Category: Holistic Health



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Eating Carotenoid-Rich Vegetables May Improve Your Breast Health



Eating vegetables rich in carotenoids — like kale, spinach, melons, and yams — can prevent benign breast disease, and possibly breast cancer through their antioxidant properties, a new study found.

The lead researcher, Caroline Boeke, told HealthDay that plenty of studies have examined the effects of fruits and vegetables (and their carotenoids) on breast health. Most of them have produced mixed results; but in general they suggest that carotenoids, which are a type of pigment found in orange, red, or green vegetables, have a positive effect on breast health. Benign breast disease may involve a form of noncancerous breast condition, which may play a role in raising the risk of breast cancer.

The researchers examined girls in an ongoing study since 1996, reviewing their food reports from 1996 to 1998 then doing evaluations in 2005, 2007, and 2010 among the girls who received a benign breast disease diagnosis. There were 6,600 girls who participated in the study, with 122 that had a benign breast diagnosis.

 

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Magnesium Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk

An astounding 70% or more of Americans are deficient in the essential mineral magnesium.  Low levels can have deadly effects.

Epidemiologic studies have suggested that low magnesium may be associated with higher rates of colorectal cancer among other diseases.  Now a meta-analysis confirms that higher magnesium intakes are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and especially colon cancer.

Researchers from Soochow University in China analyzed eight prospective studies covering 338,979 participants. Their results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found the highest average intake of magnesium was associated with an 11% reduction in colorectal cancer risk compared to the lowest average intake.

In addition, the researchers found that for every 50 mg per day increase in magnesium, colon cancer was reduced by 7%.

The results are consistent with an earlier meta-analysis by Imperial College London and Wageningen University finding for every 100 mg increase in magnesium, colorectal cancer decreased by 13%.

Unfortunately, only about 20% of Americans get the recommended daily magnesium intake of 420 mg for men or 320 mg for women.  And a deficiency can be debilitating.

Magnesium participates in over 300 known biochemical reactions in your body.  Recent research from the human genome project reveals that 3,751 human proteins have binding sites for magnesium.

 

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young sick Americans Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America

 

Health Impact News Editor Comments

When I read an article in The Atlantic recently with the title: Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America - Chronic illness is the new first-world problem – it caught my attention. This is the kind of topic we cover on a regular basis here at Health Impact News, but seldom do you read about it in the mainstream media.

There are 3 things that are rather astonishing about the sad state of health in America today:

1. We’re sicker than previous generations, and most of us know it.

2. We don’t seem to care about it too much. It is not headline news.

3. There doesn’t seem to be much motivation to change this fact: it seems to have been accepted as the new “norm.”

Last year, we reported about a study funded by the government and your tax dollars which clearly showed that the United States ranks #1 on healthcare spending, but last in life expectancy among wealthy nations (See: U.S. Ranks First in Healthcare Spending – Last in Life Expectancy). The mainstream media barely even covered this story, and even here at Health Impact News it was probably not even in the top 100 stories read from everything we published last year.

The sad fact seems to be that most Americans have adopted an attitude that the current health situation in the U.S. cannot be changed.

For those few of you who have not drunk the Kool Aid, and still believe you do have control over your health and have choices you can make to live a healthier life, then this article by John Thomas identifying the problems and solutions is for you.

Please understand that if enough Americans understand that the healthcare system (which is not really a “healthcare” system at all but a MEDICAL system) is the primary problem and take measures to avoid it, that it would absolutely destroy our economy, since so much of it is dependent on sick people. But maybe our economy is heading for destruction anyway, so don’t let that threat stop you from making healthy choices today.

Is it Normal to be Sick?

by John P. Thomas

Is it normal to be sick? Many people think so, but it hasn’t always been this way. What was life like before we became dependent on modern pharmaceutical drugs, major medical centers, and health insurance? If we turn back the clock a hundred and fifty years, we will hardly find anything that looks like the modern medical system. Did previous generations live in the dark ages of medicine, or is the modern age of chronic degenerative illness and modern pharmaceutical drugs actually a dark age of medicine?

I remember overhearing a conversation while waiting for a table in a restaurant some 25 years ago. A grandmother was talking to her 10 year old grandson. She must not have seen him for a while, so she began by asking one of those general types of questions to get the conversation started. “How are you feeling?” Without hesitation, her grandson started discussing his various health problems, which included allergies, asthma, fatigue, etc. In a grandmotherly voice filled with sympathy and concern, she gave a reply that sticks in my mind to this day.  She said, “I understand — we all have something wrong with us.” She went on to tell him that we are all sick and we have to learn to live with it. I don’t know if her words were entirely true then, but they are most certainly true today! We are sick and getting sicker, and we are all being taught to live with it.

