Updated: Sep 23, 2019
For centuries, people have sought medical advice or treatment.
Where we now take medicines orally, healing in the past often involved rubbing in of a plant-based medicine or by ‘calming a troubled spirit’ so that the body’s turmoil can also calm.
Today, our role as a patient is predominantly a passive one. We hand over the responsibility for our recovery to a ‘greater authority’ mainly because we’ve been conditioned to fear illness and even fear the workings of our own body.
When you think about it, how absurd that we as humans have been conditioned by society to in many cases, rarely if any give a thought to how our body actually works.
This attitude is changing thank goodness, as more of us are realizing that we don’t have to be a doctor to know what’s best for our health!
Faced with a life-threatening illness, or a relatively minor one, more of us are taking responsibility for ourselves, seeking what we need to do to maintain our personal best health, questioning whether manufactured drugs will cause us greater damage than our original complaint, and learning that changing the way we think – will have a direct bearing on our physical health.
More importantly, more and more us are learning that we need to do this before illness strikes (not after.)
Why wait to become ill when, when we can learn to prevent illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Centuries ago, it was the shamans, witch doctor or ‘wise woman’ who administered plant-based concoctions to cure or alleviate.
Today we have health food stores, natural therapists, books and even online herbal shops so that we can easily learn how we can take control of our own health, tailoring our own self treatment to our own personal health needs, as it should be.
It’s exciting and empowering to think about what’s available to us and there comes a great fulfilment in being the CEO of our own health!
Personalised medicine is the next frontier!
Instead of a one pill fits all society, as a natural health practitioner, I’m needing to custom make remedies and health plans according to each bodies extremely unique makeup.
We are discovering (or should I say re-discovering as humans knew it centuries ago) that specific plant constituents – phyto-chemicals – actually protect, repair and yes… heal us!
This health awareness is needed now more than ever, as high levels of pesticides, herbicides and degenerative diseases escalate. It’s no longer enough to eat a balance diet when the essential nutrients are leeched out of our soils by intensive farming exists, the earth is treated by chemicals and when the impact of irradiated and genetically modified food has not yet been realised.
We are guinea pigs in a lot of this. Logic points only to an increasing sick society and planet if we do not take control of our own health.
Strokes, cancers, rheumatoid conditions, Alzheimer’s and digestive diseases are all on the increase, many of which can be avoided, if not alleviated through informed natural approaches to bring the body back into a state of balance.
Sounds simple and the concept actually – it’s the journey that can be somewhat complicated because people are looking for ‘quick fixes’ to do this rather than committing to going through a healing and balancing ‘process’ of sorts. This takes time and there’s no shortcut.
The good news is once you start and feel the improvements, it makes people happy, because deep down they know that they are doing something good for themselves rather than experiencing deep level guilt.
The healing power of plants (food, herbs, spices and plants) have been largely lost to us, due to medical science and big business dominating health care and the messages that are getting out to the public.
Why modern medicine has not cured our major multiplying health crisis can be explained in part by its general approach to health care: focus on treating symptoms or an illness rather than its cause, suppressing a condition that later re-emerges as a more serious illness or causing side effects more distressing to the patient than the original condition.
Many researchers are turning back to nature for the answers. Stuff that we didn’t get to hear about on the news is for example in the USA, scientists produced a non-toxic version of viper venom, which when given to 500 stroke patients, dissolved blood clots and they were cured within 3 hours.
Or how in Germany, a natural antioxidant called pycnogenol, was extracted from pine tree bark, helping to protect against heart disease, stroke and premature aging.
Hippocrates has never been more correct when he said some 2000 years ago “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Known as the father of modern medicine, it’s ironic that even today, medical students finishing their studies need to take the Hippocratic oath. This oath came from a physician who taught his students to treat the whole person, not just the disease, to consider lifestyle habits and to encourage the body to heal itself. Sadly and ironically, our doctors are not taught to do this at all.
Truth is, even when modern medicine uses plants as a base for new drugs, the complete benefits of plants are lost, due to changing its whole state into a synthetic drug.
The magic of plants is, that they protect against the body’s tolerance levels of any one particular compound, therefore preventing side-effects. The body simply does not know how to maintain balance whilst absorbing pharmaceutical drugs, so commonly causes series nutrient deficiencies and much more.
An example of how it can all go so wrong is in the case of ephidrine. Isolated from the Chinese herb, Ephedra sinica, which was once marked as a drug for asthma. When labs extracted this herb from its natural state, this chemical was found to raise blood pressure to dangerous levels and was consequently removed from medical circulation. However, in its crude form, it has been used in China successfully for thousands of years with no harm.
So why do they need to tamper with nature?
The pharmaceutical industry’s reluctance to promote natural remedies in there ‘natural whole state’ can sadly be better understood in terms of economics.
Botanic medicines cannot be patented, whereas synthetic drugs can.
It’s these patented medicines that earn companies big money, regardless of the fact that synthetic drugs are unable fully to replicate the positive effects of the equivalent natural plant medicine.
Truth is – Nature’s pharmacy is impressive for the range of conditions it can treat if we give her a chance.
There’s so much more to plants than giving us essential vitamin, minerals and trace elements. Here’s some wonderful common functions for plant foods:
allicin, found in garlic, onions and leeks, lower blood cholesterol and protects against many cancers.
raspberry leaf can help with conception, pregnancy, labour and hormones!
alpha carotene in carrots and seaweed boost the immune system
beta carotene found in dark green, red and yellow/organge vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of numerous cancers
lycopene in red and orange fruits such as apricots, red grapefruit and tomatoes protect against age related cell damage
tanins found in certain plants such as willows, witch hazel and oak, have astringent and antiseptic qualities that help diarrhea, mouth infections and slow healing.