Why does the BBC publish unsubstantiated lies about natural food medicine and Covid-19?

[For best results read this article in an angry John Oliver voice]

You can probably read the frustration in my mind based on the title of this post. I’m not going to apologize, I’m just going to tell it like it is.

A friend, who happens to work in the pharmaceutical industry, recently forwarded me an article. Here’s a link to it. To be clear these are the unsubstantiated lies I was referring to in the title.

In a nutshell this piece of garbage references “snake oil salesmen” from the early 20th century (contrasted with the ‘highly reputable’ – and, ironically, mostly naturally derived – Vicks VapoRub) and then tries to tell you that companies selling natural products today are doing the same thing. It is incredibly poorly written, and acts as if there was no such things as science – just vaccines which are good and natural products which are snake oil. If there was ever an example of intellectually dishonest sensationalistic ‘journalism’ – this is it.

If you want GOOD information (that which is actually written by people who practice medicine and know what they’re talking about based on clinical practice and science) on natural medicine and Covid-19, may I direct you to The Weill Center FAQ

THE WEILL CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST

Here’s a prime quote from the BBC article “Forget kombucha and trendy vitamin supplements – they are nothing more than magic potions for the modern age.”

Okay well, let’s start with a reality check. There are literally thousands of studies substantiating various vitamins. I mean, the very reason that scientists DISCOVERED vitamins was because they were proven to be essential for various biological processes. So, other than the complete ambiquity of what a ‘trendy’ vitamin supplement is, this statement is completely FALSE.

And I could literally spend all day proving that statement. But, for once, let me not send you a weblink. Let me recommend a book. If you really want to learn whether or not natural medicine can benefit the immune system, as well as the entire human body, start with this book.

But just for the sake of the argument -let’s take a bottle of Kombucha, just for example (never mind the health promoting vitamins, minerals, plant derivatives etc. we could dive into) and work backwards on this statement that it is ‘snake oil’.

I’m drinking a bottle of GTs Kombucha right now, and this label indicates the drink has a probiotic strain called Baccilus coagulans, Reishi mushrooms, Chaga mushrooms, and Turkey Tail mushrooms. If the author of the BBC article is correct and this is a “magic potion” (which I am interpreting to mean – not actually a magic potion, but like children’s fairy tales something that has no assumed validity in the real world)…. there will CERTAINLY be no published scientific research on any of the ingredients in this magic potion, right?

So, I’ll do a simply pubmed search on Reishi, to begin with… and… look at this screen shot ! I mean, there are literally too many to name. The amount of research on the ingredients in this “magic potion” are just overwhelming. A number of them dealing with Cancer and chemotherapy support. That’s just ONE ingredient in ONE magic potion. I’m starting to wonder whether this BBC writer is an idiot or a liar or both.

So, I think you get the point. Suffice to say, there is plenty of good credible scientific research on Bacillus coagulans, Chaga, Turkey tail and MANY MANY other natural support mechanisms. I mean, that is literally the entire reason I started this blog.

What I find frustrating is that in the flow of information, more and more of it these days, things are not necessarily becoming clearer. With all this information flying around we should all be getting smarter by the minute! Why is that not happening?!

The answer, I believe, is that we are continually held back by people lying to us. Lying is very different than being wrong. Being wrong is okay, in fact, it is VERY GOOD as it means your critical thinking is on track and you have a belief system that allows you to identify mistakes and corrects them. So, I’m left with a question I can’t answer : why is the BBC lying to us about Covid-19 and natural medicine?

Important announcement : Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Center releases FAQ on whole food and nutritional supplements related to coronavirus COVID-19

If you are familiar with Botanical Nutrition, you know that we don’t sell anything. There is no sales pitch here, and while I work in the natural products industry – everything expressed here is my personal opinion, or at least my personal take on the facts. I do not claim to represent any company directly, nor have the statements I make here been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

I make that disclaimer because I’m writing today about an important announcement from the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, which is publicly available and linked here. In it Weil and the center talk about some nutritional supplements, some of which are recommended for potentially preventing coronavirus, and some which he mentions are contraindicated in case of active Covid-19 infection.

I would encourage you to read what Dr. Weil and his team has to say for yourself, and draw your own conclusions, but for ease of reference I will paraphrase a few of the observations he makes in this FAQ. They discuss a number of things, including some dietary supplements : medicinal mushrooms (mycelia), vitamin D3, NAC (n-acetyl cysteine), Spirulina and Elder berry.

