Hackett Holistic Health - Longevity and Healing, Inside and Out - Acupuncture, Botanical and Functional Medicine, Clear+Brilliant Permea Laser Facial Rejuvenation | 05 Botanical and Nutritional Medicine
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05 Botanical and Nutritional Medicine

Herba est ex luce “Plants derive their power from light.”

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Herba est ex luce

“Plants derive their power from light.”

…and from the earth they thrive in.


Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, can be considered super foods more than drugs because the nutritive principal TCM formulas are based upon. IMG_1020Parts of plants’ seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers are prepared for medicinal purposes. Herbalism is nature’s fundamental compounds that has been in use for millennia.
Conventional pharmaceutical medicine has only been around for a couple of hundred years and are often synthesized substances derived from the plant world. The isolation of derivative substances often misses the power of the plant’s vital matrix.  As clinical research becomes more focused on herbal medicine,  clear and substantial value has been shown for the treatment and preventing a disease.

Aspects of botanical medicine include: herbal formulas (Dr. Hackett typically prescribes centuries-tested TCM formulas), orthomolecular or nutritional supplements (typically derived from food sources), homeopathic medicine, essential oil, and TCM nutrition.


Plants have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian writings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000 BC. Historically, indigenous cultures of the Africa and the Americas used herbs in their healing rituals and medicinal preparations as well. Others developed discrete systems of medicine, such as Ayurveda in India. “Zhong Yi” is the name for acupuncture and herbal medicine in China, which spread throughout Asia and is now called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Sophisticated herbal therapies have been used in both systems for thousands of years. A “new” formula design, by TCM standards, can be as much as 800 years old.  Researchers have found that people in different parts of the world use the same or similar plants for the same purposes.

So what’s the difference between taking a drug and a prepared plant substance?:
Pharmaceutical drugs are based on a toxicity model. The testing research is done to find therapeutic limits of a compound, as in lowest possible dose to achieve a measurable therapeutic result and at the upper end, the highest dose which may lead to harm or death of the patient.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on a nutritive model. Wherein herbs that have therapeutic properties, but have no toxicity (can be eaten like a food) are of highest value and used most often. Medicinal substances that have toxic properties are also classed as the lowest value because they can only be used in small doses for very short duration. Toxic substances are avoided as much as possible in TCM herbal formulations.


However, treatment with herbal medicine should be taken very seriously. Herbs are powerful and have specific effects on the body. There is a very good reason why you do not see TCM herbal formulas on the shelves of health food or drug stores. If two people come in to see Dr. Hackett with a migraine, it is very likely that they will need entirely different formulas because their health and overall constitution are completely different.

Recently, the World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In Germany, about 600 – 700 plant based medicines are available and prescribed by around 70% of German physicians. In the past 20 years in the United States, an interest in natural or organic remedies has been trending, leading to an increase in herbal medicine use.


Commonly Used Herbs:

LingZhi or Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), pictured left, is historically regarded as a “king herb” being highly prized for it’s long term health rejuvenating properties. It is referred to as the “Elixir of Life” in ancient texts. Current studies on this amazing mushroom have been conducted in several countries the world over and have found that LingZhi/Reishi:

  • Supports and enhances immune system function; studies have shown its efficacy for the support of treatment of type I and type II herpes, HIV-1, and other viral infections
  • Natural anti-inflammatory (for acute and chronic inflammation)
  • Improves respiratory function: used in formulations to treat bronchitis, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and asthma
  • Exhibits anti-aging properties: rich source of antioxidants helps inhibit free radical production and reduce oxidative damage
  • Supports the liver’s natural restorative processes to repair damage
  • Promotes sleep
  • Helps maintains healthy cholesterol levels, due to its support of liver function and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Current research in China is showing that it is a potential anti-cancer agent

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): used to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory. It is especially effective in treating dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and intermittent claudication (poor circulation in the legs). Caution should also be taken with people with a history of seizures and people with fertility issues. It should not be used if you are taking certain medications.

