"You've got to experiment to figure out what works." -- Andrew Weil
Andrew Thomas Weil (Born June 8, 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 operates a website and monthly newsletter promoting general health and healthy aging. 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 the University of Arizona. He founded Weil Lifestyle LLC.
"By keeping my hand in that, it's the way I keep learning. The main way you learn in medicine is by practicing and working with patients.""Get people back into the kitchen and combat the trend toward processed food and fast food.""It is more important to eat some carbohydrates at breakfast, because the brain needs fuel right away, and carbohydrate is the best source.""Pay attention to your body. The point is everybody is different. You have to figure out what works for you.""The best way to detoxify is to stop putting toxic things into the body and depend upon it's own mechanisms."
Andrew Weil was born June 8, 1942 in Philadelphia, PA to parents of German and Ukrainian descent. His parents owned a millinery store. Barnes & Noble.com - Andrew Weil - Books: Meet the Writers He attended both college and medical school at Harvard University. As an undergraduate, Weil majored in botany and wrote his thesis on the narcotic properties of nutmeg, Andrew Weil Interview - page 2 / 7 - Academy of Achievement and also served as an editor of the Harvard Crimson and the Harvard Lampoon. After medical school, Weil did not seek residency. He completed a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco and subsequently 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. Institute of Current World Affairs - Former Fellows Map He published his first book, The Natural Mind, in 1972. Weil has since written or co-written nine books, and was a regular contributor to High Times magazine from 1975 to 1983. INTERVIEW: DR. ANDREW WEIL :: hightimes.com His early works explored altered states of consciousness, but he has since expanded his scope to encompass healthy lifestyles and health care in general. In the last ten years, Weil has focused much of his work on the health concerns of older Americans. His 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". His latest book, Why our Health Matters, is focused on health care reform.
Weil's general view is that mainstream and alternative medicine are complementary approaches that should be utilized in conjunction with one another. Specifically, he maintains that mainstream medicine is well-suited to crisis intervention, whereas alternative medicine is best utilized for prevention and health maintenance. He promotes integrative medicine as a combination of both approaches. Nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction are emphasized in almost all of Weil's health works.
Weil has acknowledged the influence of many individuals, philosophical and spiritual ideas, and techniques on his approach to alternative medicine. Among the individuals who strongly influenced Weil's professional and personal life is the late osteopath Robert C. Fulford, who specialized in cranial manipulation.
Weil has previously expressed opposition to the War on Drugs, citing the benefits of many banned plants. He promotes the medical use of whole-plants as a less problematic approach to treatment than synthetic pharmaceuticals. Weil has also written about the healing properties of medicinal mushrooms and Psilocybin mushrooms in several of his books.
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, listing it as one of the three "Best of the Web" picks in that category.
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. Andrew Weil Profile - Academy of Achievement
Dr. Weil was honored by the New York Open Center  in 2004 as having made "extraordinary contributions to public awareness of integrative and complementary medicine."
Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM)moreless
In 1994, Weil founded the Program in Integrative Medicine 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.
In April 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 42 academic medical centers that offer integrative medicine programs, including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Georgetown, Duke and Columbia Universities.
Weil is a proponent of a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables and regular consumption of fish. He is also an outspoken critic of partially hydrogenated oils. In an interview on Larry King Live, Weil claimed that sugar, starch, refined carbohydrates, and trans-fat are more dangerous to the human body than saturated fat. Weil is also an advocate for certain medicinal mushrooms in a daily diet.
In Fall 1960 Weil was an 18-year-old Harvard freshman. He was already interested in doing research on mind-altering drugs. He learned of the Harvard Psilocybin Project that was being run by two Harvard professors: Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass). Weil interviewed with Leary and Alpert to become part of their project, but was turned away because he was an undergraduate. Leary and Alpert had agreed with Harvard to not use undergraduates in their project. After this, Weil and other undergraduates managed to procure mescaline, and they did their own experiments with it. Weil later stopped taking the drugs (at that time).
In May 1963 Weil was an editor of The Harvard Crimson. Leary and Alpert were continuing their activities amidst various controversies, including a criminal investigation of the project by Massachusetts authorities. The Harvard administration wanted to remove Alpert, and Weil was helping them to gather evidence against him. At this time Weil wrote an exposť article on Leary and Alpert for the Crimson. After the article was published, Alpert was fired for giving psychedlics to an undergraduate. Leary, who was already in Mexico when the article was published, was fired for "leaving Cambridge and his classes without permission."
Weil also wrote a negative article on the Harvard drug scandal for the November 1963 issue of Look magazine.
About five years years later Weil came to regret his actions with these articles. He reconciled differences with Leary, and attempted to do the same with Alpert.
Some have criticized Dr. Weil for promoting unverified beliefs. Weil's rejection of some aspects of evidence-based medicine and promotion of alternative medicine practices that are not verifiably efficacious has been criticized by noted physicians such as Dr. Arnold S. Relman in his 1998 article "A Trip to Stonesville: Some Notes on Andrew Weil".
In a debate between Dr. Weil and Dr. Steven Knope of Tucson, Arizona, televised on public television affiliate KUAT-TV, Knope is critical of Weil for what he considers irresponsible advocacy of untested treatments by Weil.