You will not find this word in Webster’s dictionary, in a telephone book, or a listing of careers. The word plantrician was created to identify health care practitioners, such as physicians or clinicians, who are empowered with knowledge of the benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition.1 I recently had the privilege of attending the International Plantrician Project Convention. I spent four days being saturated with lectures, research, enthusiasm, chit-chat, and meals all focused on the power of the plant. Pioneer physicians in the field, researchers, authors, dietitians, farmers, and athletes presented and reaffirmed the efficacy of plant-based nutritional therapy for a variety of diseases and imbalances.
While this convention was not spiritual in nature, Scott Stoll, MD, co-founder of the Plantrician Project, walked around the convention hall daily, praying for God’s blessing and His Spirit to be present in the meetings. His keynote address included a description of God’s design for the original diet of man as found in the book of Genesis. Stoll’s philosophy emanates from his statement, “Physicians are trained to treat symptoms and diseases, rather than addressing the underlying imbalances that perpetuate illness. As doctors become informed, rise up, band together, and… in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath… demand change of the current system, the system will begin to change, ushering in real healthcare reform and a sustainable system.”2 Utilizing nutrition as therapy for a myriad of conditions is truly revolutionary in a health care system dominated by pharmacopoeia.
Solutions are needed for the growing chronic disease pandemic in our world as well as for the pressing global sustainability issues. Each speaker at the conference shared their perspective and research on how plant-based nutrition can provide answers to these problems.
David DeRose, MD, MPH, is a board-certified specialist in both internal medicine and preventive medicine. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in Public Health, with an emphasis on Health Promotion and Health Education. He has worked with lifestyle centers such as Lifestyle Center for America and Weimar Institute. I would say that Dr. DeRose is definitely a plantrician.
Dr. DeRose, along with Greg Steinke, MD, MPH, and Trudie Li, MSN, FNP, have authored a book called Thirty days to Natural Blood Pressure Control: The No Pressure Solution. The authors state, “This book is not a hypothetical treatise relating merely good suggestions to help your blood pressure. It is a book based on evidence, solid medical research studies, as well as accounts of the changed lives witnessed by the health care providers authoring this book. It is a book that provides practical strategies to help you get your blood pressure (BP) under control once and for all, without depending on costly, side-effect-ridden medications.”3
…if you equip yourself with awareness of your lifestyle or your habits, you don’t have to rely on medication to improve your condition.
Blood pressure control is an important topic in a nation where approximately one-third of adults have high blood pressure. Hypertension is a serious condition that increases one’s risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, but this does not lessen its deleterious impact on our health. Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost annually from heart attacks and strokes. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for these events.
One fascinating section of the book deals with the research on the efficacy of hypertension medications. While these drugs have been found to lower the risk of cardiovascular events up to a certain point, they have noteworthy limitations. In addition, they do not address the root cause. DeRose explains, “The root cause almost always resides in the complex web of your lifestyle. And it can often include factors we’re unaware of. That’s why, in some situations, it can be tough to treat without medication, because we don’t always know which risk factors are working together to raise the pressure on your blood vessel walls. But if you equip yourself with awareness of your lifestyle or your habits, you don’t have to rely on medication to improve your condition. You can lower hypertension naturally. I’ll show you how.”4 If you find yourself among the one-third of Americans with hypertension I would encourage you to avail yourself of this information.
The “No Pressure” solution to hypertension is a mnemonic that stands for the following lifestyle factors:
- Optimal choice of beverages
- Physical activity
- Stress management
- Social support
- Use of natural adjuncts
- Refraining from pressors and excesses
- Exercising faith in God
You see, while Dr. DeRose and his co-authors understand the value of plant-based nutritional intervention, their therapeutic approach encompasses all aspects of lifestyle that unitedly coalesce to create a person’s present health status. Combined, these “No Pressure” factors give guidance to a comprehensive, non-drug approach that is supported by solid scientific evidence. This approach leaves you in the driver’s seat of your life. You retain the control and the choice.
The Bible says that it was God who planted the first garden. Scripture records that it was in the midst of plants that God placed man. It was out of the ground that man found that which was “good for food” (Genesis 2:9, KJV). My definition of a plantrician is one who believes that God knew what He was doing.
- Scott Stoll, “The Big Picture of Plant-based Nutrition,” International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference.
- David DeRose, Greg Steinke, Trudie Li, Thirty days to Natural Blood Pressure Control: The No Pressure Solution, CompassHealth Consulting, Inc., 2016.
- David DeRose, “Lower Hypertension Naturally,” Life Start Seminars, 2016, http://lifestartseminars.com/lower-hypertension-naturally.
Risë Rafferty, RDN
Risë is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and has been writing and teaching about health for many years. She loves the health message and takes great pleasure in seeing people thrive by the application of its principles. Her research and down-to-earth manner allow her to offer up the health message in both an intelligent and accessible manner. She and her husband, James Rafferty, have two children.