The DOCTOR YOURSELF (SM) NEWSLETTER Vol 1, No 12
April 14, 2001 "Free of charge, free of advertising, and free of the A.M.A."
Written by Andrew Saul, PhD. of http://www.doctoryourself.com , a 24-hour online library of
more than 200 natural healing articles with over 3,000 scientific references.
THE PENNY PINCHING HEALTH HOMESTEADER
I am a friend of supplementation in general, but I am a friend of saving money in particular. Here
are a few ways to decrease your vitamin and herb pills and bills:
Echinacea: Grow your own
You know, echinacea is just the Purple Coneflower, a big, beautiful flower that looks like a
lavender "black-eyed Susan" on steroids. Perennial and easy to grow, we have 'em in our back
yard. A packet of seeds will cost you a buck. Or, have a friend save seeds for you for free. Or
for that matter, send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I'll send you some seeds
myself. I really mean this, for I stopped writing this article, went out back and just gathered last
year's nicely-dried crop. (Offer good only in the United States and while supply lasts.) To harvest
the goodies from this plant, dig up a root in the fall, clean it with tap water and a brush, and
extract with 35-40% ethanol. (Translation for non-chemists: soak the root in brandy or gin for a
few months.) Voila! You have kick-butt echinecea extract, fresher and stronger than any you will
find on a shelf. Intelligent occasional use of echinacea root strengthens the immune system. And
I suspect that just lookin' at all those purty flowers makes you feel stronger, too.
Melatonin: Make your own
How? Go to bed early and keep your bedroom dark, and your body will make plenty for you.
Consider lining or doubling your curtains or drapes, adding blinds or a dark-colored window
shade, and getting rid of light-up digital clocks. Keep a nightlight in your hallway for those ever-
popular trips to the salle de bain, but keep your bedroom door closed. These steps, and others
that you think of, will keep your sleeping environment darker, and your melatonin (sleep hormone)
production will go up.
That "go to bed early" comment will be quickly discounted by any number of readers, who might
say, "I can't go to bed early. There is too much to do." You might be right. My reply? If you are
too busy to sleep, you are too busy. Many people are sacrificing sleep time for family time, for
TV, or, increasingly, for work. In an age of $65 programmable video cassette recorders, I think
the TV excuse can be flushed where it belongs without delay. I can hardly object to family time,
but kids should not be up late, either. Several school nurses have told me that an eight-grader
needs TEN TO TWELVE HOURS of sleep a night. If the school bus comes at 7 AM, that means
a pretty early bedtime. Easier said than done? Yes. But do the math: well-rested kid(s) plus well-
rested parent(s) has got to equal better quality time at home, and better school performance. It
wouldn't hurt for your children to make a little melatonin of their own, now, would it? Back when I
was in grammar school, we actually got a grade on our report card that evaluated the extent to
which we were "rested and ready for work." (I cannot help but wonder why they didn't think a little
more deeply about the fact that we also walked three-quarters of a mile each way to school, AND
home for lunch, for a total of three miles daily... at age 7?) At day's end, I was as pooped as a
farm boy. I'll bet your kids are more tired than they let on. Try it: they'll hate it. But you will all
sleep better, and that can be a very big payoff.
Ginko: No need to chop that tree down, George
Ginko trees are cool, for they have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Fossil records
prove this. But buying ginko more costly than buying niacin, which also improves blood flow to the
brain... and lowers cholesterol to boot. Ginko probably works by increasing blood circulation to
the brain. But cheap ol' Niacin is such an efficient vasodilator that blood flow is increased to the
point that you may "flush" a nifty pink if you take too much. So save the flush, save your money,
and don't take more than your body wants. I have written suggestions on how to take niacin at
http://doctoryourself.com , which a site search will quickly uncover.
Glyconutrients: Veggie juice has 'em
"Glyco" refers to carbohydrate, such as a starch or a sugar. Glycogen is a starch stored in the
muscle tissue and liver. You use it for energy during long gaps between meals, while exercising
hard, or while fasting. You surely get plenty of carbohydrates in your normal diet. If anything, we
need to eat more complex carbo-rich foods, and eat a LOT less of the simple carbohydrates, or
sugars. In my opinion, to supplement with capsules of carbohydrate compounds would be like
carrying coal to Newcastle.
Mucoproteins are found in cell secretions. We all know what mucus is. Glycoproteins are found
in the covering material of your body's cells, and include the antigens that are responsible for the
blood groups. If these substances have any unusual nutritional value, it would be somewhat
surprising to me.
