It is my first true love and the body’s soul mate.  It was never meant for short term use.  It is the forever herb…

I felt that with all the excitement surrounding Turmeric Forte, I should revisit Echinacea.  I LOVE Echinacea and the more I understand this amazing herb and how it works, the more I love it.  But when we consider Turmeric Forte and Echinacea we find that life is better with both of them!

To be more specific here, I am talking about Echinacea Premium from MediHerb. I still remember the first time I tasted Echinacea Premium…  It wasn’t exactly love at first sight.  The tongue tingling experience put me off a little at first!  Little did I know at the time that the tingling was from the alkylamides and a sign of high quality with true medicinal properties.  Oh, and I also found out that copious amounts of water right after having a high quality undiluted liquid form of Echinacea does NOT help!!!  So, like all great relationships, we were off to a rough start.  But you know how you get that gut feeling, or in this case your tongue, that there is something special happening?  I had that feeling.  Literally and figuratively!

6E9AC0EE-C764-4343-913C-2EE6F988F76CSo why the confusion and misunderstanding about this beautiful plant that has so many benefits to the human body?  Part of that is due to the three different species and that while all parts of the plant have been used, they are NOT all created equal!  It is known as the purple coneflower and the 3 main species used medicinally are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida.  Echinacea purpurea is the most
widely used but it is the rhizome and root of the Echinacea angustifolia that contains the highest amount of alkylamides.  E. pallida is relatively low in alkylamides compared to other two but has been incorrectly labeled in the past as E. angustifolia.  I believe this is why I have had patients tell me that Echinacea “doesn’t work”. If there’s no therapeutic benefit, due mainly to missing alkylamides, of course that would be the belief and an actual truth.  The confusion continues because often times when reviewing the literature, all of the species and parts are lumped together as if there was only one Echinacea plant. I love introducing my patients to Echinacea Premium especially if they have tried other brands!  One case I had several years ago was a college student who was still suffering from Mono (Epstein Barr Virus) …  She had researched Echinacea a little and bought an over the counter brand hoping it would improve her health.  She was mentioning it to me and how she didn’t feel any better. I asked her if she would like to try Echinacea Premium from MediHerb and explained why I thought it could help and how it was probably different from the brand she was taking. She took Echinacea Premium and when I saw her the following week, she couldn’t believe how much better she felt!!! It was so simple and at the same time incredibly effective.

I find the history of Echinacea to be fascinating. I believe it proves, without a doubt, that Echinacea is best taken long term and increased during times of heightened stress or illness.  The first use of Echinacea root came from the Native American tribes.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 10.32.31 AM
The King’s American Dispensatory, pg. 671

It was later adopted by the Eclectics in the late 19thcentury and by 1921 the root of E. angustifolia was the most popular treatment prescribed by the Eclectic physicians.  Their extensive use of it for over 50 years resulted in significant clinical experience.  Much of what they did was based on tribal knowledge and the best sources for this data are The King’s American Dispensatory and Ellingwood.  In more serious health conditions, the Eclectics would use the Echinacea root long term.  Their clinical experience I believe puts to rest the idea that we should only use it short term and it would be a key herb for supporting any auto immune condition.

Here is a summary of traditional therapeutic uses of Echinacea root according to Kerry Bone and Simon Mills from Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Second Edition; Modern Herbal Medicine:

“Bacterial, viral and protozoal infections, including infections of the digestive tract, respiratory and urinary tracts; mild septicaemia; states of weakened, suppressed or imbalanced immunity, including allergies and autoimmune disease; inflammatory and purulent conditions, including acne, abscess, furunculosis; envenomation.  Topically for poorly healing wounds, inflamed skin conditions and bacterial infections.”

As the research continues on about this amazing plant more benefits are being discovered.  Fairly recently, research has shown its impact on the endocannabinoid system and its influence on our “fight or flight” response supporting a better response from the HP axis.  This discovery was first presented in 2004 at the International Congress on Natural Products. This related specifically to the alkylamides found in the root of the E. purpurea and E. angustifolia plants.

It is simply one of the best herbs out there! BUT quality matters!!! Adulteration of this beautiful plant is quite high so it is important to get it from a reliable source.  If someone has a known allergy to the members of the Compositae family, care should be used when taking or prescribing Echinacea.  I believe in more serious health conditions it is best to work with a qualified practitioner well versed in herbal medicine for the best results.

I am constantly amazed at the power of plants and whole food nutrition!  It is proof that there is already a plant or a food that can heal us.  We need to get back to our roots and not accept that pharmaceutical drugs are the way to go.  They fix nothing and are a dangerous piece of duct tape covering up what is really going on.  Modern science is proving what great healers like the Eclectics and others from the past knew about herbal medicine and its power to heal the body!!!

