The People's Perspective on Medicine

891 Life as Your Best Medicine

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:
Dr. Tieraona Low Dog is one of the country’s most knowledgeable experts on integrative medicine. As Director of Fellowship for Dr. Andrew Weill’s Integrative Medicine Center at the University of Arizona, she helps other doctors learn how to combine conventional medicine with alternative and holistic approaches. How did she become interested in this unusual approach to healing? Dr. Low Dog shares her own story with us.
She also shows us how to make smart choices every day so that ordinary activities like eating dinner, meeting a friend or heading off to work can contribute to our health instead of tearing it down. What supplements are really helpful and which drugs may create nutritional deficiencies? How can you get enough sleep? Does loneliness pose a health hazard? Dr. Low Dog brings you the practical information you need on how to arrange your life so that it is your best medicine.
Guest: Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is Director of Fellowship for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona. She has served as Chair of the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements–Botanicals Expert Committee and on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Her books include Integrative Women’s Health and National Geographic’s Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Her most recent book, also published by National Geographic, is Life Is Your Best Medicine: A Woman’s Guide to Health, Healing, and Wholeness at Every Age. Her website is
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Excellent episode! Enjoyable to listen to and great information.

did you get the website to lower the backlighting on the computer screen. I have it at home but not there right now. could you please send it if you have it. thank you.

Joe and Terry, as always I so appreciate your show and Dr. low dog exceeded her typical sage advice this past Saturday. I most like her comments about grandma Joe And how the obstacles and events in her youth served as her “medicine”and created the beautiful person that she has become.. I continue to learn from your show on a regular basis and it helps me in my Oncology practice and in my life. Keep them coming, Chuck
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Thank you so much, Chuck!

I was interested in the website that Dr. LowDog mentioned regarding adjusting your computer’s light so it wouldn’t suppress your melatonin. Does anyone remember what it was? Thank you. I enjoyed the show.

My first intro to Dr. LowDog. Her bio alone is enough to warrent her advice. Her comments were good for some personal reflection. My wife and I enjoythe program.

It uses the camera on your computer as a sensor. So if you have it covered up for privacy…
You’ll have to make that decision or get creative…

Here’s a link to a review of the Jawbone UP band to keep track of steps/sleep plus: The review also mentions other products available. I haven’t tried any of these personally but I am intrigued. I hope others will comment on their experiences.


Thank you for the reminder of the backlighting program. I had forgotten to look it up myself. It’s f.lux. You can dowload it at Hope this helps.

Yesterday’s program was our first introduction to Dr. LowDog. She truly is an inspiration. Thank you!!!

Forgot the name of the device that keeps track of steps plus. Both u & Dr. Lowdog talked abt using it. Would love 2 know more … Many thanks.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It’s called a FitBit. A bit pricey, but definitely helpful.

Very interesting interview. thank you. I especially like the discussion of sleep and earlier patterns.

Hi Tina,
I believe you are looking for the f.lux and you can download at “” or google f.lux.

Dr. Low Dog mentioned a screen saver that show the actual daylight for my area. Could you post the website she mentioned? Thanks

Dr. Low Dog mentioned using dim light at night – using an orange light bulb in the bedroom is very helpful to me. A scout leader said it is sort of like the glow from a fire and is easy on the eyes. I have found orange light bulbs at big box stores.

Thank you for introducing me to Dr. LowDog on your show this morning. Her perspective on several things, including eating low-stressed (grass-fed) animal meat, will bear on my own eating habits from now on.
I have a question regarding her comments on sleep: What sources does she cite about the sleep cycle she discussed? In a quick Google search, I can find no references to people “historically” being awake for hours in the middle of the night. Is it simply anecdotal?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We interviewed historian Roger Ekirch several years ago about his book putting forth the evidence for this. Here’s the link to the show:

WONDERFUL interview with Dr. Low Dog. I hung on every word! Am sending the podcast to my daughters.

I was listening this morning and heard something about backlighting computer monitors to help with sleep.
I was drivig and could not wright down the websight address.
Can anyone tell me the address?
Thank You in advance.

I really enjoyed your interview with Dr. LowDog this morning. I agree with everything she had to say! Facts show that our society brings the majority of our health problems on ourselves. We are our own worst enemies by the way we eat, and the quick fixes (medicine) we pursue.
I grew up in a family that always had gardens, ate whole foods and loved to cook healthy meals. My father always said, “You can spend you money on quality food, or you can spend it on doctors.” I know that he was right, and that food is medicine.
It worries me how disconnected we have become from whole and natural foods, and what really upsets me is how poorly we feed our children. I worry about the lack of nutrients, and the presence of pesticides and additives in their food. I believe organic farming is the way we need to farm, and that education is the only hope we have in reshaping the harmful habits we have acquired. I truly believe that if people knew what was in their food, how it was raised / farmed, and if they understood the consequences of their choices, they would make better choices.
We need more integrated, holistic doctors like Dr. Low Dog. What she has to say is absolutely true, and so incredibly important. I hope people will listen to her advice and make the changes needed to live better, and be well!

I very much enjoyed listening to Dr. Low Dog. I am inspired to make some positive changes in my life. I enjoyed hearing about her life, especially stories about her grandmother. I plan to read Dr. Low Dog’s latest book and check out her website. Thank you for presenting quality programming. I am a new listener who will be back! Jan

I always look forward to Dr. Low Dog’s visits on the People’s Pharmacy. I always learn something and it reinforces my belief that traditional medicine and preventive measures are the key to a healthy life. Dr. Low Dog’s story about her grandmother, Jo, gave me a profound insight into me and the way I handle things. Thank you, Dr. Low dog for the trigger that provided this insight – She said that from my grandmother she learned that you don’t have to confront things head-on. There are many ways to work with and around things – like water moves around rocks.
This simple statement has made a big difference for me. I often hear that it’s important to “stand up for oneself.” I’ve felt weak at times because I generally don’t stand up in a direct way. Hearing Dr. Low Dog, it hit me that this is my style and that it can be a very valuable way to handle difficult situations.
I have renewed confidence. Thanks again, Dr. Low Dog and thank you Joe and Terry for your very valuable program! I look forward to listening every weekend.

This woman is the real deal. Years ago, she was featured on People’s Pharmacy and I emailed her with a question about a topic shortly after the show. She responded with an answer within hours.
Outstanding show and outstanding professional–thank you, Dr. Low Dog and thank you, People’s Pharmacy! I am very grateful for you all.

Sensible, practical, and proactive…echoes much of my own philosophy, especially listening to the wisdom of our elders. Thanks!

I have had a very similar life path including multicultural/native heritage and so treasure the wisdom of my grandmothers which I use much more than all I learned in medical school to help my patients. Bending like the willow, flowing like water around rocks, we must keep these concepts close to heart.
Living through my own successive life and health challenges has strengthened my spirit and given me greater empathy to help my patients. It is a road less travelled, but one with really interesting scenery and more satisfying outcomes in the long term.
Hopefully it will help open more doctors and patients minds to embrace the beauty and inevitability of integrative medicine.

My husband and I are delighted to read that Dr. LowDog is to be your guest tomorrow morning. We have missed not hearing from her. Thank you so much for bringing her back. We will be all ears! Jean

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