Here we are 25 years later and despite all the medical and pharmaceutical advances that have taken place in the United States, we are sicker than ever. How many people do you know who are not taking one or more prescription medications? How many people do you know who do not have a medical diagnosis for some chronic illness? How many people do you know who are not being treated for some condition that requires periodic trips to the doctor to monitor disease progression and to adjust medications? How many people do you know who struggle with paying for medications? If I count the people I know, who do not fall into the groups I just mentioned, I can count them on the fingers of one hand. How about the people you know?

The purpose of this article is to examine how we respond to our illnesses and to questions whether our pharmaceutical drugs and system of healthcare is making us sicker than we need to be.

Does the Healthcare System in the United States Lead the World?

We certainly lead the world in the amount of dollars spent on healthcare. We spend 2.5 times more per person per year than is spent in any other country on Earth for healthcare.1

Does the Money we Spend for Healthcare Make Us the Healthiest people in the World?

The New York Times recently revealed how our healthcare system compares to other countries.

“In the Social Progress Index, the United States excels in access to advanced education but ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal safety.”2

The United States is sitting in the 70th position down from the top of the list for the category of health when compared to other countries. Let’s look at the details of how we compare to other wealthy countries.

The Panel on Understanding Cross-National Health Differences Among High-Income Countries, compared the health of people living in the United States with people living in other high income countries, which included Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. They reported:

Over this time period, we uncovered a strikingly consistent and pervasive pattern of higher mortality and inferior health in the United States, beginning at birth: … For many years, Americans have had a shorter life expectancy than people in almost all of the peer countries. For example, as of 2007, U.S. males lived 3.7 fewer years than Swiss males and U.S. females lived 5.2 fewer years than Japanese females.3

We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, which should make us the healthiest people on Earth, but this is not the case.

Why are We so Sick?….

 

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Natural Society

Elizabeth Renter

by
March 31st, 2014
Updated 03/31/2014 at 5:52 am

goji berries bpa 263x164 Goji Berries Could Mend BPA Damage in Male Reproductive Organs

 

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a known endocrine disruptor whose damaging effects aren’t entirely known and understood. What we do know, however, is that it mimics estrogen in the body and can cause serious damage to male reproductive organs even before a boy is born.

In a 2013 study published in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers indicated a small fruit could hold some protective benefits for men exposed to BPA.

Numerous studies have linked BPA to male reproductive problems. One study in 2005 found that males exposed to BPA in the womb, even at rates lower than the range for pregnant women, suffered malformations in their reproductive organs and developmental problems in the prostate.

Another study found the same low level exposure to BPA in rats actually increased the risk of pre-cancerous lesions of the prostate and hormonal carcinogenesis in adulthood. In other words, those exposed to BPA were more likely to develop cancerous changes of the prostate.

The unassuming goji berry showed promising results in protecting and potentially reversing this BPA damage.

 

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Elizabeth Renter

by
April 1st, 2014
Updated 04/01/2014 at 3:06 am

 

 

ginger powders Diabetes 263x164 Just ¼ Tsp. of Ginger Daily Could Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Markers

Anytime you can treat, prevent, or even eliminate a common modern medical problem with food or herbs, it’s exciting. Largely because we are so bombarded with toxic formulas for everything form a skinned knee to an upset stomach, these natural treatments are a breath of healing fresh air. One of the latest studies affirming the benefits of the easily-found ginger root indicates it may only take about a quarter-teaspoon of the food each day to significantly reduce inflammatory markers associated with Type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association estimates some 25.8 million U.S. adults and children have type 2 diabetes. That’s 8.3% of the population. It’s the leading cause of kidney failure, increases your risk of heart disease and blindness, and is one of the most common causes of limb amputation. Most important of all—it’s entirely preventable, and many would say curable with strict adherence to diet.

The latest study, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, sought to examine the effects of ginger consumption on lipid profile, glycemic status, and inflammatory markers associated with type 2 diabetes.

The double-blind, placebo controlled study involved 70 type-2 diabetes enrolled for 12 weeks either in a ginger group or the control group. Each day, one group received 1600 mg of ginger, the equivalent of approximately ¼ of a teaspoon.

