St. John’s Wort: Its Many Uses

By: Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, RN-BC, ANP-BC
Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
St. John's Wort Plants and flowers laying around three brown medicine bottles

Many people have heard of St John’s Wort (1) (Hypericum perforatum) because of its popularity as a depression remedy, but not everyone is aware of its other use as a burn remedy. First, a little history about this yellow flower. The herb is named after John the Baptist because it normally blooms around his birthday, June 24. The word ‘wort’ is the middle English word for ‘herb’. St. John’s wort is a plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. The most common use of St. John’s wort is for the treatment of depression. The active ingredients in St. John’s wort are thought to be hypericin (2) and hyperforin (3). Hypericin is thought to work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain.

St. John’s Wort as a Burn Remedy

Long before it was used as a mood stabilizer, St. John’s Wort was traditionally used as a burn remedy. Herbalists in ancient times would make a paste from an infusion of St. John’s Wort and corn starch. This mixture was spread on the burn and dressed with clean bandages made of linen or cotton. Sometimes, an oil made from the flower petals was applied to an inflamed or burned area.

Although herbalists from centuries ago managed to figure out the various uses of this herb, they did not know why it worked. Today science can give us some insight as to why this herb works so well as a natural burn remedy, but its pharmacology is still not completely understood.

Here’s what we do know. The herb contains the chemical compound ‘hypericin’ which has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibiotic properties. When applied topically to the skin, burns heal faster and with less scarring. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a great sunburn remedy as well.

Many people report that they’ve had success using St. John’s Wort as a remedy for other skin ailments like psoriasis and warts. Medical studies are under way that may prove St. John’s Wort as a remedy for these skin ailments  and some types of skin cancer.

St. John’s oil or cream is readily available from health food stores or may be ordered online. Store it in a cool dark place, and it should keep for up to two years. If you’re adventurous and prefer to make your own, follow this recipe:

St johns wort herbs flowers laying in a jar with tea mix

* In blender grind one cup of fresh St. John’s Wort flowers to a pulp

* Place the pulp in a clean jar

* Cover with extra virgin olive oil

* Let the jar stand in a warm place, out of direct sunlight

* Shake/stir it daily for two weeks

* Use a cheesecloth to strain and bottle for use

The color should be a deep red. If it’s pink, use fresher flowers next time.

Burns are serious injuries, and if you ever experience even a minor burn, you should immediately apply first aid by immersing the burned area in cold water. Also, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations; however, you can consider using complementary therapies in addition to your doctor’s treatment. It’s quite likely that you will heal faster, and that there will be less scarring.

St. John’s Wort for Depression

The active ingredient in the herb is hypericin, which is thought to work by inhibiting the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin (4). Studies have shown that St John’s wort is effective in treating mild to moderate depression, and it may also be effective against anxiety and other mood disorders. It is a popular herbal remedy for depression that is thought to work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. It usually takes about 2-4 weeks for St. John’s wort to start working for depression, though some people may notice a difference sooner.

There is some evidence to suggest that St. John’s wort may act as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of drugs used to treat depression. They work by preventing the breakdown of monoamines, which are chemicals that play a role in mood and emotion. MAOIs can cause a variety of side effects, including fatigue, insomnia, and gastrointestinal problems.

There is a significant body of research indicating that St. John’s Wort is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. The mechanism of action is believed to be similar to that of other antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Given the lack of serious side effects and the low cost of this herbal remedy, it should be considered as a first-line treatment option for depression.

The dosage of St. John’s wort for depression can vary depending on the severity of the depression and the individual’s response to the herb. A common starting dose is 300 mg per day, divided into three doses. If the depression is mild, this dose may be sufficient. If the depression is more severe, the dose may be increased to 600 mg per day. Typically, patients will take St. John’s wort for at least six weeks to see if it is effective for their depression. If the patient does not see any improvement after six weeks, they may discontinue use of the herb.

table with the words Depression written on it and different supplements tablets laying on the table

Can St. John’s Wort be taken along with Benzodiazepines? Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are commonly used to treat anxiety and other mental health conditions. There is some evidence to suggest that this herb may interact with benzodiazepines, and it is therefore important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking these two substances together.

