MD vs. ND

I wrote this comment during my first year as a naturopathic medical student at Bastyr University.

I have come to the realization that integrating medicine must happen in order for patients to receive effective care.

Here is the comment I sent out to the entire Bastyr campus: (Id love to hear your comments….so please post them)

May 2002

Hey All –

Having been on campus now for about a year, I have heard discussions (and participated in) about ‘allopathic’ medicine and how screwed up it is – and we at Bastyr University are the saviors of the true medicine. I know firsthand that there are fellow students that do not believe this at all – that MD’s and ND’s are out for the same result – to improve their patient’s lives.

In order for us to make it in the future as successful ND’s, we must stop putting ourselves on some pedestal saying that we are better. We are not.

There are so many talks, forum groups, speakers, whathaveyou, that come on campus and tell us/ask us about the future of OUR medicine. How about the future OF medicine?

I sincerely believe that MD’s are out to improve lives just as we are. However, they are bombarded and directed by pharmaceutical companies…and insurance companies which direct their practice. And beyond that, their very traditional way of practicing is like a medical fraternity. Meaning that if one brother is out on a limb saying that nutrition is more potent than a drug for removing illness – that brother is banned or fired.

There is some contest out there asking us how we can Fix America’s healthcare system. Pretty simple. Regulate the pharmaceutical companies, lawyers and insurance companies – and then all will fall into place. How do we do that? By removing lobbyists and special interests. How do we do that – campaign finance reform – unlike the loophole filled document we have now. You can give the $10,000 to the scholarship fund.

I am impressed with all of us who are joining the ranks of ND’s. I believe that the only reason that we are different is due to the absence of pharmaceutical control/influence. That’s a pretty big difference and that is why I’m here. Naturopathic medicine is outstanding – if it is practiced correctly. Traditional medicine is outstanding – if it is practiced correctly.

How many times have we gone to the clinic/ND’s and walked away with a bag full of stuff to alleviate symptoms and not the cause? I can name a few.

Medicine becomes successful by those who practice it – not by what university you attend.

My main point here is to recommend a book that I believe should be required reading by the incoming class:

“Detoxification & Healing: The Key to Optimal Health”, written by Sidney Baker, M.D.

This book describes medicine the way it should be practiced – by finding the cause and working with it accordingly. It is very heavy on biochemistry so makes a good review. It also explains how MD’s have brought their ideas forward and how they got banned/fired for it. The author attended Yale Medical School and also teaches there now. It is people like him who make medicine successful – not by what letters come after your name.

If I pushed a few buttons in a few people, I apologize. I am not out to start a war – I am out to bring peace between the MD and the ND. If you are a bit perturbed, read this book and he will clarify any doubts – he is quite a bit more eloquent than I am.

Medicine becomes successful by those who practice it – not by what university you attend.

Best to all and good luck with midterms –


PS – if you don’t know who I am – I’m the short heavy guy with one leg

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Hi Dr Ben!

Im writing you about your SAPROX product. I have been suffering with tinea versicolor for over 35 years. My entire upper torso is covered, as well as my groin area. I have tried everything on the market, the teatree oils, the lotrimin, Selsun, ORAL NIZORAL (totally worked my liver over in a bad way), and just about every sort of anti fungal cream on the market. I even tried massive oral zinc, but nothing works.

I am reading that once used as instructed, you have a success rate of it never coming back?

Id really like to try this. I can tell you that if it works, I will be your star endorser. If this can actually cure my tinea for once and for all time, I will send over before and after shots if you would like to use my experience from using your product.

Please tell me more me about your first hand experience with SAPROX and those of us with tinea.



SQ –

Tinea is due to many reasons. A few of those reasons are weak immune system, low nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E, C, zinc, selenium, stress, poor hygiene, damp environment, etc

Saprox works topically to remove the fungus but it does not ensure that it will not come back. People have told me that it has not but I don’t know how they know that as they didn’t use it for very long. If they change their immune function, diet, add in the proper nutrients and decrease stress after the Saprox application, then likely, yes, they will have a great longterm success rate.

Saprox is simply applied, let dry and then rinse off. Do this a couple times a day for as long as you need. Basically you’ll see it go away but then keep going. Do it for another week after you don’t see it anymore. Then also improve your digestion, immune system and take a multivitamin. I should write an article about this….

Careful with massive amounts of zinc – you may be very low in copper now….zinc competes with copper and vice versa.

Dont just treat the outside – also treat the inside….

You may want to consider the sachets (improve the gut flora which is likely slammed with harmful bacteria due to diet, antibiotics, etc), a multivitamin, immune support and adrenal support.

