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Alone_depression by Patrice Dufour

My latest article on depression has just been published online at Flatnote Magazine and deals with the safe, yet effective and clinically proven natural treatment for this modern day scourge.

The article may be viewed directly on the Flatnote Magazine website here.

Yours in health.

Yes, it is that time of year again in South Africa.  Those of us who have just overcome the flu now have to face a yearly menace that affects millions of people – hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and allergies.

From an holistic point of view, allergies are caused by an imbalance in the body. It is caused when the immune system goes into “overdrive” and starts attacking either harmless substances/organisms in the body, or the body itself. In other words, the body overreacts to a certain allergen.  In the  case of seasonal hay fever, the most common causes are from various pollens.

bee pollen

Photograph by Florin Garoi (

Normal discomfort experienced by some people who suffer from this ailment include, sneezing, runny nose, puffy and reddened eyes, an itchy throat, etc. From an holistic point of view, allergies also often go hand in hand with asthma and even migraine. A little known fact to most people is that allergies can also trigger epileptic seizures in prone individuals. Control the allergy and you can effectively control the seizures.

The treatment of allergies from an herbal approach is a multisystemic one. We try to once again restore balance within the body. This is specifically done by using certain system specific tonics. The immune system is modulated at the same time, while trying to decrease the severity of the response.

Using herbal medicines with antihistamine properties effectively resolves the problem without having to resort to artificial ones.  It is possible to bring complete balance and harmony within the body in a day or two in a gentle manner and without any drowsiness or other nasty side effects.  Herbs to include in the regimen would be stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) as an antihistamine and Elder flower (Sambucus nigra) to dry up a runny nose.  Take these in tincture form.  Another great anti allergy supplement would be quercetin capsules.

I would advise starting an anti allergy regimen at least 3 weeks prior to the start of your local allergy season so that you do not even experience the inconvenience of hay fever in  the first place.

Yours in health,


credit: Lars Sundstrom (

I have always warned my patients, especially those with diabetes, against the use of artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame (NutraSweet, Splenda etc.).  There has been major health concerns about aspartame from the outset.  I will not write a complete blog post here as the reference links to the relevant studies and research speak for itself.  The link  directly below opens an interesting article that explains the problem:

Article: NutraSweet Linked to Leukemia and Lymphoma


Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo.

Mortality from lymphohematopoietic malignancies among workers in formaldehyde industries.

NCL Study Links Aspartame To Leukemia/Lymphoma


Yours in health,

As with most things in life, man only seems to reinvent, rediscover or copy what nature has supplied even before he walked the earth.  Nature has a plethora of pain killing compounds which fall into different classes.  This is the story about nature’s original COX-2 inhibitor, but first some background about painkillers (analgesics) in general.

For eons, we have used natural remedies such as white willow (Salix alba) and other salicin containing plants for the purposes of pain relief, salicin being the painkilling and anti-inflammatory compound.  In fact, aspirin is a modified form of salicylic acid, which is derived from white willow.  Aspirin and other drugs which work in much the same manner belong to a group of drugs known as NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).  They do an extremely good job at killing pain, but this relief comes at a price.  NSAIDs work by blocking the production of inflammatory compounds known as prostaglandins.  They do this by blocking an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX) of which there are two, namely COX-1 and COX-2.   Now, COX-1 has important cellular and metabolic functions within the body, one of which is the maintenance and integrity of the stomach lining, amongst other functions.  COX-2 is what triggers the release of prostaglandins.  Unfortunately, the original NSAIDs blocked both COX-1 and COX-2 enzyme pathways. The unfortunate side effect is that due to the fact that COX-1 is blocked as well, as an example, one of the most common side effects is that the integrity of the stomach lining fails so that gastric bleeding and stomach ulcers can result. The obvious solution to this problem is to only block COX-2 without affecting COX-1.  This leads us to the development of the COX-2 inhibitors.

Towards the end of the 90’s, two synthetic COX-2 inhibitors, namely celecoxib (Celebrex) and rofecoxib (Vioxx) were approved to relieve the signs and symptoms of osteo- arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain and primary dysmenorrhea.  I don’t think I need to remind the reader as to what eventually transpired in the case of Vioxx – suffice to say, the side effects turned out to be fatal. The safety profile of Celebrex is not any better even though it has not been banned as yet. This is one of the most important reasons why patients should always educate themselves about the drugs that they are taking, prescribed or not.