Side Effects and Precautions

The most common side effects of taking St. John’s Wort for depression are gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and dizziness. Less common side effects include headache, dry mouth, and constipation. Some people may also experience photosensitivity, meaning their skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight. While most side effects are mild and go away on their own, more serious side effects have been reported in rare cases. These include liver damage, mania, and serotonin syndrome.

There are some medications that St. John’s Wort can interact with. These include:

– Antidepressants

– Birth control pills

– Blood thinners

– Cancer medication

– Cyclosporine

– Cancer medications

– Heart medications

– HIV/AIDS medications

If you are taking any of these medications, it is important to talk to your doctor or health care provider before taking St. John’s Wort.

There are a few foods that St. John’s Wort cannot be taken with. These include anything high in tyramine, such as aged cheese, red wine, and cured meats. These foods can cause an increase in blood pressure when taken with the herb. There are other food interactions that are known with St. John’s wort. The herb can decrease the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. It can also reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills, and it may increase the metabolism of certain drugs, such as antidepressants, leading to reduced efficacy. Therefore, it is best to avoid taking St. John’s wort with birth control pills or other medications.

Is drinking alcohol permissible when taking St. John’s Wort? There are no definitive studies that indicate whether it is safe to drink alcohol while taking St. John’s Wort. However, it is generally recommended that people avoid drinking alcohol while taking any medication, as alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to process and absorb the medication. Additionally, alcohol can increase the risk of side effects from medications, including St. John’s Wort. Therefore, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid drinking alcohol while taking this supplement.

The side effects of this herb can be divided into two main categories: those that are caused by the plant itself, and those that are caused by the interaction between the plant and other medications. The most common side effect of St. John’s Wort is gastrointestinal upset, which can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other side effects that have been reported include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and anxiety.

Other Uses for St. John’s Wort

The modern use for St. John’s Wort besides treating mild to moderate depression and burns is that it has also been traditionally used for nerve pain, such as sciatica and neuralgia and used for insomnia and menopausal symptoms.

Neuropathic Pain

St John’s Wort has been used traditionally in the treatment of neuropathic pain (5), due to its purported antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that these effects are derived from its constituent hypericin, which is a flavonoid found in the plant. Hypericin is a potent inhibitor of voltage-gated sodium channels, which may reduce neuronal hyperexcitability and therefore alleviate nerve pain.

a 3D illustration of the spine, the neck showing a lite up area in red and yellow signifying pain

St John’s Wort has been the subject of research in terms of its efficacy in providing relief for nerve pain. Studies have suggested that this herbal remedy can provide significant levels of analgesia when taken regularly and in doses that are consistent with the recommended guidelines. Additionally, the active ingredient Hypericum perforatum has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial in reducing inflammation caused by nerve damage and thus provide alleviation of associated symptoms such as pain.


St. John’s Wort, is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia. It works by modulating serotonin pathways and interacting with neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, resulting in improved sleep quality. Studies have shown its efficacy in reducing symptoms of primary insomnia, particularly when combined with other therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

St John’s Wort has been documented to have positive effects on the treatment of insomnia, with some studies suggesting that it could be as effective as traditional pharmacological treatments. The active constituents in this herb, including hyperforin, flavonoids and terpenoids, are believed to be responsible for its sedative effect.  It is thought to modulate the serotonergic system, which plays a role in sleep-wake regulation, particularly through its effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Menopausal Symptoms

The herb has been evaluated for its efficacy in alleviating menopausal symptoms, with research demonstrating that it can be an effective treatment for reducing the severity of hot flashes. The active components found in St. John’s Wort are believed to be Hypericins and hyperforin, which have been suggested to possess a range of pharmacological activities, including modulating serotonin and opioid receptor activity and increasing GABA neurotransmitter levels.  It is also theorized that the active constituents of St John’s Wort, particularly hypericin and hyperforin, possess potent phytoestrogenic properties which may account for its efficacy in alleviating menopausal symptomatology.


In conclusion, St. John’s wort is a beneficial herb with many potential uses. It has been used since ancient times to treat mental health disorders, may have antifungal properties, and can be used to treat skin wounds and burns, as well as neuropathic pain and menopausal symptoms. Additionally, research suggests that St. John’s wort may be useful for treating symptoms of menopause and improving moods and cognitive function in the elderly. With its many potential benefits, it is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative remedy for a variety of ailments. Certified Holistic Nurses will find the information in this article to be particularly useful in their professional practices especially related to education of their clients.

