As Prince famously said, “We’re all excited. But we don’t know why. Maybe it’s cuz. We’re all gonna die.” It’s probably the one thing we know about life that is certain.

Regardless, whenever I hear of a talented artist passing away in a tragic way from health circumstances (or anyone else for the matter), I always go to the thought:

Could holistic/functional medicine have saved them? Let’s see… 


Kurt had gut issues! There’s no doubt about it ~ he was verbal about being plagued by a “burning” and “nauseous” stomach. He likely had IBS + crohn’s and/or ulcerative colitis. Could a gut healing diet (like GAPS or SCD) have prevented Kurt’s suicide? Maybe.  The gut produces 90% of the body’s serotonin and it’s now becoming more apparent than ever that gut health plays a MASSIVE role in mental & emotional health. Obviously drugs/alcohol don’t help the gut or liver, but sometimes you need some initial healing before you can even get to the point of wanting to quit that which numbs your pain.

Cobain is quoted as saying, “So after protein drinks, becoming a vegetarian, exercise, stopping smoking, and doctor after doctor I decided to relieve my pain with small doses of heroine[sic} for a walloping three whole weeks“. He goes on to say how it (the heroin) didn’t work.

What could have helped Cobain? Definitely not run-of-the-mill protein shakes & vegetarianism. He could have instead benefited from  digestive enzymes, bone broth, aloe vera, yucca, ginger tea, single strain & infantile probiotics like bifidobacterium (and initially moving on to more complex strains), the GAPS diet or an elimination diet to identify specific food triggers,  liver supporting herbs like milk thistle and a “leaky gut” healing protocol as well as EFT (emotional freedom technique aka “tapping”), meditation, acupuncture and a complete avoidance of GMOs/pesticides in addition to an eventual gallbladder and liver flush (once he was strong enough). If fecal transplants were around then, they would have also likely helped his condition


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Prince was born an epileptic and suffered from seizure disorders. It’s also now known that he had stage freight/anxiety and was suffering from hip & ankle pain from wear/tear, but also likely from an inflammatory diet. Prince was a vegetarian and therefore may have had an inflamed gut from  excess grain, nut & seed consumption. He may have also been suffering from excess copper (like Monroe below) as vegetarians tend to consume too much copper which then causes a zinc deficiency (when you don’t have enough zinc, your appetite suffers). He was in pain and became addicted to the numbing effects of prescription opioids (which by the way are destroying middle America thanks to big pharma).

What could have helped Prince? Even though Prince avoided meat on an ethical basis, a soothing gut protocol (like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet – SCD) could have been implemented nonetheless with a focus on avoiding inflammatory foods like grains, omega 6 oils (like canola), certain forms of dairy, sugar, unsprouted nuts or beans especially soy.  For his epilepsy, Prince could have possibly benefited from a low THC form of medical marijuana ~ like “Charlotte’s Web”. For additional pain relief, acupuncture in addition to anti-inflammatory supplementation like turmeric/aloe/frankincense could be beneficial while EFT + essential oil therapy may ease stage freight/anxiety. Also a balanced B-vitamin supplement to address any B-vitamin deficiencies + vitamin D3 optimization (via sun exposure and/or cod liver oil) and a whole food mineral balancing supplement like shilijat (for zinc & other mineral deficiencies).


Prince & Michael  shared  similar diets, lifestyles and fates. Both were vegetarians. Both were hard-working performers/dancers ~ and therefore sustained injuries. Both were likely burdened by stress and everyday toxicity & were therefore suffering from leaky gut, mineral imbalances, adrenal fatigue and liver toxicity. And both were in pain…

What could have helped Michael? A very similar regimen to Prince above, however, with some additional herbal support. Because Michael suffered from an autoimmune disorder (lupus) as well as vitiligo, his immune system (the gut) was crying out for additional healing. A leaky gut protocol (like the one from Dr. Josh Axe) would be a great way to address autoimmune issues . He also lacked an appetite and was likely suffering from some serious mineral imbalances which would need to be addressed initially via supplementation so as to increase his appetite (& therefore nutrition). Regular sunlight (in combination with a vitamin A, D3 & K2 supplement to protect his skin from burning) would likely help to strengthen his immune system and give him more energy. To balance out his adrenals and endocrine system, relaxation tools like EFT in addition to some adrenal-supporting herbs like ashwaganda would be critical for emotional health. Once he was feeling a bit better from a nutrient-rich, autoimmune diet, a heavy metal detox consisting of bentonite clay, epson salt baths and chelating herbs like cilantro + kidney-supporting herbs like parsley could have also been very beneficial.


