[00:00:01] Nick: On this episode of “In The RACK” podcast.
[00:00:05] John Moro: “The Herbal Path” is a pharmacy but it's a pharmacy without prescription medication. And what we're really looking at is return to pharmacies roots. Because if you look back through ancient tradition, a lot of the first therapeutics they came from plants.
[00:00:29] PODCAST INTRO: Welcome to “In The RACK” podcast, where we provide you with the practical framework for breaking PRs in all facets of health and wellness. We are just a couple of bros giving you the simple house in a world of complex wants. No filters, no scripts, no rules, just straight talk. Now, let's get into the rack with your hosts, Dr. Chad and Dr. Nick.
[00:00:55] Chad: Alright, everyone. Welcome to “In The RACK” podcast. I'm your host, Chad. And with me is my co-host and fellow physical therapists, Nick. Nick and I are excited about this episode as we have another guest on the show. This guest we have on the show his name is John Moro. I got it.
[00:01:15] Nick: Nailed it. And you shouldn't have even asked.
[00:01:17] Chad: I know I just want with it. But I didn't want it to be like, but he is not only a pharmacist, but he is also the vice president of a company called “The Herbal Path”. “The Herbal Path” is in you have two locations, one in Dover and one is in NH Portsmouth. And I found this the most interesting that this, this company was founded in 1997, which for me, that's way ahead of its time. And I just know we'll get into this. But I'm be really curious to see how that went and how that kind of grew over time, because that was a time period where that was really, really unknown territory to be playing around with. But it's not your run of the mill pharmacy. It's a natural pharmacy, which is really, really cool and really aligned with us very, very much. So they specialize in natural remedies as well as alternatives to prescription drugs. So, Nick, and I are both huge proponents of that we talk about that all the time. So I know we're both going to enjoy this conversation very much. So I know Nick's gonna probably dive in the weeds pretty strongly because this is his jam.
[00:02:22] Nick: We won't get too in the weeds. And let's just put the disclaimer out there right now that we're not anti-medication by any means. That's we wanted to correct. John has the background in both traditional conventional pharmacy as well as more of this more holistic natural alternative medicine. But it's awesome. We have a pharmacist that doesn't just selling drugs, I know it's pretty sweet that is able to get linked up with John. So John, why don't you go ahead and tell us tell us a little bit about your story, your background?
[00:02:51] John Moro: Thank you. And I appreciate both you having me on the podcast today. It's great to get to meet practitioners that have this vision of holistic health and wellness. And when I think about my journey into the herbal world, it really starts for me as a student. That's how I came to know “The Herbal Path” while I was going to pharmacy school. And we got this experience of completing clinical rotations. So when we're training to be a pharmacist, we have to do one in the hospital, one in a retail drugstore, and so on and so forth. But we always get an elective rotation. So I had the ability to choose my own rotation. And at the time, there was one that was offered at “The Herbal Path”. And it was an alternative medicine. That's pretty pharmacy rotation. And I really didn't know what to expect. So I signed up for it. I was curious, sounded different. And as we have this conversation, I think back to that first day my rotation, I meet my preceptor all my other rotations, and they were with pharmacists in the lab coat, the typical but this gentleman. I meet him, he's got like a flannel shirt on leaves thought on his jacket, he had clearly just come in from the outdoors. I walk into “The Herbal Path”, and there's this aroma of essential oils, lavender had some very soothing music playing. It was just very relaxing and peaceful and very unlike anything that I've encountered in my rotations today. And I remember meeting this gentleman, and just the sense of calm that overwhelmed me. I hadn't really seen that in a pharmacist before, and I've met a lot of them at that point.
[00:04:47] Nick: That's interesting.
[00:04:49] John Moro: And then he said, “John, we're gonna go out today and his name was Greg McCrone,” and he's since passed, but he became a mentor and a friend later on. But he said, “We're gonna go out and see how medicine is made”. And it was just such an interesting statement. And I'm like, wow, what did I get myself into on day one. But he drove to a field. And we walked into that field. And he starts identifying plants that are there. And telling me about the phytochemistry in each of the plants, and alkaloids that can help with inflammation, and just all sorts of different root phytochemicals for the pharmaceuticals. So this is in an essence going back to the roots of pharmacy. And I was just forever changed by that moment in time that experience. And when I went on, I went through conventional pharmacy, graduated, got licensed, became a registered pharmacist, worked for one of the major drugstore chains for about eight and a half years. But I never forgot that rotation. And I think a really important thing that I learned through my time at ““The Herbal Path”” as a student, but also my time as a pharmacist and conventional medicine is that there's a fundamental shift with thought. In holistic health and wellness, we're trying to go in the identify root cause for something. So if it's a headache, I'll use a headache as an example. And I think about the conventional way might be, can we use an anti-inflammatory? Can we use naproxen? Can we use the leave all these different things to help with the pain? But in the holistic realm, you look at “Why do we have that headache to begin with?” So it's a totally different mindset. And I think that mindset is ultimately what drove me back to holistic health and wellness. So that's a little bit about kind of why I would gravitate towards that direction as a pharmacist.