I have only skimmed the surface when it comes to the therapeutic benefits of E. angustifolia and E. purpurea.  If you are a practitioner, please check out Kerry Bone and Simon Mills textbook, Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy, Second Edition.  If you are not a practitioner, find a qualified practitioner who uses MediHerb to get more information about it and to hopefully add it to your daily support!

Dr. Annette

Spring has felt like it is slowly creeping in and it won’t be long before the sneezing starts.  Although I know there are some of you that the sneezing is a year-round affair!

Are allergies genetic?  Do we grow out of them?  Are we stuck with them forever?

To cover all the nuances when it comes to the topic of allergies, this would be a book instead of a blog.  Instead I want to share some insight with you about it and give you a couple of practical steps to take and supplements you could use for support.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMany of us would like to believe that when we get sick or are dealing with allergies, it’s because of the outside world.  The truth is, it’s all an inside out job.  Your immune system, your gut and your endocrine system are responsible for how you respond to your environment.  And of course they are all tied intimately together!  You can’t have one of those out of balance and the other two to remain unaffected.

There is a single layer of cells separating your GI tract from your immune system.  In fact, it is said that 2/3 of your immune system lies in the gut.  When we are exposed to allergens, whether it is from food or the environment, our immune system gets engaged.  The GI is one of the first lines of defense as we try to eliminate or deal with allergens.  The adrenals fit into this picture by their ability to respond to stress, including environmental stressors.  A stress response is natural.  The problem comes in when we fail to respond to stress appropriately.  Certain hormones rise in answer to stress like cortisol and DHEA.  And that hormone response has an impact on the immune system.  Poor dietary choices will feed inflammation and further aggravate the stress response and the immune response.   To highlight this a little better, let me share my story with you…

annetteI cannot remember a time when I was little that I didn’t sneeze a lot.  And it was never just one sneeze… nope, once I sneezed there was at least 5-6 to follow!  My mom used to joke that I was allergic to getting up in the morning since that was how I pretty much started every day.  (I’m pretty sure this is why I’m not a morning person!)  Fortunately, my mom wasn’t big on medicine or running us to the doctor and I avoided the painful experience of allergy shots.  I didn’t tolerate over the counter allergy medications either.  They would simply put me to sleep for 4 hours or until they wore off.  So, I decided to take the sneezing and itchy eyes.  An important part to this story is that we had a house surrounded by lots of trees, lots of grass to mow and we always had cats and dogs!  I’m sure I was quite a sight mowing and sneezing in the spring.  I swear that was why I didn’t see the small trees I ran over. (Sorry Dad!)

Fast forward a little bit to my 20’s and being on my own.  We may not have had a perfect diet growing up but looking back, it was better than most.  But like all young adults, being on my own meant I could eat and drink whatever I wanted.  It goes without saying my diet got to be pretty bad.  Way too much fast food and a constant stream of Diet Coke!  But hey, what does diet have to do with allergies?  I had accepted the fact that there would be certain times of the year that I wouldn’t be wearing my contacts or make up.  Spring and Fall were the worse for me even though my allergies never really went away.  Then one day I was over at a friend’s house who had cats and I decided to hold one.  I thought I will eventually get over the sneezing, right?  Only this time I broke out in hives.  This was another level of allergic reactions and it was not fun at all!  Why hives now?  Aren’t we supposed to grow out of them?  Ugh, this is awful because I love animals.

It was also around this time that I had decided on becoming a chiropractor.  I remember thinking how I had heard adjustments could get rid of your allergies and I couldn’t wait!  That would solve this pesky problem finally!!!  Only, that didn’t work out like I thought it would.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely better but not gone.  I wasn’t getting hives anymore but all the other symptoms were still there.

Made it through school with some sanity still intact.  I am married with 4 children and a cat.  A cat in my house.  A long-haired cat in the house that preferred our bedroom as her favorite place to be.  I still wasn’t getting hives but I was pretty miserable.  Since it was my husband’s cat before he met me, the cat was staying.  We bought air purifiers and tried to make the best of it.  It would also be good to mention that my diet still isn’t stellar at this point.  I was probably like most young moms with a very busy life and lots of kids!  Shocking that I was also having more and more digestive issues and was breaking out like a teenager!

So, what changed?  You know this story isn’t about surviving with a cat in the house.  What changed is me.  I changed my diet, strengthened my immune system and very specifically supported my adrenals.  It was the combination of doing all three that made such a huge difference for me.  At one point, we had 5 cats and 2 dogs in the house.  Don’t roll your eyes about the insanity of that, although it’s deserved.  Instead focus on the fact that at this point I’m not sneezing, no itchy eyes, no hives AND I am not experiencing seasonal allergies either!!!

