Natural Health Care for Mental, Emotional and Physical Well-Being

Posts tagged ‘Natural Health’

Just Because It Is Natural Doesn’t Meant It Is Good For You…


Lavender Fields

“Natural” is the buzzword of the decade.  Just go to the grocery store.  Everything claims to be Natural these days.  Natural Coconut Water…  Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (with lots of extra ingredients like Hydrogenated Oils, sugar, etc. )  The Health and Beauty section shows the same, only there are usually more chemicals than in the food.

Suffice to say, “natural” is not always really natural.

But then there are some “natural” things that truly are natural and yet they still aren’t good for you.  The obvious ones are poisonous substances found in nature, such as arsenic, mercury, etc.  Poison Ivy is completely natural, but 85 percent of the population will have an allergic reaction to the urushiol in the Poison Ivy.

Finally, there are the natural things that work well for some people, but not necessarily for others.  Some items in this category can be helpful for some people and not so helpful for others. Homeopathic remedies fall into this category.  Not every remedy works for every person.

I had a recent experience with the essential oil Lavender.  I have always loved the smell of Lavender.  It also used to work wonder for my children when I would put it in the bath tub when they were little.  In fact, I recall when my oldest son was little, he asked me to put in the “stuff that makes me sleepy.  Not the stuff that gets me all excited.”  When he mentioned getting excited, he was referring to the Lemon/Orange oil I would put in the bath if they took morning baths.  The “stuff” that calmed him down was lavender oil.  He recognized this on his own, without any hints from me.

Fast forward to this past winter.  I have some cream I have been using for years.  It is scented with the essential oil of Lavender.  I would use it at night and it had the added bonus of making me sleepy.  But with the especially cold winter this year, my skin was dry and itchy.  The coconut oil in the cream was just what I needed.  So I started using it morning and evening.

I found as the winter went on that I was having a really hard time staying up past 7 or 7:30 p.m.  All I wanted to do was go to bed early.  It was nearly impossible for me to stay up as late as I needed to in order to complete my tasks for the day.

I decided to look up the symptom, “Desires to go to bed early” in my repertory or symptoms related to homeopathic remedies.  The one and only remedy in there was, you guessed it, Lavender.  Only it was homeopathic lavender, referred to as Lavendula.  As I read more about this remedy, I found that it actually suited me pretty well.  I took a dose.  It turned out that I was really sensitive to it, but it was not a correct remedy for me.

But I learned that my sensitivity to Lavender was actually causing problems for me.  It wasn’t dangerous, but it was troubling.

The other important lesson I learned is that sometimes things you have been eating, or drinking, or using in some way for years, could in fact, be the source of the problem.

It’s Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature–Part 2

If you haven’t read my previous posting on Fooling Mother Nature, please click here.

Suppressing symptoms becomes a game of Whack A Mole

Tinkering with the food chain is but one way that man tries to fool mother nature.  Medicine is another.

Let me begin by saying that I think there are definitely times where western medicine and pharmaceuticals are necessary.  However, there seems to be an attitude in the philosophy (if one can call it that) of western medicine that we have a shortage of antibiotics or antidepressants or Lipitor in our bodies.  The problem with this view point, in addition to it being a fallacy, is that it fails to get to the root of the problem.

I remember first hearing about the idea of a “Chemical Imbalance” in the brain used as an explanation for a particular health issue experienced by a friend.  The very first thought I had was, “Well, why is there a chemical imbalance?”  That question, of course, has never been answered to my satisfaction by Western Medicine.  The history of that explanation is that in the 1950’s antidepressants were accidentally discovered when a drug designed to help Tuberculosis made the patients unusually happy.  Other unintended discoveries made researchers conclude that if one could improve with chemicals that there must be a chemical imbalance.

If it were true that adding chemicals to improve someone’s mood meant that there was a chemical imbalance, then one could say that if drinking alcohol made someone jolly, there must be deficiency of alcohol (or other chemical easily replaced with alcohol) present in that person.  Although there could be a grain of truth to the idea, it is a gross oversimplification.  And it still doesn’t answer the question of Why?

