[00:00] Introduction/Kimera Koffee
[03:28] Reach Higher Nutrition
[04:46] Other Announcements
[09:18] All About Dr. Thomas Cowan
[14:06] “Kids Who Are Imbalanced Don't Get Sick When Exposed To Germs”
[28:30] Creating A Balanced Child
[38:16] Vitamin A
[42:35] Quick Commercial Break/GainsWave
[58:12] Nutritional Support Needed When Not Vaccinating
[1:09:31] Why You Shouldn't Play With Your Kid
[1:20:15] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey, you guys. What's up? It's Ben Greenfield. This was actually a little bit of a tough podcast episode for me to record. It's an episode focused on children everything from the toxicity of ultrasounds, to the shocking story of vaccinations, to some very fringe and outside the box concepts with a guy who's been on my podcast a couple of times, relatively controversial. And the reason that I originally scheduled this podcast was because I personally have not only been helping a lot of my friends out with raising, as I tend to call it, as cheesy a term as it is, tiny superhumans, but I also have been thinking quite a bit lately about whether I want to have another baby myself, whether Jessa and I want to bring a new one into this world. It's kind of a hot topic on my mind right now, and perhaps that's why I've been reading so many baby books, and studying up on babies more, and even getting a baby podcast on.
If you want to jump into the show notes for this episode, which I will reveal during the episode itself, let me know your thoughts on this, your comments on it. I'm torn between the whole quality of having just two young boys versus the quantity of adding more children into this world. Of course, when you have multiples once, your chance of having multiples again, and I have twins a.k.a. multiples, which is just a more cutting edge way to say twins, your chances of having multiples goes up by 30% once you've already had twins. So I could shoot for like one tiny little girl or something and wind up with a basketball team of boys. That also gives me pause. Anyways though, just a topic on my mind right now. Feel free to jump into the comments section of today's show and let me know what you think about the possibility of another Greenfield coming into the world.
Anyways though, before we jump into today's show, I wanted to tell you about this organic acid. You may have heard of it before. It's commonly found in eggs, it delays cognitive decline due to aging, it fights oxidative stress, it reduces fat fatigue, reduces fat fatigue? No, just fatigue. But it does help to boost fat metabolization. It's also the active ingredient in Red Bull, which gives you wings. However, you can get this stuff into your diet without drinking Red Bull. The amino acid I'm referring to is taurine. And taurine, along with alpha-GPC, along with L-theanine, along with DMAE are all combined into this coffee. It's called Kimera Koffee, K-I-M-E-R-A K-O-F-F-E-E. A whole bunch of premium grade nootropics combined with some very tasty, high-quality coffee grown in the Dominican Republic at an extremely high altitude and sourced from a single estate coffee plantation from a family that's been around for like 40 plus years. And you can get a 10% discount on the stuff. You just go to kimerakoffee.com, that's KIMERAKOFFEE.com, and you can have all the goodness of taurine without drinking Red Bull.
Now should you decide you want to get your amino acids instead in a handy dandy capsule-based form, there is also another way that you can get taurine. So there's this brain blend, and it contains L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine, taurine, gamma-Aminobutyric acid, and DL-phenylalanine. Extremely unique blend. And I've never actually tried to combine this with Kimera Koffee. Probably I would get smoke coming out my ears if I did. But this is a capsule, and it's a capsule designed to do things like prevent food cravings, which can happen when you have things like neurotransmitter imbalances from amino acid deficiencies. And it's designed to decrease anxiety. And they even have a sleep version of it where they've taken some of those amino acids out and added others in to help you get restful sleep, and to fall asleep, and to stay asleep, and to wake up rested. This company has a really unique approach with amino acids. It's called Reach Higher Nutrition, and you can check them out at reachhighernutrition.com. The discount code you can use to get 20% off of either of their fine blends, the State Of Mind Blend or the State Of Sleep Blend, is Ben20. Use code Ben20 to get 20% off your order.
Now before we jump into today’s show, two other things. First of all, I have been getting a lot of questions about when the Q&A episode is going to return. We are, along with a very big surprise that you're going to find out when you listen to that first Q&A episode, we're going to return to Q&A episodes in June. So if you're listening to this podcast at the time it comes out, in June we'll be back to handy dandy Q&A episodes with yours truly and my sidekick. And also, I've been getting a lot of questions about where I'm at the world. ‘Cause I've been doing the Q&A episode and I haven't been able to tell you about all the little things going on. Well, a few things coming up on the radar. First of all, if you're listening to this podcast at the time it comes out, come find me at Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas. And also if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar, you'll be able to check out a few other places that I'm going to be, including the Infinite Man Summit coming up in Sofia, Bulgaria. For those of you who are in Europe and want to jet over to Bulgaria, you can attend that event. And again, that's over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar.
I put all this stuff out in my weekly round-up, by the way. You can get to the weekly round-up if you just subscribe to my newsletter at bengreenfieldfitness.com. I'm speaking in New York on July 11th, at David Bouley's Chef & The Doctor series in Tribeca, New York. So that's July 11th, that's a Tuesday evening. I'll be speaking in Iceland September 8th through 11th at the “Who Wants To Live Forever Conference” in Iceland. I'll be speaking in Finland October 13th through the 14th at a Biohacker Summit over there. A few other events, December 7th through 8th, the XPT Life Performance Breathing Workshop in Kauai, Hawaii. I'll be teaching over there as well if you'd like to get into that. I'm putting links to all this stuff in my weekly round-up. And then a week long, or actually a two week long yoga and adventure retreat in Panama called Runga. That one's going to be sick. That also appears in my weekly roundup. So again, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and sign up for the newsletter if you want to catch me at any of those events.
And then I will also be racing the Spartan Boise, The Spartan Monterey, California, The Spartan Palmerton, Pennsylvania, The Spartan in Asheville, North Carolina, and The Spartan in Glen Gene, West Virginia across the course of the summer. And you could just go to Spartan.com to check those out or go to the weekly round-up. If you want to catch me in any of those events and hang out, I'm a lot of fun, I promise, to chill with, and also you'll get a lot of value out of some of these events that I'm speaking at, especially if you’ve skipped my talks. Anyways though, check it all out. Go sign up for the weekly round-up at bengreenfieldfitness.com. If you sign up for the newsletter, you'll automatically get that straight to your inbox. Alright. Let's jump into this baby podcast.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“The reason we have chronic inflammation is because we have so much of this sclerosis that people are relegated, so to speak, to spending the rest of their life trying to dissolve it.” “If you ask the question: how did we end up with 150 million people with too many anti-bodies in their blood causing an inflammatory destruction of the tissues? I mean, the answer is actually very simple.”