Here is the Saprox.

Here is the specific strain of acidophilus which may help you – many docs say to take 1 full sachet at dinner in a half-glass of water for 14 days.

You may want to get your vitamin D level checked also by your doctor – serum 25 (0H) vitamin D is what needs to be measured – it is usually very low in people and then you may want to get some cod liver oil or a vitamin D3 supplement to improve the low levels.

In health,
Dr Ben



Dr Ben,

Is there anything you can recommend to help treat children when they get an ear infection that would be an alternative to antibiotics?

Thank you.



Tracy –

I cannot offer treatment advice for ear infections as it is dangerous to do so. Ear infections may progress into severe conditions if improperly managed.

What I can do is provide information which may reduce recurring ear infections and provide you with resources, including a naturopathic physician referral database.

Naturopathic physicians successfully and routinely treat ear infections, such as otitis media, without antibiotics. However, if necessary, ND’s will use antibiotics to treat ear infections. It is a case by case basis.

There are loads of options to treat ear infections. Botanicals, homeopathics, nutritional, hydrotherapy and/or cervical adjustments have all been shown to effectively treat ear infections.

The best thing to do is learn what the aggravating factors are in causing ear infections. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Most children that I have seen with ear infections have food intolerances.

In order to prevent future ear infections, eliminating dairy products from their diet may significantly improve their health. Cigarette smoke and traffic pollution are linked to recurrent ear infections as well.

Taken from research:
The role of food allergy is still problematic, but this author suggests that there is some supportive evidence that food immune complexes, particularly with dairy products, may play a role, especially in the otitis-prone child under the age of 2 years.”

“Otitis media is one of the most common infections in young children. Although exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is a known risk factor associated with otitis media, little information is available regarding the potential association with air pollution….These findings indicate an association between exposure to traffic-related air pollutants and the incidence of otitis media. Given the ubiquitous nature of air pollution exposure and the importance of otitis media to children’s health, these findings have significant public health implications.”

We all hear that dairy is key to children as it is high in calcium. Calcium is indeed highly important in children and there are other ways to obtain calcium outside of dairy and supplementation.

Here are some useful calcium resources:

It is be best to find a naturopathic physician in your area. The local ND may have loads of ear infection treatments for you and your child. The faster you get your child to a ND, the more likely it is that they can be treated without antibiotics.

If your child does have to take antibiotics, one may want to consider healthy probiotics such as acidophilus to take during and after. This may help prevent an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

I wish you and your child well.

If you have more questions, please do post a comment or ask a new question.

In health,
Dr Ben

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The basic premise behind this odd sounding natural toenail fungus treatment is to soften nails with beer, create an acidic environment with vinegar which is beneficial to good bacteria and deadly to fungus and then penetrate nails with specific beneficial bacteria to help kill and prevent further recurrences.

Essential Ingredients:

  • Acidophilus Sachets containing a specific strain of 125 billion organisms.
  • Guiness Stout beer or any other dark beer (Guiness is the one proven to work).
  • White Vinegar
  • Basin big enough for your feet or hands
  • Time
  • Persistence and Consistency
  • Natural Toenail Fungus Treatment Procedure:

  • In tub, pour 1 liter of room temperature beer into a basin
  • Add 1/2 a sachet which is 60 billion acidophilus and other probiotics.
  • Add 1 liter of White Vingear
  • Soak clean feet in the solution for 30 minutes before bed or when best for you.
  • On removing your feet or fingernails from the basin, file the nails down with a pumice stone or file
  • After each 3rd day, toss out the entire solution mixture and remake using the formula: 1 liter of white vinegar, 1 liter of dark beer and the remaining half of one sachet. This keeps the solution’s ingredients in active live form. If too old, it will not work.
  • Repeat for 30 days every day. Do not skip a day for best results.
  • Do twice a day for faster results
  • What to look for:
    As fungus gets killed by this natural toenail fungus treatment, you will notice new nail growth from the nail base coming in clear. This is a good sign. Some people see clearing at the base within one week and some people see clearing at the base in one month. It all depends on how fast your nails grow and how often you soak them.

    It will take about 3 to 6 months for infected nails to completely grow out. As long as you keep seeing the nail base come in clean and grow out cleanly, you are on the right track. If it is not growing in cleanly, keep soaking the nails.

    Make sure you do this toenail fungus treatment daily. Make it a routine. Watch some TV, read a book or wash the dishes for 30 minutes. Do not skip a day. If you do, it may take a bit longer than a month but keep at it.

    If you know your nails grow slowly, then consider MSM or Silicea 6x cell salts as they have shown to increase nail growth.

