Hello and welcome to the Medical Medium Blog. I'm so happy to have you here. Visit this blog anytime for inspiration and valuable insights on fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, recipes, and practices that will help you to heal and feel your best. Happy reading!
Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. Not only is it so delicious that it may very well become a daily staple; it’s also one of the most nutrient dense meals or snacks you can eat! Enjoy it for breakfast, a snack, a light lunch alongside a leafy green salad, or serve up a big bowl of this recipe for the whole family to enjoy over the day.
Berries are a saving grace. Their main power comes from antioxidants, the miracle fighters of free radicals. Berries broadcast their health value with their deep purples, blues, and blacks, which come from the polyphenols known as anthocyanins (including malvidin) and anthocyanidins. They’re also rich in dimethyl resveratrol and dozens of other phytochemicals, amino acids, and coenzymes. Berries also have hidden compounds that stop excess adrenaline from causing damage to organs. This makes blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, mulberries, blueberries, elderberries, and the like critical for life on earth
Raw honey has the power to strengthen the immune system, promote digestive health, reduce throat irritation, stabilize blood pressure, calm nerves, heal ulcers, purify the blood, fight off colds and flu, soothe sore throats and laryngitis, and flush the kidneys. It is also great for digestion as it contains probiotics that help to keep the beneficial bacteria in the gut healthy and strong. Raw honey promotes restorative sleep and can aid in healing and rebuilding the body during the night.
Wildflower Honey Berries
Place all the berries in a bowl, add the honey and mix until coated. Serve immediately.
For more information on the healing powers of berries and many other foods, check out the #1 NY Times bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
Looking for a fun and creative way to enjoy some of the most healing foods available this 4th of July or for any other holiday or celebration? These watermelon sparklers are fun to make, beautiful to look at, and even better to eat!
Melon is one of the most alkalizing and hydrating foods. The fruit’s highly bioavailable and bioactive trace mineral count is responsible for driving electrolytes higher than normal, making them easily usable by the body. In return, the body’s detoxification processes become amplified, driving out traces of DDT, other pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals from deep within the organs. High in silica, melon is an excellent food to restore ligaments, joints, bones, teeth, connective tissue, and tendons. Melon is also one of the most powerful glucose balancers, working to prevent insulin resistance and lower elevated A1C levels.
For the sparklers:
Cut the watermelon into slices, about half an inch thick. Using a star-shaped cutter, cut the watermelon into stars. Set aside.
Using a small melon-baller, make balls out of the canary and honeydew melons.
Skewer the melon balls, alternating with blueberries and top with a watermelon star.
If you wish to make the optional sparkler fairy dust, simply mix the lime zest and blonde coconut sugar together and sprinkle above and over the watermelon stars on the sparklers.
Learn more about the undiscovered physical, emotional and spiritual healing properties of many foods, check out my #1 NY Times Bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
This luscious wild blueberry soup offers such a fun, refreshing, and comforting way to get the unmatched healing benefits of wild blueberries into your diet. It tastes wonderful served cold in the summer or warm in the winter.
I talk about the incredible healing properties of wild blueberries in all my books for good reason. As I share in my book Life-Changing Foods, “currently, wild blueberries are acknowledged by nutrition experts for their sky-high levels of antioxidants. It goes beyond that—they have the highest proportion of antioxidants of any food on the planet. On top of that, these tiny jewels have a plethora of undiscovered qualities. For one, they’re armed with dozens of antioxidant varieties that science does not yet know about, along with polyphenols, anthocyanins, anthocyanidins, dimethyl resveratrol, and as yet unknown cofactor adaptogenic amino acids. When you eat these berries, their innate intelligence reads your body, searches out potential disease, monitors your stress and toxicity levels, and figures out the best way to heal you—it is the only food that does that. One of the most effective heavy metal detoxing foods. Wild blueberries are also the most powerful brain food in existence, the most potent prebiotic there is, and a star at restoring the liver."
Wild Blueberry Soup
In a large saucepan, bring the blueberries, water, lemon juice and zest and cinnamon or cardamom to a simmer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the blueberries are looking soft. While the soup is cooking, mix the arrowroot powder with cold water and add it to the soup. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the soup thickens, then remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in honey. Serve hot or chilled, with mint leaves for garnish. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Learn more about the healing powers of wild blueberries in the #1 New York Times bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
Bring back fond childhood memories of eating tater tots and other potato treats with this delicious and nostalgic recipe. A fresh spin on the traditional fried tater tots, this recipe calls for the tots to be baked versus fried, making it a healthy recipe you can enjoy in abundance. The addition of zucchini provides added nutrients without sacrificing flavor. This recipe is perfect for serving to children or as a fun finger food at social gatherings.
Potatoes are actually one of the most powerful anti-viral foods and are an excellent source of B6 which is a vital component for the neurological system and for the creation of amines which are neurotransmitters that send messages from one nerve to the next. This makes potatoes an important food for those who are heavy thinkers and those recovering from stress damage and adrenal exhaustion. They are also particularly beneficial for insomnia, sleep disorders, brain fog, and stress related illnesses.
Zucchini helps restore your liver and heal inflamed nerves caused by Epstein Barr Virus. They contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds which can aid asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Zucchini is also known to be particularly beneficial for hypertension, diabetes, and edema. It also high in fiber and low in calories which makes it a great weight loss food and helps to reduce constipation and bloating.
Baked Zucchini Tater Tots
Place a medium-sized pot on the heat with a steaming basket and add two inches of water. Place the potatoes in the pot, cover and cook until soft but so that there’s still some resistance, about 1 hour. Drain and let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grate the potato and place it in a bowl.
Grate the zucchini, place it in a clean dishtowel or nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add it to the bowl with grated potato. Add the salt and dried oregano, then mix well and shape it to small cylinders.
Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping half way. Serve with ketchup and enjoy!
Serves: 40 tots
There’s nothing better than a truly refreshing and hydrating drink when you most need it. Now add incredible flavor and an abundance of healing properties into the mix and this Watermelon Strawberry Ginger Lemonade is a winner of a drink that you’ll want to make over and over again!
Melons are predigested—meaning that melon flesh is so assimilable that our digestive systems barely need to process it when it enters the body, because it is so high in enzymes and certain coenzymes as yet undiscovered by science that strengthen them. The fructose in melon leaves the stomach in less than one minute, then the rest of the fruit drops directly into the intestinal tract, immediately fortifying and replenishing the body. Eating melon is like getting intravenous nutrient therapy. Watermelon specifically is known to significantly reduce inflammation, help flush out edema, aid in weight loss, and alleviate depression. Watermelon can also boost the immune system as well as strengthen vision.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants which boosts their ability to rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate the body. They also have high levels of phenols, which act as an anti-inflammatory, making them an essential food for those suffering from autoimmune disorders. They’re also loaded with Vitamin C they help to boost the immune system by warding off colds, flu’s, and respiratory infections.
Ginger has antispasmodic properties that come from its more than 60 trace minerals, well over 30 amino acids (many of them undiscovered), and more than 500 enzymes and coenzymes all working together to calm reactivity. And as an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, ginger deserves all the accolades it gets for promoting a healthy immune system. Ginger is also ideal for stress assistance, DNA reconstruction, and enhancement of your body’s production of B12.
Watermelon Strawberry Ginger Lemonade
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice.
Serves: 4 people
Ripe cantaloupe (also known as rockmelon) is delicious all on its own but turn it into a creamy, frosty smoothie with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon and you won’t be able to believe how indulgent it tastes! You will know your cantaloupe is ready to cut into when it emits a sweet and lightly floral aroma and it yields slightly to gently pressure applied to the skin.
