While this latest Coronavirus manifestation is an urgent and potentially life-threatening concern for all involved, the risk it poses can be better understood if put in perspective with problems arising from other viruses.
Many will now know that the latest Covid-19 is part of the same family of viruses (the Coronaviruses) as the viruses underlying the previous SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreaks. Indeed, 15-30% of the viruses underlying the common cold are also types of Coronaviruses. Although they all have slightly different individual characteristics, by sharing the same family group all these viruses tend to have similar properties in common.
Whilst current numbers of those infected and dying from the latest Covid-19 outbreak seem high, some international experts have previously said they would be much more worried about outbreaks of other viruses such as Influenza or Ebola, than infections caused by Coronaviruses. These views were held by top scientists such as Dr Klaus Stohr, the former head of the Influenza program at the World Health Organisation (WHO). He previously led the agency’s fight against SARS. Dr Stohr was reported in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “compared with the devastation of a flu pandemic… SARS will be something to smile about.”
This view was echoed by Albert Osterhaus, a Dutch scientist involved in pandemic preparedness in Europe who in the same Wall Street article reportedly said, “I am far more scared of a flu pandemic than I am of SARS.”
So why is it these people share this different view towards the Coronavirus?
This appears to stem from the fact that while some viruses like Ebola can readily cause death in healthy people, viruses like the Coronavirus only effect vulnerable people with a weakened immune system. According to the WHO, up to 90% of those infected with Ebola can die. Conversely, the Coronavirus tends to only cause death in certain groups, such as the very old, the very young and those with existing health problems. This is also reflected in the current estimates of those who have been affected by the recent Covid-19 outbreak, with the number of infections being reported at a much higher level than the number of deaths. The approximate death rate of the current outbreak of the Coronavirus stands at only 2%.
Indeed, during the previous SARS outbreak, many people who were exposed to the virus never actually became ill. The key factor behind whether or not someone becomes infected or ill, after exposure, is thought by many to be linked to the strength of the body’s natural immune (defence) system. Those with strong immune systems are less likely to become infected at all and even if they did, they tend to have milder symptoms. Whereas those with weak immune systems tend to fare much worse.
What advice would you give for us to share with our clients, as well as to use personally in order to protect naturally against infection from Coronavirus?
The good news here is that by knowing what weakens the immune system, this gives us the power to work on improving things in order to turn this situation around.
Actually, this knowledge has been used for centuries by practitioners of Naturopathy, Herbalists, Traditional Chinese Medicine and many more natural health practitioners who specialise in giving the body what it needs and protecting it from harm, in order to optimise and enhance its natural health and the strength of the immune system. The body can defend itself naturally against viral infections, such as Coronaviruses, given the right support and approach.
We are very fortunate as many foods are now known to be highly effective at strengthening the immune system. To ensure the body’s natural defence systems are on top form, studies have shown a benefit in eating plenty of virus fighting, nutrient rich foods, such as the following:
These long-established natural methods have been recognised and used officially for former Coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS. Actually, during the SARS epidemic, The Chinese Government Health Authority released recommendations for preventing and treating those with SARS. They contained herbs well used in the west that have now been found to contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties such as liquorice, skullcap and rhubarb root.
These recommendations have now been backed up by academic studies, showing the effectiveness of natural herbs and spices in tackling the previous SARS outbreak and reducing the level of symptoms and their duration in those with the disease.
As these treatments were found to be effective on one type of Coronavirus, it indicates the same treatments are very likely to be effective on other types of Coronaviruses. So natural treatments used to treat or prevent SARS or even head colds, are very likely to be helpful towards helping the body defend itself against Covid-19.
