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Encyclopedia > Andrew Weil

Andrew Thomas Weil (b. 1942) is an American author and physician, best known for establishing and popularizing the field of integrative medicine. Weil is the author of several best-selling books and runs a website and monthly newsletter, where he answers questions relating to health. He is the founder and Program Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (formerly the Program in Integrative Medicine), which he started in 1994 at [[University of Arizona].[1] He has become one of the leading proponents of integrative medicine. He founded Weil Lifestyle LLC. Alternative medicine has been described as any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain.[1] Alternative medicine practices are often based in belief systems not derived from modern science. ... Leonhard Euler, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ... André Weil (May 6, 1906 - August 6, 1998) (pronounced [1]) was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, whether measured by his research work, its influence on future work, exposition or breadth. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Doctor. ... This is a glossary for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), an umbrella term for a large number of practices that fall outside the scope of conventional medicine. ... A website (alternatively, web site or Web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or more web servers, usually accessible via the Internet. ... Look up Newsletter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This is a glossary for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), an umbrella term for a large number of practices that fall outside the scope of conventional medicine. ...



Andrew Weil was born June 8, 1942 in Philadelphia, PA to parents of German and Ukrainian descent. His parents owned a millinery store.[2] While disconnected from the natural world as a child, he excelled academically. He attended both college and medical school at Harvard University. As an undergraduate, Weil took the class Plants & Human Affairs, an ethnobotany class taught by Richard Evans Schultes. He went on to major in botany and wrote his thesis on the narcotic properties of nutmeg,[3] and also served as an editor of the Harvard Crimson. After medical school, Weil unconventionally did not seek residency. He completed a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco then worked for a year with the National Institute of Mental Health. From 1971-1974, he traveled throughout South America as a fellow for the Institute of Current World Affairs.[4] He published his first book, The Natural Mind, in 1972. The book's basic theme is that highs come from within the body, and that drugs access these states rather than produce them. Weil has written or co-written nine books since, and was a regular contributor to High Times magazine from 1975 to 1983.[5] His early works explored altered states of consciousness, but has since expanded his scope to encompass healthy lifestyles and health care in general. As Weil entered his 60s, he began shifting his focus to the health concerns of older Americans. His most recent book, Healthy Aging, looks at growing older from a physical, social and cross-cultural perspective, and emphasizes that aging cannot be reversed, but can be accompanied by good health, "serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace." is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article refers to the largest city of Pennsylvania. ... Harvard redirects here. ... For other persons named Richard Evans, see Richard Evans (disambiguation). ... Pinguicula grandiflora commonly known as a Butterwort Example of a cross section of a stem [1] Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... 19th century Heroin bottle This article is about the drug classification. ... For other uses, see Nutmeg (disambiguation). ... The Harvard Crimson, of Harvard University, is the United States oldest continuously published daily college newspaper. ... The UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus Heights and Mount Zion in San Francisco, California are the major research and medical teaching hospitals of the University of California, San Francisco. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Cover image of High Times premiere issue, Summer 1974. ...

Medical philosophy

Weil's general view is that patients do best utilizing both mainstream and alternative medicine. In general, he believes that mainstream medicine is well-suited to crisis intervention, and alternative medicine is best utilized for prevention and health maintenance. He believes integrative medicine is an intelligent combination of both, and that the focus on healing should be on the body's own internal healing mechanisms and system. Nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction are emphasized in almost all of Weil's health works.

Weil is open about his past use of illegal substances, claiming, "I think I've tried about every drug," in his book From Chocolate to Morphine. He is equally open with his views on ending the War on Drugs, citing the benefits of many banned plants. In fact, the opening paragraph of From Chocolate to Morphine reads: "Drugs are here to stay. History teaches that it is vain to hope that drugs will ever disappear and that any effort to eliminate them from society is doomed to failure." Weil claims that humans have an innate need to alter their consciousness, and that there is no such thing as good or bad drugs, merely that some individuals have good or bad relationships with certain substances. For the Barenaked Ladies song War on Drugs, see Everything to Everyone. ...

As with his writings on drug usage, Weil's views on general health are informed by his botanical training. He contends that because human beings co-evolved with plants, whole-plant compounds generally assimilate less problematically than new chemical creations. Generally, he claims that the profit represented by patentable pharmaceutical compounds has diverted attention away from low-cost, safe, simple lifestyle interventions that usually lead to better outcomes.

Weil has written about the healing properties of certain mushrooms in several of his books, and is an admitted mycophile. Weil, pointing out that, "mushrooms have little to do with the sun," has speculated that wild mushrooms contain "lunar energy", the consumption of which may "stimulate imagination and intuition."[6]

Weil also contends that physicians have a responsibility to be models of healthy living. His Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona incorporates structured time for meditation, exercise, and socializing among its fellows.


Weil on the cover of Time Magazine; May 12, 1997
  • Forbes on-line magazine wrote: "Dr. Weil, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is one of the most widely known and respected alternative medicine gurus. For five years, he has offered straightforward tips and advice on achieving wellness through natural means and educating the public on alternative therapies" and listed his web site in their Best of the Web Directory in the "Alternative Medicine" category,[7] listing it as one of the three "Best of the Web" picks in that category.[8]
  • Weil appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1997 and 2005. Time Magazine also named him one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997 and one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005. He received the John P. McGovern Award in Behavioral Sciences from Smithsonian Associates in 2005.
  • Mycologists Dr. Gustan Guzman, Fidel Tapia, and Paul Stamets honored Weil by naming a newly discovered mushroom, Psilocybe weilii, in 1995.
  • Weil was honored by the Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco as their 2006 Pioneer in Integrative Medicine.
  • He was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 1998.[9]

(Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... For other uses, see Forbes (disambiguation). ... (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... Paul Stamets next to Bridgeoporus (Oxyporus) nobilissimus. ... Binomial name Guzmán, Stamets & F. Tapia Range of Psilocybe weilii Psilocybe weilii is a psilocybin-containing mushroom found only in northern Georgia in the United States. ... The American Academy of Achievement is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate and inspire youth. ...

