Dr. Angelica Kokkalis, O.M.D L.Ac.

Picture of Angelica

Invitation to Present Herbal Medicince at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa

Dr. A. Mungherera from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa has formally invited Dr. Angelica Kokkalis of the Han Institute to present December 27-January 7 on pain management, herbal medicine, and the Han Protocols.

south-africa-invitation

Five thousand years ago in a tranquil basin of the Yellow River, a civilization was born deep in China. The people and culture that emerged from this region eventually inhabited much of the Asian continent.

Herbs

They had no formal religion, so instead their lives were governed by an abiding respect for nature and a fundamental reverence for the powers of creation. As they observed nature, they built a philosophy and patterned their lives upon the natural laws of the universe.

Life, along with its many challenges, is a puzzle. Rather than creating solutions, the early Chinese instead sought answers. They observed and imitated nature, a model already perfectly designed. Their philosophical base was deep and became defined to their generation.

The numbers one through five have a symbolic meaning in the Chinese philosophy.

For man and nature there is but one origin, a creator of peace and harmony. The first dimension, heaven, served to remind man of a divine realm beyond the tangible earth, and that all things physical also have a spiritual nature. Two represents balance; the competing and complementary forces of Yin and Yang, one inward/one outward, one positive/one negative, but whole when in balance.

The number three stands for heaven, earth, and man. Human beings exist to live on, and of, the earth. Four illustrates variety and is exhibited by the four seasons of nature. In variety is found difference, changes, and the joy of the earth. The number five represents the five elements that comprise all of the universe: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.

For harmony to exist, all five elements must be present in man, fish animals, plants, trees, and flowers. In all creations, the five elements are working in constructive tandem in what is called the “cycle of quinary”.

The Chinese have believed for thousands of years that true harmony is achieved only when balance exists. To achieve harmony in their lives, the Chinese sought to master the laws of nature and the laws of the universe. Because they had no understanding of an afterlife, the quality of their present life became their primary focus.

The ancient Chinese summed their belief with a saying, “to live long and to live well”. Health and longevity were achieved out-
wardly through exercising and inwardly through proper nutrition and meditation. To the Chinese, health was a product of the foods they ate, the air they breathed, how they exercised their bodies and how they exercised their mind. The quality of their food reflected directly upon the quality of their lives.

Food must be natural, fresh, and wholesome. It must be in great variety, and always in balance. Herbs and vegetables, the natural gifts from the mother earth, were the foods that the Chinese historically relied upon to promote health. They believed in pure and natural foods which, when eaten in proper quantities and in the right combination, kept the body nourished, balanced, and cleansed. With thousands of herbs, there is an incredible variety, and, as with all whole foods, herbs maintain the natural synergy and balance so vital to the human body.

The ‘Gods of Herbs’

A man named Shen Nan experimented with plants and herbs to understand how the body could be nourished. He studied and recorded the effects on his body of eating as many as 70 different herbs each day. Hence, he discovered the herbs as food. Shen Nan taught his people how to identify, cultivate, and utilize herbs beneficial to the body and became known as the “God of Herbs”.

The legacy was continued by Huan Di, the Yellow Emperor. He subsequently assembled the finest doctors to study and document the many benefits of herbs as food.

This article was originally printed in the Zionsville Times Sentinel on 12/27/06.

Angelica Kokkalis, O.M.D., is a local Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with training and expertise in Eastern and Western medicine. Her professional mission is to relieve suffering through the use of time-honored techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine to bring the body back into balance, thus facilitating its natural ability to heal itself.

By Amy Patterson-Neubert Journal and Courier

Cancer patients may feel heir less as their bodies gather what energy is available to fight off the rapid growth of malignant cell: while chemotherapy treatments toxic chemicals – are pumped in their veins.

After various prescription medications and chemotherapy treatments, Dr. Nancy DiMartino hears from some patients, “Is there anything else. I can do,” when the co ventional treatments have failed.

DiMartino then informs her patients of herbal supplements which are one of the leading a1ternative therapies that consume seek when they feel they have exhausted conventional resources are interested in wellness and prevention.

Herbal consumption is one the leading therapies in the segment of complementary health care. Patients are ingesting herbs, which come from plants and have a medical, savory or aromatic use, to prevent diseases, fight depression or alleviate symptoms.

In 1996, $3.24 billion was spent on the herbal industry, according to Kathy Pickerill, a pharmacist at Home Hospital. In the same year, only a third of the individuals who were taking herbs informed their physician. In 2000, the Journal of I he American Medical Association’ (JAMA) reported that patients did not inform their doctors about 60 percent of unconventional therapies, including herbs.

Shirley Pepple, 62, has battled ovarian cancer since 1996. It reoccurred in March 1998, so she started chemotherapy again. And she also began to consume a sampling herbal supplements that she had read were beneficial for cancer patients. She didn’t tell her oncologist, DfMartino, for eight months.

“At first I was reluctant to say anything to Dr. Di,” Pepple said.

Then she shared with her doctor that she was taking antioxidants, MGM3 to help with her immune system vitamins and minerals.

“I am probably living today because of these extra things. We feel like it’s a combination of things,” said Pepple, who still receives chemotherapy once a month.

