We’re more traumatized, depressed, and vulnerable to debilitating diseases than in any time in recent memory.  

This article explores probable causes of mass health decline in the US and how you can reduce your risk of illness.

It’s now clear that Americans have been getting sicker at an alarming rate over the last couple decades. 

The rise of mental health issues, chronic diseases, neurological disorders, learning disabilities and substance abuse is compounded by economic and social inequities, environmental pollution, and ongoing geopolitical tensions.

To many of us, this decline has been obvious for years now. Yet, it’s not easy to explain exactly how our collective health has reached (pre)crisis levels.

It seems many factors have combined to create a vicious cycle of illness, undermining the future and well-being of the American people.

As bleak as this may sound, there’s still reason for hope and optimism. Humans can solve even the most complex problems when we work together. There is time yet to act to save ourselves and future generations.

In fact, the solution may be simpler than one would expect. In the end, plants that are available to virtually everyone will prove to be the key in turning the tides of our collective health.

How and why we’re getting sicker-

People are suffering all over the US and our healthcare and regulatory institutions are running out of answers.

A review of health statistics from 2014 to 2024 reveals a significant decline in societal health, with many diseases reaching unprecedented levels, despite a substantial healthcare expenditure of $13,493 per person.

The following sections of this article will explore major factors and rates of disease on the rise, and how to mitigate poor health outcomes from risk factors including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental health issues
  • Drug and alcohol dependence

It is now evident that these diseases are not decreasing and may continue to rise unless we make a collective change. As Hippocrates said, prevention is preferable to treatment or even a cure. Taking steps to preserve good health is a much more reliable and cost-effective strategy than relying on allopathic medicine to fix issues for which it is apparently ill-equipped.

A poor diet from a tainted food supply

The quality of the food supply has been compromised by various factors, including GMO crops, pesticide use, antibiotic residues, and processed foods laden with artificial additives. These contaminants can lead to numerous health issues and contribute to the overall decline in societal health.

How the polluted food supply is contributing to rising illnesses in the US:

  1. Metabolic Disorders: Increased rates of obesity and diabetes.
  2. Cancer Risk: Higher exposure to carcinogenic substances.
  3. Hormonal Imbalances: Disruptions caused by pesticide residues and additives.
  4. Allergies and Sensitivities: Growing prevalence of food allergies and intolerances.

Preventive Measures:

  • Organic Diet: Choose organic foods to reduce exposure to pesticides and antibiotics.
  • Whole Foods: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods to minimize intake of artificial additives.
  • Local and Seasonal Produce: Support local farmers and consume seasonal produce to ensure fresher, less contaminated food.
  • Food Safety Practices: Proper washing and preparation of foods to reduce contaminants.

Plant Medicines and Diet:

  • Turmeric: Contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Garlic: Known for its immune-boosting and detoxifying properties.
  • Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants that help detoxify the body.
  • Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir promote gut health and aid in detoxification.

Toxic Tap Water

The water supply has become an existential threat to our national health.

The issue of water toxicity was recently brought to popular attention by acclaimed science/health podcaster, Dr. Andrew Huberman. 

You can watch his video here.

Contaminants in tap water, such as heavy metals, industrial chemicals (including residue from chemicals used to treat tap water), and microbial pathogens, are assaulting our bodies, even if you never drink from the faucet. Poor water quality can lead to various acute and chronic health issues, further contributing to societal health decline.

Fluoride as a Risk Factor

Fluoride is commonly added to public drinking water supplies to prevent tooth decay. However, excessive fluoride exposure has been linked to various health issues:

  • Thyroid Dysfunction: Research indicates that fluoride can disrupt thyroid hormone levels, leading to hypothyroidism and other thyroid-related issues.
  • Neurological Impacts: High levels of fluoride have been associated with reduced IQ and cognitive impairments, particularly in children.
  • Skeletal Fluorosis: Chronic high fluoride intake can lead to skeletal fluorosis, a condition causing pain and damage to bones and joints.

Contribution to Societal Health Decline:

  1. Gastrointestinal Diseases: Increased incidence of waterborne diseases.
  2. Neurological Disorders: Exposure to heavy metals like lead can affect brain health.
  3. Endocrine Disruption: Chemicals in water, including fluoride, can disrupt hormonal balance.
  4. Kidney Damage: Long-term exposure to contaminated water can harm kidney function.