Specifically the distinction is made that Elder berry is recommended if you are trying to prevent viral infection such as coronavirus. But, if you have the disease Covid-19 the Weil center states “to minimize the possibility that elderberry could aggravate the inflammatory “cytokine storm” associated with the more severe COVID-19 infections, it is recommended to stop elderberry at the first signs of infection (fever, cough, sore throat) and/or if you test positive for the virus.”

This will be upsetting to some, and others will disagree, but I am reminded of one of the key tenets of natural medicine “Primer nocer coctum”, – First, do no harm. If we have any doubts about using something that could cause harm, we should look elsewhere. I highly recommend you read the Weil center document in its entirety.

Similarly, the center advises that if you have covid-19 (again an important distinction meaning you’re not just a healthy person looking to PREVENT getting infected) you should discontinue Vitamin D. The rest of us, in fact SHOULD KEEP TAKING our Vitamin D (arguably, along with our Elder berry, medicinal mushrooms/mycelia, etc.) to keep from getting stick.

Another distinction made by Dr Weil is that medicinal mushrooms in the form of mycelia, a holistic preparation of the mushroom life cycle, is same to take – even in the presence of the disease. However, he specifically discourages taking polysaccharide extracts of the fruiting body in the same situation.

If you’d like to hear more of my take on it, or just see what the heck I’ve got in that funny blue drink… check out my latest video below. Thanks for listening and feel free to comment. I’m not afraid to debate or discuss, but please be respectful and keep the previous disclaimers in mind. God bless and godspeede….

Mushrooms Can Give Bees A Chance

For a number of years, Paul Stamets – the world’s preeminent mycologist (and prototype for Star Trek’s new Lieutenant Stamets Space Mycologist) has been working on solving the problem of colony collapse.  This is a major problem, as our whole ecosphere depends on bees.

honeybee-1_wide-69991a585256d0c0f7f58402e9d053b90f955d9a-s1500-c85

A couple of years ago NPR addressed his work in an article titled Could A Mushroom Save the Honeybee? The answer, thankfully, is – yes.

Paul has been working on saving the human race with mushrooms for many years.  His synthesis of the research on mushrooms and the support of the human immune system has led to military research, public initiatives and the formation of Fungi Perfecti – a company best known for their Host Defense organic mushroom nutritional supplement line.

The takeaway for many natural enthusiasts is this – the answer has always been here. Look to the natural world for the solution, and we will quite often find – it has been right under our proverbial noses.

DONATE TO HELP SAVE THE BEES!

Watch this amazing video!

 

Medical experts : Don’t eat raw mushrooms!

Weillwithmushroom

Well-respected medical expert Andrew Weil, MD tells his readers you should NEVER eat raw mushrooms.  Not only are the fruiting body (what most people know as a ‘mushroom’) walls made up of a tough to digest fiber called chitin, they also contains small amounts of toxins that are destroyed when mushrooms are cooked.

“Because of these concerns and because they offer little in the way of improving health, common button mushrooms are best avoided. But the types eaten in Asia—shiitake, maitake, oyster mushrooms, and enoki—provide a range of health benefits,” says Weill.

Weill also mentions in the above article that he takes a couple of blends from Paul Stamets’ Host Defense product line, which also include the above mentioned species of mycelia as well as others.  Many of these mushrooms are of immense physical benefits to humans, often when consumed in the mycelial form.

Just this week, the world’s foremost mycologist Paul Stamets also released a statement on easting raw mushroom fruiting bodies and, frankly, why you shouldn’t. Not surprisingly his sentiments echo many of Weill’s statements.

In answer to the question “Should you eat raw mushrooms?” Paul had this to say :

“No, absolutely not! Raw mushrooms are largely indigestible because of their tough cell walls, mainly composed
of chitin.”

Dr Stamets continues, “Raw mushrooms and raw mycelium may pose potential health hazards from harmful pathogens and heat sensitive toxins—causing gastrointestinal irritation and allergic reactions, such as skin rashes.”

Dr Stamets own medicinal product lines, Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense, are made with mushroom mycelia (and fruiting bodies) which are heat treated “to activate and unlock the nutritional compounds and ensure their bioavailability.”