[Transcript] – Herbal, Plant-Medicine Based Approaches To Managing Covid Vaccination Risks, New & Emerging Vaccines (NovaVax, Covaxin & Vaxxinity), Bias Against Herbal Medicine & More With Donnie Yance

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/donnie-yance/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:02:03] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:17] Guest Introduction

[00:08:02] Ben and Donnie on Music

[00:13:03] The Story Behind Mederi Medicine

[00:20:50] The Importance of Spiritual Health When It Comes to One's Overall Well-Being

[00:26:29] Why Plants Are Often Overlooked in Their Ability to Survive

[00:29:09] Podcast Sponsors

[00:31:33] How Plants as Medicine Can Help Mitigate Some of The Risks of Vaccines

[00:40:54] Concerns About Current COVID Vaccines

[00:55:10] Thoughts on Some of The Upcoming Vaccines

[01:07:56] Why We Shouldn't Be Quick to Ignore Ancient Healing Knowledge When It Comes to Viruses

[01:17:28] Wrap-up Thoughts

[01:20:04] Closing the Podcast

[01:21:40] Playing Donnie Yance Music

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast:

Donnie:  Take over. They're really trying to assist maximize our innate healing capacity. And, to think in terms that no matter how much we try to get rid of them, they keep coming back. I have a mug that says “Celebrate Dandelions. If you can't beat them, eat them.” And, yet, it's also the primary herb in human bile, the main herb that you use to clot the blood in emergency situations.

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Well, folks, it's been some time since I interviewed Dr. Matthew Cook on my podcast about COVID and vaccines. Surprisingly, I haven't been shadow-banned or cancelled or nothing is pulled down yet. But, I don't know. I'm going to do another podcast about vaccines today with a really, really interesting guy, named Donnie Yance. He's a very prolific writer and knee-deep in the research on all this stuff, and really well-informed, and I think, balanced guy. I don't like to interview the people who are full-on black-and-white great reset, freaking aliens are going to pop out of your head if you get the vaccine. Nor do I like to interview the people who just jump through every single hoop that is set out there for you by the government. I like for us to just be well-informed and make well-informed decisions, like the adults that we are, and not think in black-and-white terms, or as a previous podcast guest of mine, Joel Greene, said, baby-talk. Carrots are good for you. Carrots are bad for you. Eggs are good for you. Eggs are bad for you. Vaccines are good for you. Vaccines are bad for you. It's much more nuanced discussion on that. So, anyways, though.

Before we jump in, you, unless you're, I suppose, living under a rock, at least in my world, may have heard that I just launched a brand-new whey protein isolate. It's basically amazing. It's grass-fed, nutrient-dense, protein-rich, delicious, milky, creamy, antibiotic feed-free, growth hormone-free, artificial, or otherwise, non-GMO, 20 grams of clean, tasty, delicious creamy whey protein isolate in every scoop. Isolate means that unlike concentrate, you're getting virtually zero lactose, carbohydrates, or milk fat. Digests super easy. No protein farts from this stuff. And, oh, my gosh, even the plain version. For anyone out there who have had breast milk before, the plain version tastes like the richest, creamiest, breast milk ever: velvety smooth vanilla, delicious rich chocolate that goes really well with a bit of espresso and some ice. It's like an amazing protein-packed Frappuccino.

Anyways, this whey protein isolate is brand spanking new, just hit the streets. And, you get it at GetKion.com/BenGreenfield. That's Get-K-I-O-N.com/BenGreenfield.

And, this podcast is also brought to you by something cool I've mentioned a few times before on the show. But, I happen to have got into jamming on this thing just in the middle of the workday for a quick no-sweat workout that's actually highly effective at triggering the mitochondria. It's called a CAR O.L bike, C-A-R-O-L. It's an artificially intelligent powered smart bike that gives you the benefits of a 45-minute run in under nine minutes. So, it uses what's called REHIIT, not HIIT training, REHIIT, which stands for reduced exertion high-intensity interval training. That's a mouthful, but it takes it to the next level.

So, basically, you pedal at a really, really easy rate on the thing. And then, every once in a while–And, it's got cues and breath cues and cool music, and everything every once in a while push it. But, won't push you long, for like 10 to 20 seconds, boom. It's like you're running from a lion. And, they've done a bunch of research on this thing. You'll see a 12% increase in your VO2 max, apparently. It was going to add two years to your lifespan, apparently. It definitely can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, lower your blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar, increases what's called your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, would boost your metabolism. It's just a cool bike. And, it's not even that hard. Just get on and start pedaling. And, it's deceptive because it's super easy. And then, all of a sudden, you'll say, “go,” and you go, and you feel great. And then, you go easy again. But, you'll never feel like the thing beating you up and spitting it out. It's perfect. You could literally put it in your office and do a workout and nobody would know, because you're not sweating or anything. But, you get all these mitochondrial triggering benefits.

And, you get 100 bucks off of a bike, CAR O.L bike. You get to try it at home for 100 days, risk-free. So, no risk. That's what risk-free means. CAROLBike.com/Ben, C-A-R-O-L-Bike.com/Ben is where you get your hands on one of these bad boys. So, let's go jump into the podcast with Donnie.

Well, folks, my guest on today's podcast, his name is Donald. Although, he goes by Donnie. Donnie, right, Donald?

Donnie:  I do, for the most part.

Ben:  Alright. So, not the duck, but Donnie, Donnie Yance. I've been reading some of the things that Donnie has had to write, particularly, since the COVID pandemic emerged because he has some really interesting takes as an herbologist and a clinical nutritionist and, really, I think is pretty steeped in a lot of the data, which is what I really appreciate about him and the research behind everything from vaccinations to COVID and beyond. He actually has a medical clinic and whole medical system of care called Mederi. Not Medari. Mederi, right, Donnie?

Donnie:  Yeah, Mederi.

Ben:  Mederi, yeah. And, he also has a couple of books, one called “Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer” and “Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism,” which is a book about herbs and natural compounds for stress and aging and chronic illness. And, I'll link to his books, and also, the website for his clinic, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie. And, I'll also link to a whole host of articles that he has written that are just fabulous about everything from managing the risk of blood clots and other possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, to weighing the risk-to-benefit ratio, to some of the emerging vaccinations, which I actually want to ask Donnie about, like Novavax and Covaxin and Vaxxinity, and some of these new COVID-19 vaccines that are on the horizon.

And, I should tell you guys, for those of you listening who may have heard me interview Dr. Matthew Cook, which was–It turned out to be a bit of a controversial show. We talked about COVID and vaccines, and wound up getting a lot of comments, because I realize some of this stuff can be quite opinionated and divisive field to a certain extent, this particular topic, even though I don't think it should be. I think we should just be able to speak as adults without scapegoating one another.

But, anyways, if you listened to that podcast with Dr. Matthew Cook, there were definitely a lot of points brought up that many of you wanted to know more about. And, I will be doing a follow-up episode with Dr. Cook, but I would have been remiss not to have chatted with Donnie a little bit, just because some of the stuff that he's written about, all of this is just so good.

So, Donnie, welcome to the show, man.

Donnie:  Thanks, Ben, for having me on. And, thank you so much for the work you do.

Ben:  Yeah. And, we were just–not to get sidelined too much, we were chatting just a little bit before we got on. And, you are, as I am, a fan of love music, correct?

Donnie:  Yeah, I'm a musician. I'm a bass player. Predominantly, maybe, jazz background. But, I've played every kind of music. I would still play regularly as a bass player. And, I just put out an entire CD of all my music. It's called “Heaven Awaits.” And, a lot of the music is melody-driven. And, it's 10 songs on it. I've written all of them. Even though they're maybe jazz, slightly pop, maybe a little bit funky-ish, they're all very easy on the ear to listen to. And, all the songs are very spiritually based as well for me. And, it's very soothing music, and very different because, me being a bass player and the music being melody-driven, it's very interesting. This title track song called “Heaven Awaits” is actually got unison bass melody with a clarinet, which I don't think has ever been done before. And, I'm actually even composing. I just can't stop composing. So, I've five news songs. So, I'm on my way to do a second CD as well.

Ben:  Lyrics or instrumentation only?