The high vitamin C content in cantaloupes is critical for immune system support and to fight bacterial and viral infections. Cantaloupe is also excellent for helping to relieve nerves and calm anxieties. It is known to keep the heartbeat normal and regulated while under stress as well as keep muscles relaxed and free from cramps and hypertension.
The rich vitamin A and beta-carotene content in cantaloupe helps to lower the risk of cataracts and aids in maintaining healthy eyesight. Cantaloupe also aids the body in excreting excess sodium, which helps to reduce water retention and bloating.
Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources and is several hundred times more potent than any fruit or vegetable. Cinnamon is particularly good for helping diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, flatulence, and arthritis. It is also very beneficial for lowering cholesterol and to help regulate blood sugar.
Vanilla has a calming effect on the nervous system and is an effective treatment for anxiety and stress. The aroma of vanilla beans alone has been shown to increase feelings of relaxation and happiness. One of the major medicinal compounds in vanilla beans is called vanillin, which in small doses is known to greatly aid digestion, decrease headaches, and provide relief for an upset stomach.
Cinnamon & Vanilla Cantaloupe Smoothie
Place the cantaloupe, vanilla, cinnamon, raw honey and ice in a blender and blend until smooth.
Learn more about the hidden healing powers of fruits and vegetables in the #1 New York Times Bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
If you are struggling with a mystery illness that doctors have been unable to give answers for or you’ve spent time searching for answers to your health symptoms online, you may have come across the rumor that lectins in fruits and vegetables are behind your symptoms. This theory is just that—a theory. It is not true and this false information is contributing to people becoming more confused and in that confusion, people become afraid of the very foods that heal the body, which are fruits and vegetables. It’s critical that you get the real answers you need that can help you and your loved ones heal. Part of that is knowing the truth about lectins.
Back in the 1940s and 1950s hoards of people began complaining of mysterious symptoms that now have been given many names and labels, but the true causes of these symptoms are still unknown by science and research. Doctors simply could not explain what was happening to people with fatigue, headaches, brain fog, weight gain, hair loss, vertigo, depression, or anxiety, to name just a few. Rather than admitting they did not know and focusing on discovering a true answer, they told people, mostly women, that it was all in their heads. Dismissing patients like this was common practice.
The next trend to explain away mysterious illness was to blame everything on hormones. This was an easy sell because of how many patients happened to be experiencing symptoms around the time of menopause, even though pre 1940 these symptoms did not exist. I explain more about why hormones have been incorrectly blamed for many conditions and symptoms in Medical Medium and Thyroid Healing.
The next and most common scapegoat today is the autoimmune theory. Nowadays an autoimmune diagnosis is alarmingly common. This theory has become law and is being taken as absolute truth despite it also only being a theory from the beginning. As I have explained in many of my resources, such as my book Thyroid Healing, the autoimmune theory is completely inaccurate. The truth is that our bodies are incapable of attacking themselves. It is impossible for a single cell in the human body to start working against itself, regardless of what you may have been told. It’s critical to fully understand this truth.
Another current trend is to say that you create your own illness. If you have been experiencing chronic illness, you may have heard a well-meaning friend or even a health professional tell you that you are not spiritually aligned and therefore it is the plan for your life that you remain sick until you heal on a spiritual level. Or you may have heard that your negative thoughts created your illness, that you manifested it with your actions, or that it’s your karma. These are all untrue and should be avoided immediately. They will only distance you further from healing. Another falsehood is believing that foods are causing your illness, which is another example of misinformation. Foods can absolutely contribute to illness but they’re not the root cause of illness, though they are related more closely than the other misleading theories explained above. Pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, cause illness, and certain foods either feed these pathogens or fight them. When a pathogen is strengthened by eating its favorite foods, it excretes poisons, causing inflammation and a long list of symptoms medical and alternative health communities still have no real answers for.
The Lectin Theory
One example of a trendy and inaccurate answer for chronic illness is the lectin theory. This a theory that has been confusing and misleading people for years and it is time to set the record straight. Chronically sick people are unable to heal when they are unknowingly being fed misinformation and lies. This particular theory is not merely confusing, it keeps people from eating the very foods that will combat the pathogens they need to be fighting.
The lectin theory essentially claims that we are not meant to eat certain foods because of a carbohydrate-binding protein that is present in all fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains. Proponents of this theory claim lectins are the reason for all illnesses today. The concern is that certain foods are particularly high in lectins and should be avoided. These foods include beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and many more. It is easy to convince people that this theory is truth because the overwhelming majority of people today believe carbohydrates, even healthy ones, are bad for you. The theory says that lectins cause the body to turn against itself by triggering autoimmune and inflammation reactions. We are told that we cannot digest lectins and therefore the human body produces antibodies to reject them.
Proponents of the lectin theory only advocate for eating a high-fat and high-protein animal based diet. But whether a diet is animal based, vegetarian, or vegan, high protein and high fat diets will contribute to more illness. They promote fruit fear and often suggest avoiding fruit altogether. This type of diet in turn destroys the liver and makes it that much more difficult to heal. When people do experience some healing on high-fat, high-protein diets (which are one and the same), this could be due to the processed foods they have also eliminated. However, it is not the lectins in processed foods that were causing problems; it was other plant and animal food compounds naturally occuring in bread, eggs, dairy, and rancid oils in those processed foods being consumed that were feeding pathogens.
What Anti-Lectin Leaders Don’t Know
The leaders of the anti-lectin movement are completely in the dark about chronic illness. First of all, they believe in the autoimmune theory which suggests that your immune system attacks and destroys your own body and that lectins and genes are to blame. They are unaware that hundreds of thousands of people over the decades have healed from mystery symptoms by eating the very fruits and vegetables they are now being told to avoid because of lectins. In fact, these anti-lectin leaders pretend no one has healed from chronic illness eating fruits and vegetables. People are told potatoes are a terrible food for them because of the lectins; however, I have seen thousands of people heal from diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), and diabetes by making potatoes a main source of calories in their diet. I have also witnessed chronically ill people with severe digestive conditions heal and recover by just eating potatoes alone. If they hadn’t had that option, they would either be still sick or gravely worse.
Anti-lectin leaders do not know about how pathogens, the actually guilty offenders that cause disease, truly work and the role they play in our bodies and chronic illness. Pathogens like the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), streptococcus, and shingles are the ones to blame, not lectins in potatoes. EBV, for example, is the true cause of RA, and those who tell you not to eat potatoes do not know this. Nor do they know that potatoes are helpful for healing this condition. If one does not understand the true cause of an illness, what qualifies them to tell you to avoid eating certain foods in order to heal? Rather than avoiding potatoes, avoid the cheese, butter, sour cream, oils, and bacon bits often eaten with potatoes. These other foods are the real culprit, not the potato.
Furthermore, what anti-lectin leaders do not know is that pathogens eat and have foods they favor. On top of not understanding that viruses and bacteria are the true culprits in chronic illness, they do not understand how pathogens work at all because the information I’ve shared in my books that reveals the truth about pathogens is still undiscovered. When we begin to learn that viruses and bacteria exist just like any other species, eating and excreting their way through life, we realize we need to remove the foods that make pathogens stronger and increase the foods that weaken them. For example, the foods that pathogens love to feed on include eggs, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, canola oil, and toxic heavy metals. Foods that are antibacterial and antiviral are foods like fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, garlic, onions, herbs, spices, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I have a large amount of material explaining how pathogens feed and excrete, but the most comprehensive explanation is in my book, Thyroid Healing.
