Superfoods are bullshit

Superfoods are bullshit

Like many of you with an interest in natural medicine, my foray into this field was guided by altruism, as a way to reconnect to our shared human heritage, and the healing wisdom of the earth. It thus came somewhat of a surprise to me, when during my training and after when I began to practice, to see the degree to which moneyed interests controlled the natural health industry, reducing the sophisticated and subtle principles I had studied to a loud and obtuse marketing noise. Over the years as I have built up my experience and knowledge, I have had some occasion to work on the industry side of things, and although my tenure has thankfully been brief, it was sufficient to confirm everything I ever thought that was negative about it. This is why I generally avoid health food products (and health food stores) like the plague: I am just too aware of what goes on within the industry. Thus I encourage my patients, students and anyone who will listen, to seek their nutrition and health in … [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...]