[00:07:11] Nick: That's awesome. Because I think all medical providers, anyone in the health space, even strength coaches, anyone who's working with people to better their health, I feel like needs to have a little bit of that mindset where it's like, we have the conventional way, which has a place, it's not to say everyone wants to think very black and white. I've talked about this a lot on the podcast, where everyone's got that kind of bipartisan viewpoint where it's like, if it's not this, then it's that and they just want to be on one side. It's like, “Well, if you're saying alternative medicines the answer, then you're saying that Western medicine doesn't have place.” It's like, “No, I'm not. I'm saying that it does have a place, it just we probably overuse that. And we don't respect the alternative side. And we probably need more of the alternative side, because a lot of the stuff we're dealing with is lifestyle behavior, nutrition related.” And the alternative side is what can target that really, really well. So I think it's really interesting that you had that, that pretty awesome experience that more people need to go through in that in, within whatever field they're working, whether it's prescribing meds or if they're in a fitness coach, health coach, whatever it is. I think that's awesome.
[00:08:29] Chad: I think that this is very comparable to your experiences, finding the root cause of the problem versus treating symptoms is very much across all professions in the medical field. For us, especially, as physical therapists, I feel that a lot of people get lost in treating symptoms, whether it's because they're either too busy, or maybe they do physically lacked the knowledge to understand where the root causes coming from, I don't know. But either way, I feel that is the defining moment where I can actually solve problems as opposed to just treat symptoms, like maybe you do. Help somebody with their headache for a day, but then they keep coming back those models are just over utilized in the sense where it's just like, we keep on driving these people just to, like, continue to need us, but maybe we don't need that to happen. Maybe we can get them to feel better. And then they can take care of themselves and then they don't have to keep on coming back repetitively, like the medical system has done for years.
[00:09:38] Nick: I love it. Absolutely. So it sounds like you have found a home variable path which is awesome. Why don't you just give everybody kind of like a glimpse of what it's like to be a customer “The Herbal Path” how it works, is it just like a GNC or vitamin shop or is it like a pharmacy kind of blend of the two or something totally different?
[00:10:05] John Moro: I think it's a really good question. And “The Herbal Path” is a pharmacy, but it's a pharmacy without prescription medication. And what we're really looking at is a return to pharmacies routes. Because if you look back through ancient tradition, a lot of the first therapeutics they came from plants. So the traditional pharmacist used to be someone who was grinding up different herbs and making something and using the materials that are present on the land. So a lot of what we bring to the table is more of those traditional remedies, herbal tinctures, medicinal mushrooms, and cannabis based preparations as well. And using some of that phytochemistry to help people with a variety of ailments, and the pharmacist really comes into play here, because we're able to screen for potential interactions with people's prescriptions if they happen to be on them. And what it feels like when you walk into “The Herbal Path”, is it feels like you're walking into a bit of a different world. And I think that going back to the first time I walked into “The Herbal Path” as a student, and also kind of as the customer, you're going to notice those essential oils, the herbs that are displayed, the medicinal mushrooms that are outlined, we have an herb counter where we have wild crafted medicinal mushrooms that are kind of on display for people to look at. And the two stores are a little different, the Dover location has been there the longest like you said in the beginning, we've been there since 1997. And that's gone through several inner iterations and remodeling things and so on and so forth. And now is a fairly large location when you walk in, we actually have a kitchen attached to it called the earth harvest kitchen, it's a restaurant with good clean food on there's a journey to wellness suite next door, which has a lot of local practitioners or holistic practitioners practicing there. So it's a larger building. The Portsmouth location, it's a little different. It's a smaller physical square footage location. But it's almost more like a traditional apothecary. You walk in, there's more dried herbs. It has more of a boutique feel to it. But we have that knowledge and expertise present in both. So the biggest thing that the customer notices, besides the environment is they notice the knowledge, the questions. We're always going to ask questions and try to help somebody find the best possible solution for their situation, not just try to sell them something. That is I think the biggest distinction between us in a place like GNC or Vitamin Shoppe is, we're constantly pursuing continuing education. As the pharmacist knowledge like this, it's not taught in pharmacy school. So I've had to do a lot of certifications on my own. But it's really fun with the staff there. Because some of the herbalists like me, for example, is one of our senior herbalists, and she'll be sending me articles on herbs, and she'll be like, “John, what do you think about this, and they'll be all this involved information, and then I'll read through it, and I'll send her something on medicinal mushrooms.” So we kind of help each other along. And I think that our customers pick up on that there's a different array of services that are provided, so there's the shopping experience. So if I just come in and walk in and want to buy something, if I want to come in and talk to a pharmacist have more in depth conversation that can be done to and we do offer consultations with our herbalists, like if somebody wants to sit down, and just talk about herbal medicine and go over what they're currently taking for prescriptions and things of that nature, so that so there's so many different layers to what we do. But I think it starts at the core philosophy, the environment, and also the time that we're able to spend with people. And that's the last thing I'll say about the experience. If we do need to spend more time with people we will. And I know in conventional pharmacy that was continuously a frustration for me. If I needed to have a conversation with someone that took longer than two minutes, or longer than five minutes, that pressure kind of got in the way. Whereas here we're able to spend time with people if we need to. So hopefully that paints a picture of what it might look like for.