While it is uncomfortable to talk about, in chronic illness most research and science is biased and cannot be trusted because medical research is driven by money. When reading a study, always know investors were most likely involved and outcomes of the study are persuaded by these investors. Science and research in the medical and alternative health world is fraught with non-truths and misleading information that are often intended to be confusing for the general public. Lectin studies are perfect examples of this. Rather than search for the truth in their studies, researchers are searching for ways to make their study fit into the larger current trends of the day. If the trend is around lectins, more studies are going to come out about how lectins are bad for you. Another way researchers are influenced is by their understandable desire to advance their career by fitting into the current trend. It is simply bad for business to conduct a study that does not result in something a researcher can confidently hang their hat on. This is the uncomfortable truth about the medical industry: research and science when dealing with mystery chronic illness is not about getting people better; it is about personal career and income growth and massive funding. To be clear, I’m not talking about the countless incredible health professionals in both the medical and alternative health world who are deeply committed to helping their clients heal. The large majority of these women and men are compassionate and dedicated healers who genuinely want the best for their clients. It’s the industries, not the individual doctors and healers, that are the source of the problem.
The Lectins in Fruits and Vegetables Do Not Harm Us
Do not let anyone confuse you into believing the lectins in fruits and vegetables will keep you sick or make you sicker. Do not fall into the trap of believing lectins are like the toxic alkaloids produced by some wild plants that are not fit for human consumption. To understand this further, picture a deer in the wild consuming plants, fruits, acorns, and nuts that it knows are safe to eat. When the deer starts to chew into a twig, shoot, or sapling that humans are not meant to eat, alkaloids and enzymes will surface on the plant to repel the deer, as well as other wild animals, to prevent them from continuing to eat it. Keep in mind, these are alkaloids and enzymes, not lectins on wild foods that are not meant for humans to eat. When you are in your vegetable garden or even in the wild and come across a plant that produces food fit for human consumption, such as a tomato or a blackberry, no such reaction will occur. Fruits and vegetables have been given to us to be eaten in abundance, not to be feared, and they kill off pathogens versus feeding them.
The Truth About Bananas
It is popular today to fear bananas, especially ripe bananas, because of their sugar content. However, this is one myth I am dedicated to debunking. Bananas are one of the most antiviral and antibacterial foods available to us today, and they just happen to be delicious, versatile, typically affordable, and available to many people year round. What a wonderful food! A ripe banana actually has the ability to help heal colitis, and reverse crohn’s disease. I have witnessed this so many times I cannot count. Someone is struggling with mystery symptoms, especially those related to digestive health, and then they begin to eat just bananas and celery juice, two incredibly healing foods, and their symptoms completely reverse. Colitis is not the body attacking itself. It is a viral condition where the virus is sitting in the linings of the colon, growing all the more when you eat the wrong foods. Bananas, however, have the power to stop the virus and bring forth true healing. They bring down inflammation by fighting pathogens that cause inflammation.
Proponents of lectin fear will advise you only to eat bananas when they are green due to a lower sugar content. However, green bananas are not a healing food; they are extremely difficult to digest and they irritate the gut linings, only causing more problems. Ripe bananas that have some spots, though, heal the intestinal linings. In fact, we are often naturally more attracted to the bright yellow color of ripe bananas and their increasingly sweet flavor. If you are one of those people who has trouble eating ripe bananas due to the texture, try peeling and freezing them when they are yellow, spotty, and have no green on the tip. Then put the frozen fruit into a blender and make a delicious smoothie or banana ice cream. Most people can consume bananas this way and then can experience the mindblowing benefits they offer.
The Truth About Tomatoes
Tomatoes are another innocent fruit under attack from the anti-lectin movement. A sub-trend within the anti-lectin movement claims that because tomatoes are a nightshade, they are toxic for humans to consume. This cannot be further from the truth. It is another unfortunate myth that has been masquerading itself as fact for too long. The truth is tomatoes can help stop cancer cells from multiplying. They can help reverse diabetes and help heal the liver. They are a powerful food that supports the immune system in ways no other fruit can. The rumor that nightshades are unhealthy keeps people in fear of the very fruit that will help them take massive steps toward healing.
Nightshades are fruits and vegetables that may blossom during the night. Tomato plants do actually need powerful sunlight in order to grow and thrive. However, they have a unique ability to blossom in the moonlight if the moon is strong enough; and when it does, the tomato harbors a unique variety of vitamin C that is stronger than any other. This vitamin C is so powerful that it fights pathogens in a unique way and stops many illnesses from developing. It also helps fight pathogens that are involved with 98% of cancers as I explain in detail in my book, Thyroid Healing. While many people have reported adverse reactions when eating tomatoes, we have to stop and consider what they were eating the tomato with. Tomatoes are very popular to eat with foods that harm us, like dairy in the form of cheese or butter, the gluten in pasta with marinara sauce, the cheese and gluten in pizza, fried with lots of vegetable oil, or as a marinade or sauce on top of a fatty cut of meat that’s hard on the liver. Tomatoes are not the reason for bad reactions when eating these foods. Instead, try eating a sliced ripe tomato on top of a bed of fresh spinach with lemon juice and avocado. Or eat them in a fresh salsa with mango, basil and onion. When eaten in their natural form without harmful foods, they will actually bring you closer to healing, rather than holding you back from it.
The lectin theory has not been around that long, yet so many people accept this theory as truth and are missing out on vital nutrients from healing fruits and vegetables as a result. If you are suffering from mysterious symptoms, do not avoid fruits and vegetables just because they are touted to be high in lectins. I encourage you to eat more potatoes, tomatoes, and bananas because these foods are your greatest weapons against pathogens, both viral and bacterial. If you have come to this article to learn more about lectins and are just now discovering the education material I provide, I recommend looking into my books Medical Medium, Life-Changing Foods, Thyroid Healing and Liver Rescue where I discuss the true causes of certain diseases and conditions. I do this to empower people with the correct answers, the only ones that will bring you true lasting health. The only way to actually heal is to be armed with the truth about your condition and how to fight it.
These potato nests provide a fun, innovative, and truly delicious way to get some of the most powerfully healing foods available into your diet. The combination of fresh, juicy, and creamy spinach salad with the hot potato nests makes for a wonderful blend of flavors, textures, and temperatures. This recipe would be fantastic to serve at family gatherings and parties and the recipe can easily be varied to create a number of different salad fillings to please all members of your family, including children.
Frequently labeled as a “white” food that’s devoid of nutrition, potatoes are actually one of the most powerful anti-viral foods. High in lysine, they also contain tyrosine, a chemical needed to produce thyroid hormones. Potatoes will be your allies if you’re looking to fight any chronic illness—to fend off liver disease, strengthen your kidneys, soothe your nerves and digestive tract, and reverse Crohn’s, colitis, IBS, or peptic ulcers. In addition to being antiviral, they’re antifungal and antibacterial, with nutritional cofactors and coenzymes plus bioactive compounds to keep you healthy and assist you with stress. Further, potatoes are brain food that helps keep you grounded and centered.
Spinach creates an alkaline environment in the body and provides highly absorbable micronutrients to the nervous system. Spinach binds onto and removes the jelly-like viral waste matter in the liver that can contribute to mystery weight gain and mystery heart flutters. It’s also specially good at rejuvenating skin and turning around conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Cilantro is a miracle worker for EBV and other viruses. It is critical for binding onto the toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead that feed the virus. It also binds onto the EBV neurotoxins that, when loose in your system, can cause tingles and numbness, aches and pains, inflammation, depression, and anxiety.