Donnie:  It's all instrumentation. I do have one song I just wrote called “Love for Love,” which is based on Song of Songs from the Bible. And, I have somebody working on lyrics for that. Although, I have already an instrumental version of that song. But, people can listen to my music on any of the downloads, whether it be Spotify, or they can go to DonnieYance.HearNow. And, my name is D-O-N-N-I-E, for those who want to know the spelling of Donnie, so that they can hear my music.

Gino Vannelli wrote one of the songs. So, maybe, some of the people in your audience will know who Gino Vannelli is. But, for me, he's the greatest musician, singer, songwriter on the planet. And, he had a lot of hit songs in the '70s and '80s. And, we've become very close and good friends, which is miraculous.

Ben:  Gino Vannelli? Actually, I feel embarrassed I haven't heard of Gino Vannelli, but how do you spell Gino Vannelli's name?

Donnie:  Gino Vannelli, with a “V,” V-A-N-N-E-L-L-I. And, I'm sure a good amount of your audience will know who he is or, at least, know some of his hit songs that he had, like “I just want to stop and tell you how I feel about you.” But, he's gone on to do, I think, 26 albums. And, he's world-renown, and his music is just so amazing in every way. So, anyway, I was very blessed to have him write a song called “Hope Alley” that's also on my CD.

Ben:  Beautiful. It's so funny. You're a man after my own heart. And, I'll hunt down your tracks and not only probably listen to him tonight because the evenings are when I like to immerse myself in music and new music. But, I'll also put a link to your music in the shownotes. And, I was actually just working on a song this morning. I'm currently working on a few different songs. So, I got a few lyrics written out this morning. My songs tend to be a little more spiritual as well. I have stuff on SoundCloud. But, I was out on a walk yesterday morning thinking about just how beautiful nature is and how much colors speak to us and how God reveals himself to us through creation, and thought, “You know what? I should do a song all based on colors.”

So, I wrote the first four lines this morning. And, I'm continuing work on it. The first four lines, I'll go real quick, and then we'll get into the good stuff. Then, we'll get into medicine. But, the first four lines are “Green, you are green, like the greenest the herbs in the spring, emerald leaves, dragon wings, Christmas trees. Red, you are red like the crimson of shrubs in the fall, red dwarf stars, brick red barns, scarlet hearts. Black, you are black, like the ebony reaches of space, deepest caves, empty graves, midnight lanes. White, you are white like the purest most beautiful rose, ivory bones, sun-bleached stones, ooh, plains of snow.” And, that's my first four lines. And, I haven't put it to music, yet.

Donnie:  That's really beautiful, Ben. And, I'll just say this. Today is the feast day of Saint Francis. And so, it's very apropos. I'm actually a third-order Franciscan. So, I'm in the Franciscan order. And, Saint Francis is the patron saint of nature and of animals. And so, there you go. And then, I'll also say that every penny of the CD sales, even downloads, all goes to the foundation. So, it all goes to the Mederi Foundation, everything.

Ben:  Well, that's a perfect segue, man. You did that quite gracefully. The Mederi Foundation, and the name of your medical center is Mederi Medicine. What's the idea behind the title, “Mederi?” And, how did you come to develop that?

Donnie:  So, “mederi” literally means to heal and behold. It's the Latin word for that. And, interesting because you said you write spiritual songs. The root word for health is “hal,” H-A-L, which is also the root word to be whole and also the root word for holy. So, I often tell people, to be healthy means to be a whole and holy. So, that's part of it.

So, the Mederi Foundation is made up of three distinctive wings. One is the clinic itself where I work. And, we have practitioners. We see patients. We have a compounding apothecary here.

Ben:  Where are you at?

Donnie:  Ashland, Oregon, but we work with people all over the world. And then, we're building a two-year school that will open up next September to teach people in Mederi care/Mederi medicine, which is a whole systems model that I've developed and continue to develop. And so, we will be opening that up. And, practitioners, it's for people to come and be trained in this whole system model, which is a model of unitive medicine, not just collaborative or integrative or alternative or complementary. So, the idea is that the whole, everything fits together in a unified way and in a purposeful way to better people's lives, either helping them live longer and/or live better.

And then, we also have a research wing. So, we're looking. We've been trying to do clinical research with large institutions, say, Ohio State, or breast cancer trial, the Children's Hospital of Orange County, Mercy Hospital, Sinai Hospital. And now, we're looking to do a trial with a group of veterinarians in New Jersey with dogs would be selling [00:15:11]_____. So, I know we're speaking more about the pandemic and around COVID, but my background and my specialty, although the whole system of medicine is based on health optimization, first and foremost, but my specialty is oncology.

And so, the Mederi–So, I'll just go on to tell you. So, you asked about Mederi, Mederi Care. So, the whole systems model is based on somewhat simple criteria. The idea is how to maximize the health of the host, which is the person you work, whether the patient. And then, second, and you would analyze that, which is somewhat subjective, getting to know your patient, working through what would I call hermeneutics, using various lenses, different parts, different ways to diagnose, different ways to analyze, and then always serving the whole with that.

The second target area is the microenvironment or, in cancer, it includes the tumor microenvironment, which is mostly analyzed through laboratory testing. And, what you try to do is analyze that environment to make it the most conducive to health optimization the least conducive to disease or, in the wake of disease, particularly cancer, they lose the hijacking of that microenvironment. So, now, you're understanding how that disease intelligence has taken over that environment. And, you need to change that. And, the third target area is the disease itself, which, in cancer, we're analyzing molecularly speaking, cellularly speaking, the disease itself, which would be cancer. So, you're doing what would be called molecular profiling on a tumor to analyze the characteristics of that disease. And then, you strategically start working to optimize health in the patient, alter the microenvironment, and target the disease. That's a 1-2 step plan.

And, that's in our toolboxes. So, the toolboxes are botanical medicine, which is the soul of Mederi Care. So, yes, I'm an herbalist and nutritionist. Herbs are my love, as far as God's pharmacy, sitting right out there, God's humble pharmacy, as I like to say. And then, the second toolbox is nutritional medicine, which is more supplemental medicine. The third is dietary medicine. The fourth is lifestyle medicine. The fifth is pharmaceutical medicine, how to utilize that toolbox in a unified way, not to just have it be standard of care medicine and then you do this alongside. And, the sixth toolbox is spiritual medicine. And, that is both how you, as a practitioner, utilize your own spirit and your own ability to use as much love and compassion and non-fear to gather those clues and help them guide you. And then, also, how you address the spiritual needs of patients. So, that's the six toolboxes. So, that's an overview.

And then, more technically speaking, it's called the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System. But, that's a mouthful. So, we just say Mederi Care, basically, now is the more common name refer to it as.

Ben:  That's interesting. Now, this actually something I find intriguing, if for me, as a meat-head personal trainer or, maybe, a smart doc is listening in or something, and they want to go learn more or even go through an educational system where they learn each of these six pillars of Mederi Medicine, do you have some kind of certification program or something someone could go onto for continuing education?

Donnie:  Yes, I've been doing for, maybe, 15 years these week-long trainings. And, we've stopped doing that because of the building of the Mederi Academy. So, starting next September, we're opening the doors. But, it will be a two-year program. And then, yes, they'll be certified. And, we're looking for getting that accredited and, maybe, eventually being connected to an establishment with the academy.

So, the week-long trainings have been suspended to build this two-year school, which is a pretty big undertaking. But, all the modules and all the contents are already created. The platform has been informed that we're going to be using. So, we're just on our way in preparation for next year launching the two-year academy.

Ben:  Alright. Got it. Well, I go to your website and read the articles that you put out at DonnieYance.com. And so, if I were to stay tuned to that website, are you going to make an announcement when you roll out that program? Because I personally would be interested.

Donnie:  Yes, I'll post it probably on the DonnieYance.com. But, also, for sure, on the Mederi Center, Mederi Foundation website. And then, also, on my product line website, Natura Health Products. It will also be there for natura practitioners to see. So, I'm sure, between those three things, somehow you'll learn about the academy.