An initial indication that herbal treatments could already be having a positive effect on the current Covid-19 situation can be found from an early report in the South China Morning Post (18th February). This suggested that the infected people who got medical treatment in areas of China, where 90% of all those infected are given traditional herbals, had a much lower mortality of around 0.1%, compared to areas where only 30% of infected people were initially treated with traditional herbs which had a reported mortality of around 2.6%. These results appeared to lead the Chinese government to swiftly implement a new policy of treating all the people suspected of Covid-19 infection with herbal drinks, in addition to conventional treatments. This gives the first positive indication that the Covid-19 is, like the other Coronaviruses, potentially also sensitive to natural treatments and we should learn from people's experiences in China.
There is no initial indication which herbals were being given but I imagine that a good starting point will have been the herbs and recipes used by the Chinese Government health authority for the previous SARS outbreak to persons whose jobs (health workers) or relations may bring them into contact with someone with potential SARS. These included the following recipe for an herbal tea drink; Chinese rhubarb root, Honeysuckle flower, Bupleurum root, Skullcap root, Isatis root, Dryopteris root, Cang Shu, Job’s tears, Patchouli, Siler root and Liquorice. More information will come out in due course I am sure but it gives real hope for everyone caught up in this stressful situation.
From my perspective, I believe there is actually so much we can all do now to protect our health and strengthen our natural immune systems from the Covid-19 using the above-mentioned foods which have been safely used in this way for generations. Indeed, many of these foods, herbs and spices will already be found in most people’s kitchens!
Not only can these immune system strengthening nutrients be accessed from eating the right foods, but the above mentioned spices and herbals can be consumed as teas (peppermint, ginger, mistletoe, dandelion) as well as in food supplements (capsules or powders) or in raw juices, such as ginger, rhubarb and turmeric.
Only time will tell what has caused the latest outbreak. However, there is no reason to wait until people start getting infected in your area. Now is the best time to start to change your habits and diet to help your body defend itself from the threat of future Coronavirus virus infections
Chemical Toxins: A hypothesis to explain the Global Obesity Epidemic. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Vol 8, No. 2, 2002, pp. 185-192
The Detox Diet: Eliminate Chemical Calories and restore your natural slimming system. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton. Penguin Books. United Kingdom 2002.
Toxic overload: A doctor’s plan for combatting the illnesses caused by chemicals in our foods, our homes and our medicine cabinets. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton. Penguin New York, USA. 2005
Forget SARS: WHO expert says he fears the flu more. The Wall Street Journal. Gautam Naik. May 29. 2003.
Special Report on SARS: How You Can Support Your Immune System. Maoshing Ni, D.O.M.,PhD, LAc Acupuncture.com
Vitamin C and SARS Coronavirus. Harri Hemila. J of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Vol 52, issue 6, Dec 2003; p 1049-1050
Prenatal Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation and infant mortality: Randomised controlled trial. Beth Imhoff-Kunsch et al. Paediatrics: 2011 Sept: 128(3):e505-e512.
Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections, systemic review and meta-analysis of individual participants date. A. Martineau (Professor of respiratory infection and immunity) BMJ 2017; 356. (i.e. it shows immune systems use vitamin D to make antimicrobial weapons that puncture holes in bacteria and viruses)
Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and arteritis RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture. Aartjan. J.W et al. Nov 4, 2010 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176
Organic Foods Contain Higher Levels of Certain Nutrients, Lower Levels of Pesticides, and May Provide Health Benefits for the Consumer. Crinnion, Walter J. Alternative Medicine Review. Apr2010, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p4-12. 9p.
Special report on SARS: How you can support your immune system. Maoshing Ni. Acupuncture.com. Gateway to Chinese Medicine Health and Wellness
Herbs for emerging viral infections diseases. Eric Y. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Vol 22, Vol 4. 2016
Procyanididins and butanol extract of Cinnamomi Cortex inhibit SARS-CoV infection. Antiviral Res. April 2009. Min Zhuang et al.
15 Impressive herbs with Antiviral activities J Kubala. Oct 21 2019. Healthline.
Homeobotanicals are a powerful, synergistic blends of organic herbs in liquid form, diluted, potentised homoeopathically and selectively chosen to target specific organs and/or systems in the body.