Ben: Hey, folks. It's Ben Greenfield, and I first introduced you to the brilliant and well-spoken, yet slightly outside-the-box physician Dr. Thomas Cowan in the podcast episode called “How To Eat More Vegetables”. And in that, we talked about all these different ways that you could concentrate the superfoods in vegetables, and why a plant is like an upside down human, and some very outside-the-box ways to think about plants and the plants you eat and vegetables. And then Dr. Cowan returned to the podcast for the, in my opinion, pretty mind-blowing episode called “Why Your Heart Is Not A Pump”. You need to listen to that episode if you have any interest whatsoever in your heart or heart disease.
And on today's episode, I've invited Dr. Cowan back because, as we alluded to in those other shows, but really didn't have a chance to dive into, he is a co-author of a book on child care and has actually written, or co-written I guess, with the gal who is heavily involved with the Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon Morell, a book called “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care”. And he delves into everything from the shocking story of vaccines, to the toxicity of prenatal ultrasounds, to his controversial comments like, “don't play with your kids”, all sorts of weird stuff that we'll get into in today's show. And I'm going to put Dr. Cowan's book as well as his full bio over bengreenfieldfitness.com/childcare. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/childcare. But Dr. Cowan himself, just a quick overview, he had his a residency in Family Practice in New York, and then set up a medical practice in New Hampshire, and then relocated to San Francisco. Is that where you still live, by the way, Dr. Cowan? San Francisco?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. I still live in San Francisco.
Ben: Cool. I'll have to look you up by the way when I come down there to do the, I go on an annual Mecca to San Francisco to do the Spartan Stadium Race there. So I'll have to look you up when I'm down there.
Dr. Cowan: Yeah.
Ben: And he actually writes the “Ask the Doctor” column, which is a really great column in the Wise Traditions In Food, Farming, and Healing Arts Newsletter. He's got another book called “The Fourfold Path To Healing“, he's got those other books that I talked about too, like “Your Heart Is Not A Pump”. Or it's actually called “Human Heart, Cosmic Heart“. And then “How To Eat More Vegetables”. And like I mentioned, I'll put a link to all his other books if you just go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/childcare.
Now you have this book, and I've read it cover to cover, this “Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care“. I think anybody who has a kid or a baby, or knows anyone with a kid or a baby should read it. And I had a bunch of pages folded over on this thing, Thomas, pages about feeding your kid cod liver oil, and the ideal prenatal vitamin, and even some of the things that are in there about cannabinoids, and breast milk, and lotus birthing. And when I mentioned to you that I want to talk about a lot of this stuff, you came back to me and said, “No, no, no, no, no. I have some things that I specifically want to bring up that I want to talk about on your show.”
And so, you mentioned to me that some of the main things you want to have a conversation about were what childhood illnesses are all about, and how we went from a nation of children having almost no chronic diseases to a nation where children with chronic disease is kind of the norm, and then you also wanted to touch on things like the vaccination, and antibiotics, and Tylenol, and some of these common things that we use with our kids, and then also this controversial statement that you've made about why we shouldn't play with our kids. So I think those are three definite areas that, after going through this book, I'm completely on board with you about diving into. Although I'll warn you, you proceed at your own risk by even mentioning the word vaccination on a podcast, but we can talk about that. Anyways though, so where I'd like to kick off, if you're game, man, is this idea of kids and why they're getting sick more these days. And you actually make a statement in chapter 13 of the book that kids who are in balance don't get sick when exposed to germs. Kids who are in balance don't get sick when exposed to germs. That's a pretty bold statement. Can you go into what you mean by that? Like what would it mean for a kid to be out of balance?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. I may qualify that, actually, as we go. But because I think in order to understand that, you have to look at the history of childhood sickness over the last 50 to 100 years. And I would absolutely encourage anybody listening, anybody under 30 ask their parents, or grandparents if they still have them, anybody over 60 I think will know what I'm talking about. And the people in the middle, you're on your own. But for instance, when I was in grade school, there was, as far as I know, one child in our school who had a chronic disease, which was asthma, because I remembered he was in our class, and we made fun of him because he was sick.
Ben: That wasn't very nice.
Dr. Cowan: No. I'm not necessarily proud of the fact we made fun of him. And hopefully I didn't make fun of him. But the point is it was so unusual for a child to be going to school with an inhaler and being sick all the time that it was just something that we all took note of.
Ben: He was one of those kids who we would've said back in the day had a weak constitution, right?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. Right. He was weird, so that's why we picked on him. So we went from that to a situation where, for instance, and there were things like hardly anybody, if anybody, had food allergies, or eczema, or chronic asthma, leukemia was just starting but was rare, autism was unheard of, nobody thought about autism, and learning problems, et cetera. The usual retort you'll hear from conventional doctors and pediatricians, which always kind of amuses me is, “Well, we didn't know how to diagnose it then.”
Ben: Yeah. That's what you hear too. Like celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, you hear that's on the rise and some people will say it's because we make wheat more differently. And then other people will say, “Oh, no, no, no. Wheat's the same, we just diagnose stuff now more prevalently because we didn't have a name for it back in the day.”
Dr. Cowan: Right. And there may be a very small component, but I can tell you that if somebody comes to your office and says, “Hey, doc. You see this rash that's oozing on my arms?” And you say, “Oh. That looks like you have eczema.” That does not take a rocket scientist. Nor does somebody who says, “You hear this wheezing? I can't breathe every four weeks.” So it's not because of under diagnosis. In fact if anything, doctors then were savvier about diagnosis based on exams and history than they are now when they rely on tests. So, I actually reject the idea that we just didn't know how to notice that somebody was autistic back in 1930. It's not that hard to say, “There's something really wrong here.” So we go from that to a situation where I recently heard a statistic that 40% of the children in Detroit Public Schools carry an inhaler to school. Now Detroit is kind of a desperate situation, maybe that's the worst, but there has been extensive documentation that Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, asthma, eczema, certainly autism, learning problems, peanut allergies, food allergies, sleep disorders, you name it, it's an astronomical rise in the last 50 years. I mean anybody who doesn't know that is actually just simply not paying attention to the studies and the facts. So of course…
Ben: Yeah. I don't think anybody's going to deny that, that like kids get sick more nowadays. And we've even talked before on the show, Dr. Cowan, about stuff like the hygiene hypothesis right, by how doing bottle boiling, and C sections, and avoiding exposing your kids to germs, and using anti-bacterial hand soaps have created kids who maybe don't have immune systems that are quite as strong. It's not a horse that we've kicked to death, but it's certainly something that I brought up before that I think a lot of the listeners are kind of sort of aware of or familiar with.
Dr. Cowan: Right. So there's a lot of those reasons. And all those reasons are absolutely valid and true, but there's a bigger reason.
