An herbal case history


Donny Yance, MHCN, is one of the most knowledgeable herbalists in the country. Donny has researched and written about nutrition and herbal medicine for nearly 20 years. He maintains a very busy practice, writes articles, and lectures frequently to doctors and other health professionals. Donny uses life style, exercise, nutrition and herbs to support a wide range of conditions and promote optimal health. Donny does not diagnose or treat illness. He works along with doctors to let natural healing complement modern medicine.

Robert: Donny, I love our interviews because I always learn so much. What is this month's topic?

Donny: Skin health. We are going to talk about a child, Sam. His parents brought him in when he was 19 months old. He had been to many physicians, both traditional and holistic, yet without results. He had suffered since birth from eczema. He had a very bad case -- the worst I have ever seen. He also had frequent ear infections, and lots of mucus running from the nose.

Robert: Poor kid. I bet his parents were desperate.

Donny: They were. Poor Sam would scratch all night long, making it worse. He had incredibly red, irritated, inflamed skin. It was quite ugly.

Robert: His parents must have tried many things to help him.

Donny: They did. They had taken him to some holistic physicians, but without any success. Allergies were looked into, but there was nothing definite done. They looked at the obvious ones: wheat, dairy, tomatoes, and citrus. But they did not keep detailed records, nor had Sam been put on any specific plan.

Robert: Why did you look right away for food sensitivities?

Donny: The ear infections and overuse of antibiotics made me think that there might be an increased food sensitivity or allergy going on.

Robert: Antibiotics were used on Sam?

Donny: Yes. And he was still suffering from the ear infections. So I started by having the mother keep a detailed food diary and see what happened if he reacted to any foods. There were foods that he was not digesting well -- some foods would go right through him. Through this I found out that corn was the most problematic food. So I immediately took him off it.

Robert: What's your opinion of antibiotics?

Donny: They are terribly overused. They are also misused. Parents will often insist on them and not feel happy unless they get them. They breed horrible bacteria. They usually only makes things worse.

Robert: Even the pediatric journals are warning of the danger of overusing antibiotics. On the first visit what did you give him?

Donny: I started with one of my favorite nutrients: quercetin. I suggested quercetin power, 1/4 teaspoon 2-3 times per day.

Robert: Why?

Donny: Quercetin inhibits a lot of the inflammatory reactions in the body, and does so without toxicity. It stops all the processes that lead to inflammation when a person is in an allergic state. It is great for hives, sinus problems. The powder is almost tasteless and it can be mixed in apple sauce. I have found it helped eliminate my ragweed allergy. It really works well in children. I was hoping it would cut down on the inflammation in his skin.

Robert: What else did you use?

Donny: Serraflazyme. It is a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme. It is made by silkworms. It can help other nutrients get absorbed more effectively as well. Sam took two of the small tablets of Serraflazyme three times per day. I also used three 1200 mg evening primrose oil capsules per day and one teaspoon of flax oil per day. I also used N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC).

Robert: Why?

Donny: NAC is an amino acid that helps the liver detoxify. This is very helpful. It takes some of the detoxifying burden off the skin. It also contains sulfur, which is good for the skin.

Robert: You made an herbal tonic for Sam. I am most interested to know what was in it.

Donny: The number one herb was a concentrated pressed juice of nettles. Nettles is an incredibly nutritive plant. It is rich in chlorophyll, which heals the GI tract. It is also anti-inflammatory, a mucus cleanser, and a lung cleanser. I also used echinacea, which is excellent at strengthening the immune system. I also used oregon grape root which is a wonderful immune tonic and great for the skin. I also put in eyebright -- my favorite child's herb -- for it is great for clearing mucous and healing the bowel. I also used a little bit of red root, meadowsweet, and chamomile.

Robert: What about the issue of the safety of herbs with an infant?

Donny: These are all very safe herbs. The worst thing they could cause in very high doses was diarrhea. And none of this happened. He tolerated all of the supplements and the herbal tonic very well.

Robert: Was anything used externally on the skin?

Donny: Evening primrose oil capsules were applied topically. I also had them use Weleda calendula cream with zinc oxide. Zinc oxide and calendula together does an amazing job promoting healing. I have seen it heal so many skin problems with kids. It's incredible.

Robert: And they followed all your instructions well? I know that can be a problem sometimes with involved natural therapies.

Donny: Sam's more did a great job of following my instruction exactly. She deserves a lot of credit for the healing that took place.

Robert: So it worked?

Donny: After one month, all of it nearly cleared up. I was really surprised. I did not think the results would be that dramatic or occur that quickly.

Robert: Sam's parents must have been thrilled.

Donny: They were ecstatic. Their doctor, who supervised the whole thing, was also very impressed. Now I see the whole family.

Robert: Why did the other homeopaths and holistic people they took the baby to not succeed? I know this is an uncomfortable question, but what makes Donny Yance so good?

Donny: (laughs) I think it is the comprehensive approach I take and the fact that I customize my program to each person. I carefully listen to each person who comes to see me. I spend a lot of time on the first visit. Practitioners often fail because they do not look closely at the person they are helping. They treat a disease, not a person. I never treat any two people the exact same way -- even if they have the same problem.

Robert: Well, it obviously works quite well. Donny, thanks for giving us another herbal case history. I look forward to your next herbal case history here in Total Health.

Donny: So do I, Robert.


Total Health Nutrition Editor, Robert Crayhon, M.S.

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