Ben:  Alright, cool. I'll keep my finger on the pulse, so to speak. By the way, I really like how you highlighted the root word of health being “hal,” which has always reminded me of a halo. We have all these words like “whole” and “holy” and “hallow” and “heal” and “health” then “halo” that are all derived from that word, “hal,” which I think is an old Anglo-Saxon expression or Anglo-Saxon word, like when people would say “hello,” it was like “may you be in good health” is what that meant. 

And, this whole idea, when you bring up spiritual health as being a pillar of your practice, in my opinion, to be whole is to have health, right? In order to perfect health, you have to be whole. And, one part of being whole is actually having that spiritual health. I think there's a verse in Mark in the Bible that says, “As many as touched him were made whole,” people who touched the great heal or Jesus, they're made whole. And, that was part of restoring their health. But then, that whole word, “halo” is interesting. Because, I find halo is fascinating. If you actually look at a lot of old paintings and the whole idea of people who were, maybe, of a holy superiority, having almost this visible circle of light around their heads, it's really interesting, because there are certain people who can see the aura coming off someone, or you can use gas discharge visualization cameras to see the light that might be coming off of someone. And, you do often see someone in good spiritual health or someone emanating more emotions of peace and love and joy actually producing more light, which, when you tie it in the biological and the fact that our mitochondria can actually produce infrared light and the body doesn't just be–Its photoreceptors receive light, but also produces light. It is interesting that “hal” is associated with a “halo” is associated with light is associated with wholeness, and it's something that can actually be measured or felt. So, it's interesting.

Donnie:  Yeah, that's really beautifully said. And, in Mederi Medicine, we have three distinctive energy networks. One is the spiritual force. So, in the life force, there's the spiritual force. In Chinese medicine, it will be called Shen, the spiritual nature. Then, there's the, essence which is a look at the endocrine energy. So, how the endocrine, as a whole system, is working. And then, there's the vital force, which you mentioned before, is how we extrapolate energy. How does the mitochondrial get energy from the food it intakes in, from the air it breathes? The celestial energy is the air that we breathe in. The earthly energy is the food that we take in. So, that makes up the vital force.

And, a big part of Mederi Medicine is creating efficiency and building reserves and working at the molecular cellular and organ system level to create robust health, to get the body to auto-regulate better, and auto-organize better. And, the beauty of plant medicines is that they synchronize and support health. They lend a helping hand. And, by bathing our bodies with plants, there's a relationship that takes place. Plants aren't trying to take over. They're really trying to assist and maximize our innate healing capacity to heal.

Ben:  It's beautiful. The interesting part about the mitochondria, and I'll link to this in the shownotes if folks go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie, is there is, I think, it was Doug Wallace who wrote an article in the Journal of Genetics about how the old traditional Chinese medicine or eastern concept of Ki or Chi or life force or energy, I also have a nutritional supplements company called Kion, and it's this idea that ki is actually the mitochondria and refers to mitochondrial biology. And, I interviewed another guy named Frank Lipman where we talked about this and he uses this concept a lot in his practice as well, that the health of the mitochondria, when it comes to optimized flow of energy through all chakras and meridians of the human body, is just crucial. And, that, by optimizing your mitochondria, your mitochondrial density, your mitochondrial health, your mitochondrial efficiency, etc., you actually are increasing your life force energy. And, vice versa, by increasing your spiritual energy, for example, you're actually doing your mitochondria a pretty big favor as well. It's a whole concept of vital force or energy actually being ki/the mitochondria.

Donnie:  Yeah. And, the thing about the spiritual component is, for my patients, I often tell them that's the everlasting part of who we are. No matter what you do on the physical plane, eventually, everybody is going to die. So, the thought that this is survival tactics is wrong. The point that it is promoting life, which is different than survival. So, we've already, if your spiritual-minded, particularly, in a Christian domain, then we've already survived. And so, what's the point? So, it's like, right now, we're trying to understand. Why are we here? And, what is our purpose? And, ultimately, it comes down to how much love and goodness you can bring into the world. And, that's the single only purpose that we have in our unique authentic way.

And then, again, for me, by utilizing what God has left for us to utilize this medicine, and if people didn't believe in God, if they study plant medicines at the level we've gotten to know them, it's mind-blowing how incredible plants are. They're way smarter than people. When you understand that, if you're a plant, then you cannot run away. You're being attacked. You cannot run away. And, you cannot forge for water or food. And, they build such sophisticated ways of keeping themselves healthy, and even thriving in the most harshest of environments. And, through a concept of study called xenohormesis, which is the concept of the stress that a plant takes on, to adapt and thrive in these harsh environments, including viruses and bacteria, that the compounds, what's called the secondary compounds, that they develop to, again, strengthen their life force, that when we ingest those plants, we capitalize on the stress that the plant underwent. And, we don't have to go through that same stress. It's like really, it's so beyond what we can comprehend. It's like we're science goes into theology. And, it's all one thing. And, for me, it's just so beautiful. And, yet, it's so humble at the same time. 

To me, looking again through the lens of God, through a Christian lens, to see God be willing to come into the earth and not even have a place to be born, it's almost laughable. Mary and Joseph is running around a town, and nobody will let Mary have a baby. She has to go out to some cave. But, it's all to show humility. It's just humility in that concept. And, plants, the weeds that we keep your dandelion, how many millions of dollars did we spend trying to make our lawns look nice and kill dandelions and [00:28:41]_____.

Ben:  Not me, I use it in my pesto.

Donnie:  Exactly. They keep coming back. I'm Italian, primarily. And so, I grew up with my grandmother picking dandelion greens. But, to understand, and they're one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the face of the planet, and to think in terms that no matter how much we try to get rid of them, they keep coming back. I have a mug that says “Celebrate dandelions. If you can't beat them, eat them.”

Ben:  Hey, I want to interrupt today's show to tell you about Red Juice. Now, the folks at Organifi, they make Green Juice, they make golden turmeric gold milk latte style juice, they make Red Juice. But, I don't even make juice out of Red Juice. I really don't. I don't make juice out of it anymore because I use the juice that they send me, the juice powder that they send me, as a meat rub. I use it on pork. I use on steak. It's the most rich caramelizable, if that's a word, tasty meat rub ever. And, you could, of course, make smoothies and juices with it. But, oh, my goodness, if you haven't just gotten a pork chop or steak or, I suppose, if you're vegan, a tofurky, and put a nice meat rub with reishi mushroom and cordyceps and Siberian ginseng, rhodiola, acai, beets, pomegranate, raspberry, cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, oh, my gosh, toss a little salt on there, grill it up, some olive oil, finish it off on the stovetop, it's so good. That's a new way to use red juice. Screw making juice. Make a meat rub out of this stuff. It's amazing.

And, you get 20% off if you go to Organifi.com/Ben. That's Organifi, with an “I”.com/Ben, for 20% off their green juice, the red juice. Have a steak with red juice, then chase that down with a cup of green juice, if you want to do juice. Check it out, Organifi.com/Ben.

This podcast is also brought to you, speaking of meat, of the Paleovalley Organ Complex. What these folks have done is it cracked the code on making eating organ meats easy for you. You got grass-fed and grass-finished liver, kidney, and heart, all in one mighty capsule. And, their customers have noticed anemia issues improved, better mental clarity, better stamina, better endurance, stable energy, alleviation of headaches and migraines. Pets love it. Wonderful coat on your pet. Wonderful nature's multivitamin for you, or your pet. Easy way to squeeze more nutrients into your children's diet. You put a little bit of spaghetti in the vegetables. What I meant to say was put little vegetables in spaghetti sauce, right? I don't know if anybody's parents ever did that to them, or you've done that to your kids. But, same thing.

You get all the benefits of organ meats without having to make her eat organ meats. That's pretty cool. And you get 15% off. You go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Paleovalley. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Paleovalley. And, use code, BENGREENFIELD15 for 15% off.

