Meet Our Staff

Thomas Cowan, MD

Dr. Thomas CowanDr. Tom Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, as well as Rudolf Steiner’s work on biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Tom graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003.

Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation™.  During his career he has studied and written about many subjects in medicine. These include nutrition, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine and herbal medicine. He is the principal author of the book The Fourfold Path to Healing, which was published in 2004 by New Trends Publishing, and is the co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care, published in 2013. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three grown children and three grandchildren and practices medicine in San Francisco, where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith.

Dr. Cowan sees patients at his office in San Francisco and is accepting new patients. He also gives lectures and presentations.


Laura Lion, Health and Wellness Coaching, Patient Services, Reception


A graduate of the Kresser Institute Health Coach training academy, Laura is a ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach with a background in nutrition through Bauman College. She has worked with Dr. Cowan since 2010.

A passion to help others help themselves, combined with an appreciation for holistic-healing modalities, led her to learn how to empower others through coaching. She finds particular meaning in helping clients find their own wisdom, as well as other resources that will support their wellness goals. Laura continues her education through private-coaching mentors, professional coaching courses, self-education, and through working with Dr. Cowan.

Eating a whole-food, ancestral-type diet really became a passion when Laura was searching for natural ways to take control of a pre-diabetes diagnosis in 2006. More consistent choices around food, sleep, movement and stress have made a big difference in her energy, digestion, flexibility, mental health and overall wellness. Laura draws her motivation from her loving family, close friends, and various outdoor activities that she loves and plans to continue doing for many, many years.

Contact Laura for more information.



"I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroid) in 1992. Endocrinologists wanted me to ingest radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid. In the interim they prescribed propylthiourycil (PTU), which slowed my racing thyroid gland.

Before I was diagnosed, I had stopped jogging because of shortness of breath, I had very dry skin, and I couldn’t read a document from start to finish because my attention span was so short. I was anxious and irritable, and I was experiencing double vision. 

I went to see Dr. Cowan in March 2008. He put me on the Special Carbohydrate Diet. By the first of September, I was off PTU, and my blood count was normal. It’s a huge accomplishment, and Dr. Cowan did it with a few supplements and diet."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"At 42, I was experiencing severe depression and a digestive breakdown. I had just stopped eating because everything made me feel sick

The Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet rescued me. Within 72 hours I was sleeping through the night without a sleeping pill for the first time in years. Within two weeks, my 25 years of depression was gone, and I’ve never seen it since. My digestive symptoms were immediately resolved. Overall, it took two-plus years for me to heal completely, but I went from just surviving with chronic migraines, depression, anxiety, ADD, Dyspraxia, adrenal fatigue, fibro myalgia, IBS, thyroid disorder, and a barely functioning metabolism, to now being symptom-free. I have my life back."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"When I first saw Dr. Cowan in June 2009, I had been in quite a bit of pain and with low energy, suffering from RA for three years. I was taking 5mg Prednisone daily, 12.5 mg Methotrexate weekly and 200 mg x2 of Plaquinel daily. I was not feeling well at all.
Dr. Cowan started me on Low-Dose Naltrexone and eliminated wheat, sugar and alcohol from my diet. I had already eliminated dairy. I have also almost eliminated all grains. I eat sauerkraut on most days, a lot of vegetables, a little fruit and nuts and some grass-fed meat and wild fish. Now, my energy is great, I dance, do Yoga, Pilates and I am back to work. I am no longer taking Prednisone (since August ‘09), and I have lowered the Methotraxate to 7.5 mg weekly."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]

"My family of four has been following the GAPS (“Gut and Psychology Syndrome”) diet for 10 weeks.
My older son has had behavioral symptoms since he was 3.5 years. He has been extremely willful and attention-seeking at home, and has experienced reading and writing difficulties in school.
Since starting the diet, we have noticed improvements in his willingness to take direction, make eye contact, and focus on self-directed tasks.
While my older son’s symptoms would not be termed “severe” and his recovery is clearly not yet complete, GAPS has certainly made a big difference in our lives in these few short weeks."

- [*Anonymized to protect the privacy of our patients]