"Glyconutrient" is presumably a coined term. I have been told that it refers specifically to eight
monosacharrides (single-ring sugars, like glucose, fructose and galactose). These simple
carbohydrates are certainly important to your body, but they are abundantly present in your food
or made in your body automatically. Since we all should eat more complex carbohydrates (rice,
potatoes, oatmeal, whole-grain bread) and eat less of all sugars, I think good natural food choices
are the way to go. If these natural cellular chemicals have special curing abilities, then raw
vegetable juices would provide them by the glassful.
TODAY'S REASON TO BECOME (MORE OF) A VEGETARIAN:
"Of 2,000 workers at the Morrell meat packing plant, 800 had become disabled in one year."
(Warren Farrell, PhD, in The Myth of Male Power, p 109.)
CAFFEINE: AMERICA'S DRUG OF CHOICE
If you are going to use a drug, caffeine is certainly better than nicotine, cocaine or narcotics.
Adults can have their blast of caffeine in their morning coffee if they choose to; that's their
business. But an increasingly large number of children, and I mean little children, are having that
"Nearly three-quarters of all children over the age of 6 months regularly use caffeine, according
to the Medical Tribune" writes Jean Carper in "Your Food Pharmacy," June 15, 1994.
According to a study in Food Technology, 40% of one and two year olds average nine ounces
of soft drinks a day.
Caffeine is a stimulant, not as powerful as Ritalin or amphetamine, but a stimulant nonetheless.
Do you really want your children using a drug?
This is assuming caffeine-users are able to have any children in the first place:
A. Wilcox, C. Weinberg, D. Baird: Caffeinated beverages and decreased fertility. The Lancet.
8626-7:1473-1476, December 24/31, 1988.
Because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome, most parents avoid letting their kids take aspirin. But
caffeine, as well as alcohol, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, is among
recognized factors that can cause gastric ulcers. All these drugs decrease the strength of the
Caffeine interferes with normal blood sugar levels:
Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM Jr, Setyaadmadja AT, Barrett RA. (1967) Effect of caffeine versus
placebo supplementation on blood-glucose concentration. Lancet. Jun 17;1(7503):1299-300.
Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM Jr. (1968) Blood-glucose levels after caffeine. Lancet. Sep
I well remember my first pharmacologically memorable encounter with caffeine. I was 19, in
London, and had visited the Brompton Oratory. On the way out of this most beautiful cathedral, I
spotted a little old lady (really) going down a long flight of steps with a cane in each hand. It was
the classic Boy Scout opportunity, for it really looked as if she was going to topple over any
second. I caught up with her (that being easy) and helped her across the street. Across the street
turned out to be her hotel, where she actually lived, mind you, for it turned out she was very
wealthy. She invited me to have coffee with her in the hotel's elegant sitting room. I had seen
red-coated waiters and dazzling silver tea services in the movies, but this was the time I was
living it live. She turned out to be a real hoot and a brilliant conversationalist. Hours went by, and
in that time I downed eight cups of coffee.
I felt fine. Back at my hotel that night, I went to sleep, sort of. It was not long before I awoke, my
eyes opened wide. I tried to close them, and they instantly leapt open again. It was as if my
eyelids were on springs. This went on for some time, as I lay there and figured out, eventually,
what might have transpired.
I'd had about 1,000 milligrams of caffeine, that's what. And it was working just fine.
Where, exactly, does "just say no to drugs" begin? By law, nicotine use is prohibited until age 18.
Alcohol use is prohibited until age 21. There is never a legal age for dangerous street drugs,
such as crack, PCP and heroin. And yet I know of no age limit whatsoever on caffeine.
HOW TO QUIT THE CAFFEINE ROUTINE
When I taught clinical nutrition at New York Chiropractic College, many a student would begin to
consider their caffeine consumption after I told the above story in lecture. Several told me that
they had headaches whenever they stopped using caffeine, but if they megadosed on vitamin C,
they did not get the headaches. I have had this confirmed and reconfirmed by quite a number of
folks at this point.
Stress reduction helps.
Monahan, R. J. Secondary prevention of drug dependence through the Transcendental
Meditation program in metropolitan Philadelphia. The International Journal of the Addictions
12(6): 729-754, 1977. (Decreased drug abuse; decreased use of cigarettes and alcohol;
decreased use of caffeine; decreased need for tranquilizers and other prescribed drugs.)
Because caffeine causes a "flushing out" of vitamin C and the B-vitamins, I think vitamin
supplements are essential to the user, and to the would-be quitter. VAST numbers of Americans
are serious coffee users. VAST numbers of kids drink colas, and Mountain Dew has more
caffeine than Coke or Pepsi. Diet aids and extra-strength pain relievers provide still more
caffeine. Time to kick the habit.
DOCTOR YOURSELF WEBSITE OF THE MONTH: DUMB WARINGS
Found on a package of "Fritos" brand corn chips: "You could be a winner! No purchase
necessary. Details inside."
Or how about these gems?