The whole idea of plants as being a part of a holistic approach to medicine is important, I think, in light of COVID. I mentioned that I did a podcast interview with Dr. Matthew Cook. And, one of the more popular parts of that podcast was Matt shared, and I'll share it again in the shownotes of this recording that you and I are doing right now, Donnie, a whole bunch of pre- and post-vaccine support considerations. A document that he gives out to all of his patients who may be getting the vaccine to mitigate some of the potential for damage. And, that particular document goes into, gosh, everything from whole person support and spiritual health and hydrotherapy to mixed vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols to pro-resolving mediators, to a host of different peptides, like thymosin alpha-1 and BPC 157, to NAD, to all these things that, if you were going to get the vaccine, you may want to think about doing to mitigate some of what appears to be the long-term side effects. And, it reminded me of an article that I read that you wrote against particularly managing the risk of blood clots as one of the side effects of the COVID vaccine.

And, I think it's probably not a secret out there that there's an occurrent flurry of concern about the link, the possible link, at least, between blood clots and the vaccine. In this case, I think it's primarily the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And, this is why some people are recommended to test things like their D-dimer levels and their hs-CRP levels prior to that particular vaccine to make sure that they don't have an unusual degree of blood clotting risk.

As a part of that particular article where you were talking about how to ensure that you maintain proper viscosity and coagulation properties in the blood, you actually talked about how you, in your own practice, will recommend the use of certain plant-based protocols as strategies to manage the potential risk of vaccinations. And, I think that might be a perfect place to illustrate how you would, for example, use plants as medicine in your practice, in this case, particularly relevant to the vaccines.

And, whether or not someone has decided they are or not going to get a vaccine, what would you say are some of the plant-based approaches that you think are worthy of consideration if someone were to get vaccinated?

Donnie:  Boy, I'm going to break this down a little bit. So, one, let's just talk about the vaccine-related blood clot issues. So, one of the major inducers of that are that thrombocytopenia that happens precipitously. So, some people get the vaccine and their platelet count drops precipitously. And, platelets are used to aggregate and usually clot. And so, you would think, well, the numbers are dropping, so these people should be bleeding, not clotting.

Ben:  And, Donnie, just real quick, when you're talking about people should be bleeding not clotting, are you referring specifically to Johnson & Johnson, or is this a risk with other vaccines as well?

Donnie:  First found in Johnson & Johnson, but this risk is across the board with the mRNA, as well as the DNA vaccines. So, it's not unique to Johnson & Johnson. And, it's still happening in people. So, the drop in platelets, which is the thrombocytopenia, happens so quickly that the body, the innate intelligence of the body, says, “Oh, my gosh. What is happening to me?” So, they take those remaining platelets and super-aggregate them, make them sticky as all can be, in a salvage way to say, “Well, I better do this so I don't bleed.” And, it overdoes it basically. And then, you start clotting.

So, typically, you don't want platelets too high. You don't want platelets too low. Just the dynamic range for everything to be in. And, often, too little or too much of the same thing has equal consequences. And so, in this case, the platelets would drop out. 

Now, getting back, generally speaking, then you assess, just like you said, you would assess the patient beforehand and note, are they at risk for clots, to begin with? Because, people's terrain or environment, some people are already have risk factors. And, you would look at, like you said, from a laboratory standpoint. Well, D-dimer actually tests your body's breaking down of clots or fibrin. So, the fibrin is the stringiness that's in the blood vessels. And, the best marker for that is actually fibrinogen. So, people that have high fibrinogen, high inflammatory markers, like you mentioned, the C-reactive protein. But, even in the CBC, you can see inflammation in a plain old CBC by a neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. Then, you can look at people that have their blood type. Blood type A tends to clot a lot easier than, say, O. And, B is in between. It's intermediate. Or, if they have different Leiden Factor V or APOE-4, there's all kinds of ways you can assess people that have different risks.

And then, you can mitigate those risks, specifically, based on which risk factor they have. Obviously, if someone has metabolic syndrome and they are morbidly obese, part of that is there's just too much fat going on in their body. And so, you need to do things that mitigate that and changing their terrain.

But, as far as almost every plan I can think of is shown to discourage abnormal clotting in the body. Some do it by moving the blood. You have blood-invigorating, blood-moving herbs. You have herbs that remove heat toxins. When people get COVID, they get it [00:37:37]_____ produce amount of heat/inflammation. So, part of the plants that we use for that are clearing heat or clearing heat toxins, they're called. And so, mitigating inflammation and many of those herbs, whether it be plants like yarrow or Scutellaria or skullcap, Baikal skullcap, or Andrographis or feverfew, [00:38:05]_____, these are bitter in nature. And, they're cooling, and they're specifically for that excess heat-related condition. And, they, at the same time, discourage platelet aggregation or leukotriene synthesis or prostaglandin imbalances, all these things that lead to the body then creating thrombose and embolisms and clots throughout.

And so, I don't know of any plant, even what I would call foundational plants, like adaptogens, are shown to regulate neurology in the blood. Tonic herbs, whether it be the angelica sinensis, the Danggui, there's so many plants. And, some are more indicated for, if someone is highly stressed and they're producing lots of stress hormones, that also stiffens everything in the body. And, we stiffen up. And so, we need to relax the blood vessels sometimes. And, people with hypertension. So, there are all kinds of ways with plant medicines.

And, again, the beauty of nature, some of the plants that are the best at moving the blood inhibiting thrombose also do the opposite when your body needs it. So, yarrow, for example, which is a great blood mover, diaphoretic. It's in a formula mine called Flew Away, which is one of my primary support formulas for the early stage of COVID, with [00:39:38]_____, with [00:39:39]_____, with boneset, with elderflowers, elderberries, propolis, a little ginger, eucalyptus, so those herbs are clearing heat toxins. Some of them are part of traditional Chinese medicine. Some are part of eclectic physio-medicalism. They have long traditional usage, great scientific validation. And, they are modulatory in what they do with the  urology of the blood. So, yarrow, again, removes heat toxins, clears heat, discourages abnormal platelet aggregation. It also is a hemostatic. And so, it's called soldiers there, because during the Civil War, the soldiers would use it as a septic agent, throw it on bleeding wounds, and all of a sudden they'd start clotting. The same in Chinese medicine, the herb, notoginseng, which is a primary cardiovascular herb used for heart health in the cardiovascular system to move the blood which is in the ginseng family. And yet, it's also the primary herb in human bile, the main herb that you use to clot the blood in emergency situations.

Ben:  Excuse me. I read, and this was just before I was heavily considering the vaccine a few months ago. I was planning on getting the Johnson & Johnson, and for variety of reasons, didn't wind up getting it. But, I was doing some research, and, in looking through your website, came across some of you writing on care quercetin and some of these fibrinolytic enzymes and the herbal formulations, particularly, some of the blood moving herbs that you just talked about, like saffron and ginkgo and gotu kola, for example, or notoginseng, as being beneficial for healthy blood flow and appropriate blood clotting function. Yarrow, particularly stood out to me because you wrote a lot about the prolific effects of yarrow. It's the soldier's herb, to staunch the bleeding of wounds. It grows like weeds on my property. And, I often will use it as a natural mosquito repellent as well. You rub it against the skin. And, it has this nice herbal aroma that seems to drive away mosquitoes, if you're out there without a mosquito repellent.

And, after reading your article, in preparation, because I want to have on hand some of the things I need to mitigate some of the side effects of the vaccine, I went out and harvested a bunch of yarrow. And, this was during the hot summer days of Spokane summer. And, I dried it in the sunlight, and then pulverize it in a blender, and made this wonderful yarrow powder. I made so much of it that I'm still using it as a seasoning on my salads and my smoothies and such. But, yarrow alone is absolutely amazing.

And, I'll link to this article that you wrote, entitled “Managing the Risk of Blood Clots and Other Possible Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccines.” But, it's very interesting, how many of these plants, even those that grow in our own backyard, can be used, particularly, for blood health. So, I think, that'll be a really important article for folks who are listening in to tuck away and access. And, I'll put it at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie.

And, I also want to ask you, Donnie, when I interviewed Dr. Matt Cook, he was pretty bullish on these mRNA vaccines. And, although he did admit that there were some issues with them, he encouraged everyone to get them. And, you wrote an article entitled “Weighing the Risk-to-Benefit Ratio of COVID-19 Vaccines,” a pretty recent article. And so, I'm curious, when it comes to, for example, the mRNA vaccines, do you have any particular concerns, for example, about those in general that you talk about? And, I also want to ask you, just so you know, about the health biomarker risk assessment that you recommended that people consider getting to assess whether or not they might be at higher risk for a deleterious side effect to a vaccine. But, what's your take on these mRNA vaccines?