Luckily, for all the millions of sufferers of arthritis and the other ailments listed above there is a safe, effective and completely natural COX-2 inhibitor – Curcumin!  Curcumin is derived from the spice turmeric, so much loved in Indian cooking. Clinical trials have shown curcumin to be highly anti-inflammatory and analgesic.1  In one study it was shown that curcumin directly inhibited the enzymatic activity of COX-2.2  The study also suggests that curcumin may be helpful in GI inflammatorial diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The therapeutic dosage recommendation for curcumin is between 1200 and 2600mg per day, with the average dose used in trials being 2600mg per day.  Curcumin’s safety profile is excellent, being non-toxic and free of side effects at even the highest dosages.  In cancer treatment, for example, dosages in the region of 8000mg per day are common.

In conclusion, curcumin proves to be one of the most potent yet safest COX-2 inhibitors currently known.  Yet, it needs to be said that curcumin is by no means the only known natural COX-2 inhibitor. Nature has provided us with many such remedies within this class of medicines.

Yours in health,


  1. Satoskar RR, et al. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl   methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24(12):651-4.
  2. Zhang F, et al. Curcumin inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription in bile acid- and phorbol ester-treated human gastrointestinal epithelial cells. Carcinogenesis 1999;20(3):445-51.

back pain

Winter has arrived in full force here in the southern hemisphere.  Unfortunately, along with the arrival of winter comes my lower back pain – and it happens as regularly as clockwork.  This has inspired me to write about it and give some insight as to how I treat my type of lower back pain.

You will notice that I said “type of lower back pain”.  This is due to the fact that lower back pain has many causes.  In my case, it is not spine or bone related, but muscular.  In the winter months, my lower back muscles go into spasm and I’ll be almost crippled for a week or more if it is not treated.  Of course, what is needed to treat it are muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories and pain killers.  These three work in tandem not only to treat the problem, but also to allow you to be mobile and do what needs to be done instead of finding oneself confined to bed.

Before you make an appointment with your physician to get a prescription for the drugs above, know that there are natural medicines which will do an even better job.  I have been treated with pharmaceutical painkillers, opiates, muscle relaxants etc. in the past, but find  that after a couple of days the effects wear off.  This is the natural protocol you may employ to treat the problem:

There is nothing, in my mind, to beat Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens).  It is an herb that grows in the Kalahari Desert here in South Africa.  It is actually a specific for lower back pain and arthritic conditions.  It has painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties.  What I like about this botanical is that it is effective within 20 minutes of administration of the encapsulated form…an absolute miracle worker!  The tincture would work even faster than this.

In combination with the devil’s claw, I take curcumin extract.  Curcumin is well known for its anti-inflammatorial properties and there has been much research in this area.  Together with devil’s claw, it delivers a two punch knockout to pain and inflammation within a very short period of time.

Finally, to relax the lower back muscles, a simple thing such as applying heat will do the trick, hot water bottle, hot bath or shower.  For those who prefer to take something internally, there are many great muscle relaxants including valerian, passion flower and wood betony, amongst many others.

So, with the right combination of botanical medicines, lower back pain will become a thing of the past.

Yours in health

My article from “Flatnote Magazine“.

Diabetes Header

The scourge of diabetes is running rampant in this day and age.  Just about 6% of the population of the western world is afflicted with one of the forms of diabetes mellitus.  Diabetes mellitus is the sixth most common form of death in the United States of America.  Let us take a closer look at this deadly and sometimes “silent killer” and how to combat it – NATURALLY.

Glucose in the blood

What is diabetes mellitus and why has it become so rampant in the westernized populations of the world?  Diabetes is primarily a western disease which is linked to our western diet and western lifestyle.  This is very telling as to the way in which we mistreat our bodies every day.  As most people know, there are two forms of diabetes, namely Type I (juvenile onset, insulin dependent) and Type II (adult onset, insulin resistance).  I will deal with each one separately as they are different in their pathology as well as treatment regimen.