"Hungry Jack" brand Lite Syrup: (After a lengthy instruction on how to heat the bottle:)
"CAUTION: SYRUP BOTTLE MAY BE HOT."
American Airlines Peanuts: "Instructions: open packet, eat nuts."
Tesco's Tirimisu Desert: "Do not turn upside down." (Printed on the bottom of the box)
Nabisco brand Easy Cheese: "For best results, remove cap."
And yes, there are many more, on many products, at http://www.dumbwarnings.com
DO ANTIBIOTICS WORK? At times, sure. But at what cost in side effects, gross
overprescription, and resultant encouragement of disease-resistant "superbacteria"? There may
be a time to use an antibiotic. But that time is not right off the bat. Other, safer modalities should
be tried first, and tried correctly. Just with aggressive use of sufficient vitamin C, the nation's
need for antibiotics would plummet.
http://doctoryourself.com/titration.html , both authored by medical doctors, have more about this.
WHY LANDFILL INDUSTRIAL WASTES WHEN YOU CAN SELL THEM AS HEALTH
Those that recall hexachlorophene (remember PhysoHex?) will delight to know that
hexachlorophene was a by-product of the manufacture of DDT. As my Organic Chemistry prof
said at Australian National University, "They had all this wonderful stuff left over and couldn't get
rid of it. So, they decided to unleash it on the vast, unwashed American Public."
I still remember the little half-smile on his face as he said it.
This far-sighted American health policy (that was satirical comment) continues to this day. The
knowledge that the fluoride in your toothpaste and water is a by-product of the manufacture of
fertilizer will doubtless bring cheer to the hearts of many. And, every time you use fluoridated
toothpaste to brush your choppers, you help reduce the national debt! How, you ask? It seems
that old World War II chemical wastes are being used for water fluoridation.
"Alorton, Illinois, Site with Powdery Mineral Auctioned Off by Government"
"In the aftermath of World War II, the federal government dumped nearly 50,000 tons of a mineral
called fluorspar on a four-acre tract at 3901 Missouri Ave., the site of the old Alcoa Aluminum
plant. Back in those days, so-called "acid grade" fluorspar, a powdery substance used to make
aluminum, was considered a strategic mineral... (F)or the next half-century, the fluorspar in
Alorton sat in two huge heaps along Missouri Avenue. But no more. This summer, (contractors)
began hauling away the fluorspar, which will be used to make fiberglass insulation for homes,
freon for air conditioners and fluoride for drinking water." (emphasis added)
To see this article in its entirety, take a look at the Dec 11, 2000 Belleville News-Democrat (or to
http://www.bnd.com ) Thanks to Carol Kopf and Melody Scheel for this nifty news item.
Lots of fluoridation links are accessible at
There are many new articles just posted at
http://doctoryourself.com Favorite NEWSLETTER topics have now been placed in the main
archive for easier access, including PMS, fibromyalgia, bioflavinoids, sprouting, gallstones,
herpes simplex, lactose intolerance, learning disabilities, saccharin, and dermatitis.
Both the Diabetes and Alzheimer's articles are new and greatly expanded, complete with quite a
There is also a humor page (called "Lighten Up") that you should make a point to avoid. To quote
the great Tom Lehrer: my muse is not fettered by such constraints as taste.
If you missed any of the previous eleven issue of the DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWSLETTER, you
can now read them all for free with a click at
Finally, two new scholarly bibliographies are now posted. The first is the work of Drs. Wilfrid and
Evan Shute, the cardiologists who introduced megavitamin E therapy to a hostile medical
profession over half a century ago. The second is the work of William Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., the
physician who pioneered the use of niacin/niacinamide to treat arthritis.
All of these articles are reachable at the top of the main page, left side, at
We do not sell, and we do not share, our mailing list or your email address with anyone. You may
notice that there is no advertising at http://doctoryourself.com and no advertising in this
newsletter. We also do not sell vitamins or other health products, except for Dr. Saul's books,
which help fund these free public services.
FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR ALL to this newsletter available at
http://www.doctoryourself.com/newsmail.html We have no products for sale, and we have no
financial connection with the supplement industry.
To submit a question or suggest a topic for the newsletter, email me at
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This newsletter is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment
for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition. Any form of self-treatment or alternative health
program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume
otherwise. Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician. Consult your doctor before
making any health decision.
"DOCTOR YOURSELF" "DoctorYourself.com" and "Doctor Yourself Newsletter" are service marks of
Andrew W. Saul. All rights reserved.
Copyright c 2001 and prior years Andrew W. Saul doctoryourself.com/contact.html Permission to reproduce
single copies of this newsletter FOR NON-COMMERCIAL, PERSONAL USE ONLY is hereby granted
providing no alteration of content is made and authorship credit is given.