Tomatoes contain their own variety of vitamin C that’s bioavailable to the lymphatic system and liver, supports the immune system to keep it strong against EBV, and prohibits viruses from traveling through the body with ease. When growing, tomatoes absorb and collect the moonlight’s frequency at night. This means that when consumed, tomatoes strengthen the thyroid’s radio-like frequencies, helping to create balance and homeostasis with all of the body’s organs and glands.
Potato Nests with Spinach Salad Recipe
For the nests:
Place a medium-sized pot on the heat with a steaming basket and add two inches of water. Place the potatoes in the pot, cover and cook until soft but so that there’s still some resistance, about 1 hour. Drain and let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grate the potato and place it in a bowl with cassava flour, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Line a 6 or 12 muffin tin with squares of parchment paper and press the mixture in tightly, making an indentation in the middle. This makes about 12-16 nests. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the sides have browned and the nest is holding shape.
While the nests are cooking, make the salad by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.
Remove potato nests from tin and top with salad. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4-6 people
Learn more about the hidden healing powers of fruits & vegetables in the #1 New York Times bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has created a secret epidemic. Out of the roughly 320 million people in the U.S., over 225 million Americans have some form of EBV.
Epstein-Barr is responsible for mystery illnesses of every category: For some people, it creates fatigue and pain that go unnamed. For others, EBV symptoms prompt doctors to prescribe ineffective treatments, such as hormone replacement. And for so many people walking around with EBV, it gets misdiagnosed.
Among the reasons EBV is thriving: so little is understood about it. Medical communities are aware of only one version of EBV, but there are actually over 60 varieties. Epstein-Barr is behind several of the debilitating illnesses that stump doctors. As I said in the Introduction, it’s the mystery illness of mystery illnesses.
Doctors have no idea how the virus operates long-term and how problematic it can be. The truth is, EBV is the source of numerous health problems that are currently considered mystery illnesses, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. EBV is also the cause of some major maladies that medical communities think they understand but really don’t—including thyroid disease, vertigo, and tinnitus.
This chapter explains when the Epstein-Barr virus arose, how it’s transmitted, how it operates to create untold havoc in strategic stages no one knows about, and the steps (never revealed before) that can destroy the virus and restore health.
EPSTEIN-BARR ORIGINS AND TRANSMISSION
Though Epstein-Barr was discovered by two brilliant physicians in 1964, it had actually begun taking hold in the early 1900s—over half a century before. EBV’s initial versions—which are still with us—are relatively slow to act, and might not even create notable symptoms until late in life. Even then, they’re only mildly harmful. Many people have these non-aggressive EBV strains.
Unfortunately, EBV has evolved over the decades, and each generation of the virus has grown more challenging than the one before.
Until the publication of this book, those with EBV would typically be stuck with it for the rest of their lives. Doctors seldom recognize EBV as the root cause of the myriad of problems it creates; plus doctors have no idea how to address the Epstein-Barr virus even when it is recognized.
There are many ways to catch EBV. For example, you can get it as a baby if your mother has the virus. You can also get it through infected blood. Hospitals don’t screen for the virus, so any blood transfusion puts you at risk. You can even get it from eating out! That’s because chefs are under tremendous pressure to get dishes prepared quickly. They often end up cutting a finger or hand, slapping on a Band-Aid, and continuing to work. Their blood can get into the food . . . and if they happen to have EBV during a contagious phase, that can be enough to infect you.
Transmission can also happen through other bodily fluids, such as those exchanged during sex. Under some circumstances, even a kiss can be enough to transmit EBV.
Someone with the virus isn’t contagious all the time, though. It’s most likely to spread during its Stage Two. Which brings up something else that until now hasn’t been revealed: EBV goes through four stages.
EPSTEIN-BARR STAGE ONE
If you catch EBV, it goes through an initial dormant period of floating around in your bloodstream doing little more than slowly replicating itself to build its numbers—and waiting for an opportunity to launch a more direct infection.
For example, if you physically exhaust yourself for weeks and give yourself no chance to fully recover, or allow your body to become deprived of essential nutrients such as zinc or vitamin B12, or undergo a traumatic emotional experience such as a breakup or the death of a loved one, the virus will detect your stress-related hormones and choose that time to take advantage.
EBV will also often act when you’re undergoing a major hormonal change—for example, during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. A common scenario is when a woman goes through childbirth. Afterward, she may feel various symptoms, including fatigue, aches and pains, and depression. In this case EBV isn’t exploiting your weakness, but the fact that hormones are a powerful food source for it—their abundance acts as a trigger. The hormones flooding through your body effectively does for the virus what spinach does for Popeye.
EBV is inhumanly patient. This Stage One period of fortifying itself and waiting for an ideal opportunity can take weeks, months, or even a decade or longer, depending on a variety of factors.
The virus is especially vulnerable during Stage One. However, it’s also undetectable through tests and causes no symptoms, so you normally wouldn’t know to fight it, because you wouldn’t be aware it was there.
EPSTEIN-BARR STAGE TWO
At the end of Stage One, the Epstein-Barr virus is ready to do battle with your body. That’s when EBV first makes its presence known . . . by turning into mononucleosis. This is the infamous mono that we all grow up hearing about as the “kissing disease.” It’s what thousands of college students contract every year when they run themselves down with all-night partying and studying.
Medical communities are unaware that every case of mononucleosis is only Stage Two of EBV.
This is the period when the virus is most contagious. It’s therefore advisable to avoid getting exposed to blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids from someone who has mono . . . or to avoid exposing anyone to your fluids if you have mono.
During this Stage Two, your body’s immune system goes to war with the virus. It sends identifier cells to “tag” virus cells, i.e., place a hormone on them that marks them as invaders. It then sends soldier cells to seek out and kill the tagged virus cells. This is the power of your immune system coming to your defense.
How severely this battle rages will vary from person to person, because everyone is different, and it will also depend on what EBV strain or variety a person has. You can have mono for just a week or two with a mild scratchy throat and tiredness, in which case you aren’t likely to realize what’s really happening, so you most likely won’t visit a doctor for a blood test.
Then again, you can get hit hard with fatigue, sore throat, fever, headaches, rashes, and more that hang on for several months. If this happens, the chances are you’ll go see a doctor who’ll test your blood, and the Epstein-Barr virus will show up as a form of mono . . . most of the time.
It’s during this stage that EBV seeks a long-term home by making a run for one or more of your major organs—typically your liver and/or spleen. EBV loves being in these organs because mercury, dioxins, and other toxins are likely to accumulate there. The virus thrives on these poisons.
One other secret about EBV is that it has a best friend, a bacterium called Streptococcus. In such cases your body is dealing with not only a virus, but also bacteria that further confuse the immune system and produce their own array of symptoms. This is Epstein-Barr’s number one cofactor.
During EBV’s Stage Two, Streptococcus can travel up to create strep throat and/or infest the sinuses, nose, or mouth. It can also travel down to create infections in the urinary tract, vagina, kidneys, or bladder . . . eventually causing cystitis.
EPSTEIN-BARR STAGE THREE
Once the virus settles into your liver, spleen, and/or other organs, it nests there.
From this point on, when a doctor tests for Epstein-Barr, she or he will find antibodies and take these to indicate a past infection, when EBV was in its mono phase. The doctor will not find the EBV presently active in the bloodstream. The confusion here is one of the biggest blunders in medical history—this is how this virus has slipped through the cracks. Unless you have already followed the measures outlined in this book to kill the EBV, the virus is, in fact, still alive and causing new symptoms . . . and it’s eluding the tests. That’s because it’s living in the liver, spleen, or other organs, and the test to detect this has not yet been invented.
With the virus hiding undetected in your organs, your body assumes it’s won the war and the invader has been destroyed. Your immune system returns to its normal state, your mononucleosis ends, and your doctor tells you that you’re healthy.