I didn’t do allergy shots.  I didn’t magically grow out of my allergies.  In fact, they got much worse before they got better!  And it would also be good to point out that when my diet gets too far off and I get run down, I will be affected by seasonal allergies!  But it is NOT something I have to live with.  I will suffer with them if I am not taking care of myself.  I think that is so powerful!!!  Every single person has the ability to be better and feel better. It is your choice!

Spring Wellness Pack

Medications can soften or relieve us of the symptoms but it WILL NOT CORRECT the underlying problem!  Cut out the sugar and dairy…reduce or eliminate grains for a while.  Drink plenty of water.  Make sure your detox pathways are healthy!  Strengthen your immune system and support your adrenals.  Supplements that can help and are better than the medications are Allerplex and Albizia Complex.  They will relieve you of the symptoms or at least lessen them to a manageable degree.

But if you really want to live better, it’s an inside out job.  You just need to decide what kind of life you want to live.  It’s all there for you!

Dr. Annette

PS. Don’t forget to pick up your Spring Wellness Pack, which includes Allerplex and Albizia (and other Spring Allergy Relief products) for $49!!


I admit it…  I am in love.  I wasn’t sure I would love anything more than Echinacea Premium, but Turmeric Forte is making me doubt my first love.  Ok, I know the opening of this blog is super corny but wait until you hear about Turmeric Forte!  (Please tell me you got the James Bond reference in the title?!)

There are few spices or herbs that have been researched more than turmeric…maybe none!  Curcumin and turmeric are used interchangeably in conversation when talking about this amazing herb.  The yellow pigment curcumin is a key active component in turmeric.  It has been used for thousands of years in many different capacities.  It’s been used as medicine, a spice and even as a coloring agent.

Kerry Bone has described it the following way, “ ….possesses a promiscuous pharmacology, demonstrating interaction with a wide range of biochemical pathways.  Curcumin has been shown to influence a variety of molecular targets, including transcription factors, cytokines, growth factory kinases and other enzymes.  It has also demonstrated a considerable repertoire of anticancer and chemo-preventative effects, although the former is mainly in vitro. “

The possibilities of turmeric seem endless!  It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, neuro-protective, hepato-protective, cardio-protective, anti-tumor, hypolipidaemic…  It’s uses have been topical as well as internal.

What has made Turmeric Forte different?  With so many versions of turmeric out there, why would we need one more?  The challenge has been the low bioavailability of turmeric in general, mostly due to its very short half-life.  (The bioavailability of a substance depends on how well it is absorbed and processed by the body.)  Studies have shown that very little, if any, of the curcumin made it into the blood and tissues with unformulated versions of curcumin.Turmeric Forte.JPG

By pairing the turmeric with soluble fiber from an extract of the fenugreek seed, its bioavailability went up by 24.8 times compared to an equivalent dose of unformulated curcumin.  Increased absorption in the blood and longer half-life meant that the turmeric could get into the tissues and create positive changes.  And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the new Turmeric Forte can cross the blood brain barrier!!!!  This fact alone should get the attention of anyone dealing with neuro-inflammation; this would include brain traumas, Alzheimer’s disease and autism for starters.

As of right now, there simply isn’t another version of turmeric on the market that can begin to compete with Turmeric Forte.  When taken with Boswellia Complex or Vitanox, it will enhance the effectiveness of those two supplements.  I would go so far as to say that it would make any protocol more effective!  I intend to make it part of my every day routine along with Echinacea.

I would encourage you to check out the MediHerb perspective on Turmeric Forte by Kerry Bone.  He goes into more detail about the clinical studies and research on turmeric.  There you will also find the list of references for it and there’s more on it in the Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy, Second Edition by Kerry Bone and Simon Mills.

And lastly, to finish what I started with the James Bond theme…just like the song by Carly Simon, “Nobody Does It Better”.  Clearly, nobody does herbs better than MediHerb and there isn’t a better turmeric out there!

Dr. Annette


I thought it might be fun to share my travels with you.  So, if it doesn’t sound like fun to you, here’s your warning to get off the blog right now! 😉

My love of teaching, collaborating and geeking out took me to the Dallas area this past weekend.  I started with a class of Tri-7 students at Parker University.  (For the non-chiropractors, these are the students going into clinic for the first time.)  I was a guest lecturer for Dr. Morales’ wellness class.  The theme for the weekend centered around understanding female hormones.  I wanted the students to look at how they could be different starting day one in their practice.  Women will make up a majority of their practice and that understanding female hormones required a broader view.  She is complex and her hormones are influenced by her entire endocrine system!  Her history matters.  If she’s on any medications, it matters.  If she is using birth control or hormone therapy of any kind…it matters!