Are you a Registered Professional Nurse who has an interest in learning more about Holistic and Integrative Nursing Practice? The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. offers a full curriculum of continuing education courses leading to a Certification in Holistic and Integrative Nursing Practice. You may preview the program by accessing here.


  1. St. John’s Wort. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. US Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. access here
  2. Hypericin. Wikipedia. access here
  3. Hyperforin. National Library of Medicine. access here
  4. Serotonin. The Cleveland Clinic. March 18, 2022. access here
  5. Neuropathic Pain. The Cleveland Clinic. December 7, 2020. access here

Suggested Readings

1. Clinical relevance of St. John’s Wort interactions revisited. Simon Nicolussi, et. al. British Journal of Pharmacology. November 19, 2019. Vol 177 (6):1212-1226. access here

2. Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) beyond depression: A therapeutic perspective for pain conditions. Nicoletta Galeotti. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. March 2017. Vol 200 (22):136-146. access here

3. St. John’s Wort. The Mayo Clinic. By: Mayo Clinic Staff. February 13, 2021. access here

Stress and Better Diet

Stress is something everyone deals with and cannot escape but that does not individuals must become victims to it.  Chronic stress is a large problem in the modern world and through simple stress management techniques, stress can be reduced.  However, diet also plays a key role.  Maintaining a healthy diet can keep the body healthy and immune system stronger.  In addition, there are a variety of herbs and teas that can also supplement diet to help the body deal with daily stress.

Better balance, supplements and diet can help the body ward off negative effects stress.


The article, “How your diet can help reduce anxiety and stress naturally” from the Life Style Desk of  The Indian Express takes a closer look at certain dietary habits that can help strengthen the immune system and reduce stress.  The article recommends fibers, carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins in proper proportion.  Until the ultimate culprit of stress is identified, a proper diet can help the body fight off sickness caused by stress.  The article states,

“In today’s time, stress and anxiety have become increasingly common. While there are many asanas, workouts, and medications to manage the same, experts believe that eating a balanced diet can also help in myriad ways. “Being stressed or anxious is the body’s way of telling you to slow down, take some time, and reduce the pressure. If left unattended, this pressure goes up to the brain and interferes with the body’s daily responses and concentration levels,” said Ishti Saluja, a nutritionist.”

“How your diet can help reduce anxiety and stress naturally” LifeStyleDesk.  November 14th, 2022. TheIndianExpress.

To read the entire article, please click here


Understanding that stress weakens the body physically, especially the immune system, it is important to fortify the body with good diet and supplements.  When the body is in the fight or flight response, it produces cortisol and other hormones that prepare the body for conflict.  Muscles tighten, heart rate increases, and mental alertness increases.  This over a long period of time can cause damage to the body and weaken it.  Good diet can help the body fight off the negative effects of chronic stress.

Diet and Stress

The relationship between stress and diet is a complex one. Diet can influence stress levels, and vice versa. For example, someone who is dieting may be more likely to experience stress due to the restrictions placed on their eating. And someone who is under a lot of stress may be more likely to turn to comfort foods or overeat.
There is some evidence that certain nutrients can help to reduce stress levels.

There are many types of foods that can help reduce stress levels. Some examples include:
1. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: These nutrients are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. Some good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), flaxseeds, and chia seeds.  2. Foods high in magnesium: Magnesium helps to relax the body and mind. 3. Foods containing probiotics: Probiotics have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety.

There are a number of supplements that have been traditionally used for stress relief. These include herbs such as chamomile and valerian, as well as nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B. While there is some scientific evidence to support the use of these supplements, it is generally considered to be weak.  Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, probiotics, and Ashwagandha are all examples of supplements that have been shown to be effective in reducing stress levels.

Among two of the most useful herbs for stress are Chamomile and Valerian. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a dried flower that can be found pre-packaged at most health food stores. When brewed as a tea, chamomile is thought to be a relaxant, can be helpful in restoring insomnia, and be a soothing detoxifier of the gut. Chamomile tea infusion has demonstrated anti-anxiety properties in animal studies and shown to be effective in treating human anxiety disorders.  Valerian is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including stress. The active ingredients in valerian are thought to be volatile oils and valerenic acid, which have sedative and anxiolytic effects. A number of studies have shown that valerian can reduce stress and improve sleep, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood.