Detoxification is often the first step in the therapeutic process (esp. for chronic conditions). When the toxins have been removed a nutritional blend of herbs is again individually selected to encourage the body to regain homoeostasis.
Acute conditions respond very quickly to these remedies, supporting the immune system and accelerating the healing process. Chronic conditions respond at a more measured pace, according to the duration and severity of the disease or imbalance. Asthma, eczema, bowel problems, poor vitality due to toxin build-up, arthritis, hormone imbalance (and all the distressing symptoms that causes), allergies and so much more. In many instances, once the toxic load has been taken off the organs, the body will heal itself and no further intervention is required. Because this is a CORE THERAPY it can be used in conjunction with any other form of healing technique to enhance vitality and accelerate recovery.
So how do Homeobotanical remedies work?
The big question with all forms of treatment, medical and alternative is “do they really work or is it just the placebo effect?”
Current research and quantum physics is showing that everything is energy. So not only is it possible, but there is a strong possibility that energy healing is the healing of the future.
Many people report positive results from working with the remedies. Herbal remedies have been bringing healing relief to people for thousands of years.
In a study of 50 clinic cases submitted by six different clinicians, Homeobotanical therapy was shown to be effective in 75% of those cases.
Homeobotanicals have three distinct actions in the body:
Physical action includes organ drainage or stimulating the elimination of toxins from specific areas of the body. There is a nutritional component, which assists in the assimilation of minerals and other micronutrients.
Synergistic action which reinforces whatever other healing techniques are being employed as Hb’s maintain balance within the body.
The Dynamic action arises from homoeopathic potentisation and enables these remedies to directly stimulate healing within the body. The low potency adopted produces a gentle, sustained response resulting in remarkably few problems even in sensitive people.
Homoeobotanical remedies cover a comprehensive range of conditions. All remedies are mutually compatible and can be mixed in an infinite variety of ways to restore the health of a patient.
They work well with any other forms of healing including allopathic. Many Homoeopaths use Hbs to enhance their practice. You can add them to creams, gels, oils and add in Bach Flower remedies or any flower essence as well as homeopathic remedies to enhance the mix
1. Hi Patricia, you’ve done quite a bit of activity with ANP – what has your experience of ANP been so far?
This will be my 4th event with ANP and honestly it’s been great. I’ve enjoyed it so much because I’ve done a lot of talks over the years with different people. What is refreshing about the ANP crowd is that their energy and how they are really engaged with the talk and the questions they ask! As a speaker, it’s great to have an enthusiastic audience. I really felt the enthusiasm from the practitioners for the subject, and their thirst for knowledge about integrative cancer care was great. I wanted to not only get across the research, facts and my experience, but to give the ANP audience the confidence to work in this area. Sometimes the system puts practitioners off or scares them, but we can prove that this is the future of cancer care.
2. In the nutrition world you are known as being an expert in oncology and cancer care. Can you tell us how you became specialised in this area?
My background is actually as an oncology nurse working for the NHS, and I’ve done a fair bit of palliative care, too. I’ve come across patients with all sorts of issues, encountering all sorts of problems. My big concern at the time was that people were trying to access information in order to help themselves. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, so this was a long time ago. First of all, when they asked questions about nutrition, I had no answers whatsoever, and then I found the system was actually putting them off looking for their own answers, and belittling their efforts to do so. I was seeing the positive results of my patients who were integrative and changing their diets. So I started to research and research, and work with a lot of people, and clinics around the world. Then I started to bring the information together with my background, and look at how this all fits for people to use. It’s been an interesting journey.
3.You are speaking at our next ANP event in London; what will you be covering as part of your talk?
