Drew DiVittorio is the Founder and Director of the New York Herb School - Institute of Herbal Medicine & Nutrition. He has maintained a private practice in Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Taoist Healing Arts for over 20 years. .
Drew is a popular lecturer and speaker at Colleges, Hospitals, Senior Communities, and Fortune 500 companies. He is currently lecturing nationally on nutrition, Chinese medicine, and has been featured on Good Day New York, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and Alive & Wellness with Carol Martin.
Drew is an expert in the clinical application of Chinese herbal medicine and currently maintains a private practice in New York City and in Purchase, New York.
Drew received his training at the School of Classical Taoist Herbology in Manhattan where he studied Chinese Medicine and the Taoist teachings of Dr. Stephen T. Chang heir to the lineage of physicians and advisors to the Royal Dynasties of Imperial China.
After receiving his Diploma in Oriental Medicine, Drew became the President and the Director of the Student Clinic at his school. He is currently on the teaching staff at the University Of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute, Norwalk Community College, and the New York Open Center.
In 1977, his mother, Marian DiVittorio was diagnosed with breast cancer. After much anguish she made the difficult decision to heal herself without pharmaceutical intervention. Marian began the "Gerson Program," which includes nutritional supplements, herbs, spiritual guidance, energy healing and dream work. In Marian's own words she states:
My experience with alternative medicine and my many years of spiritual work gave me the confidence to begin healing myself naturally.
Marian's results speak for themselves. They inspire anyone who meets her as well as leading Drew into the field of Oriental Medicine.
There are valuable herbs growing everywhere in the world. Selecting the most useful plants, determining which plant parts ought to be used, and deciding the correct method of using them is part of the herbalist’s training. In
other parts of the world, herbalists have sought out special tonic herbs than
can be taken daily for improvement of physical condition, enhancement of
energy, increase in resistance to disease and prolongation of life. These
“tonic” herbs are superior herbs and especially distinguish Chinese herbs from
WHAT IS CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE?
Herbal medicine is a major component of traditional Oriental medicine, a comprehensive health care system used for over 3,000 years in
and throughout the world
today that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, and spiritual exercises. It is the oldest, professional, continually
practiced, literate medicine in the world. It is estimated that there are
between 30-40,000 books on Chinese medicine written before the turn of the
century. Since then, thousands more
books and articles in professional journals have been written and
Chinese medicine views the body as a dynamic, interrelated whole possessing a vital energy or life force called Qi (pronounced chee) Health depends on the free flow of this energy and the interplay of the body, mind and spirit. When disease occurs, specific herbs are chosen to rebalance the energy and allow the body to health itself.
HOW DOES MY PRACTITIONER KNOW THE BEST HERBS FOR MY CONDITION?
Chinese medicine works by re-establishing balance and harmony within the body. This means balance between yin and yang, balance between the five elements, and balance between the qi, blood and body fluids.
The practitioner begins by doing a Chinese medical diagnosis to determine the patient’s individualized pattern of disharmony. This diagnosis includes non-invasive pulse and tongue readings, together with a thorough health history, point palpation and observation techniques. This information allows the
practitioner to craft a personalized treatment plan that is unique for each client.
ARE CHINESE HERBS GROWN WITH PESTICIDES?
Some herbs are collected from the wild, some are grown without pesticides, and some are grown with pesticides. This is true for all herbs. The grade A pharmaceutical herbs we use are carefully washed and processed before they go to market and thus have any residues washed off. Keep in mind that the small amount of pesticides used results in less exposure than with most ordinary foods. As organic herbs become available, our suppliers make every effort to select them for their formulas.
ARE CHINESE HERBS FUMIGATED AT THE PORTS? ARE THEY CONTAMINATED?
The practitioners at theounceofprevention.com choose our herb suppliers very carefully and select only those that follow safe manufacturing practices and formulate with the highest grade of pharmaceutical herbs. Because of the special processing and packaging of Chinese herbs from our suppliers, they are not fumigated at the ports like many other crude herbs. Also, our practitioners at theounceofprevetion.com do not use Chinese herbs derived from animal parts and these herbs are often the ones selected for
The FDA has issued some warnings about heavy metal contamination in some products from
. In general, these are patent medicines that
intentionally contain ingredients (such as cinnabar) that contain heavy metals,
and a few patents combine western drugs as well. Please be assured, that our suppliers meet the highest standards of
processing and maintain state of the art facilities according to the same
standards of cleanliness and quality control required of western pharmaceutical
WHY USE CHINESE HERBS RATHER THAN WESTERN HERBS?
A western trained herbalist would also use Chinese tonic herbs, as well as South American herbs, and Ayurvedic herbs, but their use would be prescribed according to the reputed health benefits of the herbs not according to the unique energetics of the plants or the information gained from differential diagnosis. For example, garlic has many recognized health benefits, yet in Chinese medicine it would not be prescribed for someone with a hot constitution because the energy of garlic is very hot and would worsen the condition. A knowledge of the energetics of herbs and differential diagnosis allows the Chinese trained herbalist to formulate according to the herb properties that will most benefit the client’s constitution.
SHOULDN”T I USE HERBS THAT GROW IN MY LOCAL AREA?
There is a theory suggesting a relationship between the medicinal ingredients in herbs from a particular environment and the diseases that arise in that same environment. Our modern-day lifestyles make this difficult to apply. Today, nearly everyone lives in a temperature-controlled environment with artificial lighting and many of today’s diseases are a result of exposure to synthetic chemicals that are independent of the environment. We also live in a global economy and food and goods are shipped around the world. The food in our supermarket travels thousands of miles to allow us a wide variety to choose from year round.
Would it be better to choose locally grown herbs? Probably it would. There are certainly health and environmental benefits to growing both herbs and produce locally and incorporating them into your daily diet. Many Chinese herbs can be grown in this country and each year more are available to herbalists. In time, we will become less dependent on foreign herb markets.
Another consideration is the unique processing methods applied to herbs in China. These methods often change the energetics of plants and increase their healing potential. Here in the
this knowledge and training is limited. U.S.
At the very least, Chinese herbs can make you feel more energetic, yet more relaxed, and they can alleviate many disease symptoms. At their best, Chinese herbs can cure or help to cure conditions that have been called incurable; in some cases it may have as good an effect as western medicines without the side effects. The benefits of Chinese herbs will depend on several factors, including the nature of the problems being addressed, the competence of the practitioner, and the willingness of the individual to follow through with their individualized program.
In general, herb therapies are best for functional disorders, hormonal imbalances, and “organic problems” (changes in tissue structure). Some examples are weak digestive power, estrogen deficiency conditions, and cysts and tumors. The effects of herbs are usually (but not always) seen after a week of regular use, rather than immediately. In cases of long term chronic illness it may take longer for herbs to heal an imbalance.
I am not a doctor. I do not treat disease or cure disease. I am a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (National Board Certified) and the Taoist Healing Arts. We emphasize the balancing and strengthening of the body’s energy (Qi), so the body can heal itself. The proper combination of foods, herbs, and internal exercises can balance the energy (Qi), of the body with out side-effects. All of the health practices we have discussed and will discuss have been practiced successfully for thousands of years.
The herbal formulas, the diet and the internal exercises suggested during the consultation are to be used as an adjunct, not an alternative to professional medical treatment. I do not attempt to give any medical diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or suggestion for medications in relation to any human disease, pain, injury, deformity, physical or psychological condition.
Any reference to western pathological terms during or after the consultation does not mean that I am attempting to provide a cure for that disease. I am only providing a clear reference to further the comprehension of the client.
To Your Health,
New York Institute of Herbal Medicine & Nutrition