Have you ever wondered how our forefathers and their ancestors all managed to survive without modern medicines, supplements, specialized therapies and health insurance?
Has traveling along the ‘path of least resistance’ been the direct cause of our forgetting about all of the ways that ‘mother nature’ can provide for our health and well-being?
Certainly, it would be difficult to imagine life without the available technologies and breakthroughs of 21st century medicine, but some would argue that modern medicine has as much to do with contributing to disease as it does curing it. But, as self-serving as they may seem, physicians and practitioners are not alone in this cycle of ‘catch 22’s’. The pharmaceutical manufacturers bombard us with commercials, articles, and studies, not only identifying a plethora of disease, but even more alarming, they help manifest elements of fear and anxiety, creating a psychological need for their highly profitable products.
So, what are the alternatives to this medical madness?
To be sure, modern medicine is such a convenient means of coping with our stressful and demanding lifestyle that we’re not about to abandon that measure of security to go about digging up roots, shaving tree bark and cultivating exotic herbs. Who has the time or the expertise?
What I hope to achieve through this article is a stimulation of curiosity within the reader. A tease, if you will, to recall long forgotten memories of a more natural side of human existence. At the same time, I want to be clear that none of this should be considered a substitute for required medical treatment, however, various alternatives can be successfully employed for many minor complaints and therapies.
Let’s take a look a few:
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – used for thousands of years to treat a multitude of diseases and conditions. Referenced in the Bible, this natural substance contains a perfect balance of 19 vital minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, chlorine, sodium, iron, fluorine and silicon, just to name a few. Additionally, more than 90 other components can even help your body regulate blood pressure, while supporting your immune system. Studies have shown that the nutrients, enzymes, and organic acids found in ACV act as a weight loss component, by safely suppressing the appetite while increasing the body’s metabolic rate. External benefits include:
A natural germ fighter, as well as a powerful cleansing agent.
Maintenance of healthy skin.
Helps prevent dandruff.
Used as a topical solution, research shows it can even prevent baldness.
Essential Oils – a natural-medicine alternative to many common ailments with benefits ranging from topical antiseptics, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, digestive system tonics, and anti-depressants. Here’s a brief look at just a few:
Lavender – (medicine chest in a bottle) – anti-inflammatory; very effective on burns; speeds wound healing; reduces scarring; reduces stress.
Peppermint – An excellent digestive tonic, calming motion sickness and reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. And, did you know it’s considered by some to be a more effective insect repellent than citronella, when used on the body (rather than in the surrounding air).
Chamomile – The great tension reliever. Useful for a wide variety of nervous conditions, and is often indicated for cases of stress in children, including teething and general crankiness.
Eucalyptus – most often used for respiratory conditions, clearing congestion with coughs and colds. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil can kill most staphylococcus bacteria, present in many bronchial infections. And, did I mention, an effective insect repellent?
Medicinal plants have a long history in treating disease. In fact, the written history of herbal medicine goes back over 2,000 years. Many so-called ‘weeds’ were considered treasures, worth their weight in gold, to ancient cultures. Dandelion, Comfrey, Digitalis (Foxglove), the Poppy, Milk Thistle, Stinging Nettle, as well as many others, have well-established medicinal qualities that have few, if any rivals in the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, many are the basic ingredient of some of the most important pharmaceutical drugs.
One notable example is the Dandelion. Research is currently being conducted by scientists at the Royal Botanical Gardens, in London, who consider the plant a potential source for a life-saving drug to be used in warding off cancer, which presently kills tens of thousands of people every year.
Balance is the best alternative.
While the advanced cultures of the world’s industrialized nations enjoy the absolute best that modern medical technology has to offer, many of the ‘third world’ societies and certainly the world’s remaining primitive cultures, utilize the ancient methods and natural medicines developed by their ancestors. But, rather than being mutually exclusive, a more practical approach would be to bring both ends of the spectrum together, blending both the old and the new into what is more commonly referred to as ‘Complementary Medicine’, where consideration is given to the mind, body and spirit regarding the health and well-being of the individual.