Dr. Andrew Weil — Optimal Health, Plant Medicine, and More (#350)

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“I’ve gotten away with saying the most outrageous things because I’m not angry. And people listen, and we can have actual dialog.” — Dr. Andrew Weil 

Andrew Weil, M.D. (@DrWeil) is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine.

Dr. Weil received a degree in biology (botany) from Harvard College in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health, then wrote his first book, The Natural Mind. From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease. From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants.

Dr. Weil is the founder and Director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health. Through its Fellowship and Integrative Medicine in Residency curricula, the Center is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the world.

A New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Weil is the author of 15 books on health and well-being, including Mind Over MedsFast Food, Good Food, True Food, Spontaneous Happiness, Healthy Aging, and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

Please enjoy this wide-ranging (and often hysterical) conversation with Dr. Weil!

Listen to the interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

#350: Dr. Andrew Weil — Optimal Health, Plant Medicine, and More
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Want to hear another episode on improving one’s health? — In this episode, Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses best practices for fasting, most important blood tests, smart drugs, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#237: Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss — Dr. Rhonda Patrick
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

  • Connect with Andrew Weil, M.D.:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

SHOW NOTES

  • How did Dr. Weil’s love affair with plants begin? [06:01]
  • Dr. Weil’s go-to plants for food and medicine. [07:52]
  • On The Doors of Perception, nutmeg, cannabis, and trying to score mescaline from Aldous Huxley’s source. [08:54]
  • Examining the importance of environment and expectation on the effects of mind-altering substances — particularly under observation by “The Man.” [13:54]
  • What was Dr. Weil’s first mescaline experience like? [17:54]
  • While Dr. Weil was once a frequent cannabis user, he says he doesn’t partake much these days. What has changed? [20:19]
  • Dr. Weil describes what Harvard was like during his time there, how it fostered experimentation, and what set/setting means for research in mind-altering substances. [22:35]
  • Guidelines Dr. Weil might recommend for researchers designing studies in these areas today, and why he believes these compounds offer help for more than just psychological issues. [25:37]
  • What drew Dr. Weil to take his explorations to Central and South America, and then eventually back to Tucson of all places? [29:28]
  • Why Dr. Weil believes in a shamanistic approach toward the research of healing science. [32:24]
  • What compelled Dr. Weil to co-author From Chocolate to Morphine, and why was its timing — at the dawn of The War on Drugs — cause for concern to a certain senator? [34:30]
  • What can modern researchers learn from the mistakes of Dr. Weil’s generation to avoid jeopardizing the study of controlled substances? [37:26]
  • Dr. Weil defines integrative medicine. [39:45]
  • How Dr. Weil feels about research that only considers the results of double-blind placebo-controlled studies. [43:06]
  • In what ways do a lot of traditional researchers blind themselves to the full spectrum of what their research might accomplish? Consider how Dr. Weil shed a lifetime of cat allergies in one sitting and learned how to tan in the sun instead of burn. [45:38]
  • A breathing technique Dr. Weil has found useful for reducing anxiety (and an explanation of why he believes it’s so effective). [52:13]
  • What current accepted concepts or practices does Dr. Weil think are going to be obsolete in the near future or significantly revised? [55:02]
  • Books Dr. Weil gifts most to others. [1:04:20]
  • Does Dr. Weil still believe — as he did when he wrote his first book — that non-ordinary states of consciousness are innate to human beings? What does it say about a society that stifles the drive to pursue these states? [1:05:49]
  • Habits and routines that put Dr. Weil in the zone to perform optimally. [1:07:06]
  • Why are dogs such unique companions, how might they help humans heal, and what kind of dogs does Dr. Weil have at home? [1:08:17]
  • What does Dr. Weil’s morning meditation look like? [1:11:17]
  • How the ritual of cooking became meditative for Dr. Weil, and how it led him to become a partner in a chain of True Food Kitchen restaurants that has American kids swooning over — of all things — kale. [1:13:55]
  • Dr. Weil’s best investments of time, energy, or money. [1:19:10]
  • Favorite failures that led the way to later successes. [1:21:27]
  • Once strong-held positions or beliefs that have changed over the years. [1:22:31]
  • New beliefs, behaviors, or habits that have improved the quality of Dr. Weil’s life. [1:24:44]
  • When was the last time Dr. Weil cried tears of joy? [1:25:35]
  • Does Dr. Weil make new year’s resolutions? [1:26:37]
  • What the first hour of Dr. Weil’s day looks like. [1:28:02]
  • Default breakfasts. [1:29:04]
  • Dr. Weil’s first experience with matcha tea in 1950s Japan. [1:29:59]
  • Purchases of $100 or less that have positively affected Dr. Weil’s life in recent memory. [1:33:52]
  • What would Dr. Weil’s billboard say? [1:34:35]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:36:37]

PEOPLE MENTIONED

Posted on: December 6, 2018.

Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.

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7 comments on “Dr. Andrew Weil — Optimal Health, Plant Medicine, and More (#350)

  1. I often want to listen to your podcast but I cannot make it through the horrible introduction and the interminable advertisements before you actually talk to someone. That intro may have sounded cool a few years ago but after you’ve heard it a few hundred times you can’t stand it anymore at least that’s how I feel

    Like

    • I find these intros fine because they remind me of the four hour workweek and that you need to hustle (more or less, if possible) and also they help to tune in into listening. While logging in with the wordpress credentials is more resource consuming.

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  2. I haven’t listened to this yet, but I am surprised that Tim would have Andrew Weil on since Andrew Weil set back psychedelic research by stopping Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s (Ram Das) investigations at Harvard.

    I’ll listen to the podcast tomorrow, but I hope Tim calls out Dr. Weil on this and a bunch of his other nonsense.

    Like

    • You haven’t listened but you comment anyway? And you write down you hope Tim would do something about something that has already been recorded? Some people are just impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – first Stan Grof, then Andew Weil: two of my favorite living human-beings (and recent guest Jack Kornfield is also on that list). Keep it up, Tim! I am enjoying the recent podcast themes mindy-body connection, self-healing, and plant medicine, which all resonate with my interests and line of work. I hope there is more to come. Thank you so much – your podcast is such a gift.

    Mit dankbaren Grüßen aus Freiburg (-:
    Alex

    Like

  4. This was fascintaing.
    Dr Weil has had, and continues to have such a cool path.
    Thank you!

    Ive heard of him in the wellness community, but this made me want to delve in more to writings.
    Also I am validated in my savory breakfast choices and will have no shame in toting a Japanese breakfast to work.

    Like