During DiMartino’s 22-year career, many patients have approached her about options that include herbal supplements.

“My early interest with herbal supplements started from patients who were trying complementary and alternative medicines because physicians said, ‘I can’t help you.’ The patient would say, ‘I want to live,’ ” DiMartino said.

But supervising herbal supplement intake by patients demands some extra work on the doctor’s part. DiMartino keeps up to date with research and refers to her Physician Desk Reference on herbs daily. She encourages patients to start supplements gradually, then she monitors their kidneys and livers. Sometimes patients are encouraged just by starting a daily vitamin.

“Many healing traditions are prevalent all over the planet except here,” DiMartino said.

But when patients fail to consult their physician about what they are ingesting, side effects and drug interactions with herbals may occur.

Combinations that should be avoided are blood thinners including ginkgo biloba and vitamin’ E, if taken with aspirin. Such a combination can inhibit blood clotting. Other concerns are relative to anesthesia that may be administered in the dentist’s office. For example, a calming supplement such as kava kava or St. John’s. wort can interact with the effects of anesthesia. The Academy of General Dentistry suggests patients inform dentists about all herbal supplement consumption.

Dandelion and bearberry are herbal supplements that are identified to work as a diuretic. When taken with a prescription diuretic, they may over enhance the interaction, leading to dehydration, loss of potassium and disruption of the heart rhythm.

Another concern for pharmacists is that herbals are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as conventional drugs are. The unknowns of what is packaged in various bottles of herbs keep Dennis McCallian, owner of Family

Pharmaflare in West Lafayette, from stocking them on his pharmacy shelves. While many pharmacies, especially those in chains, offer an herb du jour, McCallian works with a pharmaceutical supplier so he and his staff may supervise the compounding for natural herbal supplements, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

”We think there is a value to those items. We have a limited variety of items,” McCallian said. . When needed, a physician may send the patient in with an “order.” The pharmacist might make a suggestion and confer with the physician.

“We are a conservative, objective and informed source for items. We base these on basic science, not hyped advertising,” McCallian said. “We are not here to fill somebody’s shopping cart.”

Dr. Angelica Kokkalis, an Oriental and medical doctor, relies on traditional Chinese medicine compounds that she special orders from Health Concerns in California.
For example, when patients are seeking a supplement to promote strong bones, she doesn’t recommend calcium or magnesium. These minerals are used in Chinese medicine for muscle spasms. Instead, Kokkalis would recommend a supplement with 15 herbs that includes ingredients to invigorate the blood to encourage bones to grow.

A currently popular herb is St. John’s wort. Kokkalis doesn’t recommend St. John’s wort for a patient with depression, because she generally treats patients with major depression. St. John’s wort, a plant with yellow flowers; is promoted as a natural way to improve mood and mild depression, Instead Kokkalis would recommend Calming the Spirit-Supplement (Xin Wan), which alleviates stress, anxiety and depression.

Calming the Spirit is composed of nine herbs, including biota, peony, fu-shen, polygala and zizyptius. Enzymes are also taken to aid in digestion of the supplement.

Whether St. John’s wort is effective in helping moderate depression is not clear. Researchers are not certain which ingredients are active. The National Institute of Mental Health said some evidence has suggested that hyperforin in St. John’s wort may affect mood. Many European studies have determined the herb is beneficial, but the studies had limitations. So the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the’ Office of Dietary Supplements are expected to have results of their first long-term clinical trial for St. John’s wort for major depression this year.

Recently, a study by Pfizer Inc., which makes antidepressants and St. John’s wort extract, said the herb is ineffective in treating major depression.

Originally printed in the Journal and Courier, Sunday, July 22,2001 by Amy Patterson-Neubert, Journal and Courier.

Patients should inform doctors of all medications being taken

Garlic isn’t usually pegged as I life threatening.

But when patients self-prescribe this herb for cholesterol and blood pressure concerns and then fail to tell their anesthesiologist or surgeon, health complications can result during surgery. A recent report published in the Journal of American Medical Association highlights the potential dangers of herbs and surgery, but local general surgeons have been informed of the same concerns for nearly five months.

Dr. Kenneth Bochenek, medical director of anesthesiology services at Greater Lafayette Health Services Inc., which operates Home Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, distributed brochures to local general surgeons regarding the possible interactions between herbs and drugs, especially for anesthesia. For example, garlic can have prolonged bleeding effects if combined with anticoagulant sodium warfarin, also known as Coumadin.

A patient’s variation of the brochure What You Should Know About Herbal Use and Anesthesia is available at Home Hospital’s ambulatory surgery center.

“The problem is patients don’t recognize herbs as medications,” said Bochenek, who is also president of Anesthesiology Services.

Bochenek is not aware of any surgical complications locally from herbal medicines. Herbs can include flowering plants, shrubs, trees, moss, fern algae, seaweedor fungus. The study reported in JAMA identified echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St. John’s wort and valerian as herbs with potential surgery complications.

Anesthesiologists are researching nationally how certain herbals interact with specific anesthesias, according to information published by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. For example, herbs may extend anesthetic effects, and others such as garlic can increase the risks of bleeding.