Donnie:  I'm not in love with them. And, I'm not vaccinated. So, I'll be frank and upfront with everyone. Although, I know that if I was in a high-risk category, I would strongly consider them. And, I would have to consider them, just to be able to acclimate to society alone. And so, I'm waiting for me personally. I certainly understand the pressure that everyone is under to get vaccinated. And, I don't push my patients one way or the other. I leave it up to them. I provide as much clear data as I can for people to make decisions.

The first thing I'll start with is that we have no long-term data. So, anything people that say that, “this is as safe as anything,” is wrong. There are a lot of people having adverse reactions, getting hospitalized, even dying at their vaccines. So, to say that there's no risk is just not being honest. And, that's the message we're being told. And, it's hard to believe anything being truthful because there's so much stuff we're being told that is not truthful. So, it's hard to understand when what we're being told is actually coming from a place of truth. And so, I struggle a lot with that, to be honest with you.

I'm also concerned with the fact of variants possibly being formed through what's called selective pressure or, into some degree, vaccines potentially causing mutations to occur more rapidly because of vaccines, and also, possibly, getting a wider range of mutations because everything wants to survive. And so, when you use something, like an mRNA vaccine, which is a new technology, which isn't even–It's a blueprint that's trying to tell your body based on information to make, not even the actual spike protein, but a receptor to that protein. And so, it's very susceptible to mutations, and also, possibly, not working. And, we've been finding that out with the Delta variant, and now the R.1 variant. The vaccine supposedly aren't going to work at all against that variant. And so, the Delta variant, you see the vaccines waning every week more, incidents is happening around the world. First, in Israel they found out, so they have the boosters that come out. But then, what's the next wave of the virus hitting us? Will there be more boosters that come out? And, where are we going with all of this?

So, I'm not telling people not to or to. I'm just letting people know there is a risk-to-benefit ratio, both in the short-term. For example, if you're a boy between the ages of 12 and 25, the possibility of the vaccine inducing hospitalization is much greater than COVID itself. And, that's clear as day. Yet, nobody is being told this or offering this. So, it's like everyone just say, “Just get vaccinated. Trust us.”

Well, I have photos from the 1940s and '50s of DDT saying, “Just trust us,” and DDT is being sprayed, literally sprayed, in children in playgrounds all over their bodies and letting them breathe it in. And, everyone knows that DDT is a carcinogen. But, yet, back then, we were told it's all safe. Or, thalidomide was safe for pregnant women to take. And then, we had tens and thousands of people–or, antidepressants were alright to take with tamoxifen. And, there was a because the CD2D6 enzyme, there was a problem with those two interacting.

And, when I first got into this field, literally, in the late 1970s, all of a sudden, cholesterol was the villain to heart disease. And, everyone says, “Well, stop eating eggs. And, stop eating butter, but eat butter replacement.” And, there's just so much information that's not based in truth that we're being told. It's like, well, people make these big theoretical leaps. It happens all the time. It's happening with cancer. We know that chemotherapy kills some cancer cells and does a good job in some setting, certain cells. And, other times, it doesn't work. When it does work, sometimes it works, and then hence the stem cell population, redifferentiates, comes back out, is more resilient, more aggressive, and resistant to that chemo.

So, we know all these things. And so, again everything is a risk-to-benefit ratio. So, if we go to what I call is the health biomarker assessment, we can say, well, what is our risk? Are we morbidly obese? [00:48:34]_____.

Ben:  You mean things we could test or know about our bodies to determine whether or not we might be at risk for more of the problematic side effects of the vaccine?

Donnie:  Yeah. So, then we can make an informed consent decision on the fact, well, I know we don't know everything about vaccines. I know there's risk. But, if my risk of severe COVID or critical COVID or COVID death is pretty high because of these factors, I better go take the vaccine because, again, the risk-to-benefit ratio might be in favor of taking the vaccine. But, that's not true for everyone. And so, if you have good body mass index, if your hemoglobin A1C is in a good place, your fasting glucose and insulin are good, your CRP is good, if your neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio is good, if your vitamin D levels are good, there's more research on vitamin D, both in a setting of inhibiting COVID symptoms to inhibiting severe COVID to inhibiting critical COVID, and also linked to death. And, these are meta-analysis Cochrane-reviewed studies, in the pyramid of research, there's nothing stronger than a meta-analysis of 28 pooled studies on vitamin D. It's so clear. Yet, nobody is saying anything. Yet, Venezuela, little poor country, is passing out kits to everyone because they can't afford the vaccines and the insurance that it comes with them. And so, they have these ivermectin, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C, Tylenol, and aspirin kits that they give out to everyone now as their “COVID kits.”

And so, why are we ignoring all of this research that's so clear on zinc levels, vitamin D, and even on some natural compounds? There's more research now on herbal medicine. None of these things can we say are treatments for COVID. All we can say is that supporting our bodies better with these. See, based on all the science, to give us a better chance. And, that's what [00:50:40]_____ say. So, again, herbal medicine, there's so much research now, primarily coming out of China, but not just China. India now, Thailand, Africa, on support of herbal medicine. But, we hear nothing about it, nothing about the lost of taste and it being linked to now zinc deficiency. And, we already have zinc deficiency. We already have vitamin D. You get COVID, that little bit of zinc reserve is gone in a heartbeat. And, now, the most important nutrient to immune optimization is gone.

And, there are other factors. You mentioned D-dimer, fibrinogen, selenium range. Vitamin K is also important. So, when we do all these risks–And, it's not just age. People say elderly people. Frailty syndrome, which the older you get, the more frail you get. But, not necessarily. If you have good, robust health. And, when we assess health, just like in Chinese medicine, there is a masculine component to good health, which is how strong you are. You're an athlete, so you know strength is really important. But, even more important than strength is the feminine component to health, which has everything to do with moisture and flexibility and suppleness. That's why women outlive men. It's not enough to be strong. Strong is important, but as we get older, we're getting weaker, more catabolic, less anabolic. Yet, we're also losing our fluid. So, we're all drying out. And, the drawing out component, the lack of moisture in our body, is equally, if not greater, to why our health is declining as we get older. 

And so, there's always, in Chinese medicine, the concept of nourishing the yin and the yang as people get older. And, you brought up before herbs like ginkgo and salvia and saffron. These are great blood movers. And, as people get older, that life force, that candle is lower. And so, some of these plants really perfuse the oxygen in the blood flow into the extremities, into the brain and throughout the body. And, that's when they're really important to discouraging, not just blood clots, but just oxygenating tissue. Again, we're creating efficiency. We don't want to give the body oxygen. We don't want to give the body hormones. We want to make, how we use hormones better in our body. We don't want to give people testosterone and then block their cholesterol conversion to with statins. That's what we do. Every hormone is made by cholesterol. So, we're going to block your cholesterol. And, now, we're going to do hormone replacement therapy.

That's counter to common sense, first of all. And, it's also not at all what we would do in a holistic setting to help support patients. We want to–So, anyway, that was quite a bit [00:53:44]_____.

Ben:  That makes sense. If I could briefly summarize. When we look at what you may want to do if you were going to get vaccinated, some type of metabolic health assessment, body mass index, hemoglobin A1C, your fasting insulin and a lipid profile, along with C-reactive protein, your vitamin D and vitamin K levels, your zinc levels, your white blood cells, particularly, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, fibrinogen, selenium, and blood type, that's not a super expensive panel to get just to see if you may want to make sure that you take care of a few metabolic issues prior to getting a vaccine.

And, the mRNA vaccine, and I think you even noted this, if you look at, for example, the recent Children's Hospital Philadelphia research, the mRNA vaccines don't seem to have as high an expectation for long-term negative side effects. It seems like a lot of the negative side effects occur within six weeks of getting the vaccine. The mRNA in the vaccine, which I talked about in my podcast with Matt Cook, it breaks down really quickly. Your cells need a way to stop mRNA from making too many proteins or too much protein. So, that doesn't seem to be as big an issue. And, the mRNA stops making that protein for spike within a week, regardless of the body's immune response to the protein, suggesting that it might be safe. But, there's still a lot of long-term side effects that we don't know about.

