In the past I have regarded herbs, in many cases, as an alternative to drugs, useful for treating various symptoms but not to treat the underlying cause.
I have since revised my opinion on this quite significantly, and now realize that herbs can help support your health from a very basic level, just as foods do.
Donnie Yance is a clinical master herbalist, and he explains that foods and herbs share quite a few similarities, including being pleiotropic -- which means they produce more than one effect.
“There are different ways to think of the role of herbs in people’s health. From my perspective, working from that vitalistic tradition, herbs are what are called trophorestorative, so they actually do work on the deepest level.
What’s very interesting now, with the explosion of science and to the field of herbal medicine, is that we’re learning that plants transfer information genetically to our genes that do nothing but add benefit to our health in a genetic level.”
Herbs, Like Food, Should be Whole and Minimally Processed
Using herbs on a holistic level can support your health the way a healthy diet can. But this does not hold true when herbs are manipulated into man-made drugs. As Donnie Yance explains:
"Pharmaceutical medicine sees your body as broken and needs to do one of two things: replace something, but most of the time, it’s blocking something …
Now, plants aren’t going to block or eliminate or replace anything unless you abuse them, unless you either manipulate them, by taking everything away from them but maybe one compound, and then using it inappropriately, like the wrong dosage.
So you can manipulate a plant to be used pharmacologically. But if you look at it from my perspective, which is providing plant medicines like you do food, like what I say is a gourmet meal -- I put plants together like you would put a great gourmet healthy meal together for someone -- and that’s more a traditional way.
I’m just looking to find ways to lend a helping hand to the body so that the body is as much responsible for the healing as the plants, so there is a cooperative effort. I’m not looking at the body as some broken mechanistic machine; everything relates to everything.”
I heartily applaud this approach, unfortunately most people, including most practitioners, do not have the proper depth of understanding to use herbs in this way.
An Innovative Healing System for Chronic Illness, Including Cancer
Donnie Yance has developed and taught a proprietary diagnostic and therapeutic approach to healing called the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS).
You can read about it in detail in the full interview transcript, but simply speaking it is a system that provides a framework for treating chronic illness using the fullest degree of botanical, nutritional, and biomedical principles.
“Without overlooking the human being’s constitution and environmental influences -- or their unique manifestation of disease -- the ETMS aims for balance and harmony in executing optimal care. It was designed as a way to employ the oldest healing principles in conjunction with the most cutting-edge science in both assessment and treatment,” Donnie explains.
Two of the principles upon which this innovative system is based are intellect and logic, two factors, particularly the latter, that are sorely missing from conventional, mainstream medicine. As Donnie points out, in conventional medicine, logic is often displaced by fear, especially in the treatment of cancer.
“ …Fear is the great obstacle to healing and when people have cancer, all of a sudden they’re filled with fear. The whole medical system set-up is based in fear.
Many physicians, even good people, really good people that would actually take a different approach to their patient care, are afraid because they are in a system that locks them down. And then if they deviate from that system, they expose themselves in every possible way and very few people are willing to take that risk,” he says.
Why Conventional Cancer Treatments Often Fail
The ETMS model, however, places its focus on the whole of your body system rather than the disease itself. It addresses the factors that contributed to the disease in the first place, rather than attacking the disease as though it is an alien invader. Donnie expands:
“A person with cancer often can feel betrayed by her body. There is a feeling of being invaded, as if something alien and foreign has taken hold.
The language of oncology endorses this adversarial view in talking of ‘the war on cancer’ and in cutting, poisoning, and burning as fast as possible, as if simply obliterating the offending part will solve the problem.
But cancer is not an alien. It is, in fact, both of you and not of you. Tumors are not some external, malign parasite, but instead are actually comprised of normal body cells whose only uniqueness is that they have lost their ability to communicate properly and to receive growth control messages from adjacent cells.
Nothing a cancer cell does is unique to cancer. All of the metabolic activities of cancer cells also can be carried out by normal, healthy cells. Cancer cells simply do not know when to stop.
Thus, in designing drugs to address specific facets or aspects of cancer cell function, it is virtually impossible to avoid side effects and corollary damage because healthy cells are carrying out the same metabolic activities.
For this reason, many cytotoxic agents necessarily have a relatively narrow “therapeutic margin” and, for many patients, result in side effects that limit quality of life and even the ability to tolerate the prescribed treatments.
… The ETMS emphasizes the practice of ‘healthy medicine,’ which is aimed at the source of ill health, the primary focus being to bring about harmony and balance throughout the body with nontoxic or low-toxicity, target-specific, cancer-suppressing agents.
This is achieved through the application of synergistic, multi-targeting herbal and nutritional formulations (naturally phytochemically complex medicines) and dietary therapeutics, and other specific cancer-targeting therapies as indicated.”
Tips for Finding Quality Herbs
There can be enormous differences in the quality of various herbal preparations, just as there can be differences in the nutritive qualities of foods. About 90 percent of the herbs on the market right now are low quality, according to Donnie, so if you want to receive some of the benefits that herbs can provide, it’s important to know what to look for.
I asked Donnie to share a few insights on how to pick out the highest quality herbs, and this is what he said:
“I think the safest way for people to have an insight to that is to know who is responsible for the herbs that you’re buying, where are they coming from and who’s taking responsibility for that, and if that’s a person you can trust.
Full Transcript of Interview
And so, the herbs, when you go to buy the herb on a shelf, what company is providing that herb for you and who is behind that company, and do you believe that is somebody you can trust. That’s probably the easiest and best way …”
You can get even more fascinating insights from Donnie, including information on advanced herbal therapies and a simple herbal tea for overcoming the flu, in this full interview transcript. It’s nearly 40 pages of wisdom that can benefit your health at the deepest level.