Dr. Cowan: And the bigger reason is the way you get chronic disease is the mistreatment of acute disease. I've probably said this example on your site before, but the clearest example I can give is if somebody gets a splinter in their finger and they don't take it out, they get puss. Now in medical school, which I went to, I'm trained as a conventional doctor, we learned that puss means infection, means bad, means kill it. So that person, you would presumably give them an antibiotic to get rid of the puss. The problem is the splinter would stay in there and they would then go through this cycle of antibiotic, get rid of the puss, the puss would come back, you get rid of it, et cetera, et cetera, until you end up with a chronic situation of scarred, nasty finger. Now some people would say, “Well that's just stupid example because everybody in their right mind would let the puss get the splinter out. But this thing happens in doctor's offices hundreds of thousands of times in variations of that. Like persons put smoke in their lungs, that's like putting splinters into your lungs, and then you get a cough, and the role of the cough is to clear out the debris from your [0:20:37] ______ . Period. And if your doctor doesn't know that because he either hasn't thought of it or has been somehow convinced that that's not how it works, then he will get rid of your cough and leave you with splinters in your lungs.
Dr. Cowan: And that will set you up to keep doing this over and over again because you now have essentially an iatrogenic, meaning doctor caused disease, which is the failure to allow you to get rid of things that are irritating your body. And in a… go ahead.
Ben: So what you're saying in that case is that the doctor should allow that cough to continue to progress in the same way that you'd want to like, let's say, like a fever to continue to progress in a child to help to clean them out and then go after whatever underlying cause is causing the cough. In this case, the smoking, or in the case of a child getting the fever too much, I don't know what that would be, maybe I'll let you speak to that. But ultimately you're just you're basically more or less just saying go after the source of the issue rather than the symptom.
Dr. Cowan: Right. Because the job of the doctor traditionally, and all natural medicines, and in fact all medicines until current Western conventional medicine have seen the role of the doctor as essentially squiring or helping children and people overcome their acute disease by helping them use, whatever, herbs, or compresses, or teas, or warm baths, or whatever to help their fever and their cough do the job that it's meant to do. That's what the job of a doctor. That's what the art of doing medicine is. That's what doctors should be doing. But instead of that, they suppress the illness. Now I had a very good example of this which relates to the whole etiology of why we have so much asthma, when I was in medical school. So we had a clinic, we had about a 10 year old boy who was on inhaled steroids, oral steroids, bronchidilators all the time. So then one day he comes into the hospital with 104 fever, and actually on X-ray, he had a white-out of one part of his lung. So he had a full blown pneumonia. And I went to examine him because he was supposedly my patient. And for the first time, he wasn't wheezing. And I already knew about this because I knew about natural medicine before I went to medical school, but I asked the head pediatrician, “Why is it that having bacterial pneumonia seems to have cured him of asthma?” He said, “A.) I don't know. But there are reports in the literature that having pneumonia cures people of asthma.” So what did we do? We cured him of the pneumonia and gave him back his asthma meds.
Now, I fully understand that it’s possible that the pneumonia could have killed him and that would have been a horrible outcome. The first job of a doctor is to assess the child because this is really all of childhood illness. This is why children get sick. So this quote that you said that I said, which I'm sure I did, in balance children don't get sick, let me change that a little bit. They encounter things and they burn them out quickly, usually within a day, and then they're left better than they were when they started. That's how healthy children get sick. But what we have created is this situation where every time that cleaning out process, that clearing out process, that process that strengthens our immune system happens, the doctors give them Tylenol, which suppresses the fever, which has been shown to increase the incidence of chronic disease.
Ben: Yeah. Well Tylenol causes liver failure, right?
Dr. Cowan: Tylenol causes liver failure.
Ben: At least it's toxic to the liver. I'm aware of that. Now however though, don't you need to shut down a fever? I mean don't you get to a certain point where the human body isn't supposed to be hot for that period of time because it can lead to things like dehydration and some cellular death? Like don't you have to control the fever somehow?
Dr. Cowan: Well, the answer to that is mostly no. There is no evidence that fevers in and of themselves do any harm. But that's the second job of a doctor is to know when this has gotten to be too much and then to stop it by any way necessary. Now…
Ben: What do you mean fevers don't do any, I mean can a fever dehydrate you? I mean looking into this from like an ancestral standpoint, wouldn't our ancestors have given somebody who had fever like water, and bone broth, and salts, and electrolytes, and things of that nature?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. Right. Exactly. That's part of what doctors and parents should be doing when [0:26:17] ______ fever is to prevent dehydration, help them expectorate whatever it is that needs to be expectorated to support them through the process exactly. So that they don't get dehydrated, so they don't have excessive cellular damage. But my point is if you do that properly, the risk of that event turning bad, I mean in 35 years I've basically never seen it turned bad.
Ben: Yeah. Okay. Now what you're saying makes sense, and I actually do want to dive into some of the nitty gritty tactics that you outline in this chapter. You give a lot of really great natural ways to do things like treat colds, and fever, and congestion, some of the favorite things that you like to use with kids. But like when I hung out with you at the Weston A. Price Conference down in Georgia this year you had your granddaughter there. What was her name again?
Dr. Cowan: Amia.
Ben: Amia, yeah. So you had Amia there, and let's say that you know, you talk about a balanced versus an imbalanced kid and how an imbalance kid is going to be a lot more susceptible to either the sicknesses taking a very long time to run their course or taking over a kid in the first place. Now can you go into what a balanced kid would look like? I mean when you're talking about ensuring that a child does not have an imbalance, in the case of someone like Amia, what advice would you be giving to like your son and his wife as far as like how they could help Amia become more balanced? Or for anybody else listening in, how do you actually create a balanced child? And the reason I ask this is because I think it's kind of relevant to something you and I talked about when we talked about vegetables, this whole concept of the threefold man and how you kind of equate a person to a vegetable, and then you take care of that person's vegetable-like shape accordingly. Can you kind of like bring that together and talk about how you would actually do that with a child?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. I mean it's pretty simple. So if we get this point that what acute disease, which is what people worry about going to have to deal with with their children, in other words their children get sick. So the question is: how do you keep a child from getting sick? And the big picture is don't put splinters in there. Which means don't put toxic stuff, don't expose them to toxic stuff that they're going to need to use the only mechanism we have to get it out, which is being sick. The sickness is the therapy. That's my point. So for instance, if you inject them with aluminum, they will have to flush that out somehow. So they flush it out by what we call being sick. So in other words, if you don't want them to be sick, don't infect them with aluminum, then they won't have aluminum to flush out, and they won't be sick.
Ben: By the way, when you're saying “don't inject them with aluminum”, you're talking about vaccinations?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. For instance.
Dr. Cowan: Or don't feed them food that's not really food, what some people call non-food edible stuff because that always creates a certain toxicity in their bodies which children, being good at this, they will try to eliminate that. And the elimination process, that which we call being sick, is their body's cell mediated reaction, which is fundamentally an elimination detoxification reaction. So that's the strategy for not having sick children.
Ben: Now when you're talking about not introducing toxins into a kid, that makes sense. But I mean like, like this kid that you mentioned that you would have made fun of back in the day who had asthma, are you saying that that kid was like eating lunchables and getting injected with aluminum, and that's why they got sick, and that's the only reason that kids would be getting sick these days? ‘Cause it seems like, I mean even before the advent of fake processed foods and vaccinations, kids were getting sick weren't they?