[00:14:58] Nick: It sounds a lot like our model. So I think for our listeners, like just imagine our model, but now it's related to your supplements and nutrition and that kind of thing as opposed to, we're gonna move some weights here, but same type of field, same type of model, all about the, the experience that that you get, and the feelings you get when you come in. And then when you leave is, that's pretty awesome. I think one thing that's important for I think, listeners too, and John, you can probably talk more on this, but you mentioned, kind of going back into the roots. And nature has pretty much given us everything that we need to lead a healthy life. And sometimes medications may need to be input to kind of help us over hurdle or something like that. But nonetheless, you're going back to, to our ancestral roots. And I talk about that a lot. , I'm sure many of our listeners, if they've worked with me, they're like, “Here we go, talking about evolution and answer three.” But nonetheless, I think it's important for people to know that, I say, correct me if I'm wrong. Pharmaceutical companies can't put a patent on something that's already in nature, correct?
[00:16:10] John Moro: That's correct.
[00:16:11] Nick: So what they try to do from my understanding is they try to basically, this natural substance works, let's go to a lab and try to create something that's as close as possible to it that we can, and then we can market that and sell it. That's a lot of what pharmaceuticals, like they find something in nature, like the average for willow bark would be like aspirin.
[00:16:33] John Moro: I'll give you other examples too, medicinal mushrooms, for instance. We know that in mycologists, and people that study mushrooms know this as well, that there's such a diversity of biochemistry in medicinal mushroom. Literally, hundreds of different compounds. And 55% around or about of our novel therapeutics actually come from or have origin and medicinal mushrooms. And I just as a pharmacist, learning about the power of plants, but also medicinal mushrooms, you have to wonder, would we benefit more from taking the natural products, as opposed to using an isolated compound? And what we have less side effects as well. So there's these questions, but you're correct.
[00:17:24] Nick: It makes so much sense like that that would be the case. If it's in nature, there's we've been using it for a longer amount of time. So our bodies have seen it before, at some point. And then the other thing is like, because it's in nature, nature is an ecosystem. But then we also have the internal ecosystems of our body and ecosystems need to stay balanced. So they help each other balance. Once we put some things in the attic into that, it's plausible that that could disrupt said balanced in some way. Like, it might create balance somewhere. But then, cause it to be unbalanced elsewhere, where my head's been leaning more towards in the past couple of years, where it's like, “Now I'm seeing things through a different lens and that's a big piece of it.” And that's partly why I always bring up like, “Hey, let's think about what our ancestors would have done with this in the past”.
[00:18:12] John Moro: If I may, a great example, I think about the father of traditional Chinese medicine. So the Emperor Shennong, and this dates back roughly 2000 years or so. But here's someone who assembled if you would, the first Encyclopedia of herbal medicine, and extensively used medicinal mushrooms, in a lot of hid the preparations that he would use to treat people. So he was regarded as kind of like the father of herbalism. , somebody had been in that field. But he used one mushroom Ganoderma, Lucidum, which is also known as the reishi mushroom, very extensively, he referred to it as the mushroom of immortality, but for a variety of common ailments, he would use this, and it was used in traditional Chinese medicine up to current day, and it still is used throughout that system, or throughout that medical system. So I think it's interesting where these trend, traditions are carried on over time. And you see it dating back literally, in some cases, 1000s of years. And we're our ancestors onto something. . And I think the answer is
[00:19:27] Nick: Absolutely. I think you can look at other animals too. Like you look at an animal in nature, and there's reports of this all over where it's like, the animal appears to be sick. And you can see the animal acting differently. And then they kind of stay in one area and they're eating this one particular plants for a period of time and then they stop and they have this intuition, this intuitive ability to be like, I'm not feeling good. I need to eat this certain thing in nature, and then they eat it until they're well. And I talked about this with our patients and clients other time, that, as humans, we have these intuitions to we have these instincts, but culture kind of blocks that and then realistically suppresses that over time. Because we grow up in this world that we've created. And we believe certain things, we're taught certain things. So you have these instincts. And I think that that creates a lot of friction for people. And we could dive into like people are having these increased anxieties and things like that, because their brain is trying to think a certain way. And then society is telling them, it's the opposite, or it's a different way. And then you have this almost like internal head butting going on. But I encourage people to try to tap into that a little bit, what's your body telling you? Your gut feeling is there for reason, don't disregard that. Feel what that's telling you. And then kind of cross referencing between information you find online and information you get from an “Expert” in something and see what works for you and your family and your health. Because it's important, like that's there for a reason. And I think a lot of times, our modern world’s kind of blocks and suppresses that. And I think it's a big thing that we need to turn back to and in doing more of this holistic alternative medicine, we're respecting that. We're going back to some of that intuition and that that instinctual behavior. I think it's great. Where you want to go next now, this is good. We've mentioned mushrooms. I love it. I love it.
[00:21:38] Chad: We were talking about this before. Like, I wonder how he feels about that. Well, and I don't know.
[00:21:43] Nick: I think a lot of people.
[00:21:45] John Moro: I think we've talked about him a couple times.