diabetes symptoms

Diabetes Mellitus Type I

Diabetes mellitus type I, also known as juvenile onset and insulin dependent diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus and is classified as an autoimmune disease.  This type of diabetes generally manifests in childhood and is characterized by the destruction of the Beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans.  These are the cells in the pancreas which produce the body’s supply of insulin.  Of course, when these cells are destroyed, an insufficient amount of insulin is produced.  5% to 12% of the total cases of diabetes mellitus accounts for this specific type.  Medically (orthodox, allopathic, western medicine), this type of diabetes is treated with insulin injections to supply the body with the insulin it needs to function normally and sometimes, in conjunction with the drug Metformin (although Metformin is officially recognized for the treatment of Type II diabetes).

type 1

What does natural medicine have to offer the type I diabetic?  There are a few strategies that can be employed.  Chromium supplementation, especially in the form of chromium picolinate is a MUST for any form of diabetes.  I would always advise that a good, biological, liquid mineral supplement be included in the daily regimen in any case.

diabetes diet

As for botanicals (herbal medicine), there are specifics for diabetes.  It is best to consult a professional WESTERN herbal practitioner and work with him/her personally for best results and for the most potent, proven botanicals, but some botanicals that are worth mentioning are: Curcumin, which is useful in the reduction of kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) in the type I form of diabetes.  Aloe vera may also lower blood sugar levels in patients with type I diabetes.  Fenugreek seeds may lower blood sugar levels, increase glucose tolerance and reduce urinary excretion of glucose.  There are much stronger and more efficient botanicals which have been shown to directly stimulate beta cells and the production of your body’s own insulin thereby affecting the disease directly, but it’s best to obtain these within a professional context to be safe.

Diabetes II

Diabetes Mellitus Type II

This type of diabetes is unfortunately accompanied by many more complications and sudden death than type I.  As its common name “Adult onset diabetes” suggests, this type usually creeps up on one and can become a “silent killer”.  In this form of diabetes, patients usually have elevated levels of insulin, but unfortunately, the cells reliant on the insulin are resistant to its effects.  These are the patents most at risk of stroke and heart attack.  This form usually occurs in those over the age of 40, afflicts about 6% of the population and accounts for 90% to 95% of all diabetes cases.  Medically, the drug of choice is Metformin.

Natural strategies for type II diabetes include Chromium and Glucomannan which helps normalize blood sugar levels.  Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) may normalize blood insulin levels, reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.  Include Curcumin as described above as well as Coenzyme Q10, which may improve the function of Beta Cells.

diabetes diagram
I realize that most people won’t believe this, but despite what you may hear, natural medicine is able to reverse much of diabetes mellitus (especially type II) and I have personally seen diabetes patients control their blood sugar levels when the normal pharmaceutical drug was unable to do so.  One patient being hospitalized as soon as his natural botanicals were withdrawn, but as soon as his botanicals are reintroduced, blood sugar levels are normalized and neuritis disappeared within two days!  Here is a clear case of natural medicine succeeding where pharmaceuticals could not.

diabetes pendant

For the complete protocol detailing how to reverse your diabetes, as used in practice, all is revealed in my book.  It includes the actual botanicals used (most of them not mentioned in this article), dosages required and the evidence of studies done on the relevant  botanicals.

This book may save your life or that of a loved one.

Reverse Your Diabetes in 30 Days - The Complete Protocol

Reverse Your Diabetes in 30 Days - The Complete Protocol

Click here to buy at

Yours in Health,

Jerome Jackson

Disclaimer: the information imparted in this article should not be construed as medical advice and neither the magazine nor I shall be held responsible for any damage incurred to anyone using this information without supervision of an appropriate health care professional.  It is very irresponsible to stop taking any current medicines without consulting your doctor.  It is very dangerous to combine herbal medicines with pharmaceutical drugs, please consult an herbal practitioner in this regard; your medical doctor is usually NOT trained in drug/herbal medicine interactions.  If you would like to take a natural approach to your health, please consult a natural medicine professional.

NB: Herbal (botanical) medicine IS NOT homeopathy.

Another “Flatnote Magazine” ( article written by me:

Everyday, we are exposed to the pressures and stresses of life.  The mere fact that we strive to survive is a stress on the body in and of itself.  It is incorrect to treat stress, in general, as the enemy.  We need some manner of stress in order for us to survive.  It is vital to the mechanisms of life itself.  It is, however, the extra stresses that are the root of the problem.