Probably not nearly as much as I’d like to! What I’d like to cover first of all is the physiology of cancer and how that works in the body generally, because that’s very important. Once you realise that the relationship between cancer and the body is something that can be influenced by nutrition, lifestyle and mind-body interactions, then you realise that the person who is most important here is the individual, not the doctors. So you need to know what the principles of inflammation and angiogenesis are, what drives cancer cells and how they manipulate the body. This gives you the basis for all other strategies. Then I’ll touch upon chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to some degree, and how the practitioners can support patients through this. We will hopefully get to talk about cachexia, a wasting condition, which is one of my favourite subjects that I have specialised in for a long time. We will then look at three individual cancer types; ovarian, breast and a third type in order to outline the differences between them. We’ll hopefully manage to fit all of that in 2 hours! It sounds ridiculous as I say it, doesn’t it? But that’s the aim, because I believe that naturopathic practitioners have a real role to play here and it’s important to give them the platform, knowledge and confidence to do it.
At the 2019 ANP Naturopathic Summit, Dr J. Pizzorno presented his case on chronic disease, explaining that Type II Diabetes has little to do with sugar and everything to do with toxic load. The ANP Summit is an annual extravaganza of academic excellence in the field of Natural Health and this year, Dr Pizzorno explained why toxins are the root of all chronic diseases including Diabetes.
In his book The Toxin Solution, Dr Pizzorno radically posits that sugar has little effect on diabetes. That is quite a statement for one of the leading global authorities on Natural Medicine to make. Dr Pizzorno says that, in his personal practice, 50% of obese patients have diabetes. Whilst we know that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, why do half of the obese population develop diabetes and not the other half?
The answer, says Pizzorno, is down to “Toxic Load”. Toxic load refers to the number of chemicals a human is exposed to through their environment. These toxins are micro-molecules and industrial chemicals found in water, air, modern plastic packaging and commonly used household products such as paints, synthetic substances, detergents and air fresheners (amongst others). To test his theory, Dr Pizzorno takes his obese patients through a detoxification programme and finds that, although they remain obese after completing the programme – they are no longer diabetic. By what mechanisms is this possible?
Dr Pizzorno’s research has identified numerous studies which point to the role of Arsenic (found primarily in chicken, water and rice) blocking the receptors responsible for delivering sugar to human cells. The starved cells then stimulate the release of insulin, triggering sugar cravings and a vicious circle of consuming sugar and not gaining energy begins… eventually leading to Type II Diabetes. By detoxing the Arsenic from the body, cells are no longer blocked from receiving the sugar they need to create energy, insulin levels return to normal and sugar is utilised effectively once more.
In addition to Arsenic, other environmental toxins can contribute to an increase in Diabetes within the general population. BPA, an aromatised toxin that is released, especially when heat and plastic combine (such as a plastic shower curtain that hangs over a hot bath, or a plastic hot water bottle) will send BPA into the surrounding air to be inhaled. BPA is also released from the inner plastic lining of ‘paper’ coffee cups, canned foods, and milk “cartons” that often have a fine plastic inner lining to prevent leaks. The research shows that increased exposure to BPA doubles the risk of Diabetes Type II.
PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) are compounds found in electronic equipment coolants, fluorescent light bulbs, vinyl floor coverings and in most electrical equipment that was made before 1977, when the use of PCBs was banned. Nevertheless, PCBs are difficult to destroy and are released into the environment every time commercial equipment is burned or broken down. These particles are then inhaled into the body where they create havoc within the endocrine system. As blood sugar regulation is a hormonal process, any disruption to hormones will contribute to the possibility of Type II Diabetes.
Apocalyptic? Yes it can feel that way, but fear not, says Pizzorno. The important thing is to be aware of what toxic load can do to your health, take steps to reduce this burden and help your body process toxins out. So what key steps cam a person take?
First, make sure your home is a clean environment. This begins with the removal of all chemicals and fragrances from your home. Next, a good carbon water filter to remove nasties that are hanging around in your water supply. Paint for indoor decoration should be VOC-, lead- and metal-free. A decent HEPA air filter does an OK job of cleaning air if you can’t stretch to a more expensive one. Outside of that, says Pizzorno, it is important to regularly detoxify yourself by taking adequate rest and relaxation, eating fresh, green leafy organic vegetables and paying close attention to your body. This, says Pizzorno, is how he has reached the age of 74, with a metabolic age of only 44.