Dr. Cowan: Kids get sick. And by and large, that sick process is basically their method of exercising their cell mediated immune system. And so for instance, we know that, if for instance the sick we're talking about is measles. So you're going along and you're a perfectly fine, healthy child, and then you would contract this measles virus, and then you're “sick”. Let's define sick. Fever, cough, rash, headaches, don't feel well for two weeks. All the things that are measles. We know that that growth process which is measles confers a certain lifelong immunity, and for instance, we know now through studies that children who go through that kind of sickness have less heart disease, have less autoimmune disease, have less neurological problems, have less learning problems, have less leukemia than children who don't go through that process. In a sense, children do get sick. That's how they exercise and end up having a robust immune system. It's sort of like with you. If you had decided you were never going to run and then all of a sudden run in this race in San Francisco, that wouldn't work. So being the intelligent, brilliant guy that you are…
Ben: Oh, it'd work. It'd just suck.
Dr. Cowan: Right. You train a little bit, you exercise your muscles so that they can do that. That's what being sick for a child is. And they got sick once or twice a year with very characteristic illnesses that in a sense left them more robust than they were before they got the sickness. So I even in some ways has it, I mean of course they're sick and it's inconvenient, and I don't even want to belittle the fact that in an extremely rare case that process could go wrong and something very bad could happen. But that's the job of a doctor, to essentially usher that child or anybody through that acute phase so like this word that's common in our language, the child is better when they're done. They're actually better off than when they started.
Ben: Okay. Got it.
Dr. Cowan: It's like you're better off if you train.
Ben: What you're saying makes sense. And before I ask you about some of those practical ways that we can manage some of these things to help a kid get better, one of the last things I wanted to ask you about, like a term that you throw around this part about why kids are getting sick more and how we should be treating kids is this medical term called sclerosis. I haven't seen that mentioned too much in books, but why do you bring up sclerosis and what is that? How's it relevant to this discussion?
Dr. Cowan: Sclerosis means essentially tissues getting harder, and that's one of the hallmarks of any chronic disease. So for instance if you do a pathology study of the lungs of an asthmatic person, you'll find that it becomes, it has all these crystals called Charcot-Leyden crystals and Curschmann's spirals. So the tissue is becoming hard, and stiff, and brittle. And so what does the body do? Just like this child I talked about, the body dissolves it with warmth and puss. That's the only strategy there is. And Ben, I cannot emphasize that enough. That's the only strategy a body has access to. My tissues are becoming hard, stiff, crystalline, and dysfunctional, so think about cancers, think about hardening of the arteries, think about plaque development in your brain. And the only recourse the body has is by activating the cell mediated inflammatory response. That's why we have so much inflammation in this country. But the inflammation is the therapy. Now the reason we have chronic inflammation is because we have so much of this sclerosis that people are relegated, so to speak, to spending the rest of their life trying to dissolve it successfully because they take anti-inflammatories. It's like trying to burn a bunch of wet logs.
Ben: Yeah. I think that's why a lot of people feel so good when they start to just, and I know this sounds like a dumb solution, but just like drinking really good water. And really good water, I mean like clean, clear structured water, or water that has minerals added to it. There's a lot of people now making glass bottled water and setting it out in the sun so it gets charged with infrared light. I mean something as simple as water, when you talk about so many diseases being related to sclerotic hardening, dehydrating type of processes, I mean I've run into people who have literally changed things like fibromyalgia, and calcification, and chronic fatigue just by switching up the type of water that they drink or just drinking more water, which sounds dumb but it actually works in many situations.
Dr. Cowan: Right, and my point here is once you get the big picture, there's literally thousands of different strategies that you can use to accomplish this. You can drink good water, you can take cold showers, you can exercise and sweat, you can eat warming foods like ginger and turmeric, you can have hot soup broth. So the answer to your earlier question, what do you do to have healthy children is you do all those things. You get exposed to lots of soil microbes by playing in the dirt, all these things then come naturally once you get the big picture, which is I'm using warmth, and heat, and microbes to create a cell mediated reaction which keeps my body from getting too hard, too soon, too sclerotic, too brittle, too sick too soon. You do that, you have a healthy child.
Ben: Now this book is chock full of natural remedies, too many for me to really go into. Obviously if people read the book, they can use it as more of like, almost like a manual for like a kid gets a fever, here are some things for that, if a kid gets a cold, here are some things for that, congestion, here are some things for that. But there are a few little things that you mention in the book that I think we should bring up. Like you were just talking about the inflammatory process, and we were talking about fevers. You're a fan for example of vitamin A. Why are you such a fan of vitamin A?
Dr. Cowan: It's a good question. Again, I keep going back to this theme, the job of a doctor is to understand that when a child gets sick, so for instance with measles, that your job, this is not a catastrophe, this is a growth opportunity. Your job is to help the child get to the end of this in a better shape than [0:38:43] ______ . That's your job. Right around the time that measles was, the immunization, which basically thwarted this whole process, and therefore contributes to chronic disease, there was an interesting article which I carry in my office called “Measles: Have We Learned Nothing Yet” and it was published in The American Academy of Pediatrics. So that's the bible of pediatricians. And [0:39:14] ______ that when children are given vitamin A in the form of cod liver oil, the morbidity, and mortality, and complication rates from natural measles basically goes to zero.
In fact, there was a widespread understanding of this in the 10 years before the measles vaccine was introduced. And according to the CDC, there was less than 10 deaths per year from measles each year in the decade before the measles vaccine. So basically they had wiped out any complications. And it was because of the widespread use of the so called “anti-infective vitamin”, otherwise known as vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin found only in animal fats, so things like cod liver oil, and butter. and lard, et cetera. It's not the same as beta carotene, which is used two vitamin A's hooked together, because children don't have the enzyme to cleave those two beta carotenes into affective vitamin A, and that's typically why children don't like to eat green vegetables, because they can't utilize. So it's better to run the green vegetables through a cow, 'cause cows like green vegetables, i.e. grass, they cleave the beta carotene into vitamin A, and I don't know a single child who doesn't like to eat cream.
Ben: Yeah. I'm a huge fan. For example, my kids don't do a lot of the cod liver oil, but I mean egg yolks, they do a lot of. We have liver just about once a week. They do a lot of like whole yogurt. Obviously our chickens outside give them tons of eggs. But vitamin A, I wasn't really aware of its crucial importance, especially for kids who have had fever or inflammation. But that was one interesting one that you talked about, and I know a lot of people in the Weston A. Price Foundation are really into this whole idea of cod liver oil and giving the kids some form of cod liver oil. But I mean even if you haven't hopped on that bandwagon, just this idea of egg yolks I think is a pretty sound one, especially for kids 'cause there's so much in there, I mean in terms of choline, and things for neural health, and stuff that goes above and beyond just the A.