Let’s face it…we live in the modern age.  Life moves at a very rapid pace when considering how our ancestors lived just one hundred to one hundred and fifty years ago.  The pace at which life currently moves is very stressful indeed.  Although our bodies are designed to adapt to change, it takes a very long time to do so and we just have not had enough time to evolve enough to handle the extra workload of modern life today.  People “suffering from stress” are at an all time high; and most of them are the younger people.  They are manifesting with rapid heartbeat, chest pain, hyperventilation, tingling in the extremities and ultimately, full blown panic attack.  Most times they are not aware of what a panic attack is, mistaking it for a heart attack or stroke, with the impending feeling of doom and that they are going to die.  It is truly one of the worst and most frightening experiences that one can experience.  How can this problem be treated naturally and holistically?

Now, the most natural response for most people is for a “quick fix”.  So, off we go for a diagnosis and once it is made, the patient is given (or even demands) a prescription for a tranquilizer.  Voila!  No more anxiety or panic attacks.  Yippee!  What has happened here?  The SYMPTOM was treated and gotten rid of.  The patient will be on the tranquilizers for a few months to control the problem and the dosage may have to be increased as tolerance to the drug increases.  This opens the patient up to dependency.  As soon as the drug is discontinued the patient usually relapses.  This is not only the conventional doctor’s fault, many herbalists do it too and sometimes the patient usually demands a tranquilizer anyway.

What is the answer?  An holistic approach is best in this case.  We need to treat the whole person.  Obviously, there has to be a cause for the anxiety in the first place.  One needs to find out exactly what that cause is, because unless you do, the anxiety will be permanent.  During the holistic and constitutional analysis, causes for the anxiety are determined.  Sometimes these causes are chemical, for example, caffeine (coffee, black tea), stimulant drugs (some cough and cold and flu remedies – you’ll be surprised – and we give these to our children!) etc.  Sometimes it is our environment, whether it is home or work, financial worries, relationship problems etc.  These need to be determined and dealt with in order for the patient to overcome (or eliminate) the problem instead of medicating oneself with pharmaceutical or herbal tranquilizers as that does not solve the problem.

If your job is stressful try and find another one in which you may be happier.  Job satisfaction is extremely important.  People spend most of their waking hours at work…it stands to reason that it should be pleasant.  If it is not possible for you to find another job, then you will need to find ways to deal with the various stressors of your current job.  Physical exercise is a very good way to help eliminate stress.  It also builds the body’s innate anti-stress mechanisms.  This need not be working out at the gym; simple walking is great exercise for body and mind.

Mental exercise is extremely important too.  Take up reading and other hobbies as well as learning meditation techniques.  Meditation need not be as complicated as most people think.  Simply relax, lying down or seated, whichever is more comfortable.  Do not cross any of your limbs (arms or legs).  Now simply slowly breathe in to a count of seven and out to a count of seven.  Once you are nice and relaxed and have determined what a good breathing rhythm is, simply start counting backwards from one hundred.  Once you get to zero, you may slowly open your eyes again.  Simple counting or counting your breaths is one of the simplest meditation techniques that anyone can do.

As far as herbal medicine goes, the practitioner should suggest relaxing and tranquilizing herbs, but it should not be the only form of treatment.  Botanicals which actually “feed” and normalize the nervous tissue are extremely important for the long term wellbeing of the patient.  A good vitamin B supplement is also essential along with certain other nutritional supplements, like GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and the mineral magnesium, both of which are tranquilizing substances.  In other words, there should be a “complete treatment protocol” and not just tranquilizing monotherapy.

Finally, a word of caution: Valerian, the infamous herbal tranquilizer, is not an universal tranquilizer that works on everybody.  For some people, taking valerian can prove to be a nightmare!  It has the opposite effect in these people, making their anxiety worse.  Always start with the smallest dose of valerian to determine how you react to it.

So, until next time, remember to keep that stress in check.

Yours in health.

Disclaimer: the information imparted in this article should not be construed as medical advice and neither the magazine nor I shall be held responsible for any damage incurred to anyone using this information without supervision of an appropriate health care professional.  It is very irresponsible to stop taking any current medicines without consulting your doctor.  It is very dangerous to combine herbal medicines with pharmaceutical drugs, please consult an herbal practitioner in this regard; your medical doctor is usually NOT trained in drug/herbal medicine interactions.  If you would like to take a natural approach to your health, please consult a natural medicine professional.

NB: Herbal (botanical) medicine IS NOT homeopathy.       

