Odd. Sometimes it takes someone from elsewhere to lead you to what you’ve missed in your own backyard. As hap-pened when a New York friend with the same health issue as we had suggested we visit a homeopathic pharmacy. Checking the Internet, she e-mailed us an address. The Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy at 7th Street and Broadway in Santa Monica. A brief stroll from the Pier.
We asked why doctors pooh-pooh homeopathy, and she responded that it was her doctor who directed her to a homeopathic consultant, believing there would be help. And there was. “Never knock it,” she said, “until you have the experience.” How right she was, and is.
Our curious nature stalked the Internet. We discovered that Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family have practiced homeopathy with homeopathic doctors for three generations (the Queen Mum lived to 101). Whenever she travels, the Queen’s massive luggage includes dozens of vials of homeopathic remedies.
We learned that homeopathy dates back as far back as the 19th century. Today, it’s frequently referred to as “alternative medicine,” involving lifestyle changes, diet considerations, exercise and natural remedies. A strong sup-porter has been the prolific author Dr. Andrew Weil.
After visiting the Santa Monica location, we were blown away with its history and diehard regulars. First known as the Santa Monica Drug Store, the pharmacy was founded in 1944 by pharmacist Norman Litvak and wife Mary, whose parents immigrated from the Ukraine to Buffalo, New York. “As our homeopathic remedy shelves increased,” says Norman’s son Bob Litvak, who owns the pharmacy with broth-er Don, “we found the dispensing of prescription drugs decreased. Norman and Mary acknowledged that while prescription drugs are needed, some are prescribed unnecessarily.
“We’re proud to be a family pharmacy, and never charge for our consultations. Don manages the business end, and I’m at the store, with Don’s son Steve, who departed a successful ownership of a restaurant to became one of our popular consultants for nigh on thirty years. Don’s daughter Debbie soon came aboard. Additionally, we’re proud that our visionary founder Norman was awarded an honorary degree by the acclaimed British Institute of Homeopathy in 1992.”
Among the pharmacy’s practitioners are Olympic gold and bronze medalists, MBA champs, NFL players, Miami Heat coach Pat Riley and wife Chris, nurses and doctors and pharmacists, acupuncturists and chiropractors, superstars from Fiona Apple to Angela Lansbury, Sly Stallone, Lee Ann Rhimes, Pierce Brosnan, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Wagner, Jill St. John, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jackson Browne, Carl Weathers, Mark Harmon, Goldie Hawn, Randy Newman, Herb Alpert, Mel Gibson, Sally Field, Reba McIntire, Blythe Danner, Lauren Bacall, Neil Simon, chefs Rafael Lunetta of Giraffe and Border Grill’s Mary Sue Milliken. Plus other notables and, of course, just us folks.
“Regulars fly in from Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia to buy our products and for continuing consultations with our nutritionists, herbalists, pharmacists Pam and Harlan. All are certified and licensed by the State of California. Surprising that for a small and local neighborhood pharmacy, we’re on the international circuit.”
“The United States today consumes 40 percent of all drugs produced in the world, yet ranks 42nd in life expectancy,” writes Dr. W. Clifford-Jones in his article in The Epoch Times titled “What I Learned Recently at Harvard Medical School.” Dr. Clifford-Jones is a medical journalist with a private medical practice in Toronto. “North Americans have become conditioned by the billions spent by pharmaceutical companies into believing there is a prescription pill for every common ache and disease. In effect, the public is being sold sickness night after night on TV screens, with disastrous results.
“How ill are North Americans? Statistics show that the average person over the age of 55 is taking eight or more prescription drugs at any one time and that much of this medication is either questionable or harmful.”
Dr. Clifford-Jones contin-ues: “Another instance, 70 per-cent of patients with chronic headaches are actually suffering from drug-induced headaches. Not many know that nonsteroidal drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, used for arthritis, can cause joint destruction … my Harvard classmates and I deplored the lack of preventive medicine for many chronic dis-eases ”
Bob Litvak agrees about America’s abusive use of painkillers through the decades. “We believe that numerous prescription drugs are not only questionable, but many have accidental consequences. Our goal is to detox. We suggest nat-ural homeopathic remedies.