In conclusion ,stress and diet are two important factors that go hand-in-hand. When you are feeling stressed, it is important to eat healthy foods that will help you manage your stress levels. Herbs can help to reduce stress and improve overall health. There are a variety of herbs that can be used, and it is important to find the right one for each individual. With the help of herbs, people can reduce stress and improve their health.  Likewise, when you are following a healthy diet, it is important to manage your stress levels so that you can stay on track. by following these simple tips, you can help improve your overall health and well-being.

Before trying any herbs or dietary changes be sure to consult a physician to ensure you are following the right procedure for yourself.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.  Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic Nursing Program as well.

Additional Resources

“Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis”. Mohammed Iddir, etc. al. May 27th, 2020.   Nutrients 2020.   Access here

“Probiotics as Beneficial Dietary Supplements to Prevent and Treat Cardiovascular Diseases: Uncovering Their Impact on Oxidative Stress”. Elisardo C. Vasquez, etc. al. May 7th, 2019. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Access here

“The 13 Best Herbs for Stress”. Siobhan Mendicino. October 7th, 2022. The Botanical Institute. Access here

“How to Use Herbs for Anxiety and Stress”. Tiffany La Forge. December 10th, 2021. Healthline.  Access here





Holistic Approach to Treating Cancer and Its Side Effects

Physiotherapist doing accupuncture

Written by Fay Smith


Traditional holistic approaches focus on multidimensional wellness aspects involving movement, meditation, and using food, supplements, herbs, essential oils, and homeopathic remedies as medicine.

People may consider these holistic approaches as alternative remedies to help with cancer treatment. But while these alternatives don’t play a direct role in curing cancer, they may help you cope with the signs and symptoms of this disease.

Some cancers like lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancer are more prevalent than others. There are also types of cancer, like mesothelioma, which is directly linked to asbestos exposure.

The Mesothelioma Group’s site provides an informative resource on the stages of mesothelioma, its diagnosis, and treatment options for its symptoms.

What holistic approaches may help manage cancer and its side effects? Are there any benefits to using such methods in addressing the side effects of rare cancers?

This article explores the various ways to manage cancer holistically. Additionally, the article discusses the advantages of managing the disease’s side effects using the holistic approach.


Holistic Ways to Help Manage or Treat Cancer and its Side Effects

People often use the term holistic approach or alternative medicine to refer to methods healthcare providers don’t usually offer.

However, researchers continue to study these alternative remedies to help gather evidence to determine whether healthcare professionals can use these methods alongside standard treatments.

When used with standard medical therapies, these evidence-based integrative medicine methods may help relieve various symptoms related to cancer and its treatment.

However, these alternative or integrative treatments generally aren’t potent enough to replace standard medicine completely. So if you or someone you know has cancer, discuss your options with your healthcare provider to find the right mix of alternative and standard treatments.

Holistic and alternative methods that can aid in treating cancer and its side effects include:

  • Acupuncture: This method involves inserting tiny needles into your skin at specific points.

Studies suggest acupuncture may help relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy. Acupuncture may also help relieve pain in people with cancer.

If you wish to try acupuncture, ensure that a licensed practitioner performs this technique using sterile needles.

Acupuncture isn’t recommended if you have a low blood count or if you’re taking blood thinners. So it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before you proceed with this procedure.

Another related method is acupressure, in which a practitioner applies mild pressure instead of needles to various areas of your body to help relieve nausea.

  • Aromatherapy: This technique uses fragrant essential oils for various therapeutic benefits like relieving stress, managing anxiety, and promoting sleep.

You can add oils infused with scents like lavender, chamomile, citrus, and peppermint to your bath water or apply these oils to your skin during a massage. You can also heat the fragrant oils to release their scents into the air.

Aromatherapy may help relieve cancer symptoms like nausea, pain, and stress.

While you can perform aromatherapy on your own or with a practitioner with relative safety, some oils applied to the skin can cause allergies. Talk to a medical provider to determine which oils are best for you.

  • Massage: Massages comprise different techniques that involve kneading your skin, tendons, and muscles to promote relaxation and help relieve stress and muscle tension.

Research shows that massage therapy can be a part of supportive care for cancer patients who are interested in trying this method.