[00:21:46] Nick: For sure. It's funny, because like I said before we hit the record button that I got into them a couple of years ago, personally, because I had been dealing with pretty much allergies. 365 days of the year was on just chronic allergies and antihistamines and I found Paul Stamets who's considered one of the kind of gurus of the medicinal medicine mushroom world. And I started like watching some of his videos, reading some and stuff. And I'm like, “Man, this is really interesting.” And he was talking one of the stories that always sticks out to me, I think it was Chaga. But he was talking about how these mushrooms, they're fungus, and they're not considered a plants. Because their cell structure is different. And their cell structure is much more consistent with that of humans and animals than it is of plants. And he's talking about this, I'm like, “Wow, that's crazy.” And then he gets into talking about Chaga. And Chaga is literally something that can be cancerous to birch trees. But then it actually fights cancer in humans, because the cell structure is so similar to the human animal, and but different from the plant. And I was like, “Wow. Boom, we had exploded”. And I was like, that's crazy. So I dove into it. And I started playing around with it learning about immune balance, and all these different immune cells and all that kind of stuff, and then started taking this the statement seven medicinal mushroom powder, and I don't take allergy medicine anymore. And I rarely take it like, occasionally I'll have a flare up. But overall, it's been huge for me. And is that the only thing? Not necessarily, but I think it's been fantastic for my personal health and helping get to the root of what I was dealing with.
[00:23:37] John Moro: Amazing to hear. And I think, with medicinal mushrooms, there's just so much variety that you can look out with them variety and diversity of biochemistry. And we talked about what ancient traditions were out there and what the ancients used. And you see certain parts of this country, indigenous peoples would use, which is a medicinal mushroom that grows in old growth forests in the great northwest Pacific Northwest, and also up into British Columbia. And the shaman would refer to these as the bread of ghosts, and there were these mystical traditions around this mushroom that takes about 100 years. It's growing like for over 100 years, these things grow and develop. But the level of diversity of biochemistry in these is very unique, in that they're both antimicrobial, and antiviral, and they're not toxic to people. And I think we don't really have a lot of in the pharmaceutical world, both dual antivirals and dual antibiotics. I can't really think of anything off the top of my head for sure, but yet we're finding this and in a medicinal mushroom.
[00:24:52] Nick: Or if it is both antibacterial, and it's wiping out too much. It really talks exactly what might be so powerful that it's just wiping out your, your, your healthy stuff too. The whole when you start to look into some of the and I've just more recently started getting into the world of, of herbs, and you start to see some of the stuff you're like, “Man, this is like this culture has been using this for this type of thing.” The other day I was looking into some of the stuff like the anti-parasitic herbs and things like that you look at a place like India that has a lot of issues with parasites and there's reasons for certain herbs in their cuisine because of the high rates of parasites and they're using herbs like Malia and Danga, and things like that, and they serve a purpose because they're anti-parasitic, but when you actually look into those herbs are also anti-bacterial and anti-viral to some extent, they're just more anti-parasitic. So they all tend to have some level of like a broad spectrum kind of kind of approach to the herbs, and it makes sense because they need to survive to in nature. And we all like I said before, with the ecosystem, we're all exposed to viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, it's all out there, it's just a matter of, if one is allowed to blossom, it's allowed to just run rampant run free without any kind of a balancing act. And that's really what the goal is trying to stay balanced. It's not about wiping out everything completely, it just can't be in levels and loads that are so high that now it poses issues.
[00:26:32] John Moro: And I think that's another thing that I noticed about herbal medicine and about alternative medicine, it tends to be very gentle on the body. And I'll use cannabis as another great example. But you can use CBD for a wide variety of things whether it be inflammation, whether it be headaches, and pain or anxiety. They're all these different things that people can use this plant for and find benefit. But it has a wide ranging effect on our body that tends to be very gentle and very supportive. And that's how a lot of plants will act. I think back to my time when I first joined “The Herbal Path”, and I remember learning from Mimi in one of our herbalists that we need to think about the characteristics of the plant. Not necessarily it will do this or it will do that. I think that's more of an all empathic pharmacists mindset. Whereas an herbalist, they look at the characteristics of a plant, is it warm? Is it cool laying in what is it phytochemistry to see almost like matching it. So I think of herbalists and I think this is how Mimi explained it is matchmakers between plant and person finding the right plant for that particular individual. It does go back, like you said, to balance, because if you have that balance, your body tends to react better to something. And we have this term in physiology called homeostasis. And we as humans are in that means everything is imbalanced. So we as humans are physiologically in a good place when we're balanced when we're in this homeostatic place. And there are things that can disrupt this chronic stress, or this situation of inflammation, chronic inflammation, and how a lot of the herbs work, and how a lot of the medicinal mushrooms work is helping to bring us back into balance. Very different than how a pharmaceutical would work.