Kava kava (Piper methysticum): elevates mood, enhances well being and contentment, and produces a feeling of relaxation. Can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, urinary disorders, depression, and nervous disorders. Kava can interact with some medications, including birth control pills, so it is important to take it sparingly as directed by a health care provider. Kava kava use can lead to dependency. Ask Dr. Hackett for safer formulations and preparations to find the emotional balance you seek.

Echinacea preparations (from Echinacea purpurea and other Echinacea species): improves the body’s natural immunity. It can interact with certain medications and should not be used by people with certain conditions, like autoimmune disorders or certain allergies. Speak with a practitioner before using it.

Obviously, the list above is only a very small fraction of what the plant world has to offer interns of healing plants. When herbs are used correctly, they can help treat many different conditions and have fewer side effects than most conventional medications. It is always important to consult an expert of clinical herbal preparations before using any herbal products, alone or in combination, particularly if you are taking other medications. Dr. Hackett always encourages you to consult with your MD when you wish to take herbs in conjunction with your pharmaceutical medications. Many formulas have no interaction with medications, if taken appropriately. If your symptoms and labs begin to improve with your treatment with Dr. Hackett,  ask your MD for a titration schedule or a change dosages of pharmaceuticals you take.

IMG_1183Orthomolecular medicine is a form medicine based on the understanding that an optimal nutritional environment in the various systems of the body help ward off disease and maintain robust homeostasis to keep the body running at optimal vitality for consistently strong longevity. Conversely, disease or imbalance is construed to be due to a material deficiency of orthomolecular substances in the body. Dr. Hackett takes a combined view that deficiencies and excesses can be present simultaneously. She uses the best intervention for the patterns your body is presenting either acutely or chronically.


Orthomolecular medicine, as conceptualized by double-Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, utilizes treatment plans of substances designed to restore the optimum individual biochemistry. This category of supplementation includes substances natural to the body such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, peptides, amino acids, trace elements, and fatty acids.


The term “orthomolecular” was coined by Dr. Linus Pauling in his seminal paper published in the journal Science in 1968. The key premise of orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors affect the physical characteristics and the biochemical milieu of individuals. Physiological biochemical pathways of the body have significant genetic variability and disease development are associated with specific biochemical abnormalities. Those abnormalities can present as excitotoxins,  endocrine disruptors, and other non-nutrive chemicals that are present in air, food, and water typically because of cost-saving measures utilized by various industries; thus are causal or contributing factors of the illness.


Dr. Hackett provides the best quality supplements at a value-based price. Cheap supplements are deceptive. There have been a few recent scandals about mainstream retailers selling supplements with little or none of the stated ingredients in the product. She chooses only verified products and prescription only supplements that are purity guaranteed. Pure products means lower dosing.


Make sure you get the real thing with Dr. Hackett and wind up taking less and getting better faster – now that’s a real value.

Water is a crystal. Plants are sunlight in physical form. Things we take for granted are actually powerful conductors of life. Homeopathy takes the fundamental basis of water and other elements of the natural world and uses it to make very powerful medicine.


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Homeopathy is the practice of medicine that embraces a holistic, drug-free treatment of the whole person.  The treatment is derived from natural substances processed with water that address the whole organism rather than diseased part or a labeled sickness.  The U.S. FDA-recognized Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States outlines medicinal substances from natural sources: vegetable, mineral, and animal. Homeopathy, from Greek, literally means “like disease”, meaning that the medicine given is like the disease that the person is expressing, in his totality, not like a specific disease category or medical diagnosis.


Principle 1: Like Cures Like

The foundational principle of Homeopathy is: let like cure like, from the Latin similia similibus curentur.  This concept dates back to Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), but it was German physician Dr. C. F. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who first codified this principle into a system of medicine.  He started with experiments on himself, then administered medicinal substances to healthy individuals (“provers”).  Symptoms that developed in the provers while taking a specific substance gave the homeopathic indications for, that remedy.  This long term accumulation of toxicological data and clinical experience developed the homeopathic drug pictures of over 2000 substances.