Clinical practice guidelines recommend massage as one approach to help with anxiety, stress, fatigue, depression, and quality of life.

Some cancer centers have massage therapists among their staff. Your healthcare provider can also refer you to a therapist who regularly works with individuals with cancer.

If you decide to have a massage, ask your therapist to avoid tumors, surgical scars, or radiation treatment areas. Meanwhile, if you have bone cancer or other related diseases like osteoporosis, tell your massage therapist to use light pressure.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This method is a form of talk therapy wherein a mental health counselor works to help you see challenging situations better so you can respond to these events more effectively.

CBT may help individuals with cancer manage their sleep problems by identifying and replacing behaviors and thoughts that are causing or worsening their sleep issues, promoting sound sleep.

One study noted that oncology practitioners can consider integrating CBT in various ways to allow nonpharmacologic treatments to aid in cancer symptom management.


Benefits of the Holistic Approach in Helping Treat the Side Effects of Rare Cancers

Holistic health is a life approach that encourages individuals to acknowledge the whole person through physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, and spiritual aspects. These alternative methods may help individuals deal with various health conditions, including cancer.

Although alternative treatments can’t cure your cancer, they may provide some relief from the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Cancers, including rare ones, can cause numerous side effects, including pain, anxiety, fatigue, nausea, stress, and sleep problems. Holistic treatment methods may help manage these adverse effects.

For example, if you’re experiencing anxiety, try massage, meditation, relaxation techniques, or music therapy to help relieve this symptom.

Meanwhile, if you’re stressed, go for aromatherapy, yoga, or exercise. For pain, consider acupuncture, massage, or hypnosis.

These alternative methods aren’t meant to replace standard cancer treatments, so you must consult a doctor or oncologist about how you can incorporate these remedies to help you cope with cancer and its symptoms.

To learn more about alternative medicine or the holistic approach to help with cancer, contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-422-6237 or visit

If you are interested in more information visit AIHCP’s Holistic & Integrative Health Care Practice Certification Program Here


What is Holistic Health?

Alternative cancer treatments: 11 options to consider

Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work?

Massage Therapy for Health : What the Science Says

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Patients With Cancer

What is Holistic Health?



Integrative and Holistic Therapies for Chronic Pain Management.,

Integrative and holistic healthcare specialists can help many individuals best manage their pain with a variety of alternative therapies.  These therapies range from acupuncture to massage therapy and anything in between.  It is important to properly balance any alternative and holistic therapies with the knowledge of one’s primary physician.   This prevents any misuse or improper mixtures with conventional and alternative modalities.   Holistic Nurses and other forms of holistic specialists can help provide the knowledge and guidance in utilizing there therapies properly for chronic pain.

The article, “The Benefits of Integrative Medicine in the Management of Chronic Pain: A Review” by Hirak Trivedi, Tara A. Avrit, Leah Chan, De Mauria Burchette, Rajni Rathore reviews some of the utilized alternative practices for pain management.  In it, they include massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and chiropractic manipulation.  From a reviewed study, they come to the conclusion that yoga and physical therapy have beneficial results in pain management.  The article states,

“Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects many individuals throughout their daily lives. While it is common to treat chronic pain with pharmaceutical treatments, an approach that has also shown great benefits is the use of integrative medicine, such as massage therapy, osteopathic and spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and yoga. The keywords “integrative medicine,” “pain,” “chronic pain,” and “pain management” with the use of the Boolean operators “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” were used to identify relevant studies discussing the effectiveness of alternative medicine in the treatment of chronic pain”

The Benefits of Integrative Medicine in the Management of Chronic Pain: A Review. Trivedi H, Avrit T A, Chan L, et al. (October 05, 2022) The Benefits of Integrative Medicine in the Management of Chronic Pain: A Review. Cureus 14(10): e29963. doi:10.7759/cureus.29963

To review the article, please click here


Natural and integrative holistic approaches to pain management have proven to be very successful for chronic pain in individuals


Holistic and integrative medicine are two approaches to healthcare that take a more comprehensive view of the patient. Holistic medicine focuses on the whole person, taking into account all aspects of their life and health. Integrative medicine takes a more individualized approach, looking at each patient as a unique individual and tailoring treatment to their specific needs.  HIM practitioners view health as more than just the absence of disease, but rather as a state of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Integrative medicine (IM) is a relatively new field of medicine that combines conventional Western medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  The use of this type of approach is also very important in chronic pain management.