[00:28:50] Nick: Absolutely. I love that you touched upon that. They're gentle. And the other thing I love about that gentle aspect, and that's really cool that you talked about the how the herbalist will try to find be the matchmaker because I think that's the other thing too, is like when you have a doctor that prescribes a medication for a particular symptom and say it doesn't work. Well, sometimes there's different classifications that have meds that will do a similar thing, but then it's like, “I don't really know where to go next versus in the world of herbs. If you try something, and maybe it's a little too aggressive.” Well, there's another herb that has some similar effects that you could try, maybe that's just not the right herb for you. So that's the other thing I love about the world of herbs is you're going to have a lot of these things that have some of that broad spectrum effects. So if this one doesn't sit well with you. Well, let's try another one and see if that's a better match for your particular physiology. And that's one thing I love about it versus you're not going to see that as much with pharmaceutical drugs. If it doesn't work, let's just either send you to someone else or try this complete other classification of drugs that's still going to have side effects.
[00:30:07] John Moro: Molly, one of our herbalists in the Portsmouth store. She's a manager, but also our herbalist there, she'll take the time to do a consultation with someone. And it's very individualized write to that person. And she'll go through the plants that seem to work best for their certain situation, and then write up something for them at the end of it, sort of as a recap, but the level of feedback that I've gotten from people on that experience has been very positive. I think the public is interested in what we're doing. I think other practitioners such as yourselves are also interested. And I'm just encouraged to see this paradigm shift. That is starting in conventional medicine, where you have practitioners, you have physicians that are starting to recognize, maybe there is a place for herbs and for other natural remedies alongside what is conventional medicine. And like you said in the beginning, it's not to say that we can't use conventional medicine, we should know it's there for a reason. But let's think about the plants as well.
[00:31:18] Nick: We need to find that. But that along with finding and keeping our bodies balanced, or in that state of balance, we need to find a balance between conventional medical system and the old, the old ancestral way. Great book called, “The New Old Way”, which is just about that. He kind of goes into frank foreign six sites, I don't know how to say it. But nonetheless, he goes into that concept of we need to blend the new and the old way, as it relates to pretty much all aspects of life, not just the pharmaceuticals, but movement because we don't move as much as we used to. So he talks about that piece, talks about the nutrition is different than it used to be, can you find a way to blend the two? And I think it's a really, really useful thing for people to think that way. When it's like, I do this in my life, or I'm trying to get healthier. What would my ancestors have done? And then how can I kind of mold that into what I'm doing now, in that regard? And I think it's very impactful when people start to think that way, because it's going to be different for everybody. No one's movement profile is going to be the same from our perspective as physical therapists, no one's going to have the same movement profile, but with the vast majority people, because most people are doing work on a computer, we're just trying to get them to move more. So whatever that means for them, then we got to do that. Because if I try to impress upon you the way I do it, it's probably not going to work because it won't stick, it won't make sense to you, or you won't be able to maintain it. So we got to find what's going to work for that particular person. You kind of already touched upon some specific examples, but let's maybe do a couple more just because I think for people listening, this might be completely new to them. So you talked about the mushrooms. You talked about some CBD, what's another example of how an herb could be used for some kind of condition, whether it's an acute condition, but how about that, let's do one for an acute condition, like an acute illness? And then one, maybe someone's dealing with chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, something like that? What would be like an example of using an herb for those types of things?
[00:33:28] John Moro: And I'll pick an example that I don't know if many have heard of this or not. It's called Nigella Sativa. And the common name for it is black seed oil. But this is something that has been used extensively throughout the world, mostly in the Middle East. And is mentioned in in certain texts, as ancient as the Quran is the cure for everything, but death was how it was referred to by the ancients. And I think it's interesting because when we look at the phytochemistry of this particular plant oil, there's such a wide diversity here. And I think of in an acute situation, if I have that, that immediate headache, or maybe I have a really bad injury, where I've just injured myself, you could use black cumin seed oil to support the body's ability to dole down some of that inflammation. So I think of inflammatory situations. And this is one of my top choices in my repertoire of options. And when we think about chronic, you can also think of this to be used for chronic inflammatory situations as well. So thinking about supporting the body's ability to deal with fibromyalgia, or potentially even digestive issues, thinking about to balancing sugar, blood sugar or sometimes this as well, in a really interesting use in this is something that is more documented in the Middle East is using it for Vitiligo. So hives change in pigmentation and there's actually some clinical literature on it. What and also for your listeners, one of the best sources that I use for information is PubMed. Literally, you can go on to PubMed, and you can find a ton of different research and trials. A lot of it is going to be from overseas because we don't do a lot of research on natural preparations here in the States, predominantly, for some of the reasons we've discussed already. But looking at countries like France, Germany, Italy, some of the Middle Eastern countries around Israel, they do research and clinical trials on these things. And there's just so many different examples of where black seed oil, Nigella sativa, comes up again and again. And I listed some of them, there was even a trial that was done comparing it to Tylenol. And they did find that the black seed oil was more beneficial. So it's just it's really like, interesting as a pharmacist when I see this stuff, and we have to be very careful. Like, I'm not saying that we cure treat disease or anything like that. And I'm not saying people shouldn't follow their doctor's instructions. But what I do think is that some of these plants might be worth looking at for people. And I think of your explanation deck where you were talking about how there's an acute situation. And there's a chronic situation. This is a plant, or an herb that comes to mind that has application in both of those.