Unfortunately, the Epstein-Barr virus has barely begun its voyage through your body.
If you have a typical variety, EBV could lie dormant in your organs for years—possibly for decades—without your knowing it. If you have an especially aggressive variety, though, EBV may create serious problems even while it’s nesting.
For example, the virus may burrow deep into your liver and spleen, causing those organs to become inflamed and enlarged. And once again, keep in mind that your doctor does not know to connect the dots between past EBV and its present activity in the organs.
The virus also creates three types of poison:
The issues that may result from an aggressive variety of EBV nesting in your organs include:
When the virus is nearly ready to spring, it begins excreting its neurotoxin. This adds to the burden on your system already created by EBV’s byproduct and virus corpses. All this poison in your system finally triggers your immune system—and also thoroughly confuses it, because it has no idea where the toxins are coming from.
The immune system response I’ve just described triggers the mysterious symptoms that doctors can diagnose as lupus. Medical communities have no understanding that lupus is just the body reacting to Epstein-Barr’s byproducts and neurotoxins. It’s the body having an allergic reaction to these neurotoxins, which then elevates the inflammatory markers that doctors search for to identify and diagnose lupus. In truth, lupus is just a viral infection of Epstein-Barr.
Hypothyroidism and Other Thyroid Disorders
While your immune system is in disarray, EBV takes advantage of the chaos by leaving the organs it’s been nesting in and making a run for a different major organ or gland—which this time is your thyroid!
Medical communities aren’t yet aware that EBV is the actual cause of most thyroid disorders and diseases—especially Hashimoto’s, but also Graves’, thyroid cancer, and other thyroid ills. (Thyroid disease is also sometimes caused by radiation; but in over 95 percent of cases, the culprit is Epstein-Barr.) Medical research has not yet uncovered the true causes of thyroid disorders, and it’s still decades away from discovering that EBV is the virus that causes them. If a doctor gives you a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, it really means that she or he doesn’t know what’s wrong. The claim is that your body is attacking your thyroid—a view that arises from misinformation. In truth, it’s the EBV—not your body—attacking the thyroid.
Once in your thyroid, EBV begins drilling into its tissues. The virus cells literally twist and spin like drills to burrow deep into the thyroid, killing thyroid cells and scarring the organ as they go, creating hidden hypothyroidism in millions of women, from mild cases to the more extreme. Your immune system notices this and tries to intervene, causing inflammation; but between EBV’s neurotoxin, viral byproduct, and poisonous corpses confusing things, and with EBV hiding in your thyroid, your immune system can’t tag the virus for complete destruction.
While the above may sound unnerving, don’t let it rattle you; your thyroid has the ability to rejuvenate and heal itself when it’s given what it needs. And never underestimate the power of your immune system, which by the end of this chapter will become activated just by you learning the truth.
As a fallback option, your immune system tries to wall off the virus with calcium, creating nodules in your thyroid. However, this doesn’t hurt EBV. First, most of its cells evade this attack and remain free. Second, a virus cell that your immune system successfully walls off typically remains alive and turns its calcium prison into a comfortable home, where it feeds on your thyroid, draining it of energy. The virus cell might even eventually transform its prison into a living growth, called a cyst, that creates further strain on your thyroid.
Meanwhile, these attacks against EBV can hurt you if you aren’t eating enough calcium-rich foods. That’s because if your immune system can’t get the calcium to wall off the virus from your bloodstream, it’ll extract what it needs from your bones . . . which can lead to osteoporosis.
Simultaneously, the hundreds of virus cells that aren’t imprisoned in nodules can weaken your thyroid, making it less effective at producing the hormones your body needs to function. This lack of adequate thyroid hormones, coupled with EBV’s toxins, can in turn lead to weight gain, fatigue, mental fogginess, impaired memory, depression, hair loss, insomnia, brittle nails, muscle weakness, and/or dozens of other symptoms.
Some especially rare, aggressive varieties of EBV go even further. They create cancer in the thyroid. The rate of thyroid cancer in the U.S. has been rising rapidly. Medical communities don’t know that the cause is an increase in rare, aggressive forms of EBV.
The Epstein-Barr virus invades your thyroid for a strategic reason—it’s seeking to confuse and place stress on your endocrine system. The strain on your adrenal glands produces more adrenaline, which is a favored food of EBV that makes it stronger and better able to go after its ultimate target: your nervous system.
EPSTEIN-BARR STAGE FOUR
The ultimate goal of the Epstein-Barr virus is to leave your thyroid and inflame your central nervous system.
Your immune system normally wouldn’t allow this to happen. But if EBV has successfully worn you down in Stage Three by entering your thyroid, and if on top of that you abruptly get clobbered with some physical or severe emotional injury, the virus will take advantage of your vulnerability and start to cause a multitude of strange symptoms that range from heart palpitations to generalized aches and pains to nerve pain.
A common scenario is being in an accident, getting surgery, or suffering some other physical damage, and then feeling awful for much longer than would be expected from the injury alone. A typical reaction is to “feel like a truck hit me.”
Blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs will reveal nothing wrong, so doctors won’t be aware of the virus inflaming the nerves. Stage Four Epstein-Barr is therefore a major source of mystery illnesses—that is, problems that cause doctors massive confusion.
What’s actually happening is that your injured nerves trigger an “alarm” hormone to notify your body that the nerves are exposed and need repair. In Stage Four, EBV detects that hormone and rushes over to latch onto those damaged nerves.
A nerve is similar to a string of yarn with little root hairs hanging off it. When the nerve is injured, the root hairs pop off the sides of the nerve sheath. EBV looks for those openings and grabs onto them. If it succeeds, it can keep the area inflamed for years. As a result, you can have a relatively small injury that remains flared up and causes you continual pain.
The issues that result from this viral inflammation can include muscle pain, joint pain, painful tender points, back pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet, migraines, ongoing fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, unrestful sleep, and night sweats. Patients with these issues are sometimes diagnosed as having fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis, all of which are collections of symptoms that medical communities admit they don’t understand and for which they have no cure. In such cases the patients are given inappropriate treatments that don’t begin to address the real culprit—because these mystery illnesses are really Stage Four Epstein-Barr.
One of the greatest missteps of all time is mistaking women’s Epstein-Barr symptoms for perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, dizziness, depression, hair loss, and anxiety were and are frequently misinterpreted as hormonal change—which is what launched the disastrous HRT movement. (To learn more, see Chapter 15, “Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause.”)
Let’s take a closer look at the chronic illnesses that have puzzled doctors for decades and are the result of Stage Four Epstein-Barr.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There’s a long history of womankind facing denial that there’s a physical cause of their suffering. Like those with fibromyalgia (see below), people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)—also known by names such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), and systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)—often hear that they are liars, lazy, delusional, and/or crazy. It’s an illness that affects women in disproportionately large numbers.
And chronic fatigue syndrome is on the rise.
It’s becoming common for young women in college to return home mid-semester with the condition, unable to do anything but lie in bed. Contracting CFS as a woman in your late teens or early 20s can be particularly devastating as you watch friends move on with relationships and jobs, meanwhile feeling stuck and unable to live up to your potential.
Women who get CFS in their 30s, 40s, or 50s have their own obstacles: while you’re old enough at this point to have an established life and support network, you also have established responsibilities. You’re likely trying to be everything to everybody, taking care of more than you can handle, and so you feel the pressure to act normal when CFS hits.
Compounding the isolation for both age groups are the feelings of guilt, fear, and shame that accompany their misdiagnoses. I’m sure that if you have CFS, you’ve been in the depths of physical suffering and had someone say, “But you look perfectly healthy.” It is so disheartening to feel unwell and hear from practitioners, friends, or family that there’s nothing wrong with you.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is real. It’s the Epstein-Barr virus.