The Association of Naturopathic Practitioners is a practitioner organisation that campaigns heavily for the use of Natural Therapies in Healthcare. Dr J. Pizzorno, Mike Murray, Kiran Krishan, and many more authorities in the field support and endorse ANP, and help the ANP to achieve its goals.
Q. Who are you and what do you do?
Since my teens, I was interested in being a herbalist. It was my calling, and I really couldn’t do anything else. By age 18 I was attending university studying botany, but naturopathy didn’t exist. I hadn’t heard of it until I’d been practising for 5 or 6 years, and by that point I didn’t know if I wanted to reach more people. I’ve always kept a small clientele to teach and write. I’m so driven to teach and write, those two, together, are my path.
I started practising at The Herbs Store in 1981 with Bob Gallagher, the owner of the store. One thing he taught me which was really beautiful in the first year. He said –‘The beautiful thing about herbalism, is you can never know it all. There is always another leaf to turn over’. And that is so true! You can never know every single herb or every single application! And that’s been a wonderful little lesson that I learnt early on.
8 years later I went out and started practising at a Chiropractic clinic, and then I practised on my own for 20 years or so.
Q. Your approach is very different to what we see in modern times (i.e.: scientific herbalism – using herbs as active chemicals). How is your approach different, and why do you prefer that?
I practice herbal medicine using small doses, which is not unknown in the whole history of herbal medicine. I also look for the “essence”; how to understand the entire pattern, the wholeness of the herb and the process in the person. In fact, that is what I think is missing in modern herbal medicine and naturopathy sometimes, because it’s looking at chemistry and reductionism down to the particle, rather than the whole process. It's not like the old days, where, for example, you had ‘liver problems’ because of malaria, but nowadays we have ‘gastric problems’ because of the toxins in foods. So you could say, stomach problems/ GI problems, and in modern medicine you’d have a ‘gastroenterologist’ dealing with the specific complaint. As a herbalist, you have to train yourself to see the entire pattern - which is a more intuitive approach. Herbs come straight out of nature to deal with these processes – ie: they deal with too hot, too cold, too light, etc., they accommodate and address those conditions.
So that’s what we should be doing, building on the folk history and, from that, build on scientific understanding. I have naturally thought this way, although my upbringing was a little different. When I was an infant, we moved to a very isolated Native American reservation in southern Florida and they didn’t speak English as their first language. Although I didn’t learn to talk until after we left, I could understand the people and got a different set of insights and references than from western culture. That’s why I think it is so easy for me to eschew western science and go off in the old intuitive fashion. Later, I got my Master’s degree from the University of Wales, and that helped me understand and appreciate science in those days – being able to read papers and work from folk medicine to (scientific) papers.
Q. In your work, you talk a lot about tissue state and that is something that is rarely mentioned now. Why should herbalists stay connected to that?
Well, it’s about energetics, and it’s the more modern terminology on energetics. If you go to a neurology textbook you will see all those ‘tissue states’. You will have incitation or irritation; that’s overstimulation. Then we have depression, meaning under-stimulation, not mental depression. Then we have relaxation: these are actual medical terms. If you were examining people, you would write their physiology or neurological terms. Then there’s constriction, but I’d say tension, nervous atrophy and torpor (this doesn’t always appear in textbooks). That’s really stagnation, it’s a little different from relaxation. So, we have 6 tissue states, and they correspond fairly well to old Greek medicine, being: hot, cold, damp, dry.
Traditionally, energetics was accepted by everyone; Greek, Ayurvedic, Chinese, some Native Americans, and also in African medicine too. It’s about drawing on these traditions from different cultures that we find to be very universal. I would also say that there is spiritualism. Spirts causing the diseases. Then we have humoralism which is an energetic system, and then we have modern medicine, too – so it’s all part of a process.