Principle 2:  The Minimum Dose

The second principle of Homeopathy is that of the minimum dose.  Dr. Hahnemann began his process of provings using crude substances, such as full strength herbs, observing that while the patients got well, they also had side effects.  He worked to minimize side effects through potentization or a series of dilutions, until there was no detectible chemical substance left.  Paradoxical as it may seem the higher the dilution, the more potent the homeopathic remedy.  Thus producing the maximum therapeutic effect with the fewest side effects, which in effect makes Homeopathy very safe in use of its potentized oral medicines for patients of all ages and of any level of health.


Principle 3:  The Single Remedy

The third principle of Homeopathy is the single remedy.  Most homeopathic practitioners prescribe one remedy at a time.  Dr. Hackett prescribes compositums and homaccords, which are several single remedies that are harmonized together, like a musical melody to treat a class of symptoms that will be effective across individuals.


FDA recognition of Homeopathic Medicine

Officially recognized under the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the 1965 Medicare Act, and the 1987 FDA Compliance Policy Guidelines, these safe, gentle but deep-acting medicines can be used to treat individuals experiencing many kinds of medical conditions.  In particular, the injectable format of homeopathics are only available to providers with the appropriate credentialing.


Homeopathic medicine is very popular in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and many other countries in Europe and Asia. It has been in use for over 200 years with an incomparable safety record. Dr. Hackett often will start a treatment plan for someone with a complex health history to help ‘unlock’  long-term chronicity to encourage and activate the healing process.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing. Although the word “aroma” suggests that the fragrance of the oils are the most important aspect, they can also be massaged into the skin or, rarely,  ingested by mouth. You should never take essential oils orally without specific instructions from a qualified provider. Essential oils are gaining attention as a viable treatment for infections, stress, skin conditions, and other health problems. However, in most cases scientific exploration of the anecdotal evidence is still lacking.


IMG_1359Essential oils are extracts taken from the flowers, roots, leaves, or seeds of plants. Comprised of a complex mix of phytochemicals,  that have powerful properties that promote physical healing.  Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for at least 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in perfumes, drugs, beauty and hygiene preparations. Essential oils have also been for spiritual and shamanic purposes by cultures all over the world.


In the early twentieth century a French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, discovered the healing properties of lavender oil when he applied it to a burn on his hand caused by an explosion in his laboratory. He analyzed the chemical properties of essential oils and how their common uses at the time to treat the wounds of soldiers during World War I. In 1928, Gattefossé founded the science of aromatherapy. By the 1950s in Europe, these powerful oils were in common use by massage therapists, aestheticians, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers.


Aromatherapy did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s. Today, many lotions, candles, and beauty products are sold as “aromatherapy.” However, many of these products contain synthetic fragrances that do not have the same properties as essential oils. This is a key distinction  understanding the difference between mere fragrance and the vital essence of a plant that also has a distinctive scent.


The scientific study of essential oils is meager. Some researchers surmise that our sense of smell may play a role. The olfactory receptors in your nose relay information to the amygdala and hippocampus, that network your emotions and memories. It is theorized that when essential oil scent molecules stimulate your olfactory nerve receptors these areas of your brain are activated influencing the balance of your health. Some scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similarly to some sedative medications work. Other researchers postulate that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.


Aromatherapy massage has the benefit of working through both skin absorption and breathing the essential oils in. Of course the important benefits of lymph, circulation and muscle tension relief of the massage should not be overlooked.


As part of your overall treatment plan, Dr. Hackett may prepare a combination of oils for you to breathe in essential oils directly from a piece of cloth, apply them to your skin diluted in an organic carrier oil or indirectly through a vaporizer. She may also instruct you to continue using your oil combination at home.


There are temporary effects, as were found in one study, that neroli oil helped reduce blood pressure and preprocedure anxiety among people undergoing a colonoscopy. The long term effects of continuous use of essential oils are mostly anecdotal. Dr. Hackett attributes her youthful skin to a combination of her specially blended skin serum oil with its proprietary blend of essential oils and Clear+Brilliant laser facials.