As we’ve seen, those with CFS have an elevated viral load of EBV, which systematically afflicts the body by creating a neurotoxin that inflames the central nervous system. This can eventually weaken the adrenals and digestive system, and create the feeling that you have a low battery.
We’ve had over six decades of medical denial that fibromyalgia is a legitimate problem. Now, medical communities are finally accepting it as an actual condition.
The best explanation doctors are given by the establishment, though, is that fibromyalgia is overactive nerves. What this really translates to is . . . no one has a clue. It’s not the doctors’ fault. There’s no magic book they receive that tells them what will help their fibromyalgia patients or what is genuinely causing their pain.
The medical system is still years from discovering the illness’s true root—because it’s viral, and it takes place at a nerve level that medical tools currently can’t detect.
Those suffering from fibromyalgia are under a very real and debilitating attack. It’s the Epstein-Barr virus that is causing this disorder, inflaming both the central nervous system and nerves throughout the body, which creates ongoing pain, sensitivity to touch, severe fatigue, and a host of other issues.
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, is usually caused by EBV getting into the inner ear’s nerve channel, called the labyrinth. The ringing is the result of the virus inflaming and vibrating the labyrinth and the vestibulocochlear nerve.
Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease
Vertigo and Meniere’s disease are often attributed by doctors to calcium crystals, or stones, becoming disrupted in the inner ear. However, most chronic cases are actually caused by EBV’s neurotoxin inflaming the vagus nerve.
Anxiety, dizziness, chest tightness, chest pain, esophageal spasms, and asthma can also be caused by EBV inflaming the vagus nerve.
Insomnia, and tingling and numbness in hands and feet, can be caused by phrenic nerves becoming perpetually inflamed by EBV.
And heart palpitations can result from buildup of EBV’s poisonous virus corpses and byproduct in the heart’s mitral valve.
If you have EBV, or suspect you do, you may find the virus in Stage Four beyond frustrating. Take comfort. If you take the right steps—which medical communities don’t know about yet, but which are covered at the end of this chapter—you can recover, rebuild your immune system, return to a normal state again, and regain control of your life.
TYPES OF EPSTEIN-BARR
As I’ve noted earlier, there are over 60 varieties of the Epstein-Barr virus. That number is so large because EBV has existed for well over 100 years. It’s had generations of people to move through, mutating and elevating its various hybrids and strains in that time. The strains can be organized into six groups of escalating severity, with roughly ten types per group.
EBV Group 1 is the oldest and mildest. These versions of the virus typically take years, even decades, to transition from one stage to another. Their effects might not be noticeable until you’re in your 70s or 80s, and then result in little more than back pain. They might even remain in your organs and never reach Stage Three or Stage Four.
EBV Group 2 moves from stage to stage a bit quicker than Group 1; you might notice symptoms in your 50s or 60s. These varieties may partially linger in the thyroid and send only some of their virus cells out to inflame nerves, resulting in relatively mild nerve inflammation. The only variety of EBV that medical communities are aware of is in this group.
EBV Group 3 will transition between stages faster than Group 2, so its symptoms might be noticeable around age 40. Also, these viruses fully complete Stage Four—that is, they entirely leave the thyroid to latch onto nerves. Viruses in this group can cause a variety of ills, including joint pain, fatigue, heart palpitations, tinnitus, and vertigo.
EBV Group 4 will create noticeable problems as early as age 30. Its aggressive actions on nerves can result in symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog, confusion, anxiety, moodiness, and everything caused by Groups 1 to 3. This group can also create symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, even if a person never underwent any trauma beyond getting inflamed by the virus.
EBV Group 5 will create noticeable issues as early as age 20. This is an especially nasty form of the virus because it strikes just when a young person is setting out to start an independent life. It can create all the problems of Group 4, and it feeds off negative emotions such as fear and worry. Doctors who can’t find anything wrong, and perceive these patients as young and healthy, often declare “it’s all in your head” and send them to psychologists to convince them what’s actually happening in their bodies isn’t real. Unless, that is, a patient happens upon a doctor who’s up on the Lyme disease trend, in which case the patient will probably walk away with a Lyme misdiagnosis.
The worst type, however, is EBV Group 6, which can strike hard even in young children. In addition to everything Group 5 does, Group 6 can create symptoms so severe that they’re misdiagnosed as leukemia, viral meningitis, lupus, and more. Plus it suppresses the immune system, which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms including rashes, weakness in the limbs, and severe nerve pain.
HEALING FROM THE EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS
Because it’s very easy to catch and hard to detect, and can cause a number of mysterious symptoms, you might understandably find the Epstein-Barr virus overwhelming and its effects disheartening.
The good news is that if you carefully and patiently follow the steps detailed in this section, and in Part IV of the book, you can heal. You can recover your immune system, free yourself of EBV, rejuvenate your body, gain full control over your health, and move on with your life.
How long the process takes varies for each individual and depends on myriad factors. Some people conquer the virus in as little as three months. However, a more typical period is a full year. And there are some people who need 18 months or more to destroy EBV.
Certain fruits and vegetables can help your body rid itself of EBV and heal from its effects. The following are the best ones to incorporate into your diet (listed in rough order of importance). Try to eat at least three of these foods per day—the more the better—rotating your consumption so that in a given week or two, you get all of these foods into your system.
Healing Herbs and Supplements
The following herbs and supplements (listed in rough order of importance) can further strengthen your immune system and aid your body in healing from the virus’s effects:
Case History: A Career Almost Lost to Epstein-Barr
Michelle and her husband, Matthew, both had high-paying corporate jobs. Michelle was a star at her firm and made a point of going to work throughout her pregnancy, leaving only when she was about to go into labor.
After giving birth, Michelle instantly fell in love with her new son, Jordan. She couldn’t have been happier. I have it all now, she thought, a career I love, and a family I love even more.
But Michelle’s bright future started to dim when she was struck with a fatigue she couldn’t shake. No matter how many vitamins she took or how much she exercised, she felt run-down all the time. So Michelle visited her doctor. After giving her a physical, he dismissed her concerns: “You look fine to me. It’s natural for a new baby to be exhausting. Just get more sleep and don’t worry about it.”
Michelle took care to sleep more. After another week, she felt worse than ever. Suspecting a post-pregnancy issue, Michelle went to see her OB/GYN. This doctor drew her blood for a number of tests, including several for thyroid disease. When the lab results came in, the OB/GYN correctly diagnosed Michelle as having Hashimoto’s—i.e., her thyroid was no longer producing the level of hormones needed.
Michelle was put on thyroid medication to get her hormone levels back to normal. This made her feel a little better . . . though not quite as well as she had before her pregnancy. She’d been aiming to return to work a month after having her son, and now she had to postpone those plans.
After about six months, Michelle’s fatigue was back—and much more severe. That’s when Michelle’s troubles really began. Soon she had trouble taking care of Jordan. Matthew agreed to help out until she felt better.
Instead, Michelle grew worse. On top of being tired, she started to feel aches and pains, especially in her joints. Michelle returned to her OB/GYN, who ran another set of tests. The lab results showed nothing wrong. Thanks to the thyroid medication Michelle was continuing to take, her thyroid levels were perfect. So were all her vitamin and mineral levels. The OB/GYN was baffled.
Suspecting that Michelle’s symptoms were related to her thyroid condition, the OB/GYN referred Michelle to a top endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in hormonal issues). The specialist conducted a thorough thyroid profile, and tested Michelle’s other hormone levels from a variety of angles. He ended up telling Michelle she had “mild adrenal fatigue.”