Q. You are coming to speak at the ANP Summit. What will you be covering?
I want to cover some introductory ideas (energetics), but the main thing I will be covering is remedies for tissue states, and the great heritage gift of female reproductive remedies, known from the Native American people. There are about a dozen great female remedies from native America but I will be talking about other things like Rhemmina root and so on because there are some great (other) herbs I want to discuss, as well.
Q. What is your favourite Herb
Yarrow. It’s impossible not to love Yarrow. It’s a women’s remedy for heavy bleeding. It’s for cuts, wounds, fevers and colds. It has very strong control over the neurovascular system, so BOOM it can stop the bleeding in one area , and can spread the capillary blood out elsewhere in the body. It also has more complex internal uses, from GI irritation and lack of tone. It’s also good for fibroids. It’s one of the better fibroid remedies.
ANP EXCLUSIVE: Dr Joe Pizzorno, internationally acclaimed educator, researcher and Naturopath, explains the true cause of Diabetes.
Let me give you an anecdote from a patient who had diabetes for 15 years: he went to his doctor and was put on insulin. He then went to a naturopath who gave him lifestyle and behavioural advice which definitely improved his blood glucose – but he still had diabetes. He then went on a 9-week detoxification protocol and his diabetes was gone. How?…. [READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE]
Sarah Carolides, Nutritional Therapist at Harvey Nichols shares her business tips with ANP about setting up a successful practice.
'Get your elevator pitch ready- be interesting. Do not just sit there. When you meet someone and they ask what you do, do not say "I am a Nutritional Therapist" - end of conversation'. You have to come up with something a little more interesting... [KEEP READING]
ANP Internationally acknowledged as voice of UK Naturopathy
The ANP’s was internationally acknowledged as the UK Authority on Natural at a EU conference on Naturopathy.
The ANP’s influence and profile on UK’s national health is undeniable as it joins the European Parliament in Brussels to promote Naturopathy.
Now 3,000 members strong, ANP’s mission is further reflected in its international efforts and influence to represent the voice of UK practitioners at the European Parliament. President of the ANP, Leyla El Moudden was invited to join and give a speech at the SALUS Conference that focused on health promotion". This European conference was organized to highlight health promotion as a pillar of a sustainable health bringing together naturopaths (Italian, European and global) and educational directors of naturopathy schools at European level bringing significant experiences of integration of Complementary and Traditional Medicine (CTM) within European health systems or in the academic world
Leyla El Moudden was invited to give a speech on behalf of UK naturopaths during which she shared the powerful message of raising awareness of the important role of being a practitioner contributing to national health. Her messaged was a call to all European organisations to join forces to promote Naturopathy. Some of her words resonated strongly with various groups: “ the ANP aims to support you as a practitioner, whilst reaching out to actual real people – people who are still in that sick stage… awareness raising is about reaching as many people as possible to start that same journey that we have been on – to challenge the orthodox, to try something kinder, gentler and still more effective and to demand that the information they need to help themselves get better”.
ANP’s role on the European Platform is a symbol of what is to come in the near future and the impact of Natural Health on National health. The final outcome of the conference was a call to all present at the conference was to produce and collate outcomes research in order to join forces to promote Naturopathy.
ANP was delighted to host noted Immunologist, Geneticist and Published Author Peter H. Kay for a workshop on Nutrition, Genetics and Cancer.
Peter H. Kay began the day by addressing practitioners with a message on the importance of engaging with clients who approach them with a diagnosis of Cancer: “You [practitioners] are so important. You are perfectly placed to give real, life-changing advice and information to patients. You have the time, the knowledge and the opportunity to positive affect the trajectory of their experience and I cannot express enough how important it is that you engage with these topics and get out there and help people.”
This talk was organised by the ANP in response to a growing number of enquiries from Nutritional Therapy and Herbal members. The number of people seeking advice from practitioners is rising. Like many conditions and treatments, dietary and lifestyle support from a practitioner is of immense value to the suffering person.