Preventive Measures:

  • Water Filtration: Use high-quality water filters designed to remove fluoride and other contaminants.
  • Regular Testing: Periodically test home water supplies for fluoride levels and other contaminants.
  • Public Advocacy: Support policies and initiatives aimed at regulating fluoride levels in drinking water.
  • Hydration with Clean Sources: Opt for spring water or well-maintained sources with known low fluoride content when possible.

Plant Medicines and Diet:

  • Cilantro: Known for its ability to help remove heavy metals from the body.
  • Chlorella: A type of algae that aids in detoxification of heavy metals.
  • Lemon: Adding lemon to water can help improve digestion and detoxification.
  • Herbal Teas: Teas like nettle and dandelion support kidney health and detoxification processes.

“Smart” tech is destroying mental health, starting with American youth

Mental illnesses in the U.S. are on the rise, particularly among younger populations. 

In 2014, about 1 in 5 adults aged 18 or older (18.1 percent, or 43.6 million adults) experienced a mental illness while in 2024, over 20% of American adults (over 50 million people) experienced some sort of mental illness.

Data from Mental Health America also shows Youth are also severely affected, with 16.39% of those aged 12-17 experiencing at least one major depressive episode annually. The increasing screen time and prevalence of cyberbullying exacerbate these issues, leading to poorer mental health outcomes.

 New treatments support a promising future for mental health:

  • Psychedelics: Emerging research suggests that psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA can be effective in treating depression and PTSD.
  • Plant Medicine: Traditional plant medicines, such as ayahuasca, have shown promise in alleviating depression and anxiety.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
  • Digital Detox: Limiting screen time and encouraging outdoor activities can reduce the negative impacts of excessive technology use.

Life Expectancy Dropping in the US

Life expectancy in the U.S. has seen a notable decline, primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic but also influenced by other factors. From 2014 to 2024, life expectancy fell from nearly 79 years to just over 76 years. 

The decline is particularly severe among non-Hispanic white and Black populations, who experienced significant drops in life expectancy.

Contributing factors include rising deaths from drug overdoses, heart disease, and chronic liver disease.

How to live longer:

Plant-Based Diets: Adopting a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Exercise: Regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease and improve overall health.

Preventive Healthcare: Regular check-ups and early detection screenings can help manage and prevent chronic diseases.

Rising Cancer Rates

Cancer incidence in the U.S. is increasing, with 2024 expected to see over 2 million new cases for the first time ever. While cancer death rates have declined due to advances in treatment and early detection, the incidence of several common cancers, such as breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, kidney, and melanoma continues to rise.  

Preventive Measures:

  • Diet and Nutrition: Consuming a diet high in antioxidants and low in processed foods can reduce cancer risk.
  • Plant Medicine: non-THC cannabis extracts high in acidic cannabinoids and the right balance of terpenes/flavonoids increases the body’s ability to prevent  and fight cancer.
  • Psychedelics: Research into psychedelics like psilocybin suggests potential benefits in cancer-related anxiety and depression.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Stress reduction techniques such as meditation can improve overall health and potentially lower cancer risk.

Endocrine Disruption

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with hormone balance, leading to reproductive issues, developmental problems, metabolic disorders, and cancers. Common sources include pesticides, plastics (like BPA), and industrial chemicals.

Contribution to Societal Health Decline:

  1. Reproductive Health: Increased infertility rates and reproductive cancers.
  2. Developmental Issues: Higher incidence of developmental disorders in children.
  3. Metabolic Disorders: Rising obesity and diabetes rates.
  4. Chronic Diseases: Greater prevalence of hormone-related cancers.

Preventive Measures:

  • Dietary Changes: Avoid processed foods, choose organic produce.
  • Reduce Plastic Use: Use glass or stainless steel containers.
  • Natural Cleaning Products: Use natural household products.
  • Regular Detoxification: Engage in detox practices through diet and lifestyle.

Plant Medicines and Diet:

  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can help detoxify endocrine disruptors.
  • Herbal Teas: Dandelion and milk thistle teas support liver detoxification.
  • Adaptogenic Herbs: Ashwagandha and holy basil can balance stress hormones.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, these support hormonal balance.