Holistic Approaches and Pain Management

Holistic and integrative pain management are approaches that focus on the individual as a whole, rather than just the symptoms of pain. This approach acknowledgement that pain is a complex experience that is affected by physical, emotional, social, and spiritual factors. The goal of holistic and integrative pain management is to address all of these factors in order to help the individual find relief from their pain.

There are many types of holistic pain management, but some of the most popular include acupuncture, aromatherapy, and massage therapy. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and healing. Massage therapy is a form of manual therapy that uses pressure and strokes to relieve muscle tension and pain.

The use of massage therapy is one of the more relaxing forms of pain management.  Massage therapy is an effective way to manage pain. It can help to relax the muscles, increase circulation, and reduce inflammation. Massage therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including headaches, back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

One of the most successful and most used forms of pain management is chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractic is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, with an emphasis on the spine. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to manipulate the joints and muscles of the body, including manual adjustments, traction, and massage. Pain management is a broad term that refers to the various methods used to relieve pain. This can include medication, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

Finally, Acupuncture is a popular and effective form of pain management that has been used for centuries. It involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body, which can help to relieve pain by stimulating the nervous system.  There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of acupuncture for pain relief, and it is now considered an effective treatment for a variety of conditions such as headaches, back pain, and arthritis.


Integrative and Holistic approaches to chronic pain management are very successful in helping people cope and deal with pain but they need to be used in unison with a trained professional.  Certified holistic nurses or holistic and integrative healthcare specialists can play a key role in helping individuals utilize alternative therapies and combine them with conventional medications.   Yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic manipulation are all successful ways to manage pain.

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Nursing.  Qualified healthcare professionals and nurses are welcomed into the program and are eligible for certification after completing the core courses.

Additional Resources

“Clinical Practice Guideline: Chiropractic Care for Low Back Pain”. Gary Globe, PhD. et, al.  Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages 1-22. Access here

“Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Pain Management: A Systematic Review”. Priyanka Singh and Aditi Chaturvedi.  Indian J Palliat Care 2015 Jan-Apr; 21(1): 105–115 doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.150202. Access here

“Holistic Alternative Medicine and CAM Definitions”. Val Silver. Holistic MindBody Healing.  Access here

“Pain Management: Alternative Therapy”. WebMD Editorial Contributors. Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD. October 20, 202. WebMD. Access here


Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Practitioner Blog on Ayurveda

Aruyveda medicine is trending in health and wellness conversations across the nation.  Individuals look hard to find ways to compliment their conventional treatments.  Ayurveda provides individuals with a variety of holistic remedies for prevention and cure of numerous illnesses.  Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Professionals can help individuals properly utilize Ayurveda and its many supplements with conventional treatment.  Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Practitioner Program

Ayurveda can have many positive benefits for health. Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Practitioner Program


The article, “What Is Ayurveda, and Why Is It Trending So Big Right Now?” by Brittany Burhop Fallon looks at Aruyveda and why it is so helpful to so many.  She states,

“Ayurveda is wonderful and comprehensive system of holistic medicine developed 10,000 years ago by the Tamil Siddha yogis in the South of India,” says Martha Soffer, internationally acclaimed Ayurvedic Panchakarma expert and founder of Surya Spa. “Their goal was to extend and revitalize their lives and to give them the greatest chance for enlightenment. ”

To review the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Practitioner Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Nursing.

Holistic Nursing Program Blog on Holistic Wellness in a Professional Practice

Healthcare professionals are in a unique position to help and guide individuals in holistic wellness.  Nurses, or other healthcare professionals can become coaches and guides to many individuals who are looking at alternative and other herbal remedies for a more holistic approach to health.  Guidance is important and a health care professional can better guide individuals to better outcomes and reduce risk of counter acting other remedies or existing conventional treatments.  Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic Nursing Program

Incorporating holistic wellness in a practice is an excellent way to help patients. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program


The article, “3 Ways Healthcare Professionals Can Incorporate Holistic Wellness Coaching Into Their Practice” by Dr. Christine Manukyan looks closer at how one can incorporate holistic wellness into their practice.  She states,

“Health and wellness coaching is a form of patient care that uses talk therapy, clinical strategies and holistic remedies to find lasting solutions to chronic medical issues.  Many individuals who seek out health and wellness coaching are navigating through situations such as weight loss, stress management or the effects of chronic medical issues such as diabetes or a heart attack. As a healthcare professional incorporating holistic wellness coaching into your practice, ask your clients open-ended questions that allow them to identify their main pain points and desire for a lifestyle change”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and aimed for qualified nurses and healthcare professionals seeking a four year certification as a Holistic Nurse or Holistic Coach.


Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program Blog on Nurses and a Holistic Approach

Nurses should not only focus on the symptoms or disease of a patient they first meet but be open to the entirety of the patient as a person.  Interacting in a more holistic approach will open the nurse to the multiple needs of the patient beyond the disease and symptoms.  It also opens the patient to other alternative medical ideas.  Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program

Nurses can offer patients a more holistic approach of care. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program


The article, “How Nurses Can Take A Holistic Approach to Patient Care” by Adrian Johansen looks deeper into how nurses can be more holistic in their approach with patients.  She states,

“When assessing a patient’s needs for the first time, it’s important here to take the holistic approach. Every medical situation also has knock-on effects when it comes to mental, emotional, and even economic well-being. Utilizing the time of first contact well can also open nurses to information regarding the patient’s cultural needs. Taking notes here on more than simply the strict medical elements can ensure all personnel from first contact onward are fully apprised of the holistic requirements of the patient.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Nursing.

Ayurveda and Holistic Health

Ayurveda is an Eastern form of medicine and health practices.  It has many complimentary uses with Western medicine. Many of its views and practices are being more and more employed in the West to help individuals with a variety of ailments.  It is important to always have a healthcare professional properly guide on through Ayurveda to ensure one utilizes the proper treatments as not to contradict any primary medications. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist program

Ayurveda is an Eastern way of healing. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program


The article, “What Is Ayurveda and Does It Work?” from the Cleveland Clinic’s healthessentials looks at how Ayurveda works and how it may be better able to help you.  The article takes an in-depth look at the history of Ayurveda and also its deeper meanings.  In particular it looks at the Vata dosha, the Peta dosha and the Kapha dosha.  It looks how these systems are seen as a foundation for medical treatment in India and the East.  The article states,

“The word “Ayurveda” is derived from Sanskrit and means “science of life.” In Ayurveda, there’s an underlying belief that everything in life is connected. Because of this, general health and wellness rely on achieving balance and harmony. When a person is imbalanced or stressed, they’re likely to develop disease. Ayurveda focuses on implementing lifestyle interventions and natural treatments, therapies and remedies to provide balance among your physical body, mind, spirit and the world around you.”

“What Is Ayurveda and Does It Work?”. healthessentials.  June 10th, 2022. Cleveland Clinic.

To read the entire article, please click here


Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. It is based on the premise that there is a relationship between the mind, body, and spirit, and that imbalances in any of these three can lead to illness. Ayurvedic practitioners use a variety of techniques to restore balance, including diet, exercise, meditation, and massage.  . Ayurvedic medicine relies on a holistic approach to treatment, taking into account the person’s physical, mental, and emotional state. Herbal remedies, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications are often used in ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu system of medicine which is based on the idea of balance in the body, mind, and spirit. According to Ayurveda, there are three main types of energy, or “doshas,” which are responsible for our physical and mental health: Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth).

Vata is associated with movement, pitta with metabolism and digestion, and kapha with structure and lubrication. Imbalance in any of these doshas is thought to lead to disease.

The Vata dosha is the energy of movement and is responsible for all bodily functions that involve movement, including circulation, respiration, and elimination. It is light, dry, cold, and erratic in nature and is said to be the most difficult of the three doshas to balance.

The Peta dosha refers to the purification of the mind and body through asceticism. The peta dosha theory states that all of these elements must be in balance in order for a person to be healthy.

The Kapha dosha  is characterized by qualities such as heavy, slow, and wet.  Kapha types are typically heavy, solid, and slow-moving. They tend to have a calm, easy-going personality, and tend to be loyal and reliable friends.  Kapha dosha is responsible for growth, lubrication, and stability in the body. It is associated with the elements of earth and water, and its qualities are heavy, cold, oily, smooth, and static. Imbalance in kapha dosha can lead to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

While many of these philosophies are religious in nature, they also pertain to health as well.  Those concerned only with the secular nature, look at the issues of balance found in these doshas and how they can reflect healthier living for those who may not be religious but looking for health benefits nonetheless.