There was some small truth to that. Michelle’s adrenal glands were being strained by the Epstein-Barr virus, which her pregnancy had triggered and which was now inflaming her thyroid.
The endocrinologist told Michelle to take it easy and avoid stress. On his recommendation, Michelle handed off the freelance consulting projects she’d been working on from home.
In reality, Michelle’s job had nothing to do with her condition. Her source of stress wasn’t her work, but the illness that was eating away at her life . . . and her seeming helplessness to understand it or do anything about it.
Michelle continued to get worse. Her knees flared up and swelled, making it difficult to walk. She bought knee supports . . . and decided to pursue help more aggressively. Michelle’s intuition told her an invader was present in her body, so she went to see an infectious disease specialist. This would be precisely the right thing to do—if infectious disease doctors actually knew how to recognize and treat past infections of EBV.
Unfortunately, they don’t. So after running an exhausting battery of tests and noticing that Michelle had an antibody from a past EBV infection, he dismissed it as a problem right away. This doctor told her she was physically fit. He added that she might be depressed, and offered to refer her to a psychiatrist.
Infuriated at being made to feel she was crazy for trying to address what she deeply sensed was a real physical problem, Michelle (painfully) rose and strode out of the room.
With increasing desperation, Michelle now visited doctors across the spectrum. They put her through ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and loads of blood tests. She was told she had Candida, fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, Lyme disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. None of it was right. She was put on immunosuppressant drugs, antibiotics, and loads of different supplements. None of the treatments helped.
Michelle became an insomniac, suffered heart palpitations, and developed chronic vertigo that caused dizziness and nausea. She dropped from 140 to 115 pounds.
Soon, Michelle was spending most of her days in bed. She was wasting away. Her husband, Matthew, was terrified.
After Michelle had spent four years exploring all other options, and based on the recommendation of the naturopath Michelle visited, Matthew called my office as a last resort. When my assistant answered, Matthew burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
He replied, “My wife is dying.”
For our first appointment Matthew planned to do most of the talking while sitting next to Michelle, who was in bed. Less than a minute after Matthew started telling me Michelle’s story, I interrupted him. “It’s okay,” I said. “Spirit tells me it’s an aggressive form of the Epstein-Barr virus.”
The virus’s neurotoxin was inflaming all of Michelle’s joints. Her insomnia and foot pain were the result of her phrenic nerves being perpetually inflamed. Her vertigo stemmed from EBV’s neurotoxin inflaming her vagus nerve. And her heart palpitations were being caused by buildup of EBV virus corpses and viral byproduct in her mitral valve.
“Don’t worry,” I told Michelle and Matthew. “I know how to beat this virus.”
Michelle exclaimed, with as much joyful energy as she could muster, “I knew it was a virus!”
It was the first critical step in her recovery.
I recommended a blend of celery juice and papaya, which is great for boosting someone in Michelle’s condition (e.g., low weight, not being able to eat, high number of virus cells). I followed that up with the recommendations for healing in this chapter, including a list of helpful supplements, as well as the recommendations from Part IV, “How to Finally Heal.”
The cleanse diet immediately stopped feeding Michelle’s EBV. Within a week, there was a noticeable reduction of the swelling in her knees. The L-lysine shut down Michelle’s vertigo. And the other supplements started killing virus cells and/or dampening the production of new ones.
In three months, Michelle was regularly up and walking again. In nine months, she was once again working part-time at her challenging corporate job.
And in 18 months, Michelle’s pain and suffering were just a memory—she’d taken control over EBV. Today, Michelle has fully recovered her health. She’s returned to juggling her job and her family energetically and happily.
Case History: An End to CFS Confinement
Cynthia was a mother of two. Shortly after her youngest, Sophie, was born, Cynthia began experiencing fatigue. It took everything she had to push through the day, and she relied on increasing her coffee intake just to function. Within a few years, she had to quit her part-time job at a clothing store because long naps were taking up her afternoons. She needed the rest so she could be strong enough to meet her kids at the school bus, make dinner, and help them with their homework.
Cynthia noticed herself becoming irritable, and arguments arose often with her husband, Mark, who didn’t understand why she was tired all the time. After all, the tests that Cynthia’s doctor had run indicated nothing was wrong. The doctor said she was healthy and concluded that maybe she was just unhappy or depressed.
This made Cynthia want to walk out of the doctor’s office without another word. Any blue mood she experienced was because she was tired all the time and could barely function—not the other way around. Yet her husband sided with the doctor and became increasingly resentful toward her.
The ongoing stress put Cynthia on overload; life felt impossible to keep up with. She couldn’t find the energy to brush her hair, and the mere thought of running the vacuum cleaner or washing the dishes exhausted her. From the outside, it looked like she was giving up on life. Mark got angrier—he was talking separation now. “I work too long and hard at the office all day to worry about taking care of things at home,” he said. “This is supposed to be your department.”
Cynthia felt more pressure than ever to get better, but the worries about her marriage and what would happen to her children put her fatigue at an all-time high. She could barely drive to the grocery store or make dinner for her family. All she could do was lie in bed or on the couch.
This is what a moderate-to-severe case of undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome can look like. When Cynthia called me, her life had fallen apart. Her husband had left her, and her daughter, Sophie, now seven years old, and her son, Ryan, age nine, had lost their family unit. What her doctor had misconstrued as a psychiatric condition was an actual physical problem: Epstein-Barr virus. The same story applies to far too many women.
I set to work informing Cynthia that she had a case of EBV that her doctor had missed. With an emphasis on getting her viral load under control and addressing nutritional deficiencies, I laid out the background on CFS that I described earlier in this chapter, and I explained the protocols outlined here and in Part IV. Like her life depended on it—because it did—Cynthia followed Spirit’s advice.
Slowly, Cynthia began to get better. Her adrenals recovered normal function, and her stamina returned. Once again, she could tend to her children, run errands, keep the house in shape, and do her hair—all without the gallons of coffee she used to rely on. Cynthia finally had the energy to return to work, too.
After witnessing this change in his wife, Mark called Cynthia and asked her out to dinner—his mother would look after the kids, he said. When they arrived at the fancy restaurant, which had long ago been the deli where they had flirted as college students, Mark told Cynthia he’d called ahead and ordered a special healing-food meal for her—and that he’d ordered the same for himself, out of solidarity. Over sundried-tomato hummus and vegetable nori rolls, Mark didn’t exactly cry (some things would always stay the same), but he did have to dab at his eyes as he apologized for how he’d behaved.
Cynthia was quiet, then answered with a playful smile: “You can make it up to me.”
After a few weeks of testing the waters—Cynthia wanted to make sure Mark didn’t just want her back as a security blanket and housekeeper—they moved back in together as a family. Mark now wakes up early every Saturday morning so he can get to the farmers’ market before they run out of salad greens.
Case History: Fibro Pain Forgotten
Stacy, a 41-year-old part-time receptionist in a doctors’ office, had been married to Rob, who worked at a car dealership, for over 15 years. She never had the energy to keep up with the outings Rob planned with their daughters. In fact, she couldn’t remember ever feeling that well. She always felt slightly achy and more tired than her friends seemed to be. And since she’d given birth to her second child, who was now 11, the fatigue and muscle soreness had been more pronounced.
One weekend while Rob and the kids were at a museum, she went for a longer walk than usual—she’d decided to push herself to lose some unwanted weight she’d gained in the last few years. Afterward, she noticed an unusual pain in her left knee. Thinking back to her college basketball coach’s advice to “walk it off,” she tried to ignore it.
