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Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons

Feb 23, 2022

We continue our series on the healing properties of plant medicine with this interview with my friend Dr. Diva Nagula.


Dr. Diva experienced life at full speed as a busy physician running a busy clinic until he was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.  He hit “rock bottom” not when he was diagnosed or going through chemotherapy, but when he went into remission and lost his identity yet again.  He had moved from doctor to patient (the title of his wonderful book that I highly recommend), and then was faced with a new identity after being cancer-free.  As a Dr. Andrew Weil integrative medicine trained physician, Dr. Diva discusses the importance of balancing the mind, body, and spirit for optimal health.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for information only, and no part of its contents should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, recommendation, or endorsement by the author. You should always ask your physician or healthcare provider for her recommendation before starting any new health-related activity.


We summarize our discussion with 10 powerful mantras about healing, including the responsible use of plant medicine:

Mantra #1: A life lived in fight/flight leads to disease.

Mantra #2: Algorithms used in traditional medicine don’t always fit the individual.


Mantra #3: An important aspect of healing happens on the spiritual level.

Mantra #4: The ego is there to protect us. But the ego often doesn’t want to let go, because it is attached to an identity.  Plant medicine allows the ego to quiet so that healing can occur via a sense of universal oneness.


Mantra #5: We must feel to heal.  Distractions get in the way.


Mantra #6: Plant medicine creates neuroplasticity so that you can get unstuck.


Mantra #7: San Pedro moves through the chakras, starting from the root chakra, clearing blockages as it moves up to the crown chakra


Mantra #8: Do your homework so that you can feel safe and get the most from your plant medicine experience.


Mantra #9: Perhaps 20% is the plant medicine, the other 80% is about integration.

Mantra #10: It’s about changing your life, not about taking plant medicine.


About Dr. Diva

Dr. Diva Nagula is a board-certified osteopathic physician and has extensive knowledge and training in Integrative and Functional Medicine.  A Washington, D.C. native, he grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. His interest in medicine developed at an early age when he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and practice medicine.


Dr. Nagula graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at EVMS and had a fellowship in Interventional Pain Medicine at Emory University.


Upon completion of his fellowship, he opened a practice in rural South Georgia. His practice grew in both size and prestige in a short time. Dr. Nagula opened the first AAAHC certified ambulatory surgical center in Georgia, where he performed cutting-edge interventional procedures. He oversaw all aspects of his practice while still managing to see a full case load of patients. He soon expanded into North Florida with a second practice.


Recently, Dr. Nagula completed training, under the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil, in Integrative Medicine through the University of Arizona.


He owes his successful battle and remission to the tenets of integrative and functional medicine. He is in the best shape and best health of his life and owes it all to his positive lifestyle changes.

“I’m still evolving. Through sharing my personal experiences of transformation, I hope to offer a reflection that allows you to develop an awareness of the positive and negative influences in your own life.” – Dr. Diva Nagula



What is fun for Dr. Diva?


Travel, Golf, trying new restaurants/food, wine etc.