 

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Jan 7, 2014 by MICHAEL FORRESTER

Emotions coordinate our behavior and physiological states during survival-salient events and pleasurable interactions. Even though we are often consciously aware of our current emotional state, such as anger or happiness, the mechanisms giving rise to these subjective sensations have remained unresolved. Brilliant research by Finnish scientists has mapped the areas of our body that are experiencing an increase or decrease in sensory activity when we experience a particular emotion.

emotions In a new study, Finnish researchers have published visualizations describing how human emotions affect the body.  PNAS

Depending on whether we are happy, sad or angry, we have physiological sensations that are not located in different areas of the body. We overlook this reality from one day to the next (the famous “lump in the breast” generated by anxiety, the feeling of warmth that pervades our face and our cheeks particularly when we feel the shame…), and do not consciously realize how much the location of these body areas activated by our emotions and how they vary considerably depending on the nature of the emotion.

Researchers around the world are slowly integrating research on how our energetic and emotional states cause health and/or disease. How we connect emotionally to our overall wellness and wellbeing may indeed be more relevant than any supplement, food, exercise, medical intervention or health treatment.

Finnish scientists have for the first time mapped areas of the body activated according to each emotion (happiness, sadness, anger, etc). This map was compiled following a study of 700 Finnish, Swedish and Taiwanese volunteers.

They used a topographical self-report tool to reveal that different emotional states are associated with topographically distinct and culturally universal bodily sensations; these sensations could underlie conscious emotional experiences. Monitoring the topography of emotion-triggered bodily sensations brings forth a unique tool for emotion research and could even provide a biomarker for emotional disorders.

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NutritionFacts.org

Published on Mar 14, 2014

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at:
http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates

DESCRIPTION: Less than a teaspoon a day of turmeric appears to significantly lower the DNA mutating ability of cancer-causing substances.

This is second of a three-part video series on turmeric curcumin and its relationship to cancer. To find out more, check out the prequel Back to Our Roots: Curry and Cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/back-…) and the last video in the series Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death.

Smokers are common research subjects for carcinogen studies. For example, see what happens to carcinogen levels when those eating processed meat start eating vegetarian in my video Heterocyclic Amines in Eggs, Cheese, and Creatine? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/heter…).

Other foods that may protect DNA include kiwifruit (Kiwifruit and DNA Repair, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/kiwif…), cruciferous vegetables (DNA Protection from Broccoli, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…), leafy vegetables (Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eatin…), garlic (Cancer, Interrupted: Garlic & Flavonoids, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…), green tea (Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance… (but which is better? Antimutagenic Activity of Green Versus White Tea, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/antim…)), and plants in general (Repairing DNA Damage, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/repai…).

More information on cancer prevention, treatment, and reversal can be found in my two latest annual presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo…) and More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/more-…).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carci… and he’ll try to answer it!

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Breaking News: FDA’s Sneak Attempt to Ban Another B Vitamin

March 11, 2014

Vitamins Close-upYou can’t live without this vitamin. But the FDA wants to reserve the natural form for monopoly drug companies, leaving only the synthetic form for supplements. Urgent Action Alert!

 

The FDA has just released a new 109-page guidance on the revision of nutrition and supplement labels. (You can read more about the implications of the new labeling rules in our other article this week.)

 

On page 69, the agency slipped in two little paragraphs that could risk the health of millions of people who desperately need folate. It’s a sneak attack so quiet and unobtrusive that few people will even realize it’s there.

 

According to the guidance, the word “folate” will be banned from the Supplement Fact labels—only the term “folic acid” will be allowed.

 

Folate is the naturally occurring form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It is found in foods such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas and other beans, lentils, spinach, turnip greens, asparagus, avocado, and broccoli, but is also available as a supplement.

 

The human body needs folate to synthesize and repair its DNA. It’s especially important during the kind of rapid cell division and growth seen in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folate to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia among many other vital functions.

 

Folic acid, on the other hand, is synthetically produced, and refers to just one member of the folate group: pteroylmonoglutamic acid. While folic acid occurs only rarely in whole foods, it’s extremely stable, which is why it’s widely used in dietary supplements and to fortify processed foods.

 

The important thing to remember is that folic acid is not itself biologically active, though for most people the liver can convert it to the folate we need. Most, however, does not mean all. It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of the population can’t efficiently convert synthetic folic acid into folate.