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Robin was suffering from “lewy body dementia” ~ it’s cousins with parkinson’s and alzheimer’s disease.  His suicide was a result of the suffering/pain the disease inflicts ~ both mentally and physically. He also battled depression over the years (the funniest people are often the saddest!).

What could have helped Robin?  A ketogenic diet with a focus on ketones from raw/virgin coconut oil could have helped! (Ketones supply the brain (which is mostly fat) with a protective & nourishing fuel as opposed to glucose (sugar/carbs).  Avoiding the following toxins would be critical: unfiltered water, chlorine in pools/showers, plastics, GMOs, industrial oils (like canola), foods containing pesticides & herbicides like glyphosate (aka “roundup”), supplements containing iron, vaccines containing aluminum and certain blue/green algae.  A niacin detox (vitamin B3) in combination with infrared sauna therapy would be beneficial for releasing toxins/heavy metals in addition to neuro-feedback and skilled chiropractic adjustments to promote spinal blood flow and healing.  Acupuncture and reiki for energetic healing + weight-lifting, choreographed dancing and gentle movement (thai chi) would encourage nerve/muscle strength and coordination. Optimizing vitamin D3 (though sun exposure) and mineral balancing would be ideal. Properly executed (safe) mercury dental filling removal would eventually need to be done. Additional supplementation could include the brain-supporting probiotic strain (l. rhmanosus), cordyceps mushroom and green tea supplementation for brain support and perhaps ubiquinol (CoQ10) supplementation for mitochondria cell support ~ especially if he was ever on a statin drug. Because of Robin’s history with alcoholism & how yeast may play a role in that addiction, an anti-candida supplement like Thorne’s SF722 would be good as well as a parasite cleanse and liver/gallbladder flush. Treatment for undiagnosed lyme  & a possible MTHFR or COMT gene mutation should also be considered.


Based on her diet, blood-type O, personality and known health issues,  Monroe likely had cooper toxicity, histamine imbalance,  liver toxicity as well as dairy intolerance and perhaps even a gene mutation like MTHFR. Monroe purportedly used hormonal cream + ate a diet consisting of mostly steak, liver, raw carrots and raw egg in milk + an occasional ice cream treat.

Monroe was quite literally a copper head (red head), and she exhibited the signs of cooper overload: a highly sensitive and innocent nature, fatigue, impulsiveness, depression and a tendency towards a “rambling” mind (constant thoughts). What’s interesting is that Monroe had remarkably great teeth (no cavities), which was likely due to a diet low in phytic acid (grains,nuts, seats).

What could have helped Monroe?  Zinc-rich foods like oysters, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds. Bone broth for amino acid & mineral balancing. Mineral water for magnesium (calming). Milk thistle & parsley tea for detoxing the kidney/liver as well as a diet rich in folate (dark leafy greens), natural antihistamines like quercitin (from apple) and mitochondria supporting antioxidants like berries. Castor oil (for parasite cleansing) + to flush out the toxic remains of parasites that the raw carrots might have  killed off. Less meat and more wild fish for the omega 3/anti-inflamattory support. Green tea for energy and brain  support. Avoiding dairy would have been critical (at least initially)  for relieving pelvic inflammation/endometriosis (raw dairy does have it’s benefits!). For emotional support due to abuse in in foster homes, Maharishi’s transcendental meditation could have helped to relax her nervous system and release years of tension and anxiety.

What we have now that we didn’t have then is genetic testing. A 23 & Me genetic test would have been an excellent tool for Monroe to identify which gene mutations she had and how to adapt her lifestyle to such.  EFT  would have also been a great tool for trauma and stress relief ~ though it wasn’t known back then. And of course acupuncture & TCM too!

Could these talented people have found relief through holistic remedies ~or even by a visit to a functional medicine MD like Dr. Mark Hyman? Maybe.  But what’s certain is that holistic and functional health care is the future of medicine. The days of treating symptoms of ‘dis-ease’ and not the root cause are becoming more and more archaic by the minute… 


Remember, I’m not a doctor…. or a dentist or even a vet.

PS: Happy belated birthday to the uniquely beautiful Robin Williams. We love you! Here’s Tony from “Every Frame a Painting” on Robin’s genius.

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