Dr. Jamie Moran

Interview Winter 2021

Dr. Jamie Moran

Veterinarian, Willow Creek Veterinary Clinic

Dr. Jamie Moran received her veterinary degree from Cornell University. She specializes in holistic medicine, especially traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and is certified in acupuncture and has completed course work in food therapy and herbal therapy. She is president-elect for the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association.

What led you to study veterinary medicine?

As a child I grew up near a dairy farm and I always loved cows. We had a few pets as children, nowhere near as many as I would’ve liked, but I often gravitated toward caring for them. As I got older, I pursued studies in biology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and veterinary science was one of the things I was interested in. I wasn’t single minded like a lot of my classmates; I probably would’ve been happy to be an entomologist or ornithologist, but veterinary medicine was the path I chose to follow. I attended the New York State college of veterinary medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

How did you come to study herbs?

I have always been a gardener and I’ve always loved to grow herbs so it wasn’t a stretch for me to want to learn more about herbal medicine when I began to realize the deficits intrinsic to Western medicine. I had always been interested in herbs but I never studied or really knew a lot about using them other than in crafts or cooking. My “intro drug" was Dr. Xie’s veterinary acupuncture course and I always say it was like I opened up Pandora’s box of cool things. It was in for a penny and in for a pound at that point forward.

One of the most influential people in my life was one of the teachers I met there, Dr. Constance DiNatale. She and a number of the other teachers and students at the Chi Institute opened my eyes to all of the things going on in the integrative veterinary world. So I started learning about Chinese herbs and then more about western herbs, both from classes and from all of the wonderful Herbalists that I met along the way. One of my dear friends, Carol Simon, involved me in the North East Herbal Association and somehow I am now the vice president of that organization.

Through that group of herbalists, I met many more people and started going to the International Herbal Symposium and became a part of Charis Lindrooth’s wonderful herbal community. I think it was at the IHS that I first saw Dr. David Winston and I grew more and more interested in studying with him as the years went on. I finally decided that I had to do it, and I’m now in his graduate program. I am still in a largely western veterinary practice but my part of it is increasingly dedicated to herbal medicine as well as acupuncture.

How has studying with David Winston impacted your treatment of the animals under your care?

It’s hard to say what comes from which wellspring when you think about what you do as a doctor, or as a human being for that matter. Some of the things that I learned from Dr. Winston are tangible, factual, and other things have to do with persistently desiring excellence and truth in herbal work. I think studying with David has given me a deeper knowledge of the herbs in the formulas that I have used for many years. They were really just names to me before, especially some of the herbs that I didn’t grow myself, but now more and more I have a feel for what they do and why they are where they are. So I think my medicine is more targeted and I feel more comfortable than I did before.

One really big thing is that he has consolidated and affirmed my already strong belief that I am not a healer or really terribly special in this healing process, I am a teacher and a guide and that the universe, my patients desire to get well, and their owner’s love and care for them is what truly is the magic. Herbs and our ability to select them to help our patients is, of course, very important but as David says they are not foundational. Diet and lifestyle are the things that are most important. I emphasize that every day, encouraging my clients to feed the best food they can to their pets, to have a lot of fun while preserving important boundaries, and to make sure they have quiet meditative time because our furry friends share everything with us including our stress.

What are some of the H&A products you use most in your practice and why?

Every patient with cardiac disease is offered Hawthorne Solid Extract along with other products. I seem to have excellent compliance and of course I tell my clients they may have some as well. I have tried Dr. Winston’s Lyme protocol on a number of patients, and I’ve seen some beneficial outcomes. I have a number of patients taking David’s Seven Precious Mushrooms, and some of these are also on Alterative Compound, including one of my osteosarcoma patients.

I try to use Stinging Nettle Seed Extract and Kidney Support Compound for my patients with renal disease and have used UT Compound on some urinary tract infections. It has worked great for me, so I have been trying it on dogs as well. I have been using Osteoherb for anyone with a fracture, for all of my dental patients that seem to have bone resorption, for periodontal disease, and have included it in a few dogs with osteosarcoma who still have their affected legs. I’m also using it in some patients to help their hair and skin. So far I don’t know how well it’s working but sometimes no news is good news! I have been using Aspirea Compound regularly now for pain. I have a few dogs that Phytocalm has helped, which I think of as Fido Calm. I have a number of other formulas to help with relaxation, calming and focus but I don’t have much feedback yet.

I use Grief Relief routinely and I will tell you a story about that. I have a number of single herbs that I have put together at times for patients including milk thistle, nettle leaf, dandelion root and leaf, gosh many many others but I find myself using more of David’s blended formulas because they are so good, and to do a really excellent formula for a patient takes more time than I usually have.

Can you share a few case studies with us?

I am just going to give a couple of short but I think impressive instances where I think Dr. Winston‘s formulas have made a huge difference.

Several years ago, one of my friends called me in a panic because her cat had died and its buddy would not leave its side. She asked me what I thought she could do and I truly didn’t know but I suggested Grief Relief, and one or two treatments allowed the surviving cat to move on. It was startling, I’ve had episodes like that since but nothing so profound.

One of my cats has cycled through a number of difficult processes, the latest of which has been her attempt to die by renal disease. I did use Western diagnostic techniques and some pharmaceuticals but her continued survival I lay at the feet of her love for us, our love for her, good food and Herbalist & Alchemists Nettle Seed Extract and Kidney Support Compound. Her blood urea nitrogen was over 100 and is now normal and at last look her creatinine was only slightly elevated down from over 10 to around three. I used Rx Vitamin’s phosphorus binder as well which I think really helped also.

This past year I removed a mass from our dog’s leg and managed her pain primarily with homeopathic Arnica pre- and post- surgery. However she woke us in the night whining and one dose of Aspirea Compound did the trick.

So I think from all of this you can glean that meeting up with Dr. Winston and his wonderful formulas and products has really enriched my life as a person and as a doctor. Something I feel profoundly grateful for is that I have a source of herbal products that I can use without question, knowing that the quality is as good as it gets and that the people at the helm of this organization are dedicated professionals whose integrity is the most important thing to them as mine is to me. Incidentally I have learned a great deal from the staff at Herbalist & Alchemist. One of the benefits of being un-enamored with computers is that I usually order on the phone and get wonderful tips from the people behind the scenes. I value them so much as well.

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