Herbs work via their chemical constituents, which they’ve each biologically tailored -over tens of thousands of years- to thrive around the Globe. They work in our bodies to treat dis-eases, & bring about & maintain our health. When we take or use Herbal Medicine the complex bio-chemistry inter-acts with ours, thus impacting on & affecting our expression of health.
Herbal medicine is suited to acute & chronic health conditions. The duration of time needed to work with herbs will vary from person to person, depending on each individuals needs & symptom picture.
WHAT WE USE HERBAL MEDICINE FOR:
“Herbs are not suited to artificially imposed disease names but to naturally occurring & evolving processes within the body.”Matthew Wood, MSc.
Herbal Medicine is suitable for adults, children & animals, in many of the common situations where one could refer to a GP.
Here follows a non-definitive list of conditions that Herbs can treat very well:
Stress, anxiety & depression;
Coughs, colds & low immunity;
Headaches & migraines;
Heart & circulatory problems;
Urinary disorders & blood sugar imbalances.
A locally grown Organic lifestyle in this time of Globalized chemical agriculture is very important for our health. Cocktails of chemical (over) load is a very real present day phenomenon, affecting many individuals, even those living in very remote regions around the world.
The more we choose Organic, the more Organic is available 🙂
&, there are many other reasons for keeping it local aswell as Organic: fresher produce, better flavor; less food miles; supports local business/production/knowledge/practice; supports a more resilient local food system; eating seasonally & thus knowing what is seasonal, & having a diversity of produce, rather than strawberries or potatoes the yr round!
Atuning with seasonal food is a medicinal practice in itself for maintaining health, & preventing disease.
If you are very out of touch with what is in season as you always shop at supermarkets, then have a look at your local veg market. What is in season is usually cheaper, & only on the shelves for limited times.
Another wonderfully rewarding way to get in touch with what is local and seasonal is joining your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It is a very easy way to connect with those who grow in your area, and get involved with a local community.
There are now more & more local sourcing options popping up around the country. From home-scale back-yard plots, to larger new community enterprises.
Glyphosate (the most heavily used chemical herbicide in human agricultural history) is patented as an antibiotic.
Avoid ALL GMO foods. Non-organic soy often tests high for pesticides, cheap, non-Organic Almonds are usually high. Have a look at THE DIRTY DOZEN & THE CLEAN FIFTEEN for which foods are sprayed more than others, and which are more susceptible to holding onto the chemicals. One good example is here.
Often individuals need to look at temporarily cutting out food groups due to intolerances.
Diagnosis is usually from symptom patterns, & can be backed up with muscle testing or use of a pendulum. Once identified, an elimination diet of at least 3 weeks is advised. A revision of symptoms is then needed, to see what’s changed.
There can be withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, stomach pains, & mucous clear out. If these are sever, it’s recommendable to back-off from the diet & get in touch.
People generally have one main intolerance, but there can be layers of multiple intolerances.
ALL intolerances are ALWAYS worse & flare-up with stress.
Intolerances can appear anytime during an individuals life, right from birth, they are often triggered by times of stress. The heavy use of chemicals in our food-chain, & the many hormones in our water, don’t help sensitive individuals, which is why I advocate for Organic whole food (see above). As we age, & various system stressors are routinely absorbed, the presentation of the intolerance can deepen into the body (becoming more chronic) from the integumentary system (skin rashes, eczema, red cheeks), to the digestive system (bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS), the circulatory system (high/low blood pressure, headaches), & the musculoskeletal system (arthritis, joint pain & swelling). Unfortunately, we don’t grow out of intolerances, the symptom picture changes, until the stressor/s are removed, & we have time and space to heal.
Aside from avoidance of the substances an individual is sensitive to there are useful adjuncts, such as: digestive bitter; probiotics; ferments; high intake of anti-inflammatory foods; or a certain protocol tailored to your condition (work with a Nutritionist). Each individual generally needs a specific protocol. But, generally while looking to reduce inflammation it’s advisable to avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat; dairy; sugar; pork; oranges; alcohol; tea; coffee. Adding into the diet more lemon & lime, dark green leafy veg, bitter salad leaves, ginger, olives & olive oil (if tolerated) may well also help, as these are seen as some of the most anti-inflammatory foods.
THE MAIN FOOD GROUPS PEOPLE ARE INTOLERANT TO:
This constitutes for at least 75% of all intolerances. Its highly addictive due to the protein Casein, which your body breaks down into casomorphins. These compounds attach to dopamine receptors in your brain triggering cravings. Milk ferments such as sour milk, milk kefir, cottage cheese etc. (for those over 7 yrs old) are generally much better suited to the digestive tract. There are however lots of great alternatives to dairy. Here is a little overview of various different nut milks & the pros & cons of each.
Some sources say Gluten affects 10-15% of the population, some much higher. A molecule of gluten fits comfortably into the opiate receptors in the brain, thus giving a ‘high’, & being habit forming/ addictive. Wheat is very inflammatory, & Christine, my first mentor, always said it would make symptoms of other intolerances worse.
Dietary intolerance to soya is becoming more common. Fermented soya is much more digestible. (Note: if you stop your intake of dairy don’t suddenly up your intake of soya products as too can then become problematic).
This group consists of potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, sweet & hot peppers, tobacco, & various herbs belonging to the Solanaceae family. The group seem to affect about 5% of the population.
Salicylates are the salts & esters of salicylic acid. They are stored in the bark, leaves, roots, & seeds of plants.
Chemically, this phyto-compound (plant derived) acts in its natural setting as a natural immune hormone & preservative, preventing rotting & protecting the plant against harmful insects, bacteria, & fungi. It’s often regarded as beneficial in the clinical setting, as for the individuals who are not sensitive to it, it has an anti-inflammatory cascade in the body.
With this intolerance it’s most important to learn which sources are high & largely avoid them, while working with a Homeopath &/ flower remedies. Often with a period of abstinence an individual can return to moderate consumption of foods containing this compound.
Most meats (depending on what the animal’s been fed), grains & vegetables of the Brassicaceae family are a good mainstay in cases of intolerance to Salicylates as they are low sources.
Its not just food sources that an intolerant individual needs to be aware of. Cleaning products, cosmetics, shampoos, aspirin, perfumes, lotions, hairsprays, etc can also be high sources.