[00:36:50] Nick: It’s really cool situations. And I know that obviously, we're kind of moving beyond it a little bit, but I think it's still an issue. And we don't typically say the word on here, because we don't want to get, I don't want to get cancelled, but it's a virus that shall not be named, I know, black cumin seed was shown to be very effective for that and other countries. So I know a lot of people had turned to that kind of, under the radar.
[00:37:18] John Moro: That should have one more thing for the lungs. And I think that might be why you're referencing that. But it was used as a traditional treatment for asthma, traditional remedies for asthma and parts of the world that don't necessarily have access to some of the medical equipment we have here in the States, it's still used to this day. And for very good reason, it's very anti-inflammatory for the lungs, and for certain receptors on the lungs as well.
[00:37:45] Nick: So like you had you had said it and I was going to kind of piggyback off you with the whole blood sugar regulation of black cumin seed oil, but it is a big thing. And I think a lot of people don't realize that blood sugar dysregulation is can be a problem for a lot of people, not just those diagnosed with diabetes or have actual clinical diabetes, blood sugar dysregulation can be a problem for babies not sleeping, like they may have some issues with it. And it can be stress related, it can be diet related nutrition related, it can be physical activity related. So blood sugar dysregulation is not something that is just means you have diabetes, you can have levels of it, it's a spectrum. So something like black cumin seed could be vastly beneficial for something like that. And it wouldn't necessarily mean, I don't have diabetes, I don't need to use that or it's an herb, it's not a medication. It's not like we're putting you on insulin, it's just something to kind of help your body deal with that. But in that regard, it's like, “Oh, if it is physical activity related, and someone is maybe doing an excessive amount of activity, whether it's maybe they're training for an Ironman or something like that, or a marathon.” Well, then we also have to evaluate the other factors and that's something that we're big on here. It's like, “Look, you have this orthopedic pain. You have this issue. We're going to work on what might be the root cause of that from a musculoskeletal perspective? But let's also think about the rest of your life too. Is that impacting in any in any way? Are you overly stressed? Are you not coping with stress? Well, are you sleeping enough? Are you getting adequate sunlight? What's your nutrition like?” You have adequate vitamins and minerals in your body or are you deficient in something, so now we start turning the wheels and going down all these avenues and saying, let's manage the stuff we can manage. Let's focus on all these controls because most of this stuff that we're talking about first is free. Let's work there first, before we spend a ton of money on some of the other stuff. Now, I love like all the things you said about black community that's it's really, really cool. The like, vast effects that some of these things hit.
[00:39:52] John Moro: Can I do one more?
[00:39:54] Nick: Absolutely. Go for it.
[00:39:56] John Moro: So this is another favorite of mine. And it's a favorite of mine because I see it is being fairly unique in the herbal world. And I'll explain why that is. But there's an herb and it's called “Milk Thistle”. And this is one where, I think about its application being very relevant for people that are on a lot of prescription medication. So prescription medication can be an orphan is rough on your liver. And Milk Thistle is an herb that we use to support the liver. And the interesting thing about Milk Thistle is it's a true liver restorative. So it's actually helping to restore some of the livers functionality as it gets stressed by the toxic load that we that we may place on our bodies. And there's a lot of plants and herbs out there that help the liver do its job better. But Milk Thistle is one of the only ones I'm aware of that helps the liver restore. So I'm a big fan of it for that reason. It's Sylmar and is the active ingredient or active component of Milk Thistle. And there's a lot of other phytochemicals in there as well. And we have had a lot of success with it in terms of people being able to help manage some of their liver condition or deal with some of the that load of prescription medication. So it's one of my favorite things to recommend for people. And the other thing about Milk Thistle is it's helping the liver. And in natural medicine, there's a lot of focus on the liver, how can we support the liver, everything in our body kind of goes through the liver, the food we eat, the medication we consume, eventually metabolites make their way through the liver. So whatever we can do to support it, especially in today's world of highly processed foods and constant stress is a good thing as well. And that's why Milk Thistle is one of my favorites.
