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Dr. Andrew Weil

Ralph talks to world–renowned doctor Andrew Weil about the pharmaceutical industry and the problem of over-medication, outlined in his book “Mind Over Meds.” And Princeton professor Robert Tignor tells us about the petition he wrote calling for the denuclearization of the Middle East that was signed by the likes of Ralph, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges. Plus, listener questions!

Andrew Weil, M.D. is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care, which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Weil is Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle. Among his many publications is the book, “Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own.”

 “There are between two and four hundred thousand deaths a year in the U.S. hospitalized population alone directly caused by medications.  And this is not mistakes. This is the right dose.  The right indications.  The right patients. And that many people die, making it something like the fourth leading cause of death in the hospitalized population.” Dr. Andrew Weil, author of “Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own.”

Robert Tignor is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University. Professor Tignor teaches courses in African history and world history and has done research on British colonialism and its aftermath and the modern histories of Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya. Recently, Professor Tignor, along with a number of colleagues drafted a public statement calling for the complete denuclearization of the Middle East. And it has been signed by many concerned intellectuals and activists, including Ralph and past guests on this program, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges.

“I think it’s becoming very, very difficult to call Israel a democracy, especially with the passage of this nationality law, which says Israel is a Jewish state. It basically disenfranchises the privileges of the non-Jews.” Princeton history professor Robert Tignor, co-author of a petition calling for the denuclearization of the Middle East.


  1. Bruce K. says:

    I don’t think it is practical to de-nuclearize the Middle East for the reason that for Israel the nuclear deterrent is the only practical way to ensure they will not get attacked, and as in the future the spread of nuclear material and engineering technology only gets wider and simpler that dynamic just increases the need for nuclear weapons.

    Pressing Israel to disarm like this is just another unreasonable way to implicitly attack Israel while pretending to care about peace and nuclear disarmament – this kind of subversion of meaning and motive is so Orwellian. So, looked at holistically, the whole effort and those who support it is likely either naive, or just disingenuous and motivated by terrorism and extreme Islam.

    • Randy says:

      Do you like the idea of a far right, apartheid State having nuclear weapons?

      • Bruce K, says:

        Hi Randy, No, not in the least. I do not like the idea of any state, entity or power having nuclear weapons, but that does not mean there is any path to a de-nuclearized world. I don’t like the idea of Russia having nuclear weapons, but I daresay that having them now protects them from relentless American attack in a way nothing else would. Same with North Korea. We preserve the peace and preserve the corruption both. We cannot know what kind of threat may develop that we can be so confident in disengaging with our nuclear arsenal – that we will never use. This is a game theory, logic problem that I don’t know if there is a solution for.

  2. elisabeth solomon says:

    The interview with Dr. Weil is another terribly needed, excellent program.

  3. Marc says:

    Loved the Dr. Weil segment, chocked full of great info. However at this point in our country, we really need to begin talking about our warped healthcare system simultaneously alongside our warped food system. Many of our illnesses have their roots not in the medical-industrial complex but in Big Ag. I’m glad to hear Bruce bring that up, in a way, when he asked about plant-based diets. But the problem with that kind of diet in this country is that much of our fruits and vegetables are genetically engineered or otherwise unnatural, and are bathed in pesticides. The only possibility of eating truly healthy is to consume organics but the fact is they are very expensive, and sometimes the USDA’s “Organic” label is a lie when you consider how much the USDA is in bed with Monsanto/Bayer, Cargill, or other major food conglomerates. So we really need to stop talking about one without the other in any given conversation.

  4. Joseph Caucci says:

    Would the constitution allow, instead of humans to represent the people in the congress, instead use artificial intelligence? Ai would not be corrupt like humans. Also they could make decisions based on the constitution and what the people want. Not by a few polititians who represent a few people who pay them off. Also we could save lots of money on salaries, pensions etc.

    • Bruce K. says:

      In my opinion artificial intelligence has never reached a result that human beings have not programmed. We would never get wisdom or justice from AI since it can never understand that concept, but within our laws and taking into account precedent I’ve heard there are already programs that can outperform judges in sentencing of routine non-contested cases.

  5. Mark Spigelmyer says:

    I was placed on anti-depressants (Buproprion and Prozac) that caused me to have seizures that were unable to be controlled except by inducing a coma. I was comatose for six days and after four days the doctor wanted to pull the plug because of little brain activity. Luckily no one pulled the plug and I am alive. I had seizures from tricyclic antidepressants in the army about twenty years prior which my doctor knew about but did not understand the drugs she was giving me well enough to understand which ones not to give me or to decide to use different therapies.

