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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD

International Best-Selling & 20-Time Book Author

Interview with Dr. Cook

Q & A with Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP, International Best-selling & 18-Time Author whose works include Be Your Own Herbalist

Do herbs really work?

Yes, herbs were the primary source of medicine for human beings for thousands of years.  The fact that you and I are alive today is proof that herbal medicines work.  Our ancestors could not have survived the difficulties they faced in life without medicines that really worked.  Actually, countless studies show that herbal medicines work better than many modern drugs, many of which were originally derived from herbs and synthesized in a laboratory, which can decrease their effectiveness and increase the side-effects they cause.  Herbs, on the other hand, have an impressive track record of safety.

What do you say to people who say they don’t believe in herbal medicine?

As someone who has read thousands of studies proving the effectiveness of herbs, I’m still amazed when someone tells me that they don’t believe in herbal medicines.  I tell them that there is nothing to “believe” in; they are research-proven to work, frequently better than the drug alternatives. I encourage these people to start reading the many peer-reviewed medical journals that showcase hundreds of studies proving the effectiveness of herbs every year.

Are herbs as effective as drugs?

When the right high quality herbs are used in the right doses, with the correct frequency health improvements follow.  Study after study shows that herbs are not only as effective as drugs; they are frequently more effective.  And, unlike drugs that have lengthy lists of nasty side-effects, when herbs are correctly used, they have few, if any, side-effects.  They work by strengthening the body’s systems and often have benefits beyond the health conditions for which we take them.

If you could take only one herb to a deserted island, which herb would it be? Why?

If I was stranded on a desert island and could only take one herb with me, the herb I would choose would be licorice. Licorice root is one of my fondest herbs, not only because it tastes like the candy that bears its name, or because it is one of the most profoundly healing herbs, but because it was one of the first herbs I used and I believe that this wonderful healer played a significant role in restoring my health.

What is your favorite anti-cancer herb?

While dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has a bad reputation as nothing more than a pesky week, it is increasingly being shown in research to help fight cancer.  One of the most exciting studies about dandelion’s anti-cancer abilities found that after 48 hours of exposure to the dandelion extract cancer cells begin to die off. The study also found that dandelion was effective on cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy.  In other words, the dandelion worked when chemotherapy failed.  Other research found that a tea made from dandelion leaves decreased the growth of breast cancer cells while a tea made from the root blocked the ability of cancer cells to invade healthy breast tissue and healthy prostate tissue.  Dandelion root has also been shown to selectively and efficiently kill cancer cells without toxicity to healthy cells.

What are your favorite herbs for heart disease?

There are many excellent herbs for heart disease, but I would choose rosemary and sage as two of my favorites for this purpose, along with a plant-based diet.

What are your favorite herbs for diabetes?

Milk thistle is one of my favorite herbs for diabetes because it works against the disease in three ways:  reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (often considered the harmful one), and blood sugar levels.  I would also choose nettles, which is better known for its ability to reduce allergies, but is increasingly being found to be a wonderful diabetes remedy.  Nettles works by reducing high blood sugar levels, reducing the diabetic symptom of excessive thirst, improving body weight—frequently a factor in the onset of type 2 diabetes, regulating insulin levels, reducing the pain of neuropathy, and even improving memory and cognition that can sometimes be an issue for diabetics.

What is one of the oldest herbs on the planet?  What does it help heal?

The herb horsetail is a descendent of a tree that existed on the planet over 400 million years ago.  That’s over 100 million years before dinosaurs roamed the earth. It withstood the Ice Age which demonstrates its strength and resiliency.  That same strength and resiliency lends itself to our health challenges.  Horsetail is highly effective for osteoporosis, cancer, wound healing and for building strong skin, hair, nails, and teeth.

About the Author:  Michelle Schoffro Cook is an international best-selling and 18-time published author whose works include:  60 Seconds to Slim (Rodale, over 93,000 copies sold to date), The Ultimate pH Solution (HarperCollins, over 40,000 copies sold to date), and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan (John Wiley & Sons, over 30,000 copies sold to date).  She is one of the world’s most popular natural health bloggers, blogging for Care2.com (over 35 million readers) and on her site DrMichelleCook.com.