Dr. Cowan: Right. That's why I don't think we should, I personally don't focus on, “Well, it has to be cod liver oil or whatever.” If your best source, best meaning, it's always about how the food was grown. So if your best source of food is your own chickens that you feed bugs, and worms, and [0:42:01] ______ , et cetera, that's your best source of vitamin A. It doesn't matter. It could be that, it could be lamb, it could be, you have pigs, or you know a farmer with pigs that snoot around in the forest and eat acorns, all that stuff is the same. Once you know the principle, you can figure this out for yourself. Which way you like, or your children like, what's the most affordable, palatable, all those questions.
Ben: Hey. I want to interrupt today's show to tell you about this fantastic treatment that I went down to Miami, Florida to get. It is called GainsWave. And this stuff has a ton of research behind it for everything from the treatment of erectile dysfunction, which I don't have. I don't have erectile dysfunction, I don't have it. But I went there to go from good to great, and man oh man, did I ever. They've got injections for men, injections for women straight into your nether regions to basically boost blood flow, and increase size, and increase feeling, and the quality of orgasms. All these groundbreaking noninvasive medical treatment for men and women, and you get 150 bucks off of any of your treatments at GainsWave. And to do that, you just text the word “Greenfield” to 313131. Text the word “Greenfield” to 313131. And when you do, you can get 150 bucks of a treatment. And you can also go to gainswave.com to click “Find a doctor” and find a provider near you. And they do the acoustic sound wave therapy, which I wrote about in Men's Health and in Playboy as an awesome way to boost your drive. And they do a whole bunch of other treatments that I didn't even talk much about, like things called P Shots and O Shots for your crotch. All sorts of cool stuff. These folks at GainsWave got it figured out. So check 'em out, gainswave.com. And use your discount code “Greenfield” if you text the word 313131. Text the word “Greenfield” to 313131.
This podcast is also brought to you by something I wish I'd had two days ago when I was staying at the Mariott and I called down to their front desk asking for one of their little shavers 'cause I forgot my shaver and they brought up their crappy little cream full of toxins and their crappy little single blade razor that left me with razor burn at the talk that I had to go give. I wouldn't have had that if I would have remembered, when I was rushing out of the house, to grab my five, count 'em five, precision-engineered blades with a lubricating strip and a trimmer blade, my rich lathering shave gel with aloe vera, my weighted ergonomic razor handle, and everything else that you can actually get for free from this company called Harry's. That's right, you can get a free trial set from Harry's. They give you these blades at like half the price of what you pay for at the drugstore. And your free trial it's very, very simple to get. Razor handle, five-blade cartridge, shave gel. All you do is you go to harrys.com/ben. That's harrys.com/ben, HARRYS.com/ben. And you too can banish razor burn forever.
And you also talk about like elderberry thyme syrup, and echinacea, I'm a huge fan by the way of both echinacea and elderberry. Those are the two things that we have in our medicine cabinet, along with, the other two that I have in there that I don't think you talk about in the book but that I definitely have hanging around along with the echinacea and the elderberry are Thieve's Essential Oil and then wild Mediterranean oil of oregano. Those are some of the biggies we have around for if our kids ever come down with something.
Dr. Cowan: All that is just, the various strategies to help detoxify, warm up, and excrete. That's just various ways. The Chinese have their ways, and the Native Americans have their ways, but they're all doing the same thing. The only people who aren't doing that is the conventional doctors.
Ben: Right. Yeah, exactly. Now speaking of conventional medicine, I want to open up a can of worms here but I'm going to blame you 'cause you brought it up first, talking about aluminum, and that's vaccinations. You've got a whole chapter in here on vaccinations. And where I'm coming at, by the way on this is that, 'cause I get this question a lot from people, about whether or not I vaccinated my boys, River and Terran. Well when they were born, my wife and I took them all over the freakin' planet. From Chile, to Thailand, to Mexico, and beyond because we wanted our kids to be savvy little world travelers. And a couple years into that, I realize that everything from the constant exposure to airline and solar radiation, to disruption of circadian rhythm, to a child's rapidly dividing neural cells and thinner skull, and all these other issues kind of dictated that perhaps having a baby who's a full-time world traveler isn't the healthiest thing for that baby. And there's actually an entire article out there on the internet called “The Dark Side of Hypermobility”. I'll link to that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/childcare for people who want to delve into that article.
However, because we did so much travel, my kids kind of did the minimalist vaccination schedule. Like they did all the stuff that I spoke with my pediatrician about that might be prudent to do because of the amount of foreign travel that we were doing. Now since then, I've kind of looked into alternative schedules, like either a very minimal spread out dosing schedule for vaccines or even the use of things that would naturally protect the body, some of those things that we discussed, fat soluble vitamins, even some of the use of things like homeopaths that you talk about in the book, and some of the other ways that we might have been able to use to perhaps get by with no vaccinations at all potentially. But what is your take on vaccinations? Like with Amia, what did you do or what would you have advised being done with her and why when it comes to vaccinations?
Dr. Cowan: So again, if I may, let me give you an overview so that people can make their own decision based on help with my input maybe. So here's what I like people to know. We have two immune systems. We have a cell mediated and we have these humoral, or antibody immune system. Some people say we have one immune system, but that's clearly not the case. The way it works, so for instance let's take an illness like chicken pox. So you get a virus that you haven't encountered before, the virus infects your cells in the thousands or even millions, so you have these huge number of infected cells, your body uses this cell mediated reaction, which means the white blood cells go in, digest those cells, and excrete them out, and use the process of fever, cough, and rash, and a few other things in order to do in this cell mediated cleansing process which usually takes about 7 to 14 days. The important point of that is what we call being sick in other words, having the chicken pox, is not because of the virus, it's because of the cell mediated reaction. Now if people say, “Well how do I know that,” the reason [0:50:01] ______ , because you can stimulate a cell mediated reaction and the person will be sick, no virus or bacteria needed. On the other hand, you can inject somebody with chicken pox and even kill them. And if you suppress their cell mediated reaction, they will never be “sick”. So the sickness part, that which we call being sick, is your cell mediated reaction.
Ben: Right. Which is the only way that we have of getting rid of toxins and microorganisms?
Dr. Cowan: Yes. And everything. Aluminum, viruses, infected cells et cetera. Now in order to not get chicken pox again, we also have an antibody arm which codes for an antibody to a piece of that chicken pox virus so it will tag on it and eliminate it before it gets into the cell again. Now the important point of that is the antibody reaction is silent. So you're not sick, you don't notice anything is happening, it usually takes about four to six weeks, and then you will be immune for life from chicken pox. Right? That's how sickness works. Now that's how sickness worked, at least until 1950 or so. Because for the first time with vaccination, we decided to bypass the cell mediated immune system and just stimulate the anti-body response. So we did that, and we started doing it three times, and now we do it 69 times before the age of 18. And so two things happen as a result of that. One is all the things that we injected, the aluminum, the formaldehyde, the thimerosal, the dead fetal cells, et cetera, those can't be eliminated because there is no cell mediated reaction. The whole point of a vaccine is to not have a cell mediated reaction and have a humoral or antibody reaction. Because if you injected somebody and you created a cell mediated reaction, the parents would say, “Hey, you just made my child sick,”” and they wouldn't do it anymore. So they're literally engineered to suppress the cell mediated and stimulate the humoral system.