Dr. Annette and Dustin Strong outside Parker University in Dallas, Texas – Feb 8 , 2018

We talked about simple ways we can support the female patient.  Education is key!  It is our responsibility to educate and a patient’s right to say yes or no to anything regarding their health – yes or no to supplements, herbs, surgery and medication.  To do that, our patients need to know how their bodies work a little better and what questions to ask.  They don’t know what they don’t know!

From there it was a full day on Friday hanging out with Dustin Strong, CNH-BC, collaborating on patients together and all about female hormone health!  I truly enjoyed being part of all the great things happening at Strong on Health.  All practitioners have different styles and I feel we can all learn something from each other or just appreciate all the ways we, as practitioners, can help individuals be better and feel better.

Saturday afternoon was the public lecture, “Hormone Therapy – What every woman should know before making a decision about hormone therapy and bioidentical hormones.”  The public lecture educated women on the basics of how their hormones function and interact with the rest of their body.  The issues surrounding all types of hormone therapy was highlighted. (More about this hot topic in future blogs!)

I came away from the weekend energetically refreshed!  When we give, we get so much more back.  It was a nice change from the professional lectures I give.  It felt really really good to be there.  I look forward to visiting Strong on Health, their amazing staff and Dustin Strong again!

Dr. Annette

Hello everyone! There have been some changes in the works here at Endocrine Wellness over the last several months: new logo, new location, new services/projects, and new website and blog!  I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight the changes and what we have going on with Endocrine Wellness.

Endocrine Wellness was started in 2011 by Dr. Doris (my sister) and I to have a platform for doctors and patients to go to for information or mentoring. As we have grown, it became obvious our logo and website needed a little facelift! We wanted everything to be a reflection of our purpose and passion when it comes to integrative care.

Created by Chelsea Watkins at Stay Rad Art

The new logo has two really cool and more personal features: the triangle and the flower. The triangle brings us back to our roots as chiropractors. In chiropractic school we learned that the body is effected by the “3 T’s”: thoughts, traumas, and toxins. All three need to be addressed in order to have optimal health! Which in turn works with the new slogan, “Be better. Feel better. Live better.” It very simply pulled together our belief that everyone could be more, and have more life and vitality!

The flower is an Echinacea plant (one of my personal favorites!). Echinacea is one the most amazing herbs, and is the cornerstone for being truly healthy. Honestly, looking back, it was learning about Echinacea that got us so excited about herbal therapy. Our knowledge and use of herbs taken off from there!

New office in Springfield, IL

My new location has been the best and probably the hardest change for me. In December I sold my chiropractic practice to focus more of my time on Endocrine Wellness and my nutrition patients. Endocrine Wellness needed a place of it’s own, a home. For that matter, I did too; 2017 was a crazy/stressful year. After my dad died last May, the best thing I could do to honor him and make some sense out of his death was to devote more time to patient care and education. So many patients make decision about their health and wellness from a place of either fear or ignorance, they don’t know their rights as a patients. They often don’t understand the options they have and, as a result, a lot will suffer and shorten their life. I can’t change what happened to my dad, but I can make it mean something. Dr. Doris and I are looking at ways we can help other healthcare practitioners work with patients or our own patients more.

As for new services, Dr. Doris has been working hard, learning how to use and interpret the Heart Sound Recorder (HSR) this past year. She has become quite the pro, and has been interpreting results for other practitioners along with implementing it in her own office with her patients. (Look for a blog in the future talking about what the HSR is and what it can tell you.)

I have a lot new projects in the works for 2018. One being new and improved professional workshops. In the past two years, I have done a few advanced workshops in various parts of country, and while I like them, they weren’t quite what I wanted them to be. They needed some revamping! I am excited about the changes I am making to them! I’ll be doing 3 new ones this year and if it goes well, like I think it will, I’ll add a few more next year.

We couldn’t give the logo an upgrade without also upgrading the website! One of the new features on the website will be this blog. Instead of doing my e-Newletter, I am going to do blogs, along with Dr. Doris. I feel it’s a better way to share information while keeping it more relevant and personal to what Endocrine Wellness is. Anyone interested in following the blog can subscribe by entering their email address into the Subscribe widget on the Contact page or Seminar Schedule page, or by clicking “Follow” on the bottom right corner.

For those of you who have been with us since the beginning, thank you for being part of this journey. And to all the newcomers, Welcome!!

All the best,
Dr. Annette