The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 959: Farmacology-What Farmers Can Teach Us About Health (Archive)

During visits to farms, Dr. Daphne Miller discovered that family farmers offer lessons for human health. What she learned could help you stay healthier.
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Farmacology-What Farmers Can Teach Us About Health (Archive)

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An ever-increasing appreciation of the complexity of ecosystems has begun to change farming practices so that they become more sustainable. Science is demonstrating that our human bodies are also complex ecosystems, made up of more microbes than human cells. Could some of the principles of sustainable farming help us stay healthy too? Dr. Daphne Miller visited many such farms and has lessons for us in her book, Farmacology.

What do ranchers in Missouri and an allergy researcher in Munich have to teach us about germs on the farm and the hygiene hypothesis? Does exposure to a wide variety of microbes at an early age reduce our chances of having allergy and asthma problems later in life? We explore the metaphorical and literal connections between bacterial communities in the soil and those in our own bodies.

This Week’s Guest:

Daphne Miller, MD, is a pioneer in the field of eco-medicine, a family physician, writer and an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She founded WholefamilyMD, the first integrative primary care practice in the San Francisco Bay area. Her book is Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing. Her website is  drdaphne.com 

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
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Dr. Miller had an interesting analogy with drinking raw milk. I am also a hobby farmer who has three very healthy grown children. How many people can say that their children came home from staying with friends from a gardening family and requested that we add beets and brussels sprouts to the long list of what we grew in our garden?

She described my upbringing on a family farm with 3 generations, and playing in the barns and fields, yard with free ranging chickens, and swimming in the creek that ran through the fields and often barefooted.

I have lived 84 years now and in good health, never had any respiratory problems, or allergic to anything I eat or breath. I had a mother and grandmother who always told me to listen to your body it will always tell you before you have a problem, and you know they were right, and being a pilot I understand listening to the engine for any change will signal trouble ahead if you don’t find the cause and correct it.
Thank you Terry and Joe for providing this good web site to assist in managing my health. My VA geriatrics doctor directed me to this site many years ago, and it has been one of my most dependable sources for health care information. I’ve watched the VA start incorporating integrative medicine this past year instead of just treating the problem ills.

Very interesting – changing in farming practices could change our health

It was so heartening to hear some mainstream medical practitioners, researchers and educators are interested in investigating a more natural approach to healthcare. It’s what many of us have experienced by turning back to nourishing our bodies with clean, natural foods and practices.
In our seventh decade, we see the dr for annual wellness checks with good reports and labs. We rarely have need for medical visits otherwise and do not take any routine meds. One might say it’s luck or good genes, but we have overcome several chronic conditions with lifestyle changes. I can imagine research dollars are scant for this type of investigations, but so essential for taking control of our health issues. Hats off to those brave souls bucking the big pharma trends! And, thanks Joe and Terry, for bringing this valuable information to us each week!

It was so heartening to hear some mainstream medical practitioners, researchers and educators are interested in investigating a more natural approach to healthcare. It’s what many of us have experienced by turning back to nourishing our bodies with clean, natural foods and practices.
In our seventh decade, we see the dr for annual wellness checks with good reports and labs. We rarely have need for medical visits otherwise and do not take any routine meds. One might say it’s luck or good genes, but we have overcome several chronic conditions with lifestyle changes. I can imagine research dollars are scant for this type of investigations, but so essential for taking control of our health issues. Hats off to those brave souls bucking the big pharma trends! And, thanks Joe and Terry, for bringing this valuable information to us each week!

we heard your show and can honestly say we practice farmcology and did not know it.
we were motherearthnews homesteaders of the year and just like to say thanks for
an informative view of what we do. we homestead here in central florida and have been for
the last 7 years or so. keep up the work for good.

I listened this morning and thought I heard her mention that she had cut back drinking alcohol, all because of her dealing with this issue. BUT, I am wondering if maybe I fell asleep and dreamed that she said that. Does anyone remember her talking about her reduction of alcohol consumption? Thanks!

this only makes sense, but big buisness can’t make much money off doing things natural. look at all the problems with just runoff of pesticides and fertilizers.

pharm is farmacology until synthetics came along and the soil, water, bacteria, germs, etc. are all part of our health/disease. great idea.

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