Dr. I. Sandford Schwartz, CEO of Smith Naturals, is a self-proclaimed “medical heretic” who is known around the office (and the world) simply as “Dr. Sandy.” Make no mistake, though, Dr. Sandy has traveled an interesting and sometimes complicated path to running the day-to-day business of Smith Naturals, as well as preparing for its future through his constant attention to sales, research and development, and new sources for herbal health and beauty products.
Born in Brooklyn, New York City, Dr. Sandy received his B.S. Degree (Nutrition & Management) from Pratt Institute, New York, his M.S. Degree (Dietetics & Management) from New York University, his M.H. (Master of Herbal Medicine) Degree from Emerson College of Herbal Medicine, Montreal, Canada, and his N.D. (Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine) Degree from Anglo-American University, U.K. Dr. Sandy also holds post-doctorate certifications in Sports Medicine (American College of Sports Medicine), Applied Kinesiology (International School of Applied Kinesiology), Iridology (Bernard Jensen, D.C.), and Electroaccupuncture/E.A.V. (Dr. Rheinhold Voll, M.D.). He co-founded The Atkins Center for Holistic Medicine in New York with Dr. Robert Atkins. A member of the American Dietetic Association, Dr. Sandy proudly served for eight years as Dietetic Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Sandy is credited with the design of numerous herbal and nutritional products, first developed for use in his private practice, where he treated over 10,000 patients. He regularly lectures in graduate and post-graduate programs, as well as in health forums, worldwide.
Message from the CEO of Smith Naturals
I first became a “medical heretic” when my father was diagnosed with advanced, terminal cancer and was given a death sentence by his doctors. I was told that medicine held no hope for my father, he would be dead within three months, and his final weeks would be spent in terrible pain. Confidentially, the doctor told me that if we treated him with a natural “something else,” my father could live for about fourteen more years and die of something unrelated to his cancer. My father eventually died from a pulmonary embolism fourteen and a half years later, having spent much of that time playing tennis and swimming daily.
I knew then, and I know now, that the medical world is filled with heresy, and that there is a much greater truth in natural products. I went on to open the first private practice in nutrition in America, joined with the late Dr. Robert Atkins to form the Atkins Center for Holistic Health, and tried my best during eight years as Dietetic Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General to make sure that the food we served our troops was at least healthy, if not natural.
My mission in forming and running Smith Naturals is to promote the acceptance and use of alternative medicines and treatments. After a lifetime devoted to the field, I want others to understand that all complementary and alternative medicine [known as CAM] is “energy medicine.” Every living thing gives off its own energy, and there are many ways to generate new energies. Even skin care can be energy medicine since by using something herbal, you are altering the energy dynamic in a positive way. So, why can’t chemical medicines do the same? Because chemicals are dead. Chemicals are compounds aimed at changing energy, not enhancing it. Chemicals alter. Herbals strengthen.
Over the past few decades, more and more people have “converted” to CAM, or, in the case of places like Thailand where CAM has always been part of the mainstream, generations of use of natural treatments have been scientifically validated. For example, in the U.S., 35 years ago, only 0.5% of the population took vitamins. Today it’s 79%. Ten years ago, the skin care industry was 2% natural. Today it’s 18%.
Big Pharma and cosmetic companies whose chemists are trained only in chemical formulations cannot see beyond their “dead” treatments. So, they must buy up natural products companies in order to compete in this rapidly growing market. For instance, Estee Lauder bought out Origins, Unilever bought out Herbal Essence, etc.
Smith Naturals is uniquely positioned in this burgeoning, global market. One of the biggest problems in the field is that there are few IP protections available, as natural is not patentable, and many herbalists and companies are afraid to go to outside labs to prove complex science. Instead they do formulation and validation studies in-house, often with insufficient equipment and techniques. Because I have been in the business for so long, I know labs that maintain tight confidentiality, allowing Smith Naturals to avail itself of a wide world of experts to substantiate the science in each component in our products. So, when a customer comes to me with an idea, I send it to three different, high-quality labs and challenge them to translate my ideas into a working prototype. The best lab – not the cheapest – gets the job.
Maintaining our scientific and business integrity is our top priority at Smith Naturals. Smith Naturals will continue to enhance the field of herbal and natural products, and thereby enhance the health and lives of people worldwide.