[00:41:58] Nick: I think people just think of the liver as being just this filter. But it's way more than that. It has so many functions in the body. Even just think, I know this is pertinent to Chad with a thyroid but the most of the conversion from T4 to T3 thyroid hormone happens in the liver. So it does way more than just detoxify your body, that's a big piece of it. But there's a lot of functions that even it even helps control and regulate blood glucose through its glucagon storage. So the liver has way more functions than it's just this filter in our body that works really hard after I drink alcohol. No, it does way more than that. And I'm a big proponent of and I've been having this conversation a lot more with people lately, as I think everyone should have some liver support herb or supplement at home that they have on hand. , maybe not to take all the time. But if that your toxic load, like you said, and we've talked about this on previous podcasts where all the things that go back to listen to that one, I don't know what it is, but it's one it's a couple of them. It is a couple things. I've harped on this. But we are under barrage from our modern world and the toxins. There's over 77,000 manmade chemicals in our modern world. So that's just a piece of it. There's so many other things you could talk about toxins from EMF to just our water supply. So we're all under this barrage from the toxins in our world. So having something additional to support the liver I personally think isn't a bad idea. You should probably look at how do I mitigate and remove some of those toxins in my life. But nonetheless, like I said, we're at some of them are an inescapable and escapism unescapable, that's weird. I'm not an English major. But nonetheless, I think Milk Thistle, I love that you mentioned that should is something that maybe everyone should have in their medicine cabinet. Like, we don't just need Tylenol, ibuprofen, like the actual pharmaceuticals in the medicine cabinet have some herbs on hand. I think that's a great idea. So I like that any others for the liver that you can get people
[00:44:11] John Moro: I'm thinking more of another concept and if you don't mind, absolutely go for it. And I think about this, a lot of the weeds are what we consider to be weeds in our world are actually very powerful medicinal plants. And let's use the liver example, but there's another plant that we often think of as a weed that we may buy chemicals for to kill, that actually does a really good job supporting the liver. And I'm thinking about dandelions. And here's something that there's so many good things that can come from this for the liver for our water balance in the body for our circulation. And yet, you find them everywhere. And I've had coffee frustrations with some of my friends that are not in this world will say, “Wow, I can't get the perfect lawn and I can't try to use the hobbies weed killer.” But a lot of these weeds if you would, are actually really helpful medicinal plants. So we do see dandelion being one of them. We see Japanese knotweed being another one very powerful source of antioxidants like resveratrol. So I think of the perfect combination for the liver, being Milk Thistle, maybe something restorative, and then something like dandelion, that's helping the liver, maybe do its job a little bit better. And dandelion is actually a bitter, in bitters are excellent for the liver, and there's a variety of them something as common as arugula, or N-dive. Artichoke is another one. Gentian is a true bitter. So there's a lot of good bitters. And the reason I say bitters is because throughout history, different civilizations have started their meal, with a handful of bitter greens. How many people in our realm in America are starting their meal with a handful of bitter greens? So it's useful to look at some of these ancient traditions and think, how can that impact my health? And what might we do to incorporate those into day to day?
[00:46:25] Nick: And from my knowledge of bitters, bitters will help stimulate the gallbladder, which is then going to release bile into the system, so then your liver can, can process stuff better, because bile will bind up to things and help with the transport process and all that kind of stuff. And if your gallbladder is sluggish, you typically have a hard time digesting things, but you also have a hard time breaking down toxins. So those bitters will help the gallbladder function which then both directly and indirectly helps the liver to kind of smoothly move about its processes. So bitters can be fantastic. So add more bitter foods to your diet people.
[00:47:08] John Moro: Yeah, well said.
[00:47:09] Nick: I love those examples. That's fantastic. I think the liver support, herbs in my opinion, for people not dealing with anything specific at the moment just in our modern lifestyle, I think the liver support stuff is probably the most important for people to just be aware of. Just as like a baseline, what can I do? Well, this will help your liver function and in doing so to help the rest of the body function. Because every you start to see, there's a reason that our ancestors were so kind of stuck on the liver is because a lot of times once you kind of clear some of the liver stuff up, everything else just functions better. If that's if that's congested and backed up, then everything else tends to stuff or your lymph gets stagnant, you can't flush out the, that the toxins from the rest of the body as well, , now your heart is going to have to work harder and pumps, so you get more things circulating through and so on. So it just then not to mention the gut, it might go back to gut up a little bit. And then you can get kidney issues, bladder issues and stuff like that. So it just gonna have a trickle-down effect to everything else. So the herbs to get here.
[00:48:19] John Moro: Here we go. This is back to that holistic mindset. Because everything that you just said, that you're thinking about not just one organ or one system, but the interconnectedness. And I think that interconnectedness is very important for us to think about, because that's how we help people in alternative medicine.
[00:48:40] Nick: Absolutely. It's funny, you mention that, because I just actually had a patient who I've been seeing on an offer for a while for just different orthopedic issues. She came in the other day. And basically, she came to see me after seeing the chiropractor, and the chiropractor would describe as a, like a subluxation rib. We could debate that all day, but nonetheless, came in we were working on some breathing and respiratory things, as well as some other just trying to get the thoracic, the mid back the thoracic spine moving. But nonetheless, once of the chiropractor, the like the day before she came to see me and then came to see me and was freaking out clear visibly anxious. And I was like, what's up? And she was like, the chiropractor was like, I told him, I told him, I'm still having some issues and like, my neck was bothering me and he was like, that's weird that it's not better yet. And I was like, first off, “Why would you say that to someone?” Secondly, let's dive a little deeper. And she starts telling me about how , it's like, it's these ribs, but it's also like the side of my neck and then my hip. And I'm like, thinking on what's on your right side, your livers on your right side. So now I'm starting to talk to her about that type of a thing. So it's actually interesting. We talked a little bit about Milk Thistle with her and I was like, just kind of like we'll see where this goes. If you do some liver support. And then along with that, we talked about managing her stress because she was clearly outwardly anxious. Taking a load off rest, relaxation, all that good stuff, prioritize sleep, but I was like, why don't we just maybe consider some of these liver supports and just see how you feel? We'll just try it out. Because we know that if you do that, it's not like a medication where there be some side effects. So we can comfortably say, try this. If you're not feeling, stop it, but see what happens. See how your body feels. And I'll be interested to see how her pain along those three points of her right side respond and see if we get the liver uncongested a little bit, see what happens. So we'll see. But it was an interesting and just you made me think of it by talking about how it's all connected.
