After taking several courses in pharmacology and not feeling “right” with the information, I researched other forms of healing. Our bodies were not deficient in these chemicals, so why take them to find balance? Western medicine primarily treats symptoms rather than healing the original cause of disease. Our bodies are designed in perfect divine order and naturally have a defense system lined up to prevent illness. Symptoms are the body’s way of alerting us to a malfunction, such as the little light in your car going on when your tires are low. When we quiet these alerts by suppressing with medications, our bodies stop alerting us when new imbalances occur and we go on feeling “okay” for a while or accept that this is how you feel when you age.
Since pharmaceuticals contain active and inactive ingredients, the additional chemicals that are not absorbed can be stored over time in the muscles, joints and fat. Your liver has to detoxify everything you encounter so this organ often becomes overworked and allows more chemicals to slip by. This can lead to chronic illness, which is much more difficult to treat. Plus, to add more fuel to the fire, you will most likely experience a number of side effects or adverse reactions with each medication. Common effects from medications are headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, hair loss and impotence. When you return to the doctor with this new list of symptoms, you may leave with a new list of medications to suppress these so you can feel “okay” again.
Homeopathy is a very scientific alternative to Western medicine that was developed right before pharmaceuticals hit the market. When taking the course, it made more sense to me as a nurse as it determines the remedy based on the person as a whole. In modern medicine, one medication is given for a symptom and if it doesn’t work for you, a different drug in the same class is often given until one relieves the bothersome symptom. There are tons of medications to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and blood sugar and relieve indigestion, so finding the right fit may take awhile. In homeopathy, a detailed history is taken and a remedy is found based on what physical, emotional, mental and general symptoms you have as a whole person. I know when my husband and I get sick, most likely from the same virus or bacteria, we demonstrate different symptoms, as we are very different people. For example, he likes the cold and I like the heat. He may have a terrible cough and stuffiness and I may experience fatigue and headaches. These are characteristics that would determine a different remedy for each of us for the same illness. What is even more interesting, is since homeopathy is based on “like curing like,” there are no side effects to the treatments.
Herbalism is another form of “natural healing,” and is the only form of medicine taken by animals in nature. Although not as scientific, it has a much longer history dating back thousands of years. The underlying philosophy here, is if plants have healing properties and foods have phytochemicals (phyto- is Greek for plants), why not heal with foods? We have to eat anyways, right? Hippocrates, “the father of medicine,” said it all with his famous quote, “Let food be thy medicine.” There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables on the planet and they were created by the same Creator as we were. This is “like curing like” at its best, in my opinion.
To give you some examples of the healing properties of foods, here are some amazing benefits that you can receive by adding them to your daily diet. Asparagus helps to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol, beets improve circulation, cabbage inhibits the growth of cancer in the large intestine, kale juice treats stomach ulcers, garlic promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora and onions lower blood pressure to name a few. Fruits are also very healing, including apricots to treat anemia, bananas to reduce blood pressure, cherries for healing gout, grapes and oranges to treat arthritis, pomegranates to strengthen gums and watermelon to treat depression. Each of these fruits and vegetables have several other benefits, as well. Proper cooking can preserve over 90% of their nutrients, break down cellulose structures so the nutrients are more accessible and destroy parasites and bacteria. Adding sprouts, herbs, spices and seaweeds to plant-based meals can boost the healing properties even more. Alfalfa has been found to be highly strengthening, with its name meaning, “father of all foods.” Sea plants contain up to 20 times more minerals than land plants and some can actually remove radioactive and toxic metal wastes from the body.
As you add more produce to your meals, see the fruit or vegetable as a whole energy source rather than separating them into categories, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Labeling them good or bad based on their numbers often prevents people from consuming some of these nutrient dense super foods. Many people trying to lose weight will avoid an avocado because it is high in fat, but they are missing the important qualities, such as it being a brain food, aiding in red blood cell formation, beautifying the skin and being a remedy for ulcers. If you go back to nature and consume a plant-based diet with organic, local, fresh produce picked for the appropriate season, you can do what all of those fad diets say and more! You can live longer and spend less of your time and money on preventable illnesses, plus release unwanted fat. I also believe that eating lower on the food chain is highly beneficial. Smaller animals, plants, and algae are more absorbable and less harmful to yourself and the environment. I was never taught about algae, such as spirulina or chlorella, in my nutrition classes and they have everything you need in them. They are nature’s multivitamin and more!
I was taught about vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids as separate entities. Recent studies have actually shown that the body does not even recognize these isolated nutrients. When you take them all separately in your little pill kits, the body sees them as toxins or invaders creating more inflammation and an overworked liver. Vitamins can be just as detrimental to your internal balance as pharmaceuticals. The risk of exposure to toxic levels of zinc was much higher in children whose parents gave them food supplements such as multivitamins, yet pediatricians urge us to give them to our children, rather than consuming whole foods. When you consume them in their whole food form, the body knows how to separate the nutrients and send them to their appropriate places of need. Foods fortified with these nutrients, such as breads and cereals, are not the same as those foods grown from a seed that have those nutrients naturally. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has done research that shows that these foods could actually be toxically dangerous for health when eaten in excess. Many families start their days with fortified cereals, have bread on a sandwich for lunch that has been fortified and also consume drinks, such as Vitamin water (or sugar water), that have been fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Ultimate healing from within begins with a reconnection to Source energy. This can be accomplished with whole foods as they were created from the same Source as we were. Meditation, physical activity and spiritual and emotional awareness can make this journey easier and more attainable. You will feel balance when consuming “like” energy in the form of pure fruits and vegetables. I have witnessed patients overcome autoimmune diseases, cancer, mental disorders and much more by eliminating toxins and providing their bodies with pure nutrient dense foods. The best way to understand the difference is to experience a meal from an organic garden when the produce was picked right before preparation. You can taste and feel the difference of consuming this energy from nature.