I am a retired JD (Doctor of Jurisprudence), living in Toronto, Canada. I came to herbs and nutrition from a personal health history of “over-reactivity”: i.e., allergies, hay fever, and the toll they take on vitality. I saw this pattern repeating in my children, associated with nervous effects such as anxiety, ADHD.

Western medicine, though powerful in crisis, offered no effective tools, without negative side effects, to manage living with such over-reactivity.

Upon retirement, I turned my full attention to the study of nutrition and herbs as an “alternative” to western medicine, completing an accelerated 2-year college level course (Certified Nutritionist). My area of interest continued to be calming the immune system, by way of effective digestion/ assimilation, with hope for calming effects on nervous system (gut/brain connection).

Nutritional approaches to dietary sensitivities include a dizzying array of restrictive diets. I settled, instead, on the 4-Day Rotation of Foods as it actually widens the diet, and brings superfoods into the routine, at the same time as allowing four days to clear sensitivity reactions. Before the word “app” existed, I developed one to make rotation of foods easy. (RotationDietPlusSoftware.com).

I assessed the Rotation Diet and herbs as the most promising paths for preventative as well as balancing approaches to over-reactivity, that might also improve vitality. Turning to herbs, TCM was impressive with differential diagnosis, and herbal formulations with long clinical usage. Whereas western medicine let things slide as long as they remained subclinical, TCM herbalists already “saw” patterns of symptoms to be rebalanced, in order to lessen the likelihood of disease.

Interestingly, as I scrambled to get my arms around the many TCM formulas for COVID-19, it was obvious that TCM moved immediately to treat COVID-19 preventatively as well as at multiple early signs of disease progression, whereas western medicine continues to instruct to wait until symptoms are serious enough to need a physician.

Turning to my favourite activities in retirement, they include swimming in warm, salty Caribbean water in the winter with my husband, loving my 8-year-old rough collie, hearing my son play guitar, sharing funny Gifs with my other son overseas, baking 4-Day sourdough bread, and playing the piano, when I get a moment.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Darlene,
    I just enrolled in this course and read your comment which is quite uplifting. I have been working in Clinical care both front and back office in Western clinic/ med offices and feel the need to shift . I previously worked in health food stores for the advantages of free health education in supplements and nutrition. I am trying to get back to my roots and create a career with this. Change is a bit overwhelming especially with the unusual flow due to Covid 19. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for starting out or things that you have found helpful in developing your skills or personal recommendations of books or resources etc?

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