Thinking About Optimal Health Through Ecological Pharmacology

Recently a former researcher at the National Health Institutes, Dr. Kevin Spelman, gave a “thought-provoking” lecture on ecological pharmacology, and how its lens can be used to think about optimal health. 

In this phenomenal talk, Dr. Spelman discusses the human connection to plants down to their
genetic and enzyme make-up. He argues that humans have co-evolved with plants to a genetic level, and thus humans’ enzyme reactions can be directly related the make-up of plant material.

In talking about such, Dr. Spelman sheds light on the lack of preventative medicine in the American health care system, calling it “anemic” and “lacking”.

Much of the argument is based on a critique of the simplistic models in place for therapeutic medicine in America. While recognized by Dr. Spelman that modern therapeutics have worked wonders for acute illnesses’, he argues that chronic illness care is still largely ineffective.

This is where he feels that optimal health is lacking. Dr. Spelman makes the argument that because Paleolithic humans ate between 80-250 types of plant material to survive across the course of thousands of years, the human genome has developed to respond to a complex pharmacology and phytochemical input.

optimal healthEssentially, a full-body, holistic approach to the consumption of plant material as therapy must be considered when talking about optimal health. As Dr. Spelman suggests, “Network pharmacology is common place” in the history of the human race.

This fascinating talk will hopefully open your eyes to a truly new paradigm of thinking about the body as a network that requires a system of therapy for a complete, connected network.

Please watch, as Dr. Spelman does a great job simply discussing very complex medical and therapeutic issues.

The Integrative Medicine & Holistic Health Association loves this thinking, and the potentially paradigm shifting medicine that can come from it! Dr. Spelman is thinking in new ways to achieve Optimal Health, and his experience as a researcher for the National Health Institutes perfectly represents the validity and clout of the practitioners that the IMHHA is looking for. Accredited nutritionists and herbalists are exactly what American health care needs, and Dr. Spelman’s lecture is furthering the validity of these practitioners.