    This anti-fungal protocol is an excellent way to help prevent liver damage via Lamisil.

    If the formula is not strong enough, play with it. Perhaps add some more of the acidophilus to the mix or more vinegar or more beer. Play with the concentrations if necessary.

    If you’ve any questions, I’m happy to answer them for you.

    I estimated the total cost of this procedure to be about $200.00 That is very inexpensive compared to Lamisil – and much healthier to your liver.

    Plus, if you take the acidophilus sachets internally, you are treating a cause of the fungus – not just treating the nails. Lamisil does not restore healthy gut flora thereby recurring nail fungus – the sachets do.

    Even if you drink a couple Guiness Stout while you do the soak – it may still be safer than Lamisil on your liver. 🙂

    I have had over 42,000 people read this information and a decent percentage email me. It is great to hear that this treatment is working well.

    I had one elderly woman with longterm fungal toenails report excellent results.

    She also had an unexpected benefit: her plantar warts fell out from the bottom of her feet allowing her to walk comfortably for the first time in years! Her letter is sitting two feet from me. I need to scan it and stick it on here.

    If you’re debating whether or not to do this soak, don’t. If you are wondering if it works – it does.

    Give it a shot – it is safe, effective, inexpensive. Yes it takes some work, but popping a liver toxic Lamisil pill for 3 months daily also takes work – especially repairing the damaged liver. You only get one liver.

    The Sachets and White Vinegar and the Guiness are the proven ingredients.

    People have tried other strains of acidophilus from their health store without result. You may try them to see if they work for you but from I have seen, they do not work well.

    One factor is that the sachets contain a variety of acidophilus, not just one form and they also contain a specific strain of those types. Why that matters I cannot say but it seems to as those who used a different product did not have success.

    Another reason why other bacteria fail to work was found out by my Immunology professor, Dr Sheryl Berman, PhD. She did a study on about 35 different acidophilus companies and found that only one had the actual amount of live bacteria it claimed in the container – some of the companies stated 1 billion live bacteria per capsule and contained…none. The sachets that I provide claim 125 billion per sachet and at manufacturing have 170 billion.

    Choosing a different dark beer that is less expensive may hinder your success. I have not had reports of other effective dark beers so I am not sure. You can give it a shot but you are only saving a few bucks while investing 30 days of soaking. That is pennies per day extra. Worth the risk? If you have time, it would be good to know if the others worked…if they do, let me know 🙂

    You may find the Acidophilus Sachets here – along with the MSM and Silicea cell salt.

    Should you have questions, please comment. I’m here to answer them and help your nails recover!

    Enjoy healthy nails once again! It’s summer – put on those sandals!

    Dr Ben, ND

    Testimonials and Questions: Look here

    Please note: Fungus is due to either a weak immune system, trauma to the nail area, high refined carbohydrate diet or recent or long term use of antibiotics.

    That said, taking one sachet in a glass of water before dinner for 14 days helps restore healthy gut bacteria which likely has a direct impact on proper immune function, may help combat fungus internally and externally longterm and reduce refined carbohydrate and sugar cravings as the ‘bad’ bacteria which do crave sugar will be wiped out by the beneficial bacteria. So taking the sachets internally for one week, soaking for a few months, changing your diet, building your immune system and not bashing your nails will likely improve your fungus situation.

    A mild headache may occur while taking the sachets internally. Taking vitamin C usually helps. The headache is usually due to the ‘die-off’ reaction from unhealthy bacteria being killed by the healthy probiotic found in the sachets.

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    I’m really intrigued about your natural toenail fungus soak–it’d be not only good for my feet but also just to sit still every day–could have a beer too!

    anyway, I’m pretty healthy and strong except I have muscle tension. Im a feldenkrais teacher and so do some feldenkrais every day. I’ve always been strong and active. I’ve been a mountain climber, dog musher, now I ride horses, today I rode 7 horses (about 10 hours), I’m tired but I feel good. Except for the tight muscles which have plagued me for years. I’m wondering about cell salts. Also about magnesium which I’ve taken before but I’m not good at taking supplements–it’s hard enough to eat lots of fruits and veggies and cook once in a while… and sometimes when I get on a supplement kick I;ll take them for a while and one day I’ll look at them and think yuk–it’s like they turn my stomach.

    The only other complaints I have really are sinus problems (I live in central OR in the junipers–also I’m ordering a neti pot) and the 2 fungusy toenails, which brought me to your website. about 5 years ago I started getting the fungus, didn’t realize it was anything more than reg toenail abuse until maybe 2 years ago. It’s not bad but I need to get rid of it before it invades the whole nail.

    anyway, any suggestions for the muscle tension?