Relationship & Sexual Dysfunction

People are feeling more isolated than ever, despite digital connectivity being virtually unavoidable. This fact speaks deeply to the root of the issue, and what can be done to find meaningful community and intimate relationships. However, we still have to face the immediate issues of mass loneliness and declining sexual health that are eroding our society from the individual level upwards.

Sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction (ED), is linked to lifestyle factors, stress, and underlying health conditions. This can cause significant psychological stress and affect interpersonal relationships.

Contribution to Societal Health Decline:

  1. Mental Health: Leads to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
  2. Relationship Strain: Causes strain on intimate relationships, leading to higher divorce rates and loneliness.
  3. Social Isolation: Leads to social withdrawal, exacerbating mental health issues.

Preventive Measures:

  • Mind-Body Practices: Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to reduce stress.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise, balanced diet, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.
  • Open Communication: Encourage dialogue between partners to manage sexual health issues.
  • Therapies: Explore sex therapy, counseling, and medical treatments.

Plant Medicines and Diet:

  • Ginseng: Known for its ability to improve erectile function.
  • Maca Root: Enhances libido and energy levels.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Improves blood flow, potentially aiding erectile function.
  • Mediterranean Diet: Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and healthy fats, which support cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
  • Dark Chocolate: Contains flavonoids that improve circulation.

Neurological Illnesses

The rates of neurological illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are also rising, driven by the aging population and environmental factors.

But disorders like epilepsy are on the rise across all age groups.

Improved diagnostic techniques contribute to the increasing detection rates, highlighting a growing public health challenge.

Preventive Measures:

  • Plant Medicine: Cannabidiol (CBD) and other plant-based treatments are being explored for their neuroprotective properties. We can show the key to epilepsy relief actually lies in the acidic cannabinoids, like CBGA and CBDA.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Regular mental exercises, such as puzzles and learning new skills, can help maintain cognitive function.
  • Diet: Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, like the Mediterranean diet, can support brain health.

Learning Disabilities

 There has been a notable increase in the diagnosis of learning disabilities in children. Factors contributing to this trend include heightened awareness and better diagnostic tools, but also potential environmental factors and changes in early childhood experiences. Conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders are being identified more frequently, necessitating more resources and support in educational systems.

Preventive Measures:

  • Early Intervention: Early screening and intervention can help manage learning disabilities more effectively.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Techniques such as mindfulness can improve focus and attention in children with ADHD.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Ensuring children have a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients supports cognitive development.

Other Benchmarks of Societal Health in Decline

Record-high divorce rates affect family health for Generations

The divorce rate in the U.S. remains high, with nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorce.

This is quite a sobering statistic that has implications for mental health, economic stability, and the well-being of children.

U.S. Low On World Happiness Report 

The U.S. ranks relatively low on global happiness indexes. Factors contributing to this include economic disparity, healthcare access, and social cohesion. The World Happiness Report consistently places the U.S. lower than many other developed nations, reflecting a broader sense of societal dissatisfaction.

Geopolitical crises & our failing collective health

Current geopolitical crises, such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, rising tensions with China, and economic instability due to fluctuating oil prices, contribute to a pervasive sense of uncertainty and stress. 

These crises have indirect but significant impacts on societal health by exacerbating economic disparities, disrupting supply chains, and increasing anxiety and mental health issues among the population.

There’s still time to avoid a total health collapse.

The situation may seem bleak, but there is hope and opportunity to improve the outcome of this crisis. Now is the time to become aware and unite with our fellow citizens for future generations.

There are many issues that divide us as Americans, but our health should be cause for common ground in a time when we desperately need cohesion.

Proactive measures do improve outcomes, and it’s still true that prevention is the best cure.

As severe as the mass health decline may seem, PLANTS that cost almost nothing have the potential to solve even our most complex problems.

Let’s start today, right now.

Life Research Co is an organization dedicated to building a renaissance in global health through a re-awakening to the unlimited problem-solving potential of Nature.

Read about how our breakthrough cannabis extracts give your body the power to protect every cell in your body from some of the toxins behind societal health decline!