[00:50:47] John Moro: I love it. I love it. It's a great model.
[00:50:50] Nick: For sure. I know, we already kind of talked about your favorite herbs, you mentioned a bunch of them. So we don't want to go there. I don't want to get too crazy, deep into the conversation. I think, John, it'd be great to get you back at some point. And we can get maybe more specific, Chad, and I sometimes do a podcast where we talk about specific patient scenarios that we've been dealing with lately. I think it might be worthwhile to do one with you where we do we almost bring those up, like the conversation we've been having with some of our patients clients and then you kind of give us your alternative medicine perspective where we might consider going with those types of patients, clients, whether they're from a pain perspective, or they just told us some other stuff like they've been constipated for weeks and haven't gone to the bathroom, and where they might go from there. I think that'd be interesting. Also, for the listeners, we're probably gonna have John come do some kind of a workshop, probably on medicinal mushrooms, because we mentioned. So if anyone's interested, we're gonna have lookout for that, because we're sure that at some point, one question we ask a lot of people, John, before the end is today to other listeners, just what's one piece of health advice that you would give based on the experiences you've had in life based on the people you work with. But what's one piece of health advice that you would you would give people that they can implement today?
[00:52:21] John Moro: I would say one of the things that could help a great deal with people would be movement, more movement. And you alluded to this earlier in the discussion. And one of the things that's really hard for us is if our lymph gets stagnant, and you look at the way the human body is designed, the lymphatic system is everywhere present everywhere. Congested lymph can cause a wide range of issues. And one of the simplest ways to move the lymph is to move our bodies whether it's going for a walk or if we're physically able, doing some measured resistance training, but just some form of physical activity. And I think that's something that that could be free. It doesn't require a charter or a membership to a gym to go for a walk. But I think that would be one thing that I'd love to leave the listeners with a movement could do a wide range of good. And I know it certainly helped me a lot too, because in my time in conventional pharmacy, I wasn't really moving at all. I was standing all day, but I was locked into one central position, or checking prescriptions, and so on and so forth. In this realm being able to move around and go for a walk intermittently, I think it's really helped me a lot. And since I've done that, my biomarkers have improved a lot to things like cholesterol and blood pressure. So just something to kind of have in the back of our minds in a world that is largely sedentary and sitting down and looking at a computer screen all day, how can we remediate some of that and the effects on our physiology by getting up and taking a walk?
[00:54:09] Nick: Your blood vessels and blood have your heart to pump but your lymphatic system doesn't really have a pump. So we need to move to get it moving. Your blood if you're stagnant can still pump but the lymph is gonna get stagnant if you are stagnant. So John has hit the nail on the head with that one. I love that. There was one quote, I know, Chad, usually does this thing, but I wanted to bring up I thought it was interesting. And I'm sure you've heard of John, but William Osler. I just had to make sure I had the verbiage. “The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” I always think this is a really interesting quote. Because we often overlook the side effects and John just gave us a bunch of examples of herbs that really don't have side effects. They might not be the right herb for a person because then can make them feel not great, but it's not typically going to have detrimental side effects. So, again, not to say that we shouldn't have modern medicine in the way most people think of it, it's there for a reason. It does serve a purpose. But we're probably as a society putting way too many eggs in that basket and relying too heavily on it. When we're overlooking some of the other stuff that could work without the nasty side effects of that and it's pretty cool that we have John here, who is a pharmacist himself, and he can kind of he sees the whole picture, and has been on both sides of the coin. So I love it. So, John, where can people find you? They're hearing you. They're like, “This is the guy, I need to hear more.” I've got this thing that I want to talk to John about. Where can they find you? Whether it's like Instagram, whether it's your website, email, anything like?
[00:55:55] John Moro: Definitely, we can. I think the easiest way for people to find us is just go to our website www.herbalpath.com. And it talks a little bit about the team and what we stand for. And we have the two locations. One is in Portsmouth one is in Dover. Our phone number is (603)740-8400. And I'll give my email as well [email protected]. And I also want to emphasize that, it's great. I love it if people reach out to me, but we've got so many good people on the team herbalists as well. And I think sometimes as a pharmacist, I'm going to these herbalists for advice on a particular thing to solve. So, we've got herbalists like, Jessica, and our Dover store in Mali and our Portsmouth store and then we have Mimi as well who's also an herbalist, so many people that have this knowledge, and are just looking for opportunities to help people. So a couple different ways to get in touch with us if people want to learn more.
[00:57:03] Nick: I'll make sure to link all that in the show notes too. So they don't have to listen to this recording a million times. Thank you very much, John. Wouldn't want to of course. Now, this has been a great conversation. I can't wait to number one, have part two. But also number two, I can't wait to have you here and explaining more to the community how much this cannot be a value to them. So this is great. Thank you very much.
[00:57:28] John Moro: Thanks so much. Glad to be here. Thanks for having me on.
[00:57:34] PODCAST OUTRO: Thank you for joining us “In The RACK” this week. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on any future episodes. You can also find us online at proformptma.com, or on social media at ProForm PTMA. And remember;
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