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'It's a shame people use natural medicine as a last resort instead of a first step' - leading holistic doctor Michael Murray


Dr Michael Murray

Dr Michael Murray

Dr Michael Murray

In the world of wellness, there are an apparent endless amount of 'experts', each purporting to be the next big thing or the quick fix cure.

But Dr Michael Murray is the real deal. Arguably the world’s leading expert on natural health, he has spent much of his 35-year career encouraging holistic approaches as the first port-of-call for would-be patients, rather than a last resort when all else has failed.

As a teenager, Dr Murray reaped the personal benefits of natural medicine and became determined to spread word of its effectiveness as a health practitioner and qualified Naturopathic Doctor (ND) under board-certified four year programmes. 

While many confuse Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop as a legitimate source for medical research, Dr Murray is more cut and dry about the specifications of what his job entails - and has the credentials to prove it. He has published 30 books, a board member of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington and works as Chief Science Officer of Enzymedica, a company which developed digestive enzymes..

How exactly he would he describe his job for the unfamiliar?

“I’m a naturopathic physician. I’m a doctor who specialises in preventive healthcare in order to help people achieve and maintain health. My profession allows me to diagnose and treat patients, I’m a primary case physician. For me, natural medicine is a pretty broad umbrella and a lot can fit underneath that,” he explains.

“When I was 19, I was really helped after seeing a naturopath physician and the more I learn about it, the more inspiration I have, It’s a really beautiful world that we live in and there’s so much we can gain through improving our health through natural approaches. It’s a shame

"People aren’t familiar with these approaches; or they use it as a last resort, instead of a first step. Good health involves basic tenets of health promoting diet, positive mental attitude, health lifestyle and utilising supplements.”

The physical benefit of supplements as a whole is constantly being assessed; with some studies disproving its effectiveness and others unequivocally heralding its benefits. They can come in forms like tablets, capsules, powders and liquids, but Dr Murray is in Dublin to talk about Aqua Biome, an Omega-3 blend fish oil that just launched in the Irish market.

“I think first Hippocrates said it well that all health begins in the gut. In particular, functional gastrointestinal disorders, IBS, indigestion and age-related conditions respond well to both preventative strategies as well as natural interventions. Depression, anxiety and various brain related disorders as well respond well to nutritional approaches,” he tells Independent.ie.

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“There are some foundational approaches to supplementation - everyone should be on a good, high quality vitamin and mineral formula. Especially here in Ireland, everyone should be on a Vitamin D3 supplement from 2000 to 5000. In general, everybody should take advantage of concentrated plant sources of antioxidants, like a broad spectrum antioxidant like a flavonoid rich extract like grape seed.”

“There are so many nutrients that people don’ enough of. In Western cultures, I would recommend first eating more green leafy vegetables in concentrated sources, and from what I can see of the Irish cuisine that I’ve sampled - it makes good use of herbs in cooking, which is a good thing.”

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