  6. Richard McLaughlin says:

    Hi Ralph just wanted to let you know that the editorial in my morning newspaper the Lakeland Ledger, out of Lakeland, FL has an article calling the McDonald’s hot coffee incident a ridiculous lawsuit. This is part of an article to support an orange juice litigation that they also think is ridiculous because they think the orange juice should be called natural even though it contains glyphosate.It seems that more and more newspaper editors are just shills for the corporations that control their paycheck. If your local paper can’t be trusted to operate ethically within the bounds of freedom of the press, where does that leave us, their patrons, to go in search of unbiased news. To me this is a big reason people are turning away from newspapers. I would appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Thank you-Richard McLaughlin

  7. Joe Scardino says:

    Dr Weil’s advocacy for high doses of vitamin C helped me beat asthma in the early 90s. I still take 4 grams of vitamin C every day along with high doses of anti-oxidants and omegas. Incorporating his ideas on natural supplements, listening to my body and mind, reducing/eliminating activities such as watching the news or engaging in other personally destructive activities has improved my overall health, physically, mentally and spiritually. I am very glad to have an opportunity to thank him for planting the seed. Thank you, doctor, and thank you, Mr Nader. Nettle tea for the win!


  8. Marilyn Mora says:

    Until every country has dismantled all their nuclear weapons, all our efforts towards life on this planet are meaningless.

  9. Jonah Gallegos says:

    As usual, great show! I do have one question for Dr. Andrew Weil. I deal with chronic heartburn, and am also concerned with the side effects of using Prilosec (generic version). I use Arm and HammerBaking Soda for the last 15 or so years, it’s great for not just heartburn but nausea as well. I wounder why baking soda is never brought up as a way to treat heartburn? Anyway, always looking forward to your next show!

  10. Bridget Chadwick says:

    I believe some dental surgeons might be overprescribing opioid pain killers for wisdom teeth extraction. A 30-pain killer prescription certainly seems outrageous especially for patients (mostly teenagers) who are otherwise healthy!

    From a search on the CDC website for the key words: “wisdom teeth” pain opioid, the CDC provides only two results about their Rx Awareness campaign (a campaign designed to increase awareness about the risks of prescription opioids). Result #2 was about Devin and the painkillers he was given for his wisdom teeth extraction at the age of 16. “After the surgery, he received a 30-day prescription for opioid pain medication and liked the way the pills made him feel. After three days, he had used the entire prescription. He soon realized it was easy to obtain prescription opioids from people’s bathrooms, from friends, or from people on the street. Throughout college, he used prescription opioids and heroin. He woke up one day, at age 24, and found himself in a hospital with his mother and a drug counselor at his side. They said to him, “Devin, you overdosed. You need to get help.” It was then that he realized he was on his way to losing everything and needed to make a change”.

    My daughter recently had her wisdom teeth removed. Post-op care included recommendations for Ibuprofen and acetaminophen AND a prescription for 30 pain killers. I expressed serious doubt that my daughter would actually need the pain killers but felt obligated to take the prescription. At the pharmacy I asked the the pharmacist if he thought 30 was too many. He said I could ask for less and so I did. I got 20 and gave my daughter only 2 of them (each cut in half and hours apart) because she was feeling fine with the other post-treatment care I gave her.

    Shannon Hartley, Chief Marketing Officer for Shatterproof (a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families) describes a similar reaction to the 30 Percocet prescribed for her teenage son’s wisdom teeth extraction (, ”Teens, Wisdom Teeth, and Prescription Drug Dangers” March 29, 2018).

    Ms. Hartley talks about the American Dental Association’s (ADA) “new policy to significantly reduce opioid prescribing among their members by supporting mandatory continuing education for dentists in prescribing opioids, supporting limits on opioid dosage and duration consistent with the CDC evidence-based guidelines, and supporting dentists to register with and utilize Prescription Drug Monitory Programs (PDMPs) to promote the appropriate use of opioids and deter misuse. The April issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) published data that concluded acetaminophen (Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS like Advil) are equal or superior to using opioids for dental pain (Benefits and Harms Associated with Analgesic Medications Used in the Management of Acute Dental Pain.The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), April 2018).

    Doing a bit of my own research, I’ve learned that The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) is also concerned about possible overprescription (see: ”Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management” on their website, In their press release about “opioid prescribing recommendations” the “AAOMS recommends doctors begin with the lowest possible effective dose for the shortest duration possible”. In my opinion, prescriptions for 30 painkillers for wisdom teeth extraction don’t meet these guidelines.

    I hope that my comment will be shared with Dr. Weil and others on the frontline of the opioid crisis.

    Bridget Chadwick

  11. Paul Noursi says:

    Excellent idea! “…It is time that those of us interested in the Middle East and world peace make our voices heard. We call on others to endorse policies that favor denuclearization of the Middle East and a just and fair resolution of the Arab-Israeli dispute.”