Now, let me give you a list of the diseases which we know are characterized by a suppressed cell mediated and accelerated humoral immunity. So number one, cancer, number two all the autoimmune disease, Crohn's disease, asthma, eczema, autism, neurodevelopmental issues, Hashimoto's, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, on, and on, and on. All of them, well most of them, we diagnose by finding accelerated antibodies in the blood. So how do you diagnose Hashimoto's? 40 million people have Hashimoto's. We look for too many anti-bodies in the blood. How do we diagnose rheumatoid arthritis? We look for an increased anti-body in the blood. If you ask the question: how did we end up with 150 million people with too many anti-bodies in their blood causing an inflammatory destruction of the tissues? I mean the answer is actually very simple. That was the whole point of the vaccine program.
Ben: Interesting. So basically when we look at like these two arms of the immune system, the cell mediated immune system, that's the one that you often see written as TH1. The other one, the humoral one is the TH2. And what you're saying is vaccines cause a ragingly high number of antibodies, they activate the TH2, the humoral part of the immune system, they shut down that cell mediated, that TH1 part of the immune system. So essentially you get just a crap ton of antibodies. And sure you don't get sickness, but that cell mediated sickness is actually what you need to actually teach the body how to deal with that particular illness.
Dr. Cowan: Exactly. And when people say, “Oh. Well there's no proof of that,” I would point out two things. One is there have been a number of animal studies, and for people who want to find that out, a guy named Neil Miller wrote a book, 400 peer-reviewed studies on vaccines, and one of them is a study…
Ben: That's the name of the book?
Dr. Cowan: “400 Studies On Vaccines”, I think.
Ben: I'll hunt it down and link to it in the show notes.
Doc: Yeah. One of them was from Kyoto University where they took dogs I think, maybe rabbits, and they just vaccinated them until they got an autoimmune disease. And they were able to say in order to get an autoimmune disease in 40%, you give this many, 60%, you have to give this many, et cetera. So we have absolutely direct evidence with animal studies that if the definition of an autoimmune disease is too many anti-bodies. That's how we find them. If you want to make somebody have too many antibodies, just give them a medicine, so called, that makes them make anti-bodies. So my point is when you're thinking, when you or any of your listeners are thinking about vaccination, you should be clear that each time you vaccinate, you are pushing the child towards a suppressed cell mediated immune system and towards what we call auto-immunity, every time. Now some of them will have clinical evidence of that and some of them won't. We have about a hundred million people are so we have clinical evidence of that right now. But whether you have evidence of that, that's what's happening immunologically, 100% of the cases. Again, sometimes it's manifest, sometimes it's not, that's for complex nutritional biochemical genetic reasons I'm sure. Some people are able to detoxify better than others, and this is completely apart from the issue of injecting neurotoxins in people. So that's a whole different issue. But even if that wasn't the case, this is what's happening immunologically. The only thing I don't want is somebody to say, “Yeah, it's either get the disease like measles or nothing bad will happen.” That's magical thinking.
Ben: Yeah. Now you, of course, and we could talk for hours about the ingredients in vaccines, some of the side effects of vaccination, some of the stuff you go into in the book, but obviously you can't just like not vaccinate and ensure that a child is able to deal with all of these sicknesses. You actually have to be proactive, and you talk about things that you should include for nutritional support for a baby or a child if you do want them to have a proper combination of that humoral immune system and that cell mediated immune system. We talked about vitamin A, and stuff like egg yolks, and cod liver oil, but what would be some of the other biggies that you would say would just be crucial, and perhaps even more crucial if you're not going to vaccinate your kids?
Dr. Cowan: Well, I'm not sure I agree that it's more crucial. If you're going to vaccinate, you're dealing with a cell mediated deficient child. So you're going to have to do a lot of remediation there.
Dr. Cowan: So everybody needs this. What do they need? They need Nourishing Traditions Diet, which is good fats, animal fats, soup broth, good bacteria, fermented foods, yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir. I wrote a whole book, as you said, on how to eat more vegetables, so they need lots of phytonutrients. Just basically Nourishing Traditions Diet. They also need to be out in the sun. They need to be in an emotionally healthy environment, not two parents fighting and killing each other. They need to be outside as much as possible. They need to be as little schooled and more educated as possible. There's a whole lot of things like that. But it's not…
Ben: What you say is insane, man. We can't get kids around the sun and feed 'em egg yolks. They need lunchables and classrooms. I completely agree with you. Just yesterday, man, my kids got home from school, and I kind of do this thing where they go to a really good private school, and then when they get home I don't unschool them, but I put the icing on the cake so to speak. So while they're at school, they're learning how to use a Kindle, and they're learning how to speak Spanish, and they're learning how to make little business projects with all the other kids and be good little factory workers. And then when they get home, that's when I teach them how to shoot a bow, and I teach them how to forage for wild plant foods, and teach them how to cook amazing meals. And yesterday they get home from school and they do what my boys do when they get home from school, they take off their shoes, they go outside barefoot out in our 10 acres, you don't have to have 10 acres, you can do this in the neighborhood. But you know that they walk around in their bare feet, they forage ,they find plants, they come in, they'll make themselves things like scrambled eggs or they'll open up a can of sardines, and they eat wild caught fish. And when we're out at the restaurants, they'll throw out the kids' menu with the chicken fingers and the hamburgers on it and they instead just order things like bone marrow, and broths, and things like that off the adult menu. I mean it's not hard to teach kids how to do these kind of things, but I think so many people will hear you say something like more sunshine and cod liver oil and think, “Oh, that's crazy talk. That's not the way kids live these days.” But it really is doable. I guess I'm looking for, maybe I'm just looking for some verification from you. But I mean you've seen a lot of your patients be able to adopt this kind of lifestyle, right?
Dr. Cowan: Absolutely. And it's ironic. My children, unfortunately, ended up going to school as well. I'm a very hands-off parenter by nature.
Ben: You know what? I actually, not to be too contrarian here, but I don't think it's unfortunate that my kids go to school, or that they have things like homework, or someone on a structured education 'cause that's the frickin’ world that they're going to have to, well let me put it this way: they might grow up to be little hippies living out in the forest growing a vegetable garden with goats and chickens, and selling horse shoes for a living or something like that. But I would imagine that if they want to be a computer programmer, or an astronaut, or a surgeon, or an airline pilot, or something like that, there's a certain amount of structured education that has to take place. And I was homeschooled K through 12, oh, go ahead.