The article below is one of my articles written for Flatnote Magazine (

The Role of Nutritional Medicine Today

Times are changing. Over the millennia we, as a species, have gone from simple hunter-gatherers, using everything that nature had to offer, to a highly modernized civilization. We have gone from patience to impatience, stress free to stressful, time consuming to instant, eating highly processed foods that come from a box and which is unrecognizable and very far removed from any natural food. This evolution touches everything and in man’s case, has not only been detrimental to his own health, but to his environment as well. Chronic illnesses are at an all time high. This is mostly due to our modernized lifestyle and diet. The field of medicine has also fallen into the same “instant cure” mentality rut where it has been under pressure to deliver instant relief or cure of whatever ails man or animal, for that matter. We want that headache gone now!

Time, however, has also been a friend to mankind. Through valuable learning experiences from the past, many of us are now realizing the error of our ways. Many people are realizing that we cannot just pop a pill for any little symptom and keep trekking on, without even considering what the causes of these symptoms may be. We have become more holistic in our thinking and realize that diet and lifestyle either make us ill or heals us. Within the field of medicine, many are realizing that a person is not only just a body, but body, soul and spirit. The barbaric approaches of “slash, burn and poison”, a trademark of the previous century, only does harm to the individual. Now there are very specific instances where this approach is necessary to save a life or limb, but it is not necessarily the ONLY viable approach and should definitely not be touted as such nor be considered as the first line of approach. Unfortunately, in practice, such a decision can only be taken by the patient because, mostly, the physician is not aware and not even trained in any other modality of medicine and the patient does not explore and is not encouraged to explore these avenues either. This of course means that the patient needs to be educated about what natural medical modalities are available and should take responsibility for his or her own health and not leave everything up to the health care practitioner.

So? What is natural medicine? Firstly, it must be said that medicine is medicine, whether it be herbalist, nutritional, naturopathic, allopathic, chiropractic, osteopathic etc. All of these modalities have their place and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Natural medicine covers a very broad spectrum of modalities including all those mentioned above except allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine is what you get from your “doctor”, GP or who is more appropriately called, physician. They prescribe drugs. These drugs are usually not natural, but pharmaceutical (artificial) in nature. Some modalities of medicine are regulated by the state in South Africa; some are unregulated, but most are self regulating.

What is nutritional medicine? Nutritional medicine is a modality which includes herbal medicine, orthomolecular medicine (vitamin/mineral therapy) and nutrition which includes the use of various nutraceuticals and other natural substances used together in a synergistic manner to bring about healing and optimum health. All of these aim to bring the body back into balance (homeostasis) and ultimate health. It is holistic in nature, works with your body in a gentle manner and for this reason is the perfect choice for children if you do not want to expose them to pharmaceuticals at such a young age.

What is nutritional medicine able to treat/alleviate? There is nothing that nutritional medicine cannot treat, alleviate or reverse, but with this caveat: If I fell out of a tree and broke my arm, I am not going to consult my herbalist (herbologist), but I’d go and see my allopathic physician (GP) to set my arm in plaster. Broken bones are best handled by a physician, but the herbologist can speed up healing time by suggesting certain natural substances which speeds up healing and bone growth. Chronic illnesses, on the other hand are best treated with natural medicine modalities as, in most cases, these conditions can be alleviated without pharmaceutical drugs or surgery. High blood pressure (hypertension), anxiety states, arthritis, epilepsy, lower back pain even diabetes mellitus are good examples of diseases that have been alleviated, controlled or even reversed. I have seen this happen repeatedly in my practice. I personally do not believe in any “terminal” or “incurable” diseases either. All diseases can be reversed if the body is given what it needs to heal because that is how it has been designed. Think of all the unexplained remission of cancer cases. Your body is a self-healing creation, but you need to take the responsibility of your health into your own hands and not delegate this function to your health care professional.

In the following series of articles we will cover various illnesses that can be treated using nutritional medicine and how we go about applying these approaches to various diseases and what can be achieved with natural treatment.

Yours in health,

Jerome Jackson

Welcome to the new home of my blog.  I plan to give natural health and other advice on this site as well as sharing with others.  Subjects covered will include aspects of  natural medicine which include Western herbal medicine, orthomolecular medicine, optimum nutrition and energy medicine.  Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine may also be touched on.  Please enjoy your stay.