And so, that's one of the reasons I'm so on the fence about the mRNA. Johnson & Johnson is off the table for me just because, as I talked about in my podcast with Matt, it's derived from aborted fetal cell line tissue. And, I'm not comfortable with that as a pro-life advocate.

Then, we get into some of these other vaccines that seem to be coming down the pipeline right now. And, you've written about some of them. And, thank you for doing that, because I think we should keep our eyes on some of these others as well. A lot of people are talking about Novavax, for example. What do you think about Novavax?

Donnie:  That's my favorite vaccine. And, if it does–Unfortunately, it's going to be approved. But, so far, our country hasn't bought any of it. New Zealand just bought a whole boatload. Japan has bought a ton of it. So, a lot of these other countries are buying it, knowing that it's the best vaccine, by far, for numerous reasons. First of all, it's based on old vaccine technology that's been around for decades. And, the mechanism that it works, and so, this mimicker of the actual virus of COVID that we ingest with an adjuvant. And, that adjuvant is called M-Matrix, which is a saponin from a plant, which is actually a plant that grows in Columbia, which is the soap bar plant, which has got the saponins, which a lot of the herbs that we take for tonic herbs. Ginseng is high in saponins. And, there's even an herb called soapwort that has the same saponins in it. Saponins are soapy compounds in plants.

And, what the saponin does, so the mimicker of COVID that they've made gets inside our system. And then, once the immune system sees it, it's the adjuvant that activates the immune response. And, you get this great T and B-cell response. You get this very robust full response by the immune system. And, it also is shown, based on several phase-three clinical trials to be incredibly safe, incredibly effective against all the variants, and long-lasting. And, there's a good chance that we may get it as some down the road as a “booster vaccine” for the people that have already been vaccinated. But, I've already said that I will–not that I feel that I personally need a vaccine. I'm very confident in the choices that I have in the ability to use plants to support my body. And, I've done it with hundreds of people. But, I will do it, just so I can acclimate to society.

Ben:  Well, society acclimation is important. Then, if you were elderly or immunocompromised, it's important to know about something like Novavax as, hopefully, potentially be an option, just because I've seen the same thing, as you have, Donnie, the vaccine appears to be safe. It appears to be associated with a pretty robust immune response, at least, in healthy adults who the lion's share of the tests have been done. It's I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's a two-dose regimen, 21 days apart, like the mRNA vaccines. And, it seems, especially, although, I still don't like the idea of there being mandates about what I should put into my body, it seems like a pretty decent option.

Donnie:  I think so. I think that it's a great option. It's a lot less expensive. It doesn't need special refrigeration and all those other really important aspects to it. So, I don't know why it's taking so long to be approved, to be honest with you, and why there's nothing mentioned in the CDC about it. There's just something fishy going on. And, I'm about to do a blog. Although, I'm not a proponent of it for me personally, or do I have it in support of COVID protocols. Just because I want people to see the truth on ivermectin and see how much good research there is on it, I compiled a whole bunch of research, including multiple meta-analysis research papers on ivermectin. So, this week will be a blog on the research on ivermectin.

And, I did it because I went recently a couple weeks ago to the CDC, a booklet that they just put out on therapeutics and COVID and went to the ivermectin section and I was appalled by what they wrote. Appalled. And, I said, “I got to do something about this.” It's like, for them, it's an embarrassment for them to site three studies that were very poor studies and missed all of this other research. Again, I don't know what is going on right now, but there's something very fishy going on. That's all I can say.

Ben:  Well, we could start to talk about ivermectin, but we'd probably be here another few hours. And so, what I'll do is I'll encourage everyone to go to your website. And, again, I'll link to it, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie, and read what you have to write about ivermectin. My podcast guest, Dr. Matthew Cook, who I did a COVID podcast with a few weeks ago was somewhat dismissive of ivermectin, based on claims that it might be unproven or that people are using veterinary formulations of it while bypassing advice on medication purity and appropriate dosing strategies, like you dove in after that discussion. And, I don't think that's necessarily true. And, I'm pretty comfortable with ivermectin. And, I had COVID, and I took ivermectin. And, I don't know if it helped, but I took it.

And so, there's the Novavax, but there's two others, too, the Covaxin. The Covaxin is a recent new one that's an inactive dead form of the virus that is injected, again, as two doses. What do you think about this Covaxin? That's another one that seems to be a reasonable choice.

Donnie:  So, the Covax and the Vaxxinity are two others that I've talked about. And, I also think that they're both very good. I haven't seen any phase three trials in Covaxin, and I haven't seen them asked for FDA approval, where Covavax started asking in July. And, they keep getting delayed. So, I think they're going to come at some point, but they're a little bit behind Novavax. But, they have great safety profile and high effectiveness in the 90s.

But, Novavax is the highest most effective, and also, long-lasting. I know of early trial that was started almost a year ago now, and still, those people in the trial have robust immunity against all variants almost a year after. And, the Vaxxinity is a peptide-based vaccine. And, the nice thing that they claim in their vaccine technology is that, as mutations come out, they can quickly manipulate the peptides and amino acid sequencing and make it adaptive.

It's interesting, but again, it's a little bit behind Novavax. And so, for me, Novavax looks like the one that we'll be seeing at some point, hopefully. And so, that's why I'm also recommending that one for myself and my family.

Ben:  I know Vaxxinity. I'm not sure how many people Vaxxinity has been tested on this far. But, I think Covaxin, they had, what, 7 million different patients that have been dosed, at least, to the date that we're talking right now, with adverse events that were no greater than a placebo group and pretty easy vaccine to transport and to store. And, I think it's made it through phase three clinical trials, if I'm not mistaken, in India.

Donnie:  It could be. I haven't seen as much push for approval for that vaccine as I have Novavax. But, if it does make its way before Novavax, I would probably seriously consider that one as well, for all the same reasons.

Ben:  If I had to get vaccinated right now, I wouldn't be doing so because I'm convinced that it's necessary for my own health. But, let's say that it allowed people around me, like the elderly or the immunocompromised, to be more safe, it allowed for some of the travel and societal implications to become a little bit easier, I would probably, A, do a lot of the plant-based remedies, the pre-screening, and then, also, some of the peptide and the medical modalities that I talked about with Dr. Matt Cook for managing side effects.

And, I would probably get Novavax. That's where I'm at right now. I don't believe there's anywhere in the U.S. you could get it right now. And, you correct me if I'm wrong.

Donnie:  No, I don't think that there is any. But, you have to understand, Ben, for me, first of all, I'm 62, I've had one trip to the doctor in my life to have my tonsils taken out before, which again, was standard of care back then as a prophylactic, so you don't get tonsillitis. And, now, obviously, they stopped doing that. And, again, this is the kind of mindset that we're dealing with when it comes to safety and what's always right to do. But, I've never had–I went my whole life with being an herbalist and relying on herbal medicine and herbs to maximize my health. And, again, I've been in the field, I've been a clinician for close to 35 years. I've been in the field since about 1976, where I worked in a natural food store in Stamford, Connecticut. So, I'm in a little bit different position that a lot of people still have somewhat of a reliance or a tendency, while I better take the antibiotic just in case. Although, I know these herbs are good. For me, it's the other way around. It's like I have such faith in herbs and what they can do, and see it on a daily basis that I'm in a little bit different place when it comes to how we want to, not to say that there isn't a great place for pharmaceutical medicine and conventional medicine. It's a beautiful toolbox when used correctly. And, it really is additive, often, to everything else. But, in this case, I think, to be honest with you, herbal medicine is amazingly helpful when it comes to viruses.

And, I think it's a shame that we're, as a country, just ignoring the research over and over and over again, pretending like it doesn't exist at all and showing no interest in it whatsoever. And then, I was going to say propolis–

I was going to say that, when you asked me before about people getting vaccinated and support it, you mentioned quercetin. So, I want to say quercetin is an amazing, isolated compound from food and plants that has a great immunomodulatory effect and particularly reduces some of the potential mast cell-related conditions, both with vaccines and with COVID, by some of that eosinophil-related issues mast cells and that kind of inflammatory almost over-immune response, whether it be rashes. I had one person that I work with who took the vaccine and they got a rosacea rash all over their face that had to be dealt with. So, quercetin, I think, is a very good foundational formula. Zinc, vitamin D, and then, when people go in to get their vaccine, I'll often do that that flu-ish remedy, Flew Away, for a couple of days. And then, generally, adaptogens and tonic herbs overall I give as a general, what I call root system.