As the Cancer landscape changes and develops, the need for constantly updated training and information for nutrition professionals’ increase. In order to support practitioners and their clients, the ANP has organised a series of talks from field leaders in Nutrition and Cancer to deliver training.
To view more of ANP practitioner training and events visit www.theanp.co.uk/Events.
By Matthew Wood, Herbalist, Author, International Lecturer (USA)
The view that Nature is a living being is found in almost all pre-technological cultures throughout the word. It is usually associated with pre-modern religions and people such as Native American Indians that live close to the land. This view of Nature as being a living entity was maintained until Sir Francis Bacon introduced the theory that the natural world was essentially a machine without a soul – an object to be manipulated, forced, and twisted. Traditional Western Herbal Medicine is an approach that is not mechanistic but takes into account these additional dimensions of Nature as something that is whole, living and intelligent…..
In the West the doctrine of the Living Nature was associated with the pagan tradition of Platonic, Aristotelian, Neo-Platonic, and Hermetic philosophy. Plato taught that the entire material world was but a reflection of a spiritual world. Aristotle pictured a world tied together in a great chain of being from God to Nature. These perspectives were incorporated into medieval Christianity, which maintained that Nature was a living entity and that the things of Nature embodied wisdom and spiritual teachings. Eventually, Sir Frances Bacon introduced the theory that the natural world was essentially a machine without a soul. It was an object which could be manipulated, forced and twisted to reveal its secrets. The investigator, meanwhile, would be an objective scientist who abolished all subjective faculties from his or her scientific personality, including spirit or soul. Bacon separated God from Nature. God had no rulership or expression in Nature and Nature had no relationship to God.
The scientists of the preceding centuries had not automatically separated Nature from sentiment, soul, and spirit. It has been shown that even the anatomical drawings of Andreas Vesalius, which dissected the body and laid Nature bare, were designed according to classical concepts about the residences of the soul and spirit in the human being. His approach precedes from the whole to the parts, the opposite of the modern method. Leonardo da Vinci, whose “Vitruvian Man” is taken as the symbol of the scientific revolution, also attempted to fit his dissections and anatomical knowledge into classical categories representing a spiritual view of the world. Indeed, the “Vitruvian Man” with his arms stretched forth within a circle and a square is so appealing partly because it infers a deeper, mythological context behind human nature. J. W. Goethe, living after the Baconian revolution, attempted to re-instill the subjective element into scientific consideration alongside the objective approach.
The most comprehensive doctrine of knowledge based on Nature in Western culture is found in the work of the sixteenth century alchemist and physician, Paracelsus. He attempted to build a science that was entirely based upon the idea that Nature was alive and ensouled. He experienced the internal reality of the Living Nature and drew his insights from that experience. Thus, he taught that there was an inherent way of knowing Nature and natural processes which was revealed where there was sympathy between the investigator and the subject, the scientist and Nature. This knowledge grew out of unity with Nature, rather than alienation. He called this way of knowing the “Light of Nature” (lumen natrae). Paracelsian philosophy was names “Naturgewissenshaften” in German, that is to say, “the Wisdom of Nature” or, in Latin, Natura Sophia.
The twentieth century finally demonstrated that science, separated from soul and spirit, could create human monstrosities, like the Nazi eugenics programs or experimentation on concentration camp inmates, destroy natural resources, and threaten the entire plant. This has caused a backlash against scientific mechanism, and yet, the machine still churns on and we find ourselves, in medicine for example, still heretical for advocating a link between spirit and body.
The curriculum of the Institute of Traditional Western Herbalism represents an attempt to teach a natural science herbalism based on a spiritual view of Nature. It is therefore based on the Natura Sophia approach. The utilisation of the subjective faculties, as well as the objective, makes our endeavour more difficult but then, life is more difficult than the simplistic model utilised in conventional science.
Matthew Wood will be lecturing for Day 2 of the 2019 ANP Naturopathic Summit click here to book early bird tickets.
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