Dr. Cowan: I just have to interrupt here, Ben, 'cause I do not agree with that. My experience, I know a lot of unschooling people, is this way that you have to learn, not you, but children have to learn it in the timeframe that the other children like, this yoyo over here, he doesn't even like it. to me is crazy. If he wants to be an airline pilot, he will figure out how to be an airline pilot. And he will tell you, “Dad, get me this book on how to be an airline pilot. And by the way, I don't know how to read, so I want you to teach me how to read,” and he will learn to read in three weeks instead of wasting his time for years because Joey over there doesn't care about airline pilots, so he doesn't want to learn about that, and your son does. To me, it's a hopelessly inefficient, makes them spend inordinate amount of time inside being bored, doing stuff that they're not interested in.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I will gladly agree with you that there's a lot of inefficiencies that happen, especially in the public school system, and to a certain extent in many private schools as well. I think that the pros outweigh the cons as far as a child being able to learn along with others from experts in their respective categories. And the reason that I say that is I was homeschooled K through 12 and I did pretty well. I was a really independent learner, I would find things I'd really like to learn about, my parents would buy me the books about the things that I wanted to learn about. I graduated high school when I was 15, started college when I was 16, did really well, had some of the top scores in the country. I did have an uphill battle though when it came to social adjustment in college, when it came to being able to play well with others, when it came to being able to cooperate with groups. And many of my siblings they just, they full-on flunked out 'cause they didn't do well without model of just like mom and dad handing them a book and then them going off and learning on their own.
I mean if there's like a teacher at my kid's school who knows robotic programming of Lego's inside and out and could teach that to my kids, I'm a fan of outsourcing to the experts what I'm going to have a hard time teaching to my kids myself just 'cause I'm off speaking, and traveling, and authoring, and doing what I'm doing. ‘Cause we tried to homeschool for a couple years and it was like mom was having to do a lot of the schooling and she wasn't great at schooling and I wound up doing a lot of it. But then that being unfair to my kids 'cause like 10 to 14 days out of the month, I'd be gone. And so yeah, I mean like there's a lot of inefficiencies at their school. But at the same time, for me I think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to them being able to have that type of education. And I guess the last thing I'd throw in there is that I've hung around with a lot of kids who have gone like full-on homeschooling and full-on unschooling, and they're a little bit socially awkward. They have a poor time with eye contact or even like playing with my kids, and I don't know. I mean maybe they're not doing it perfectly, and of course a lot of public schools and private schools aren't doing it perfectly, but that's kind of my take on the whole education thing.
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. Well everybody got to see for themselves what works for their family. That's for sure. But all I would say is that neither model actually is right because the problem is so many percentage of the children [1:05:55] ______ experts are sort of co-opted into this school model. Whereas if they weren't and it was more of a freely chosen educational system, I think then there would be more ability to socialize, more ability to find experts outside of the school environment, which would be the most efficient way of all.
Ben: Right. More of like an apprenticeship type of model.
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. I mean there have been actual models that one of my favorite authors, a guy named Ivan Illich, actually you know drew up a whole way to do this and then actually showed it how it would work in Guatemala. So there are ways. My only point is when you ask the question of how to have healthy children, it includes things like children who are naturally resistant, it includes everything that has to do with the life of the child, certainly it has to do with food, certainly it has to do with not improperly treating them when they do get sick. We know that outcome of children who have measles who take Tylenol is far worse than children who are allowed to let the fever run its course. Children who take vitamin A in the form of cod liver oil or something else with measles have a much better course then children who don't. And playing outside, being in the dirt, learning fun things, having a social environment, swimming. All these things work to create healthy children. And unfortunately that's not the life we're providing for our children, generally speaking in this country.
Ben: I do like this concept that a lot of places, like Finland has this. I know my friend Katie Bowman who have had on the podcast before, she does this over in Seattle, but like this concept of nature school or wilderness school where a lot of the kids' education really is just like taking them off into the forest and they're learning geometry by making a tree house, and they're learning crafts by making things out of pine cones and moss. I think that's a cool way to learn. I think you have to strike a balance to between that and having a kid who is somewhat literate with things like technology and the internet of things, even though some of that stuff might not be all that healthy for a child from…
Dr. Cowan: [1:08:29] ______ that no matter what you do.
Ben: Yeah. And my kids, admittedly, like they're really not that familiar with Google, or how to find their way around my MacBook Air, or even like how to use a Kindle all that well 'cause we when we do use electronics, we're almost always in airplane mode, WiFi off, Bluetooth off, and they'll eventually learn that stuff. But even for that, sometimes I do kind of like cringe when we get on the airplane and the other kids have their phones and can navigate through those things like it's nothing, and my kids don't really even know how to open up an app on my phone all that well. But I think…
Dr. Cowan: I guarantee they'll figure it out.
Ben: Yeah, they'll figure it out. Okay. We kind of went down a little bit of a rabbit hole there, and of course if you want the full meal deal on vaccinations, read the freakin' book. But you also talk about, and I promise I would bring this up so I'm going to, you say something like you shouldn't play with your kid. Can you explain what you mean when you say that?
Dr. Cowan: Right. And it's interesting, when you read Amazon reviews, that's the line I've gotten the most criticism for.
Ben: Oh, really?
Dr. Cowan: Which is why I'm glad I wrote it. So what I mean by it is, and I have three children and one stepchild, three and a half grandchildren. So I've had practice, I've practiced with children for years, which doesn't mean I know anything, but that's made my experience. What I find works the best is, the children are full, if you don't “ruin” them, they're full of interest, imagination, questions, and their own self-initiative. In fact, that's what we what. I think anybody would agree we want children who, out of their own impulse, figure out what they want to do in the world and who they want to be. So if you take an example of like a four-year old or a five-year old and say, “I am going to teach you how to do Legos because I'm an adult [1:10:45] ______ or I know how to play baseball, or I know about how to draw pictures, so I am going to teach you how to draw pictures, I'm going to play with you.” So we're going to sit down with these blocks and I'm going to play blocks with you and show you how to do blocks. To me, the best reaction a child can have to that is, “See you later. I'm out of here.” What you instead want to do, your job as a parent is, number one, to keep them safe so they don't run in the street and get it by a car. That's number one.
Number two, if they have any inclination to play in sandboxes, or blocks, or whatever, you give them blocks and sandboxes if you can afford it, all that stuff. And then you get out of the way. Now if they ask you, “So dad, how do you put this block on top of that one,” without any sort of particular emotion, you just show them how to do it. “Well, you do it like this.” And so that stimulates them to say, “Oh!” And they will keep asking you. “Well how about if you want to make a bridge, well how do you do that?” Next thing you know, you will have a child who is very interested in this subject, knows he has a partner that he can go to if he gets stuck, and will decide on his own impulse where to take this versus a child who's been, “You know, what he's telling you what to do. I don't want to have anything to do with this.