In test tubes, chemical compounds from some essential oils have shown antibacterial and anti fungal properties that may contribute to fewer acne outbreaks and better resistance to colds (Thieves oil). Some evidence also suggests that citrus oils may strengthen the immune system and that peppermint oil may help with digestion. Fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage contain phytoestrogens, which may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause.


Some conditions aromatherapy may be helpful for include:

  • Alopecia areata (hair loss)
  • Agitation, possibly including agitation related to dementia
  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation (with abdominal massage using aromatherapy)
  • Insomnia
  • Pain: Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (using topical chamomile), and headaches (using topical peppermint) require fewer pain medications when they use aromatherapy
  • Itching skin and insect bites
  • Psoriasis



Pregnant women, people with severe asthma or a history of allergies should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained professional and with full knowledge of your physician. Pregnant women and people with a history of seizures should avoid hyssop oil. Those with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating essential oils, such as rosemary and spike lavender. People with estrogen dependent tumors (such as breast or ovarian cancer) should not use oils with phytoestrogens such as rose geranium, fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary-sage. Chemotherapy patients should talk to their doctor before adding aromatherapy to their healthcare.


A note of caution:

Most topical and inhaled essential oils are generally considered safe. You should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under the supervision of a trained professional. Some oils are toxic, and taking them by mouth could be fatal. Rarely, aromatherapy can induce side effects, such as rash, asthma, headache, liver and nerve damage, as well as harm to a fetus. Oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can irritate the skin. Adding them to a carrier oil such as almond or sesame oil will safely dillute an essential oil before applying to your skin. Always avoid using any essential oils near your eyes.


Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.


Animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. Researchers don’t know if they have the same effect in humans. Eucalyptus, for example, may cause certain medications, including pentobarbital (used for seizures) and amphetamine (used for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to be less effective.



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Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombola L, et al. Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot. Fitoterapia. 2010;81(6):453-61.

Ballard CG, Gauthier S, Cummings JL, Brodaty H, Grossberg GT, Robert P, Lyketsos CG. Management of agitation and aggression associated with Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2009 May;5(5):245-55. Review.

Bastard J, Tiran D. Aromatherapy and massage for antenatal anxiety: its effect on the fetus.Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006;12(1):48-54.

Burns E, Zobbi V, Panzeri D, Oskrochi R, Regalia A. Aromatherapy in childbirth: a pilot randomised controlled trial. BJOG. 2007;114(7):838-44.

Dunning T. Applying a quality use of medicines framework to using essential oils in nursing practice. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2005;11(3):172-81.

Edris AE. Pharmaceutical and therapeutic potentials of essential oils and their individual volatile constituents: a review. Phytother Res. 2007;21(4):308-23.

Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson S. Aromatherapy and massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD002287.

Fowler NA. Aromatherapy, used as an integrative tool for crisis management by adolescents in a residential treatment center. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2006;19(2):69-76.

Goel N, Kim H, Lao RP. An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women. Chronobiol Int. 2005;22(5):889-904.

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Herz RS. Aromatherapy facts and fictions: a scientific analysis of olfactory effects on mood, physiology and behavior. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119(2):263-90. Review.

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Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(4):631-7.

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Mercier D, Knevitt A. Using topical aromatherapy for the management of fungating wounds in a palliative care unit. J Wound Care. 2005;14(10):497-8, 500-1.

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There are three components to Dr. Hackett’s focus in HHH Nutrition: TCM 5-Element Theory,  the Gut-Brain Connection Dynamic, and Metabolic Profiling.


Traditional Chinese Medicine Nutrition theory has a body-mind perspective wherein the whole system is considered while treating underlying root causes. Your unique collection of symptoms and tendencies are viewed in terms of relationships to define a pattern that can be treated using the various modalities of TCM. One of which is an age-old technique: Food as Medicinec.