 

In other words, about a third of the human population has two potential problems: a deficiency in folate (because it is hard to get enough from a diet full of processed foods), and possibly even an excess of folic acid (because their body can’t metabolize what could become an overabundance of folic acid present in “fortified” foods):

 

  • According to Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, folate deficiency is one of the most dangerous medical conditions, leading to Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. If pregnant women are deficient in it, it can also lead to spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects in their children.

 

 

Note that the FDA is not exactly banning the inclusion of folate and requiring the inclusion of folic acid in supplements. As usual, it is playing a much more subtle insider’s game. It is simply banning supplement producers from using the word folate on their labels and conversely only allowing the word folic acid on their labels. But it would of course be fraudulent to put folic acid on your label and then use something else. The FDA understands that perfectly.

 

So on what grounds is the agency banning the use of the word folate on the label? Believe it or not, it is arguing that folate can only be found in “conventional” (whole or minimally processed) foods.

 

Before we examine this absurd claim, we must first explain that limiting a folate claim to food would not prevent drug companies from becoming the only source of folate outside of food. Drug companies don’t care what a chemical is called so long as they can create a high priced monopoly in it. Ironically, the FDA’s position that folate can only be used to describe what is in food would still turn folate over to the drug companies—so long as supplement labels can only use the term folic acid.

 

So what about the agency’s assertion that “folate” can only be found in food? “Folate” is actually a term for a whole B vitamin group. The term “folate” we see on dietary supplement labels refers to “dietary folates,” members of the folate group that can be naturally found in foods. Folinic acid (5-FTHF), calcium methylfolate, and various other tetrahydrofolates can be found in dietary supplements. Many brands feature dietary folate.[1] It would be completely inaccurate and misleading to refer to these dietary folates as “folic acid.” Legally, it would be fraudulent.

 

Why did the FDA do this? One can only guess. But it would not be surprising if it eventually turns out to be a blatant attempt to reserve for drug companies the use of dietary folates. After all, B vitamins are not only essential for life. They are also proven therapeutic agents. Drug company research programs have been coming up short for years; new drug therapeutic agents are in very short supply.

 

Moreover, the drug company Merck already holds patents on Metafolin, which the body recognizes as a bioavailable dietary folate. Metafolin is licensed by dietary supplement companies for some of their products.

 

If, according to FDA “logic,” dietary supplements can’t contain folate like Metafolin, it would only be available from whole foods…or drugs, and only from drugs in higher doses. Since Merck would have exclusivity for a Metafolin “drug,” our guess is that they would make billions. And other forms of patentable folate could then follow.

 

Sound unlikely? It’s not—both forms of fish oil and vitamin D have already been turned into patented drugs. Imagine if competition from supplemental forms of fish oil or D could be wiped out at one stroke by saying no supplement label could use the term!

 

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NutritionFacts.org

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at:
http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates

DESCRIPTION: Simple changes in diet and lifestyle may quadruple a woman’s survival rate from breast cancer.

I recommend that all women with breast cancer eat broccoli sprouts. See my 8-part video series:

1. DNA Protection from Broccoli (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…)
2. Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sulfo…)
3. Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/brocc…)
4. Liver Toxicity Due to Broccoli Juice? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/liver…)
5. How Much Broccoli Is Too Much? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-m…)
6. The Best Detox (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-b…)
7. Sometimes the Enzyme Myth Is True (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/somet…)
8. Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bigge…)

They may also help out with other cancers (Lung Cancer Metastases and Broccoli, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lung-…, and Raw Broccoli and Bladder Cancer Survival, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-b…).

For more on breast cancer survival, see:

• Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, and Chicken (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Trans Fat (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Soy (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Epidemiological Evidence (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxs…)
• Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Clinical Evidence (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxs…)

And even better, preventing it in the first place. Here are the last 10 videos, but there are 81 other videos on breast cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/brea…

• Fiber vs. Breast Cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fiber…)
• Breast Cancer and Alcohol: How Much is Safe? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Which Seaweed is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which…)
• Breast Cancer Risk: Red Wine vs. White Wine (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phip-…)
• Preventing Breast Cancer By Any Greens Necessary (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preve…)
• Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…)
• PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phip-…)
• Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/estro…)
• Cancer Risk From CT Scan Radiation (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…)

Some of this video may sound familiar—I included it in my 2013 live presentation, which you can watch here (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/more-…).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas… and he’ll try to answer it!

