Jacob is the chief editor, webmaster and co-founder of holisticonline.com , a website that is now ranked as one of the top 5 websites for health with a global audience of more than 2 million. He is the President of ICBS, Inc. of Akron, Ohio, a firm specializing in eCommerce, and website development.
A graduate of IIT, Jacob had his graduate studies at University of Pittsburgh where he got his MS and Ph. D. degrees. While at the University of Pittsburgh, he received the "Best Graduate Student Award." He also got his MBA degree from Baldwin Wallace College.
Jacob's interest in holistic health had its origin from his childhood. He was a born in a very prominent family with about 40 (allopathic) doctors of various specialties. However, his maternal grandmother came from a family of Ayurvedic (India's traditional medicine) physicians. And his maternal uncle was a famous homeopathic physician in that part of the world. So, Jacob was exposed to complementary and integrative medicines in action: his famous uncle, a board certified cardiologist trained in UK treating patients using EKG, echocardiogram and the latest western medicine techniques, while his grandmother treating patients using herbs and nutrition. This harmony of healing therapies continued after he married Shila Mathew, MD., a board certified psychiatrist hailing from a family of 4 western trained doctors. However, her uncle was a famous Ayurvedic physician practicing traditional medicine.
The idea of starting holisticonline.com came from Shila Mathew, MD. Four years ago, she noticed that her patients were using internet for doing research about their health. She also noticed that her patients were using more and more herbal medicines. But they were unaware of the dangers involved in mixing herbal products with prescription medications (drug interactions). To make the situation worse, most of the doctors were not aware of what herbal medicines do; so they could not advice the patients properly. Jacob and Shila founded holisticonline.com to deliver comprehensive and objective information without commercial considerations.
In fact, Mathews are very concerned about the commercialization that is widespread in the health industry, making the information biased and unreliable. To prevent the editorial judgment from being influenced by sponsors of the website, Mathews have funded the entire development cost of the website so that absolute objectivity can be maintained.
Holisticonline.com grew strictly from a grass roots movement, mainly from visitors recommending the site to others. An average visitor spends 30 to 60 minutes on the website. Most of the visitors are repeat visitors. They get nutrition for their mind, body and soul from the website. It had visitors from deep in Amazon, using it to learn and practice yoga. It was used by people in Kosovo to relax (meditate) during the Kosovo war. It is now recommended by numerous magazines, radio and TV programs throughout the world.
Jacob is extremely proud of the fact that holisticonline.com played a key role in helping US and the world cope with the aftermath of 9/11. Within minutes of the attack on the world trade center, the website received several prayers. Jacob has put in motion plans to provide comprehensive information on dealing with anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychological conditions triggered by events such as that we experienced on 9/11. The website also provided valuable information about tackling bioterrorism. Many visitors later acknowledged the pivotal role played by the website in helping them with their recovery from this tragedy as the following excerpts from an email received show:
Thank you for this site I just found. I have been numb since Sept.11, and, although I pray, the words have not come this week. This is exactly what I needed. (Sarah Renaud, Woodstock, Georgia)
Perhaps, Dr. Karen Olness, MD of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a member of the advisory committee to the Center for Complementary Medicine of National Institute of Health, aptly described Jacob's passion for helping people in need. Dr. Olness said: "Holisticonline.com is a labor of love."
Jacob is the author of several articles and book chapters. He is a regular contributor to E.D. Herb Health and Harmony magazine and Lotus Magazine. He had been invited to participate in several radio and TV programs as well as in the print media. Recently, he was profiled by Malayala Manorama, the largest circulating newspaper in India. He is in the pool of experts selected by Business Wire for eCommerce and Holistic Health. He is also very active in the community and in local business. He is a member and webmaster of the mind-body interest group in Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He served as the Vice Chairman of Greater Akron Export Council, member of the Small Business Council of Greater Akron Chamber, member of the minority involvement Group of Greater Cleveland Growth Association, and Vice President of Toastmasters International.
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