The fundamental TCM theory used to determine the pattern of disharmony is the theory of “Yin and Yang”. Yin and Yang are terms used to describe two polar opposites, with Yin as cooling and calming, and Yang as heating and activating. Each organ and each body symptom is diagnosed in terms of Yin and Yang. There are four major possible states of imbalance:



  • Excess of Yin
  • Excess of Yang
  • Deficiency of Yin
  • Deficiency of Yang


Excesses and deficiencies of Yin and Yang always appear in combination. For example, in Irritable Bowel Syndrome the symptom of loose stools shows an excess of yin because of the relative ‘dampness’ of the stools, but indicates a deficiency of yang because the stools are loose. The diagnosis theories of TCM are cyclic in nature, thus the seeming paradoxical nature of the diagnoses. There is no distinct divide between Yin and Yang, since they are interdependent and intertransformational.

A good example to understand the TCM concept is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which affects the large and small intestines in common physiology, but from the energetic standpoint of TCM the Spleen, Liver, Kidney, and Large Intestine meridians all play a role in the pattern of disharmony. Rebalancing this disharmony is achieved through acupuncture treatments, herbal formulas and orthomolecular nutritional supplements.  It is one of Dr. Hackett’s main areas of specialty.


The next aspect of TCM Nutrition Theory is the further categorization of Yin and Yang with the 5-Element Theory. The five elements: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire correspond with five distinct tastes: Bland, Spicy, Salty, Sour, Bitter, Sweet and temperatures: Cold, Cool, Warming, Neutral, and Hot. Balance of taste and temperature contributes to stronger digestion, better assimilation of nutrients, and complete elimination of wastes.

The advent of so many artificial ingredients, additive chemicals to the food supply, and environmental toxins, modern humans have to deal with this “body burden” and detoxify from it. Testing and especially designed cleanses help you recover or maintain your best health.


IMG_2538The Brain-Gut Connection

Why do we feel butterflies in our stomach? Why does poor digestion seem to cause nightmares? Why are antidepressants now also used for gastrointestinal ailments and in the treatment of pain?

Both our gut and our brain originate in embryogenesis from the same tissue. While one section divides into the central nervous system (CNS), another migrates to become the enteric nervous system (ENS). These become connected via a communication cable, the Vagus Nerve — the largest of all cranial nerves. Derived from Latin, vagus means “wandering.”  It originates from the brain stem then links to the throat, chest, heart, and nearly all the rest of your major internal organs, in effect creating a super highway brain-gut connection.

Perhaps this is where the term “gut instinct” comes from, implying that the primary brain is the intelligence rooted in the gut, which helps us to process information and associations; thereby creating neurological, psychological and immunological health. Our somatic experience is linked directly with our emotional experience of our environment and those reactions and memories are held in our bodies.


Metabolic Profiling

By testing metabolites in your serum, nutrients within the blood cells, and bacterial/fungal populations in your gut your relative excesses and deficiencies can be measured and addressed accordingly. Nutrient and meal planning support are taken to a whole new level with Dr. Hackett’s program. She incorporates the elegance of leading edge systems analysis with traditional wisdom grounded in centuries of practical application.


In the monthly membership system, you can conveniently track your food intake and activity levels from your devices, wherever your travels take you. Dr. Hackett also available for consultations over Skype when you are away. HHH’s online dispensary allows you access to prescription grade supplements that can be drop-shipped to any address.  This straightforward system will integrate conveniently with your existing training or exercise program. When you are in town, come in for revitalizing and deeply relaxing acupuncture treatments to keep you in tune with the life balance you value most – calm, clarity that takes you forward. Your longevity management support takes on new dimensions with the piece of the puzzle Dr. Hackett offers through HHH.


The true test of Dr. Hackett’s expertise is to get your health to a point that you only take certain supplements or herbs on an occasional basis and your diet is enough to cover all of your nutritional and health needs. Where your food is your medicine in practice.

For the best quality herbs and supplements, in the combination that will yield the best results for your health, schedule an appointment at HHH. Having an expert opinion and guidance will ultimately save you money and time, but most importantly, will get your health on track so you can be at your very best!


Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.

Longevity Management

My first goal is to help you achieve a better level of health and healing. No matter how complex, treatment plans are designs for results. A healthier and happier you is a more productive you. The more productive and active you are, the better your longevity. The broader your goals for prevention over the long run, the more we can accomplish here. It’s an exciting time in medicine. – Dr. Hackett

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