I was thrilled to read about a physician several weeks ago, Dr. Robert Weiss of Long Valley, New Jersey, who opened a “farmacy” rather than a pharmacy to prescribe “food as medicine” for prevention and treatment of disease. Dr. Weiss reports that plant-based foods contain nutrients that work to decrease inflammation in the body, which is increasing believed to be at the heart of many diseases. He also believes that plant-based foods are more powerful than drugs or surgeries in treating different medical conditions. That is quite a statement! It warmed my heart to read about Dr. Weiss’s “farmacy” since the subject of food as medicine has always been near and dear to me. If only this could become the wave of the future!
As a case example, Dr. Weiss recommended such whole foods as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and organic blueberries to treat an elderly woman with congestive heart failure, reporting great success as measured by her no longer needing blood pressure medication. I am sure that he has many other success stories preventing and treating disease with food as medicine.
Dr. Weiss’s mindset is a far cry from my own experiences with so many doctors who are too quick at times to prescribe medications with no real background in food and lifestyle as medicine. It is beginning to appear that Hippocrates had it right and that was thousands of years ago – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
I think back to all of the times that medication has been prescribed to me and the ways that I was able to live without it. On the side of traditional medicine, of course, I took what was prescribed to survive a potentially life-threatening pneumonia a number of years ago.
Even with my dreaded pneumonia, during which time I just so happened to be taking a course in food as medicine, I came to learn what foods support and inhibit lung health. While the medicine helped me breathe, foods were there to build up my weakened lungs. Pears and apples were on top of my list.
And then there was pre-surgery anxiety shortly before having my parathyroid glands removed earlier thisyear. I was quickly offered a tranquilizer prescription by my doctor to get through pre-surgery week. He looked unphased when I said that yoga classes and walks in the park would be my tranquilizers. Why would I want to be dragging around from the sedating effects of a the drug? I could tell by the blank look in his face that we had very different perspectives on managing anxiety. He clearly did not process what I was saying as he offered a tranquilizer prescription a second time, literally on my way out of the door to his office.
The same doctor in treating shingles took out a script for an anti-viral medication with no awareness that there are specific foods that can foster the spread of the virus while others inhibit it. I bring this example up not to say not take the anti-viral medication, although I must say that the side effects were uncomfortable, but as patients we need to familiarize ourselves with food as medicine options. So many doctors are overworked these days and still hold on to the tenets of traditional medicine that they are not thinking of food as medicine in their practice. Too bad that food as medicine was not written up as part of the Hippocratic oath. Maybe medicine as we know it would look a lot different today.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/york-doctor-builds-farmacy-treat-diseases-healthy-food-pharmaceuticals/#fOrHJmj6RtTIk1F0.99
Photo: June Rousso