Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

When I published part one of this two part series on superfoods, we received so much traffic that it almost crashed our website! I guess I might have touched a nerve with this issue, which isn’t surprising to me, considering just how long we have been sold this “superfood" myth. What’s been more surprising to me is how few people have spoken out on this issue before. I always thought it was obvious, but I guess that’s a reflection of just how out-of-step I am with the natural health industry. My goal is to teach both my patients and students to become self-reliant, to develop for themselves an insightful and penetrating vision of health that allows them to see past the hype. This is why I include a strong component of patient education in my clinical practice, and was part of my motivation to found the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine in 2012. Years ago in my early twenties, I spent a great deal of time meditating and studying Buddhism, traveling as far away as Bodhgaya in modern … [Read more...]

Hubris, and the avocado pit

Hubris, and the avocado pit

I was recently informed that the most recent fad to hit the health scene is the avocado pit. Yep, it’s that hard slippery seed disgorged from the avocado that you normally compost, or turn into a science experiment for the kids. And while it’s also great to keep the guac from going brown, I have yet to see anyone actually eat the pit. But apparently this is all about to change. Avocado pit, you see, contains antioxidants. If you receive regular science updates from sites like sciencedaily, or peruse r/science over at reddit, you will have likely noticed an uptick in the amount of research being conducted into plant chemicals. The recognition that natural compounds have a lot to offer is now being recognized, the best most recent example being the Nobel Prize in Physiology awarded to Youyou Tu for her work with artemisinin (derived from medicinal herb Artemisia annua). As a herbalist, it is both of great interest and also very gratifying to see all this scientific attention lav … [Read more...]