When patients neglect to inform their physician or surgeon what or how much herb they are consuming, the herb can mix with medication or anesthesia. Bochenek said patients who forget to tell the surgical team what they are on is not uncommon. For example, when some women list the medicines they are consuming, many don’t acknowledge birth control pills.

In the past, patients at Sagamore Surgical Center were asked what medications they were taking. Now the staff has rephrased the question to include herbs and supplements too because patients failed to identify some products.

“A lot of people do not see these as medicines so they leave them out,” said Ann Keyes, assistant directcr of nursing at Sagamore Surgical Center. “But then you look at their lab work … and see something.”

Surgical teams also have to be cautious of herbs because they are not consistent in dosage or content. Herbs, unlike over-the-counter medications, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

“To me it’s just playing Russian roulette,” Bochenek said. “You’re just spinning the chamber and pulling the trigger with some medications.”

Patients’ faulty thinking comes from the perception herbs are natural and safe, according to Nick Popovich, professor in the Purdue School of Pharmacy with an interest in over-the-counter and herbal medicines.

“Herbal medicines can cause a lot of problems with respect to drug interaction and complications associated with surgery,” Popovich said. “The message is: Before you take herbal medicines – and if you are on prescribed medicines – check with your doctor or pharmacist to make there are sure no interactions.”

If a patient is found to be on an herb or the dosage could complication the surgery or related medications, the procedure may be delayed to ensure the herb has exited the body. At least two weeks is generally the wait time.

Dr. Angelica Kokkalias, a Chinese oriental doctor and medical doctor, is concerned the publicity of this report could deter people from herbs altogether.

“The doctors should not scare patients,” said Kokkalias, who resides in West Lafayette but practices in Zionsville and Indianapolis. “I think it’s the responsibility of the state to educate physicians about herbs.”

When Kokkalias advises patients of an herb for wellness or to treat an ailment, she doesn’t recommend they’ buy a bottle off a drug store shelf. She works with a national company that reports the ingredients of the herb, so there is no guesswork.

“Western doctors need to be more open minded and holistic, and the holistic need to learn more about Western medication,” Kokkalias said. “The safety of the patient is involved.”

Reprinted with permission from the Zionsville Times Sentinel, AG/ ENVIRONMENT, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER, 27, 2006

Five-thousand years ago in a tranquil basin of the Yellow River, a civilization was born deep in China. The people and culture that emerged from this region eventually inhabited much of the Asian continent. They had no formal religion, so instead their lives were governed by an abiding respect for nature and a fundamental reverence for the powers of creation. As they observed nature, they built a phi­losophy and patterned their lives upon the natural laws of the uni­verse. Life, along with its many challenges, is a puzzle. Rather than creating solutions, the early Chinese instead sought answers. They observed and imitated nature, a model already perfectly designed. Their philosophical base was deep and became defined to their generation. The numbers one through five have a symbolic meaning in the Chinese philosophy.

For man and nature there is but one origin, a creator of peace and harmony. The first dimension, heaven, served to remind man of a divine realm beyond the tangi­ble earth, and that all things physical also have a spiritual nature. Two represents balance; the com­peting and complementary forces of Ymg and Yang, one inward one outward, one positive one nega­tive, but whole when in balance. The number three stands for heaven, earth and man. Human beings exist to live on, and of, the earth. Four illustrates variety and is exhibited by the four seasons of nature. In variety is found differences, changes and the joy of the earth. The number five represents the five elements that comprise all of the universe: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. For har­mony to exist, all five elements must be present in man, fish, ani­mals, plants, trees and flowers. In all creations the five elements are found working in constructive tandem in what is called the “cycle of quinary.”

The Chinese have believed for thousands of years that true har­mony is achieved only when bal­ance exists. To achieve harmony in their lives, the Chinese sought to master the laws of nature and the laws of universe. Because they had no understanding of an afterlife, the quality of their pres­ent life became their primary focus. The ancient Chinese summed their belief with a say­ing, “to live long and to five well.” Health and longevity were achieved outwardly through exercising and inwardly through proper nutrition and meditation. To the Chinese, health was a product of the foods they ate, the air they breathed, how they exercised their bodies and how they exer­cised their mind. The quality of their food reflected directly upon the quality of their lives. Food must be natural, fresh and wholesome. It must be in great variety, and always in balance. Herbs and vegetables, the natu­ral gifts from the mother earth, were the foods that the Chinese historically relied upon to promote health. They believed in pure and natural foods which, when eaten in proper quantities and in the right combination, kept the body nourished, bal­anced and cleansed. With thou­sands of herbs, there is an incredible variety, and as with all whole foods, herbs maintain the natural synergy and balance so vital to the human body.

A man named Shen Nan experimented with plants and herbs to understand how the body could be nourished. He studied and recorded the effects on his body of eating as many as 70 different herbs each day. Hence, he discovered the herbs as foods. Shen Nan taught his people how to identify, cultivate and utilize herbs beneficial to the body and became known as the God of Herbs. The legacy was continued by Huan Di, the Yellow Emperor. He subse­quently assembled the finest doctors to study and document the many benefits of herbs as foods.