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Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells

NutritionFacts.org

Published on Mar 12, 2012

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates
Donate at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsdonation
DESCRIPTION: A new theory of cancer biology—cancer stem cells—and the role played by sulforaphane, a phytonutrient produced by cruciferous vegetables. Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/broc… and I’ll try to answer it! Broccoli also protects our DNA. See the preceding video-of-the-day, DNA Protection From Broccoli (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…), and my other 35 videos on greens (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/greens/) and 98 videos on cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/). And those are two of the 1,290 topics (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/) I cover here at NutritionFacts.org (http://nutritionfacts.org/). Note that most of the sources for this video are all open access, so you can click on them above in the Sources Cited section and read them full-text for free.

Please also check out my associated blog post: http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2012/0…

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MercolaHealthyPets MercolaHealthyPets

February 24, 2014 |

By Dr. Becker

Today, I have a very special guest speaking with me over the phone. His name is Dr. Hubert Karreman, and he is the veterinarian at the Rodale Institute. The Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 by organic pioneer J.I. Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people.

Before he joined Rodale, Dr. Karreman founded Bovinity Health, a small company that provides natural veterinary products for large animal medicine. He also founded his own solo practice, Penn Dutch Cow Care, which he operated for 15 years as a holistic large animal practitioner.

Dr. Karreman now works primarily with certified organic dairy farmers as a consultant. He also lectures widely on natural treatment options for cows, which is the topic of our discussion today.

Entering Veterinary School: A Childhood Dream Comes Full Circle

I asked Dr. Karreman to talk a little about his career path as a large animal veterinarian. He replied that he grew up in the suburbs right outside Philadelphia, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. His dad was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Like many other children, Dr. Karreman wanted to be a veterinarian for cats and dogs when he grew up. He was very influenced by books by James Herriot (author of All Creatures Great and Small, among many others), which he read during elementary school and junior high.

When Dr. Karreman was in the eighth grade, the veterinarian his family used came to his school to give a talk about his profession, and Dr. Karreman was even more motivated toward his goal of becoming a DVM.

But when he eventually went away to college at the University of New Hampshire, he began as a biochemistry major. Then he did a bit of “wandering,” as many young people at that age do. He worked at a gas station during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, which got him thinking about the earth’s resources. When he returned to school, he began learning about resource conservation. He took a soil science class, really got into soils, and declared that as his new major.

During his time at the University of New Hampshire, he completed a work-study program with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, as it was called back in the early 1980s. Dr. Karreman said it was really wonderful, fun work for a kid from the suburbs, surveying land for conservation practices on dairy farms in southeastern New Hampshire. He could always see dairy cows off in the distance and was drawn to them, but didn’t get the opportunity to interact with them while he was involved in soil conservation work.

Immediately upon graduation in June 1984, his desire to learn about dairy cows drove him to work as an apprentice on dairy farms. He mucked out cow stalls and did general farm labor for a pittance. Then in the winter of 1984-85, Dr. Karreman traveled to Holland to visit relatives. They weren’t farmers, but he told them, “I’d love to milk cows here in Holland or learn how.” So he started milking cows in Holland and was instantly addicted.

For the next six years, Dr. Karreman continued to work on farms. In 1988, he landed on an organic farm and was exposed for the first time to alternative medicine. He thought, “Wow, no way are these going to work, these little BB-sized white pellets in these round little bottles.” They were homeopathics. And then he saw them work, and one day it hit him like a bolt of lightning from God. Dr. Karreman says he almost heard a voice from above say, “Go to veterinary school.”

Suddenly, his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian came alive again. He had to take some additional classes to get into vet school, and he knew he had to get really good grades this time around, unlike his University of New Hampshire grade point average! And as Dr. Karreman puts it, “Lo and behold, I got top grades and got in!”

Isn’t that a great story? I was exposed to homeopathy while studying wildlife rehabilitation at the age of 16. At that time, I couldn’t even pronounce the word “homeopathy,” nor did I understand it. But I saw that it worked amazingly well. It sounds like Dr. Karreman had a very similar experience with the use of homeopathy with dairy cows. I asked him what his exposure was to homeopathy in veterinary school.

Dr. Karreman explained that while in vet school he didn’t hide the fact that he was into organics and was interested in alternative medicine. And as he thinks back on it now, during his first two years of school while he was learning the basics, the professors he had were more open to discussions about alternative therapies than the actual clinicians who taught him in his third and fourth years.

After Vet School, Dr. Karreman Establishes a Satellite Practice with an Emphasis on Large Animal Homeopathics

Next, I asked Dr. Karreman where he began working after graduating from veterinary school. Did he go with a traditional practice? Or did he open his own practice so he could take a more integrative approach, using alternative treatments like homeopathy?

Dr. Karreman said that when he was a herdsman from 1988 to 1990 on a Biodynamic organic farm, he received training – as did other farmers in Lancaster and Chester counties in southeastern Pennsylvania – from Dr. Ed Schaefer. Dr. Karreman feels Dr. Schaefer is the best teacher of large animal homeopathics in the U.S.

When he was finishing up vet school, Dr. Karreman asked Dr. Schaefer if he would like him to set up a satellite practice in Lancaster County, since Dr. Schaefer was in Lebanon County. Dr. Schaefer agreed, but couldn’t pay Dr. Karreman much because he hadn’t planned for someone to offer to open a satellite practice for him! But as Dr. Karreman points out, “When my heart’s into something, I do it regardless of the pay.” He thinks a lot of veterinarians are like that.

While attending the presentations Dr. Schaefer gave to teach homeopathics, Dr. Karreman started meeting up again with many of the farmers he’d known during his years as an apprentice. As it turns out, he didn’t have to do much cold calling to get business for his satellite practice, because he’d made all those contacts years before. This was at a time when organics were really starting to take off, and the farmers he knew were like, “Hey, this is cool. This is Dr. Karreman. He’s just out of vet school. And he wants us to use homeopathics just like we all learned from Dr. Schaefer. This is great!” And things just sort of developed from there.

It’s really wonderful and unique how things ultimately fell into place. Dr. Karreman believes it was serendipity along with spiritual guidance. He feels he was put on his path when he heard those words from above, “Go to veterinary school” back in the late 1980s. Things have fallen into place almost every day since then.

Beyond Homeopathics to Multi-Potency Homeochords

I asked Dr. Karreman if when he started out, he practiced exclusively holistic medicine, or was it more integrative? Did he practice traditional veterinary medicine at any point?

He answered that interestingly, most vets who get into alternative medicine first spend many years practicing conventional medicine – antibiotics, hormones, steroids, etc. Eventually, they arrive at a place where they say to themselves, “I’m just not seeing the results I want to see,” or “I didn’t go to vet school just to use these two or three or four treatment protocols.” But in Dr. Karreman’s case, he actually went to vet school because he had already seen how well alternative therapies work.

But once he started practicing in 1995, he quickly hit sort of a glass ceiling with regard to homeopathics in the treatment of dairy cows. He wasn’t a classically trained homeopath. He refers to himself as a mongrel or mutt – an eclectic practitioner. He uses whatever it takes to get the healing response he’s looking for. That’s why when he attended vet school, he wanted to mix and match different modalities. Every case is different, and he knew that.

For example, let’s say a cow is fresh (has just given birth to a calf), hasn’t passed the afterbirth, and has pneumonia. She’s sunken-eyed and depressed. She’s obviously sick. Using homeopathic pyrogen alone isn’t going to get the same results as also giving IV fluids, perhaps some calcium (if she’s older), and maybe some other therapies as well. Dr. Karreman would try various combinations of treatments – whatever it took to initiate a healing response in the animal.

At that time, he might have been a little quicker to suggest antibiotics (than now). He personally had nothing against antibiotics, but most of the farmers he worked with were looking to use homeopathics rather than antibiotics. That’s where he started hitting the glass ceiling with homeopathics. At the time, Dr. Karreman happened to be reading a book by James Duke and Steven Foster called A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants (Eastern and Central North America) (Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1990).

He began reading that some plants, like caulophyllum (blue cohosh), arnica, and aconite, are also used in botanical medicine for roughly the same physical indications as in homeopathic medicine. He realized there was a lot of overlap. But physicians from the Eclectic school of medicine and native Indians would use actual botanical juice, but in small amounts — whereas homeopaths use only the energetic essence of the plant to treat similar conditions. So Dr. Karreman thought, “Why not use both?”

That was back in 1999 or 2000. Now when he uses homeopathics, he likes to use what he calls multi-potency homeochords. He still must “diagnose” (select) the correct remedy. He still needs to know what the remedies are called. But once he knows 3-4 indications, he knows what remedy is most appropriate. He then uses it in a multi-potency combination:mother tincture 1X, 2X,4X,12C, 30C and 200C – equal parts of ever increasing diluted and vigorously shaken original plant material.

Selecting the right remedy, and providing some of the juice plus some of the homeopathic energetic essence, in Dr. Karreman’s opinion, stimulates a deeper healing response than using just one or the other.

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