    From: Sisters, Oregon


    Hi there –

    There are many causes of muscle tension. Some commonly approached ways to tackle muscle tension:

    • Consider electrolyte deficiency – that is very common especially in hot weather and athletes. Electrolyte mixes, like the Emergen’C packets, are easy to use.
      • the bioplasma cell salts are great also. A professor told me to have people add about 40 pellets to 1 liter of water and drink throughout the day – dont chug it – drink it through the day – it is the repeated doses that are most effective with cell salts.
    • Peat baths – consider a peat bath after workouts – effective for relieving muscle tension and ridding the muscles of metabolic waste (which can cause muscle tension).
    • Epsom salt baths are a great way to relieve muscle soreness as well as potentially increase your magnesium. I am not sure if epsom salt baths actually increase blood levels of magnesium but some say they do.
    • Yoga/stretching
    • Water water water – filtered only – or in maybe your case – well water is likely great also

    There may be an underlying medical condition causing muscle fatigue and muscle tightness. It is best to seek the advice of a licensed naturopathic physician.

    Disclaimer: Information here is purely informational and not medical advice or treatment.

    In health,

    Dr Ben, ND

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    Can someone please share with me the main difference between using a Neti-Pot (w/ Saline) and just rinsing the nasal mucosa with Saline? This is for a family member with Allergies. My thought is that the Neti-Pot is more thorough with the force of the irrigation (plus you can additional things), yet I’m not sure if that’s the most significant difference. Your thoughts as well?

    Thank you!


    With a neti pot, you get the water deep into the sinuses where the pollen sits.

    Without a neti pot, one cannot really get into the sinuses well if you just rinse the nose with saline. They’ll still have allergies as the allergen is likely residing in the sinuses, not just the entrance to the nose.

    You may have them break some anti-histamine things in there also like Vitamin C, urtica tincture, quercetin, etc into the neti pot along with baking soda and salt

    Dr Ben, ND

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    Dr. Ben,

    I am interested in many aspects of holistic medicine, and would like to pursue a career in the field. I’m not sure how far I want to delve, but I would definitely like to begin somewhere specific and build from that point. For instance, I want to become a master herbalist. In your naturopathic database blog, you state that the schools listed there are the only ones accredited. I think you mean accredited by a national certifying body. I suppose when you graduate from the school, your certification really is only the certificate they give you..there isn’t a higher level accrediting it. I find it so confusing. The only option I have is home-course study programs for the most part, because I do not live near any of the accredited schools (nor do many mention distance learning). The people I have spoken to regarding their education (well-known and reputable holistic health practioners, that is) have sometimes received their education from schools like Clayton College. Are they practicing illegally? Are any naturopathic study programs (such as becoming an herbalist, holistic health practioner, etc.) legitimate outside of the schools you mentioned? I just want to know that I am truly making an investment in the future of others and myself when I choose my next course of action regarding education.

    Any information you can share relating to these questions would be very helpful. Thank you.

    That is a loaded and common question people have.

    It depends on what you would like to do and as you say, how far you want to delve.

    If you want to treat patients and act as a primary care provider, then you need to go to an accredited naturopathic medical school such as Bastyr, NCNM, Southwest or Bridgeport in the USA.

    If you simply want to learn some form of holistic healing or art form, then that is a huge sea of schools and online courses.
    If you want to be a master herbalist, then you should consider schools which are accredited for that. I know the American Herbalist Guild is the leader in their field.

    The American Association of Naturopathic Medicine (AANP) is a great resource for you. They know all the legalities, accreditation, practice guidelines, educational aspects and more.

    The graduates from Clayton College are not illegal to practice if they ‘practice’ in unlicensed states. That is why the AANP is pushing for licensure for naturopathic physicians. Many states now require licensure to practice as a ND. So, depending on what state you live in, if you graduate from Clayton, you may not be able to ‘practice’.

    I put the word ‘practice’ in quotes as the graduates from Clayton College are not primary care physicians. They do not have near the amount of training that naturopathic physicians have yet they call themselves ND’s. That is a big problem for the public.

    I am not sure of the full program at Clayton College for the naturopathic degree – I believe it is 6 months online or around there. At an accredited naturopathic college, licensed ND’s receive a minimum of 4 years post-graduate education in medicine.

    The school I graduated from, Bastyr University, is listed in the Princeton Review for medical schools. That says something.

    Again, the AANP is your best bet to clarify all these points for you. Ask to speak with someone there if you need more direct information.

    If you’ve more questions, please do ask.

    In health,

    Dr Ben

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