Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., is a health guru credited with sparking America’s interest in alternative medicine. In 2005, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and five of his books have appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list, selling more than 5 million copies each. He’s also a frequent guest on both Larry King Live and The Today Show.
Weil was born in 1942 to milliners – or hat designers – who lived in Philadelphia. He majored in biology at Harvard University, and also received his medical degree there in 1968. He received a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs and traveled throughout South America and Africa for three years studying traditional herbal medicines.
In 1972, Weil published his first book, The Natural Mind. After more research on medicinal herbs, including those in the category of illegal psychoactives, he published Health and Healing: The Philosophy of Integrative Medicine in 1983.
Integrative medicine fuses conventional medical practices with alternative medicine. Thus, healthy living practices, herbal remedies, and spiritual practices are favored while visits to the doctor and traditional medicine are also encouraged. Other books Weil has written include Natural Health (1995), Spontaneous Healing (1995), The Healthy Kitchen (2002), and Healthy Aging (2005).
In 1983, Weil started teaching at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and eventually founded became director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. As a result, dozens of prestigious institutions now have integrative medicine programs. Weil is also the Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona’s medical school.
Through his popular website and blog, Dr. Weil communicates with those interested in leading a healthy lifestyle. He sells products such as vitamins, nutritional supplements, and healthy foods through his company Weil Lifestyle. All of the profits from this venture go to the Weil Foundation – a non-profit that awards grants to researchers and physicians interested in integrative medicine.
image via DrWeil.com