Ben: That's interesting. Are you familiar with the author David Hawkins? Dr. David Hawkins? He wrote the book, a really good book called “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”, I think. It's basically kind of similar to Bruce Lipton's “Biology of Belief”, how our bodies can actually sense the emotions and the frequencies of other people's bodies, just basic quantum physics, the movement of protons, how if someone is thinking thoughts of love, we know love vibrates at a frequency of 530 some odd Hertz, and other people can feel that. And their heart rates and their brain rhythms respond accordingly. He goes into that book, or in that book he goes into how when you try to force things on people, in many cases they can sense that and almost kind of shy away from that. And so, a perfect example of that is like for my kids, when they're shooting their bows. If I go to them and I tell them, “Hey, you guys need to shoot your bow 10 times today at the target at 15 yards,” they're going to kind of get mopey and not really want to go shoot. But if I strap my bow on my shoulder and go take a few shots, big smile on my face, and then come back in and talk about how fun it was that I shot my bow, and make sure that that they've got bows, they've got something to do, and then they're able to go out and do that on their own without me telling them to, it works a lot better. Basically me just living as an example and then not telling them what to do.
I do the same thing with stuff like gluten. I don't tell my kids not to eat gluten. I do tell them, “Hey, I think I'm going to opt for the toasted millet on the menu today 'cause I really don't feel like doing the wheat bulgur, or the whole wheat bread they're going to bring to the table. So I set up an example for my kids. If they ask why, I explain to them, “Oh, well it causes some issues with my brain feeling funny later on the next day,” or “Sometimes it can make your gut not absorb healthy vitamins and nutrients quite as well,” and then I just shut up and let them make the decision. And in many cases, they'll do something like they'll reach for the bread at the dinner table at a restaurant, and they'll take like a quarter piece, and they'll be like, “Dad, I just want to taste this. I know it's got gluten, everything in it, but I want to try it out and see what this bread tastes like.” And I just let them do their thing. I agree, I get what you're saying. It kind of makes a little more sense now. You're not saying like don't hang out, don't play with your child. But you're instead saying don't force certain activities on your kid, let them make educated decisions for themselves and then support them in the decisions that they make.
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. I mean it's a little bit more than that because there was an example of a woman who ran out preschool thing that I really liked. And for instance, one of the rules was nobody was allowed to help anybody climb this big tree in the middle of the yard. The children all love the tree, and they hang out with the tree, and they touch the tree, et cetera. But if you think about it, if somebody helps you climb, what you really want is that child looking at that tree for like six months, scoping it out trying it out, they can't do it, they're not strong enough. If they're not strong enough, it's probably not safe for them as well. And after a year of doing it with nobody helping them, nobody saying, “Oh, come on. You can do it.” You don't do any of that stuff. You just do your thing. You make apple sauce. You climb the tree if you want, if that's what makes you happy. Eventually they will climb it and you will have the greatest explosion of joy because they figured it out for themselves. And that's how you develop people who say, “What do I want to do? I'm going to figure this out for myself. I'll put in whatever perseverance I need 'cause I don't have this guy bugging me about ‘here's how I should do it'.”
Ben: Yeah. I like it. It's that combination of supporting your kid but not being too in their face. There's so much more in this book. I mean I know you co-wrote it with Sally Fallon, and so she does a lot of the stuff from like the birthing, and the breathing, I mean you guys talk about freakin', in addition to vaccination and other highly non-controversial subjects, circumcision, that's in there, neurological disorders, whole bunch of recipes for babies, to kids, and beyond. There are certain books that I recommend every parent read who either is expecting, or has a baby, or has young children. One is “Deep Nutrition” by Dr. Kate Shanahan. Another one is really any of Katie Bowman's work on biomechanics and kids, and barefoot, and furniture and stuff like that. But then this one, “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care”, I definitely recommend to add it to your child care library.
And also, if you haven't listened to my other two episodes with Dr. Cowan, please do. Not only is “The Heart Is Not A Pump” a fabulous one for cardiovascular disease, but then his “How (& Why) To Eat More Vegetables” book is really good. And I'm still full on the Dr. Cowan's Vegetable Garden, Vegetable Powders. I use his kale vegetable power, his nori, I use the beat, I use the horseradish. What's another one that I have upstairs? Oh, the turmeric! The turmeric's really good too. Like any of his, they're just basic like super high quality compounds that you dehydrate right, Dr. Cowan?
Dr. Cowan: Yep. Some we grow, some we get from local farms. We just carefully dehydrate them and put 'em into Miron jars.
Ben: Yeah. Miron glass jars, they're protected from radiation. If you haven't tried 'em, try 'em. I'll put a code, or you could just go to his website and use code Ben, that gets you 15% off. But I'll put a discount code in the show notes as well. I'll put a link to the “Miller's Review Of Critical Vaccine Studies“ that we talked about, some of the cod liver oil, and the previous episode that I've done with Dr. Cowen's book, a link where you can get a free copy of his book “How (& Why) To Eat More Vegetables”, a lot more. Check out this child care book and leave any comments or questions that you have by going to bengreenfieldfitness.com/childcare. Dr. Cowan, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Dr. Cowan: Okay. Thank you, Ben. It's always good to talk to you.
Ben: Alright, folks. This is Ben Greenfield and Dr. Thomas Cowan signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week.
I first introduced you to the brilliant, well-spoken and outside-the-box physician Dr. Thomas Cowan in the podcast episode entitled “How (& Why) To Eat More Vegetables, Why A Plant Is Like An Upside-Down Human, Little-Known Superfood Plants & More!“.
Dr. Cowan then returned to the show for the mind-blowing episode “Why Your Heart Is Not A Pump (& What Most Doctors Don’t Know About The True Cause Of Heart Disease).”
On today's episode, Dr. Cowan is back, this time to delve into shocking story of vaccines and specifically what happened regarding vaccinations in the last 100 years, the toxicity of prenatal ultrasounds, childhood play (including defending his controversial comment “don't play with your children”), and many other topics from the book he co-authored with Sally Fallon Morell entitled “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care“.
Dr. Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A. Price, as well as Rudolf Steiner’s work on biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree and he graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003.
He has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation™. During his career he has studied and written about many subjects in medicine. These include nutrition, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine and herbal medicine.
He is the principal author of the book The Fourfold Path to Healing and is the co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three children and three grandchildren and practices medicine in San Francisco, where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
–Why kids are getting sick nowadays far more than they used to get sick…[18:20]
-Why fevers should be allowed to run their course, rather than being shut down with toxic compounds such as tylenol…[23:00]
-How drinking more good water can get rid of most chronic diseases…[35:48]
-Why Vitamin A is one of the best things you can give to a child who has had a fever…[38:05]
-Whether Ben vaccinated his kids, and Dr. Cowan's take on vaccinations…[46:40 & 50:15]
-Why you should not shut down a cell-mediated response and you should “let a child” be sick…[49:00 & 54:00]
-Ben and Dr. Cowan's clashing educational philosophies…[61:00]
-The reasoning behind Dr. Cowan's controversial statement that you shouldn't play with your kids…[69:20]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Use code BEN and get 15% off on your order of any of Dr. Cowan's vegetable powders at Dr. Cowan's Garden.
-Click here to get a free copy of Dr. Cowan's book “How (& Why) to Eat More Vegetables“.