Holistic and Conventional Remedies

Holistic and complimentary medicine are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different approaches to healthcare. Holistic medicine is a comprehensive approach that looks at the whole person, rather than just the symptoms of an illness. This approach takes into account the mind, body, and spirit of the individual, and seeks to treat the underlying cause of illness, rather than just the symptoms.  Complimentary medicine, on the other hand, focuses on treatments that complement conventional medical care. These complementary treatments may include acupuncture, massage therapy, or meditation. Both holistic and complimentary medicine share a common goal: to promote healing and wellbeing.

Trained Integrative and Holistic Specialists in healthcare such as holistic nurses can navigate the boundaries between Ayurveda and Western medicine and help individuals find the proper balance between the two systems.  It is important to never begin a holistic campaign for health, or partake in alternative practices without consulting one’s primary healthcare provider.  Holistic Nurses can help identify the most useful remedies without risking counter effecting the conventional medications one may be on.

In many cases, holistic remedies, and ideas found in Ayurveda can help individuals find a cure or help one find better healthy but they are best used as preventative and long term life style changes to be used in conjunction with one’s healthcare.


In conclusion, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that emphasizes prevention and natural treatment. Ayurvedic practitioners use dietary recommendations, lifestyle changes, and herbal remedies to treat imbalances in the body. While there is some scientific evidence to support the efficacy of Ayurveda, more research is needed. If you are interested in trying an Ayurvedic approach to health, talk to a qualified practitioner.

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Nursing.  Nurses must first complete the core courses before applying for the four year certification.

Additional Resources

“Ayurveda: A historical perspective and principles of the traditional healthcare system in India”.  Lakshmi-chandra Mishra; Betsy B Singh; Simon Dagenais Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; Mar 2001; 7, 2; ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source pg. 36.  Access here

“What is Ayurveda?”. John Hopkins Medicine.  Access here

“What Is Ayurveda?”. Kelli Miller.  March 20th, 2021. WebMD. Access here

“A Beginners Guide to Holistic Health & Why It’s Important”. Amanl Kalti. September 12th, 2022. Healthinsiders.  Access here

Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Specialist Program Blog on Essential Oil Benefits

Essential oils have meet many health needs for individuals.  Through scent and application, they can enter into the blood stream and help with a variety of issues one may be dealing with.  From stress to nausea, to anything in between, essential oils can be excellent complimentary health tools for an individual.  Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Specialist Program

Essential oils can have many health benefits. Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Specialist Program


The article, “7 Potential Health Benefits of Essential Oils” by Lauren Bedosky looks at some benefits of essential oils.  She states,

“Essential oils are bottled plant extracts. They’re made by steaming or pressing plants to trap the compounds responsible for their fragrance, according to John Hopkins Medicine. More importantly, their unique aromas have been employed in healing practices for thousands of years and may have healing properties.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Whenever utilizing complimentary and alternative health modules, it is important to consult a primary physician or other trained healthcare professional.  It is important to ensure the proper methods are being applied and are not in competition with other medications.

Please also review AIHCP’s Integrative and Holistic Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to healthcare professionals seeking a four year certification in Holistic Health and Holistic Nursing.

Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program Blog on Essential Oils

Essential oils play a large role in alternative and medicine.  They can help heal and also prevent a variety of health issues.  It is however important to always remember to consult with your primary physician before utilizing any health product.  Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialists can also help guide one down the safe and most beneficial path.  Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program

There are numerous essential oils with health benefits. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program


The article, “What Are Essential Oils? A Complete Guide on Aromatherapy and Its Potential Health Benefits” by Lauren Bedosky looks at what essential oils are and their benefits.  She states,

“Essential oils are everywhere. These potent, fragrant plant extracts have made their way into lotions, household cleaners, massage treatments, and even integrative complementary therapy to help manage cancer symptoms.  Their purported benefits are also wide ranging, from improving sleep and decreasing anxiety, to lowering pain and easing headaches, to taming a queasy stomach and fostering deeper relaxation.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic needs.  Nurses and other qualified professionals can earn a four year certification by completing the required online and independent study courses