So, when I think in terms of health, the concept of adaptogens and root system medicine is to normalize, be non-specific, and non-toxic, and build robustness, auto-regulation, and auto-organization. To the body, be better at what it naturally does. That's what we do. We really support that.

Ben:  And, what's, I guess, concerning would be the fact that despite a lot of these herbal drugs being something that can support allopathic medicine and vaccinations and the like or be used as standalone remedies, The Lancet had that article last year about caution around herbal drugs used to treat COVID-19. And, of course, the author argued that thousands of years of usage and faith cannot be taken as evidence for efficacy of traditional herbs. But, at the same time, it's been safely and successfully used for hundreds or thousands of years and test it on billions of people and written about in historical medical textbooks. We should, at least, pay a little bit of attention to it and even open ourselves up to the idea of using ourselves as case studies or, at least, working with someone like you who knows how to use these herbs responsibly, because just a medication, St. John's wort or whatever, you overuse that, you can get serotonin syndrome, but at the same time, we should not completely dismiss these in an era of extremist rational logical scientism that basically says, if it can't be isolated and put into a double-blind clinical research study, we should just basically go nowhere near it. I think that any of these things should be approached with an open mind.

I think there's a great deal of scientific bias right now against herbal medicine, particularly, when it relates to COVID. And, that's why I wanted to get you on the show and, at least, share with people some of the options that are out there, not as a way of saying that you shouldn't get a vaccine, and as I think you and I have noted, we're very open-minded, especially, when something that is safe enough for us to be comfortable about comes out. But, also, consider the fact that, just like if you break your leg, you want to get it set and you want to go to the hospital and you might even need some antibiotics and you might need some other allopathic medicine remedies. That's not to say that a little bit of sunshine and grounding and earthing and, maybe, a comfrey poultice and stepping up your mineral intake, etc., might not also be helpful. There's no reason we can't do both.

Donnie:  Exactly. You mentioned all the historical usage. And, if you could see back at me, you'll see hundreds and hundreds of textbooks that I have on herbal medicine that validate the historical usage, not just folk medicine, but systems of medicine that have written materia medicas on plants, both, of course, we know of traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine. But, people don't realize that our own country had great systems of medicine, eclectic medicine and physio-medicalism and Thomsonianism that were thriving 100 years ago even in this country. And, they write great medical textbooks.

But then, if you combine them with now what we do, have enough research on these plants when it comes to their potential and possible benefits, when we look at them as they relate to COVID, we should really be taking this more seriously because there are now clinical trials on herbal medicine. A lot are in a setting in supportive around conventional treatments, but not entirely just that. And then, we have, certainly, a lot of animal research as well to support the usage. So, when you combine historical usage with the modern scientific research we have, it's clear that, again, look at risk-to-benefit ratio, what is the risk of using some of these things? Very, very tiny if used in a sensible way. What is the potential benefit? And so, again, there is potential benefit. We certainly can't say anything as a “treatment” or cure for COVID, but we can at least say there is potential benefit from utilizing these substances as a way to support our innate healing ability.

And, again, it's sad that we're completely–And, I probably accumulate more data than anybody in the world when it comes to every single plant that I used when I write a personal monograph on. Some of them have as many as 500 citations just on that one plant. And, I probably have 400 plants that I have written monographs on that I add to constantly. Same with nutrients. So, I have a massive library of data and scientific papers. And so, for me, it's easy if you say, “Donnie, send me the latest on cumulative data you have on vitamin D and COVID.” I can send you like a snap of a finger like an email.

So, it's one thing to say things. It's another thing to actually compile the data and let people just review it for themselves and just see, this is what we have. And so, when people say science, here's what you have. And then, when you often look for someone to say something else, like you mentioned, St. John's wort. I don't know anyone that's ever had serotonin syndrome from St. John's wort. But, certainly, anything can be abused in a dosage way. And, even water can be. It's called drowning. Ben Franklin said, “A place for everything, everything in its place.” And so, I'm not saying you can't abuse using herbal medicine. But, St. John's wort is much maligned often for what we call the classic drug to urban or action not to take it with drugs. But, a lot of it isn't necessarily truthful. What happens, Ben, is that you say, “Well, this herb upregulates this particular hepatic enzyme pathway.” So, say, 384, the most relative pathway of how our body detoxifies various drugs. And so, pharmacogenetics is that we're all born differently and that enzyme works differently in each of us, and that everything in life affects how well we might detoxify. But, for whatever reason, the bias of herbs is that if they see anything even in vitro paper that says St. John's wort upregulates this enzyme or other herbs do, they're, therefore, right away, that's a validation not to combine an herb-drug interaction, which is always talked about as being negative when all I do is do that. And, it's often way positive. Herbs and drugs are actually really good together, to be honest with you.

But, they take in. So, then you go one step further. So, St. John's wort, at a certain dosage, the standardized extract, 900 to 1600 milligrams, which again, I'm more of a combining kind of herbalist. I don't rely on single plants. I do medley of plants. Just like a great diet, diversity is what's really great when it comes to plant medicines as well.

But, if you take St. John's wort, say, with the classic examples [01:15:16]_____ or CPT-11, a common chemotherapeutic drug, it definitely has the potential to increase the clearance of that drug. So, in other words, the drug will clear out of your body faster, your blood levels will go down. And, everyone says well right away, you can see that, don't take St. John's wort. And, there needs to be caution, perhaps. But, when you look deeper at the research, there's not a single study, not one study has shown that St. John's wort reduces the tumoricidal effect of [01:15:50]_____. So, when they took St. John's wort, it cleared out of the system faster, but it didn't reduce the net effect. And so, optimally, you still got the same, or in some research, better effects as an antitumor agent would be, and yet less toxicity because your body was able to eliminate it quicker.

So, you can't make a theory. You can't look at pharmacokinetics and equate that to pharmacodynamics, just like when you look at research. All research has to be looked at with the three Rs. The three Rs are rigor, repetition, and robustness. And, that's why I said, the Cochrane Review meta-analysis, that's the tip of the pyramid. That's almost like God Almighty saying, “This is truthful,” because they'll review 20, 30, 50 different papers, analyze and throw half of them out because they weren't well-done. And then, they make a very conservative conclusion. And so, when they review herbal medicine and COVID, they gave favorable effects. Yet, nothing was said about it anywhere.

Ben:  Well, it's one of those things where I think there's always going to be a little bit of bias. But, fortunately, there's folks like you who are aggregating a lot of this data and helping us dig through it. And, I would recommend that everyone consider visiting Donnie's website, which I'll link to in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie, where you can also leave your questions and your comments and your feedback about this entire issue, and your own tips to share.

I think that, personally, if I could throw one last thought in there, and then we're probably going to wrap up, I suspect that light a well-researched, well-designed vaccine, combined with a good lifestyle, a lot of these herbal remedies, and nutrition adjustments that Donnie writes about and that I've talked about in the past, is something that I think could result in even higher levels of immunity than, say, natural immunity potentially. And, I also think that, with a lot of these variants coming out, Delta and Lambda and Mu, etc., that we do have to consider relying upon more than just getting a shot and walking away and having hotdog and Coke and sitting inside all day under Wi-Fi, if we really want to make sure that we, as a herd, so to speak, are able to stay robust enough to develop some amount of immunity to these emerging variants. And so, that's a whole different landscape, Delta and Lambda and Mu, etc. But, I just have a hunch. And, the more people I interview, the more I think that the natural immunity approach is good. When a good vaccine comes out, it's probably going to be even better than just natural immunity. You throw in all the other things that Donnie and I were talking about, we don't need to live in a spirit of fear.

