Talk to Us: Kerry Bone

Recently, we were fortunate enough to speak to Kerry Bone – the founder of MediHerb. Kerry is an icon in the world of Herbal Medicine and Nutraceuticals and is a true example of living the life you preach. We asked Kerry a few questions and he gave us an insight to the world of Nutraceuticals. 

You are the co-founder of Mediherb, a company we have worked with since its inception in 1986. All our practitioners have a favourite product of yours. What is the favourite product that you have been able to develop with Mediherb?

Without a doubt my favourite product is Echinacea Premium. What is really great about this product is that we were involved in the research that validated the traditional approach, from the Native Americans to using Echinacea, on which this product is based. Specifically, this is the use of the root of the plant as the preferred part, and preference for those two species (Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea) which are rich in alkylamides; which impart a tingling sensation in your mouth.

Furthermore, we were able to show from clinical trial research that the alkylamides are the only phytochemicals from the root to reach the bloodstream in significant amounts after oral doses, suggesting they are the true active components of the plant. Also we found significant activity (proven by our trials) for this product as a preventative.

In other words, it is something that you take to stop infections happening, and hence use on a regular basis. Such a perspective challenges one of the major myths about Echinacea: that it can’t be taken long-term without harming the immune system. This research has all been borne out by my clinical practice, and even now after many decades, it is still the herb that I prescribe the most, and also one that I take myself on a daily basis (and have been doing so for about 20 years).

Yourself, Alfred Jacka and Tom Bowen are all Geelong figures who have made enormous imprints in the holistic health movement. What is it about Geelong that promotes people to explore their health in a more transparent way?

I’m flattered that you would place me in such esteemed company. Alf Jacka was actually one of my teachers in the early days. Growing up in Geelong, especially in Belmont, we were never very far from the sea and I think that reflects much about the Geelong lifestyle. It is very much based outdoors, and the people are very conscious of exercise and sport and a good healthy lifestyle. So, perhaps, that is the reason why we might have punched above our weight in the field of natural healthcare.

You are the National President for the Health Australia Party, what do you feel is the biggest misinterpretation about the HAP party and what is something you wish more people knew about the HAP party?

Unfortunately, HAP was grossly misrepresented at the last Federal election, and this was unfortunate, as it was a missed opportunity for the Australian people. Recently, the Chinese government put into law that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine are to be on equal footing, with the government wanting both to complement each other.

The law, which took effect on 1 July, 2017, also stipulated that county-level governments and higher must set up TCM institutions in public-funded general hospitals, as well as care centres for mothers and children. There are currently 482,000 TCM practitioners in China.

This is what the HAP are about: these sorts of initiatives that would revolutionise healthcare in Australia, to the benefit of all. We want to break down the current polarity borne out of ignorance, prejudice and self-interest that says that if you practice natural therapies you are a wicked quack duping the ignorant public.

Natural therapies have a valid role to play in modern healthcare and need to be given a higher status; just like in China. None of the major political parties get it, so they misrepresent us as anti-vaxers to shut down any debate on these crucial issues. While this may benefit certain organisations, this doesn’t benefit the Australian people in the slightest.

There are so many misconceptions about holistic remedies spread throughout the media as click-bait articles. How do you respond to those who criticize your profession based on these articles?

What can I say? For every piece of useful information on the internet there are 3 or more pieces of misinformation. I think the most common theme discrediting people such as myself and the remedies we use is that: ‘there is no evidence behind what we do’, meaning proof of benefit from clinical trials.

But, here are a few simple examples: for the herb Ginkgo Biloba there are at least 400 clinical trials, for fish oil there are more than 2000 and for CoQ10 more than 400. There are many, many others; with most of these trials showing benefit, not failure. The proof is there for those who wish to look with an open mind and are not clouded by ignorance, prejudice or self-interest.

Thank you so much for answering our questions Kerry!

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