This article is one of my attempts to distiguish the difference between a natural, holistic approach and a conventional medical approach. A natural, holistic approach is about supplying nutrition to the body so that the body can heal itself. Our current health care system is one of disease management that is governed by expensive pharmaceutical drugs and insurance companies. (Note that I still don’t understand why these drugs are so expensive.) Our current health care system will never be affordable based on this model.
Health tends to be greatly misunderstood. Either that or most people do not think of health like I do. One of the first ways that people think when they want to restore health is allopathically. Allopathic means that a disease or condition is treated with a substance that causes the opposite effect of the symptoms – as in modern conventional medicine.. Examples of allopathic remedies include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, beta blockers, proton pump inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, COX-2 inhibitors, etc. If you are over 50, chances are you are on one or more of these allopathic remedies also known as pharmaceutical drugs. Allopathy works to address symptoms. Symptoms are the body’s way of reporting an imbalance. Merely treating the symptoms does not address the cause of the imbalance. Treating just the symptoms tends to result in greater imbalance sometime in the future. Yes, I did say that treating just the symptoms tends to lead to greater imbalance in the future – meaning that you are not getting well by taking an allopathic medicine. Now there are cases where the allopathic medicine helps you have the quality of life you want and it can hold life threatening symptoms at bay, but allopathic medicines do not restore true health. If you follow my column, or have visited with me, surely you know that I am interested in why your body is functioning the way it is and what is causing that – ie. finding the underlying cause. In searching for answers, I always think of the confession in the Episcopal prayer book. What has been done that should not have been done and what should have been done that was left undone? I tend look at issues nutritionally, because that is what make sense to me. (If I were a surgeon, I might have a completely different approach.) The answer for most health problems typically involves more than just one simple pill. The issues tend to be complex and unique for each individual. In other words, your high blood pressure has a different underlying cause than my high blood pressure. From my perspective, if you give the body concentrated nutrition that helps correct deficiencies, the body balances itself over time. I like herbs, vitamins and minerals because they can help restore health to organs and glands and help the body work better. Part of the reason that the natural remedies seem to be so confusing is that what works for one person may not work for another. Natural remedies work when they correct the underlying cause of the condition and not because they are working to suppress a symptom of imbalance. Herbs and natural remedies were not meant to be used allopathically except in certain acute situations. Herbs are natural, concentrated packages of particular nutrients that help correct the result of imbalances in nutrition. Specific herbs have an affinity for certain dandelion cleans the blood; red beet root cleans and nourishes the liver, etc. Herbs are very safe when used correctly. Naturopaths and herbalists spend years studying herbs and other natural remedies. If you are unsure about usage, talk to someone that is qualified.