And, furthermore, regardless of someone's stance on this, if you're a full-on dyed in the wool get the Pfizer and Moderna, no questions asked. Get the booster shot. Or, you're one of those people who feels that there's somebody sitting in a giant glass skyscraper somewhere rubbing their hands together, like Mr. Smithers from The Simpsons planning our entire demise and a great global reset. Regardless of which category you fall into, I need to remind everyone, approach your discussions about this topic, approach your arguments about this topic, approach your expression of your thoughts about this topic in a spirit of full peace and love and joy and forgiveness and the recognition and acknowledgment that we're all human beings on this planet. We are not archenemies of one another. And, these are simply ideas that we are sharing with one another, yes, with high stakes, yes, with even death at stake, but please, please, please, be kind and be open-minded as you engage in this discussion with others, whether it's on my platform or elsewhere. And, it's simply going to make everything that much more magical and positive and joyful when we're talking about something that, yes, is concerning, but why do we need to introduce even more fear, scapegoating, into the discussion? So, please, approach all of this with the spirit of peace and love and joy and forgiveness.

And, Donnie, before I let you go, can I ask you a favor?

Donnie:  Yes.

Ben:  You have this album, “Heaven Awaits,” on Spotify. Would you be game if I were to hook my audio producer up with your favorite track on that album for me to play people out with a little bit of music by Donnie Yance?

Donnie:  Of course.

Ben:  What's your favorite song on your new album, “Heaven Awaits?” Is it “Heaven Awaits?”

Donnie:  Probably. That's my most meditative song on there, but that would be a hard call. I really like all of them, so you can just pick whatever one. And, it's going to be fine by me.

Ben:  Alright, I'm going to listen to you because I like to listen to a lot of uplifting spiritual stuff in the mornings as I'm stretching and having my coffee and stuff. So, I'll listen to your album tomorrow morning, and I'll pick a good song to play people out with. But, in the meantime, Donnie, thank you so much for coming on the show, man.

Donnie:  Ben, it was really wonderful. Hopefully, we can do it again. And, God bless you. And, your message is so beautiful and so right-on. And, just having people having more kindness and more compassion, more understanding, as St. Francis learn to understand rather than be understood is a really important part. And, we're all in this together. The motto of Mederi Medicine is “Together we heal.” So, it's a very unified message.

Ben:  I love it. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield, along with Donnie Yance, signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Donnie. That's D-O-N-N-I-E. Have an amazing week. And, here we go with the music.



My guest on today's podcast, Donald (“Donnie”) Yance, is an internationally-known master herbalist and nutritionist.

Donnie received his herbal training through Sequoia College and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. He was trained as a clinical nutritionist through the National Institute of Nutritional Education and holds certification through the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Donnie is also professed as a Secular Franciscan (SFO), which equips him with the breadth and wisdom to touch on the spiritual aspects of healing.

Donnie has authored two books:

  1. Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer
  2. Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging and Chronic Illness. 

In addition, he has been involved in authoring and co-authoring dozens of articles that have appeared in major industry publications and national journals. On the education side, each year Donnie Yance gives several lectures across the USA at major hospitals and conferences for both patients and health care providers, as well as making radio and podcast appearances.

After decades of extensive research and clinical practice, Donnie developed a comprehensive approach to healing called the Eclectic Triphasic™ Medical System (ETMS). Now also practiced as Mederi Medicine/Mederi Care, ETMS consists of a holistic diagnostic and therapeutic methodology rooted in American Eclectic herbal tradition, constitutional energetics, and contemporary clinical nutrition—continuously updated and honed with the latest scientific research at the molecular, cellular, and genomic levels.

In 2011, the Centre for Natural Healing (now  Mederi Center), where Donnie Yance has conducted his successful clinical practice since 1992, merged with the Mederi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established by Yance in 2005. ETMS is the care model employed by the Mederi Center's clinical practice team and the Foundation’s professional educational training and clinical research programs. Over the past two decades, Donnie Yance has built a library of well-established, world-class research on the medicinal value and multifaceted interactions of over one hundred botanicals and their key constituents, with major emphasis in the area of Oncology. This incredible collection will be available to health care professionals through the Mederi Academy.

Donnie Yance is also the founder and formulator of Natura Health Products, for which he created a unique line of therapeutic-grade botanical and nutritional supplements. The current Natura portfolio consists of over forty formulations derived from botanical and nutritional agents acquired from around the world. These products have made a significant contribution to his tangible success in improving the health of his patients, specifically by providing therapeutic amounts of key ingredients that would otherwise be unattainable anywhere in the world.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

Donnie's music

-Ben's music on Soundcloud

-The story behind Mederi Medicine…12:20

  • “To heal and be whole” is the translation from Latin
  • 3 wings of the Mederi Foundation:
    • Clinic
    • Research
    • Education
  • Donnie's specialty is oncology
  • The model is based on how to maximize the health of the patient via 3 targets
    • Hermeneutics
    • Microenvironments
    • Target the disease
  • Botanical medicine is the soul of Mederi care (God's humble pharmacy)
  • Nutritional medicine (supplements)
  • Dietary
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Spiritual medicine
  • A two-year certification school is in the works

-The importance of spiritual health when it comes to one's overall well-being…19:30

-Why plants are often overlooked in their ability to survive…24:04

-How plants as medicine can help mitigate some of the risks of vaccines…29:15

-Donnie's concerns about current Covid vaccines…39:35

  • Weighing the risk of benefit/ratio of Covid vaccines article by Donnie Yance
  • Consider a vaccine simply to acclimate to society
  • There is no long-term data on the efficacy of Covid vaccines
  • Lots of misinformation, selective pressure
  • mRNA vaccine is a new technology; susceptible to mutations
  • Vaccines give more risk of hospitalization than Covid itself for certain demographics
  • “Just trust us” was the mantra when DDT was introduced in the 1940s
  • Health biomarker assessment
  • Nourishing the yin and yang as one gets older (masculine vs. feminine)

-Donnie's thoughts on some of the upcoming vaccines…51:15

-Why we shouldn't be quick to ignore ancient healing knowledge when it comes to viruses…1:03:30

  • Huge scientific bias against herbal medicine
  • No reason we can't incorporate ancestral practices with modern medicine
  • The U.S. had great systems of medicine based on herbal medicine as recently as one hundred years ago
  • Clinical trials on herbal medicine are taking place currently
  • Potential benefit to support innate healing ability
  • 3 Rs of research: Rigor, Repetition, Robust

-And much more…:

Resources from this episode: 

Donald (“Donnie”) Yance:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

Kion Clean Protein: Organic natural flavors, Himalayan sea salt, and stevia deliver rich chocolate and velvety smooth vanilla flavors that are out of this world—seriously, even in plain ole’ water.

CAROL bike: The AI-powered exercise bike that is clinically proven to give you the same cardio benefits as a 45-minute jog in under 9 minutes, with only 40 seconds of hard work. Get a $100 discount off your CAROL bike when you use the code BEN.

Organifi Red Juice: Enjoy all the benefits of the 11 superfoods and their micronutrients that help increase resting metabolism, support cardiovascular health, and remove toxins to turn back the hands of time! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Paleo Valley Organ Complex: Contains not one but three organs from healthy, grass-fed, pasture-raised cows so you are getting a more diverse array of nutrients. Receive a 15% discount off your order when you use discount code BENGREENFIELD15.


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “[Transcript] – Herbal, Plant-Medicine Based Approaches To Managing Covid Vaccination Risks, New & Emerging Vaccines (NovaVax, Covaxin & Vaxxinity), Bias Against Herbal Medicine & More With Donnie Yance

  1. Mike says:

    “if you’re a boy between the ages of 12 and 25, the possibility of the vaccine inducing hospitalization is much greater than COVID itself. And, that’s clear as day.”

    I’d rank this statement as “Four Pinocchios” AKA an outright lie. And the reason that “nobody is talking about it”, is that it isn’t true. It’s really that simple.

    “The risk of developing myocarditis, an inflammatory heart condition, is six times higher in male teenagers who have contracted Covid-19, compared with the likelihood of the rare side-effect emerging after getting the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, a new US study has found.”


    1. carrie says:

      Ben asked that discussions on this topic be approached with peace, love, joy and forgiveness. Seems you forgot that.

      Also, it’s worth noting that Bill Gates is a funder of the Guardian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *