pharmaceutical drugs

What is Your Quality of Life?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important."

Quality of Life. Noun: the general well-being of a person or society, defined in terms of health and happiness, rather than wealth. 

You may agree that the state of health can determine happiness. If you feel unwell or have pain, it is hard to feel happy. You may feel grateful for loved ones and circumstances in life, but being ill, or having uncomfortable or unwanted symptoms, can severely curtail the very activities that bring happiness.

Our current medical system is not geared towards health or happiness. When drugs alone are used to manage symptoms, there may be some temporary relief. But the side-effects alone can wear down the body and produce weakness in the organs and immune system that lead to further distress or foster disease. 

As a Naturopath my job (and my great passion) is to help determine which factors are the barriers to the body's innate ability to heal. And it is such a joy to witness those healing powers on a daily basis. 

Recently one of my long-term patients experienced a true medical miracle. Diagnosed with a blood/lymph cancer a couple of years ago, this brave lady set out on a journey to heal. She changed her diet, studies alternative treatments, and traveled to Europe twice to seek knowledgeable health professionals. All the while she also came to me for supplements and natural medicine to boost her immune response and supply the building blocks for healthy cells.

Many of you watched the "The Truth About Cancer", the series of videos that presented alternative treatments and survivors' stories from around the world. Based on what I learned from that program, I suggested adding Frankincense Essential Oil to my patient's regimen. She put it on her tongue and massaged it into the tumor, which was visible as a large lump on one side of her throat. Two weeks later, on her next visit, I asked how she was doing and she requested that I look at her throat, as I had done twice monthly for the past couple of years.

This time, there was nothing to see. The tumor had completely disappeared. Instead, I saw pink, healthy, and normal-looking tissue in the place of the tumor. I might not have believed that something could change so rapidly if I had not seen it with my own eyes.

Would the Frankincense Essential Oil have triggered the miracle on its own? We will never know. Perhaps it was just the final burst of support that the body needed for the immune system to slay the dragon. Certainly the patient needed to make the dietary changes she made, and she used many other intelligent and researched treatments-all of them alternative and all designed to support correct cell formation and restore the balance of health. 

And now that her health is restored, she is happier and busier than she has been in a long time. Her quality of life is greatly enhanced.

This is the power of natural medicine. We have been led to believe that natural medicine is not enough, that we need the chemicals and invasive treatments provided by Big Business Medicine. And sometimes we do and I am grateful for those treatments when they are correctly provided.

But there is a great deal of power in plant medicine, in nutrition, and in the loving support of our family, friends and dedicated practitioners. My first professor in Holistic Nutrition told us that our job was to help people find their own medical miracles. What I really prefer is helping you ensure that you never need one. 

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. I dream of a day when holistic medicine and conventional medicine are prescribed according to the needs of the person, without regard to bottom line of corporations. I dream of a day when yearly check-ups involve testing to see what is needed for prevention of disease and improvement in quality of life, and not to test whether you have a disease and are ready to take your turn on the medical Merry-go-round. I dream of a day when all kids have access to fresh, healthy, organic, non-GMO foods every day, at a price that is affordable for families. 

I hope you share my dream because we can make this happen. Meanwhile, let us know how we can help improve the quality of your life, as well the lives of your family and friends. What part of your health is preventing you from pursuing your own path to happiness?



Is Herbal Medicine Just a Witch’s Brew?


We have made so many breakthroughs in health technology in the past 100+ years, that it may be difficult to imagine that a simple plant could be as effective as brightly colored pills that come in a child-proof bottle with an official looking printed label.

Many people immediately think “Doctor” at the first sign of an illness. And by that we mean a cold or flu or lump or pain, rash or discomfort. But we are often very unschooled about the warning signals that indicate a body is struggling, signals that may appear long before a problem sends us to the doctor.

Sadly, your MD won’t know anything about the warning signals, either, because a medical education in today’s world means managing and treating disease. It does not involve teaching patients how to manage their optimum health to prevent disease.

Heroism often involves bold actions. Performing surgery and prescribing caustic and potentially dangerous drugs is bold. Working with the body’s own rhythms, processes and innate wisdom may not seem so bold. No blood is shed, there may be no dramatic bedside vigil, no hair falling out, or brave suffering from the after-effects of the treatment.

With plant medicine there is a realignment of the natural order of the body. The internal processes are an intricate dance and it is only when a partner or step is missing that the seeds of illness are sowed.

Whenever any aspect of life goes off the rails, a change must take place. The attitudes, behaviors and negligence which started one on a destructive path must be recognized and set right again. Old habits must be shed and new, smarter actions must be implemented.

It is the same with health and the body. Plant medicine is how the body is formed, from the nutrients received in the womb. Plant medicine is how the body repairs. Surgery can cut out a damaged part, and is sometimes vitally necessary. But surgery does not repair-the body repairs. And drugs only block, suppress or kill functions or organisms. The body does not need drugs to repair or make new cells and chemical drugs also damage, giving the body even more of a repair job to do.

Herbs and plants contain the exact bio-chemical nutrients that are required for real healing to occur. A simple carrot contains over 200 plant-nutrients, and each one has a role to play in the life and wellbeing of our trillions of cells.

We only know some of the reasons that botanical medicine works, because research money is not spent on identifying all the parts. These days when money is spent on plants it is more often to discover how to isolate, create a synthetic copy, and patent the discovery so that the drug can cost $100 a pill instead of the $1.50 the original plant would cost. At least 30% of pharmaceutical drugs are knock-offs of plant medicines.

What we do have is thousands of years of plant medicines being used to help people get well. And since we have billions of people on the Planet, it must have been working fairly well.

So, herbals and botanicals are cheaper, safer, less damaging, and often times more effective than pharmaceutical drugs.

Since much of the information about botanical medicine is not available in the mainstream, it takes a bit of digging and some self-education, as well as the guidance of a professional. You may need your own book of remedies, but you don’t need any witchcraft or mysterious practices. Fortunately plants seemed to have been created to do their job for us. We have an incredible treasure house of real medicines in every farmer’s market, health food store, or supermarket.

It starts with what you eat every day. And there are specific botanicals have known medicinal properties you can tap into. When plants are made into supplements, how they are harvested and how they are prepared determines how effective they are.

Your body should be comfortable for you, and life in your body should be challenging but fun. If your body seems to be holding you back, don’t ignore the warning signs until a small problem becomes a big one. A small goblin is a lot easier to handle than a raging monster.

When Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”, he meant eat your way to wellness.  Those words are more relevant now than they were in 400 BC.  There is enough stress and strife and such an abundance of toxins around us that not eating well is like walking a tightrope with no end in sight. It is not a question of falling off the rope, just a question of how soon.

You can dress up a drug in a fancy costume, but it is still a phony when it comes to repairing the body. Opt for genuine original parts.


Happy Halloween!  

Anne Dunev, PhD, C.N. has over twenty years experience helping people feel better by finding the root cause of what is causing their symptoms. Addressing that with the correct natural and nutritional medicine is her strength. With help restoring balance and function, thousands of people are living happier, healthier lives.