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

In 1994, Weil founded the Program in Integrative Medicine (PIM) at University Medical Center and the University of Arizona in Tucson. It offers residential and research fellowship programs and operates an outpatient clinic according to Weil's principles; emphasizing prevention over treatment and focusing on nutrition, botanical medicines and mind-body interventions to complement conventional synthetic drug and surgery protocols. It also operates an annual Nutrition and Health Conference and a Botanical Medicine conference. As of 2008, more than 450 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners had completed the program. Weil says the expense associated with running PIM, reportedly $3 million annually, led him to agree to lend his name to commercial products to provide steady revenue for this and other research efforts in line with his philosophy. University Medical Center, Tucson, Arizona (UMC) is a nonprofit 355-bed hospital affiliated with the University of Arizona College of Medicine. ...

In April of 2008, the Arizona Board of Regents recognized the Program as a Center of Excellence and renamed it the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Since the founding of the University of Arizona program, academic instruction in integrative medicine has grown rapidly. There are now 31 academic medical centers that offer integrative medicine programs, including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Georgetown, Duke and Columbia Universities. Mayo Clinic is a medical practice based in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, integrated with hospital facilities and a medical school. ... Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. ... Georgetown University is a Jesuit private university located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Father John Carroll founded the school in 1789, though its roots extend back to 1634. ... Duke University is a private coeducational research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. ...

Books and Publications

Weil's writings span over thirty years and include the following ten books:

  • The Natural Mind (1972, rev. 2004)
  • Marriage of Sun and Moon: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Consciousness (1980, rev. 2004)
  • Health and Healing (1983, rev. 2004)
  • From Chocolate to Morphine with Winifred Rosen (1983, rev. 2004)
  • Spontaneous Healing (1995)
  • Natural Health, Natural Medicine (1995, rev. 2004)
  • 8 Weeks to Optimum Health (1997, rev. 2006)
  • Eating Well for Optimum Health (2000)
  • The Healthy Kitchen with Rosie Daley (2002)
  • Healthy Aging (2005)

He has written forewords for books by Paul Stamets, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Tolly Burkan, and Wade Davis, among others. Paul Stamets next to Bridgeoporus (Oxyporus) nobilissimus. ... Tolly Burkan, also known as Bruce Burkan, (born May 17, 1948 in New York City) is a firewalking spokesman. ... Edmund Wade Davis (born December 14, 1953) is a noted anthropologist and ethnobotanist whose work has usually focused on the observation and analysis of the customs, beliefs, and social relations of indigenous cultures in North and South America, particularly the traditional uses and beliefs associated with plants with psychoactive properties. ...

In addition to answering a few questions a week on his website, Dr. Weil also writes and answers health related questions in Time Magazine. [10]

Personal diet

Weil claims to start most days with a cup of matcha, and is an advocate of green tea, which he considers to be less jangling and addictive than coffee. He is also an outspoken critic of partially hydrogenated oils, which he considers dangerous to the heart and possibly carcinogenic. In his books, he also states that he avoids high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and artificial flavors, although he admits the evidence that they are detrimental is unproven. Matcha IPA: ) is a fine, powdered green tea used particularly in Japanese tea ceremony, as well as to dye and flavour foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi (Japanese confectionery). ... High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) refers to a group of corn syrups which have undergone enzymatic processing in order to increase their fructose content and are then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to reach their final form. ...

Weil's personal diet is pescetarian. Weil is a big proponent of organic fruits and vegetables, and has his own 2500 square foot organic garden at his home in Arizona. He eats fish 2–3 times per week, mostly sardines and wild Alaskan salmon. Both are fish are found wild in cold waters, low on the food chain, and therefore low in mercury content. These fish are also managed well and not threatened, or endangered. He also consumes dairy products in moderation, mostly in the form of semisoft, high quality European cheeses, like Gruyere. He has claimed that the only drug he consumes regularly these days is caffeine, in the form of green tea, and 70 % or higher dark chocolate. Pesco/pollo vegetarianism, pescetarianism, and semi-vegetarianism are neologisms coined to describe certain lifestyles of restricted diet. ... Sardines can refer to: The plural of sardine, a species of fish. ... External link Gruyères homepage Other uses Gruyères is also a commune in the Ardennes département in France. ... For other uses, see Drug (disambiguation). ...

Weil originally adopted a lacto-vegetarian diet for personal reasons in 1975. In 1985, Weil made a conscious choice to eat less dairy and add fish to his diet. He found that this new diet gave him greater flexibility when traveling and dining out as well as the nutritional benefits of fish consumption. He remains concerned about the negative environmental consequences of raising animals for meat as well as the environmental impact of overfishing.


  1. ^ Andrew Weil Biography- Medicine's new ground
  2. ^ Barnes & Noble.com - Andrew Weil - Books: Meet the Writers
  3. ^ Andrew Weil Interview - page 2 / 7 - Academy of Achievement
  4. ^ Institute of Current World Affairs - Former Fellows Map
  5. ^ INTERVIEW: DR. ANDREW WEIL :: hightimes.com
  6. ^ Marriage of Sun and Moon: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Consciousness. (1980)
  7. ^ Forbes Best of the Web: Alternative Medicine category
  8. ^ Ask Dr. Weil listed as a "Forbes Best of the Web" pick.
  9. ^ Andrew Weil Profile - Academy of Achievement
  10. ^ TIME Magazine - Search Results

External links

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