It didn’t go away. Two weeks later, she scheduled time for an exam with a doctor at her office. Stacy limped out of the appointment with a prescription for an MRI—which revealed nothing visibly wrong with her knee.
Because Stacy’s balance was off from leaning on her “good” leg, she found herself tripping easily—stairs, curbs, and corners of rugs had become major obstacles. Then her right knee started to hurt even though it hadn’t gotten injured in any of her falls, and exams showed nothing amiss. Stacy’s worry escalated to fear—something was really wrong. The doctors in her office ruled out rheumatoid arthritis, though, and guessed that the extra 30 pounds Stacy was carrying were to blame for her pain.
Soon Stacy started to hurt in other places. Now she couldn’t raise her hands over her head without her arms and neck hurting. She was unable to work anymore, and depression set in as she started to spend hours at home on the sofa. At night, Rob would make dinner for the family and send their daughter to serve Stacy her plate of food on the couch.
A specialist concluded that Stacy had fibromyalgia. When Stacy asked what caused it, the doctor responded, “We don’t know. It’s what we think is oversensitive nerves. This should help, though.” She handed Stacy a prescription for a medicine popular for treating depression and fibromyalgia pain. At her next visit to the specialist, when Stacy reported no progress, the doctor referred her to me.
After I explained what her fibromyalgia really was, that the real cause was the Epstein-Barr virus and that it had been in her system since childhood, Stacy recalled having a bout of mononucleosis at age 14. She finally felt she had a real answer. She understood now that poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, and increased stress had triggered the formerly dormant EBV to surface as fibromyalgia. Not knowing what was wrong with her—the powerlessness—had been scarier than knowing the true cause; the mystery of her mystery illness had been the hardest part. Now she had direction and felt confident in her ability to heal.
Within six months of our first call, following the same suggestions I describe in this chapter and Part IV, “How to Finally Heal,” she was free from fibromyalgia, back to work, and living life again. She told me she felt happier and healthier than ever, and that she’d planned the next family outing—apple picking at an organic orchard.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
The first step of the healing process is to know the cause of your suffering is Epstein-Barr—and to realize it’s not your fault.
Your EBV-related health problems aren’t the result of anything you did wrong or any moral failing. You didn’t make this happen, and you’re in no way to blame. You did not manifest this; you did not attract this. You’re a vibrant, wonderful human being and you have every God-given right to heal. You deserve to heal.
Much of EBV’s effectiveness stems from hiding in the shadows so that neither you nor your body’s immune system can sense its presence. This not only allows it to commit its mayhem unchecked, it leads to negative emotions such as guilt, fear, and helplessness.
Now things are different for you. If you have EBV, you now have a mind-body understanding of what’s causing your health problems. From this alone, your immune system will strengthen and the virus will naturally weaken. So when it comes to fighting EBV, in a very real sense, knowledge is power.
Excerpt from the New York Times bestselling book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal
(Note: Some visitors may search for the spelling "catsclaw" or "cats claw" when searching for "Cat's Claw". These are local or regional variations on this beneficial herb.)
With all the superfood talk we have today, artichokes should be right there in the top 10 list. Artichokes are one of the most abundant sources of nutrition, filled with phytochemicals such as lutein and isothiocyanates; vitamins such as A, E, and K; amino acids; and enzymes. They are B12-enhancing stars, wonderful for bringing balance to the gut.
Artichokes are also dense with minerals such as silica, which is one of the foundational minerals of our bodies that’s critical for our existence. Artichokes’ magnesium content gets attention, and rightfully so. There’s a bigger picture to what gives artichokes their sedative qualities, though: In addition to magnesium, artichokes contain sedation phytochemicals that calm all body systems, as well as a compilation of calming minerals. This mineral denseness corresponds with the dense organs and glands (such as the liver, spleen, pancreas, brain, adrenals, and thyroid) that artichokes nourish. Deep within these organs, we have foundational nutrient reserves, and artichokes are one of those foods that replenish our reserves to promote longevity.
Artichokes are incredible for the pancreas, making them an ideal food for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia, and other blood sugar imbalances. They are also one of the best foods for reducing kidney stones and gallstones, as well as calcifications and scar tissue inside the body. Artichokes are remarkable for protecting the body from the radiation of X-rays, cancer treatments, dental treatment, and common exposure.
Artichokes are meant to be taken seriously in our lives, and should be considered medicine—a medicine that tastes earthy, sweet, and delicious. Many people don’t bother with fresh artichokes, because they find their appearance off-putting and don’t know how to deal with them. Once you learn the art of preparing and cooking an artichoke, though, you’ll be bringing an amazing nutritional dish into your life.
If you have any of the following conditions, try bringing artichokes into your life:
Diabetes, hypoglycemia, kidney stones, gallstones, calcifications, internal scar tissue, shingles, osteomyelitis, thyroid disease, insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, bone fractures, cirrhosis of the liver, endocrine system disorders, fatty liver, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, interstitial cystitis, liver cancer, Lyme disease, optic nerve conditions, pancreatic cancer, stomach ulcers, systemic lupus, low reproductive system battery, mystery infertility, Achilles tendon injury, blood cell cancers such as multiple myeloma
If you have any of the following symptoms, try bringing artichokes into your life:
Blood sugar imbalances, food allergies, canker sores, rib pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal Pap smear results (i.e., abnormal cervical cells), food sensitivities, urinary urgency, bone density issues, bone loss, brittle nails, dysfunctional liver, electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), emotional eating, inflamed colon, liver congestion, nerve pain, stomach pain, mineral deficiencies, enlarged spleen
For anyone who is dealing with heart-related emotions—those who are downhearted, broken-hearted, ill-hearted, or coldhearted—artichokes are critical. Eaten on a regular basis, artichokes have the power to open up the heart chakra, and to ignite healing through this sacred channel.
Sometimes we put up armor in order to protect ourselves. Each experience of being hurt or taken advantage of adds another layer between the core of who we are and the outside world. It’s a necessary act that we learn from nature—a survival tactic. Just like the artichoke, though, if you take the time to peel back our armor, you’ll find that we all have soft, sustaining hearts under- neath. Artichokes teach us that while connection doesn’t always come easily—sometimes it takes work to peel back the spikes—it is worth the work to get to the tender, true, and loving centers of ourselves and each other.
* Consider having artichokes on the dinner menu four times a week for promising results.
* The most nutritious way to enjoy artichokes is to steam them. Once they’ve cooked and cooled, peel off the leaves, dip them in your favorite healthy dressing, and nibble the “meat” from the base of each leaf. Next, scrape off the choke and enjoy the hearts.
* If you buy prepared artichoke hearts that have a preservative such as citric acid, soak them overnight in water to get rid of this corn-derived irritant.
* Enjoying artichokes for dinner helps your liver purge and clean itself in the early hours of the morning, while you sleep. For best results, try eating artichokes at 7 or 8 in the evening.
* Try eating artichokes alongside romaine lettuce. Together, they help dissolve gallstones and kidney stones.
STEAMED ARTICHOKES WITH LEMON-HONEY DIPPING SAUCE
Preparing artichokes can seem daunting. All it really requires is hot water and some patience. When steamed until tender, artichokes are just waiting for you to pull them apart and dunk them into a luscious sauce of honey, olive oil, and sage.
Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the top quarter of each and removing the stem. Using scissors, cut the remaining tips off of each of the leaves. Fill a large pot with 3 inches of water. Place the artichokes in a steamer basket inside the pot. Steam the artichokes for 30 to 45 minutes, until the leaves are tender and easily removed.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir continuously until the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately alongside the cooked artichokes. Makes 2 to 4 servings
Excerpt from the #1 New York Times bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
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