What does it mean to get to the root of the problem?  One thing I know for sure is that it does not mean balancing the chemicals out with other chemicals.  Imagine, if you will, a pole with vines growing on the pole.  If you don’t want the vines on the pole, the logical thing would be to cut the vines down.  Of course, they would keep coming back.  You could cut the vines down together with the pole.  That would be a little like doing surgery to remove a body part—say a hysterectomy for excessive bleeding.  But the vines would just grow on the ground with a vengeance, perhaps doubling in number because the stems were cut.  That is like getting a stronger new disease when the old expression of the dis-ease has been removed.  So rather than excessive bleeding, perhaps you develop fibromyalgia over time.  To rid the problems of the vines growing, you need to dig them out by the roots.

To do anything but solving the source of the problem is like playing a game of Whack A Mole.

It is well known that Western Medicine suppresses symptoms.  Physicians will agree with that.  What is not agreed on is whether this is a problem.  Eczema is one of the expressions of dis-ease that is commonly suppressed, frequently with cortisone cream.  And if you trick the skin into not expressing that dis-ease, the body will express it elsewhere, usually in the lungs.  Chinese Medicine doctors have known about the relationship between the skin and the lungs for thousands of years.

I once had a client who sought help with her asthma.  A good remedy for her presented itself clearly.  She took the remedy.  Mid way between appointments, she called me to report that she now had a ring of warts on her finger.  She had had them frozen or burned off (I can’t recall which form of suppression worked for her) many times and they had finally stayed away.  They had returned quickly upon taking the remedy.  Her asthma was gone.  One stronger dose of the same remedy a few months later removed the warts as well, this time without any asthma and no Whack A Mole.

There are many studies which confirm that tricking the body has consequences.  As long ago as 2000, there were already 6 studies confirming the increased incidences of allergies and asthma in children that had been received the DTP and Tetanus vaccines versus those who had not.  In fact, they were 50% more likely to develop this dis-ease.  Conversely, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that when a parent chooses good nutrition, such as giving their child nutrient dense food like raw milk to prevent acute illnesses studies show a DECREASED incidence of asthma and allergies.

Many people will argue that antibiotics are not suppressing illness because they actually kill the cause of the disease—the germ.  It is getting to the root of the problem, they claim.  Alas, it isn’t true.  Germs, like Real Estate, rely on location, location, location.  Many pathogenic bacteria are found in perfectly healthy people.  You have to be dis-eased before you can become diseased.  Even Louis Pasteur recanted his research on germs.  On his death bed he is reported to have said, “Bernard was right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything.”  This is why frequently children with ear infections and adults with sinus infections end up on a cycle of antibiotics from which it is hard to extract oneself. (Check out the Wellness Directory of Minnesota.  The Antibiotics do nothing to change the terrain.  Too many antibiotics and the game of Whack a Mole is on once again, presenting itself as yeast infections and digestive disorders and recurring infections. 

Changing the terrain?  That is a subject for a future blog…

Its Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

In listening to all the latest on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods, I was reminded of a television commercial that I found pretty humorous when I was young.  It was an advertisement about Mother Nature who was fooled into believing that the food like substance known as margarine was actually butter.  She was not pleased and immediately created a natural disaster of some sort.

That commercial for Chiffon Margarine  reminds me of the current situation in our country of health care and our increasingly unrecognizable food supply.

Mad Cow Disease was a big scare a few years ago.  The source of it was traced to feeding animals foods that they were not naturally designed to eat.  Animal byproducts were fed to sheep and cattle, which are, by nature, vegetarians.  Why would anyone want to mess with the food chain? In hopes that the animals would gain weight more quickly.  What developed was a prion disease which was able to be passed onto humans.  This is a pretty isolated example of a natural disaster with which Mother Nature rewarded us.

Similarly, cows are not meant to eat corn.  That’s right, they have a stomach designed to eat grass and hay. Ancestors of modern cattle were first domesticated 8000 – 6000 BC, so there is a lot of history to work through.  Beef cattle that eat grass produce meat that is higher in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Dairy cattle that eat grass produce milk that is safe to be consumed by humans in the form Mother Nature intended, i.e., unpasteurized.  The milk from cows that are allowed to graze in the meadow contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which prevents cancer.  Perhaps that is why there is such an increase in cancer…the dairy we are consuming is from cows feeding in Confined Areas and the cows are fed corn (probably GMO corn—see below for more on that). In the early 1800’s the alcohol distilleries became big business.  The distilleries had a lot of waste that they had to dispose of, so they created dairies and fed it to the cows.  As a result, they produced milk which was bluish in color not fit for human or cattle consumption and in which the e-coli flourished. Grass fed cattle produce Lacto Ferrin, which naturally kills the bad bacteria in milk.  After all, Mother Nature wanted cows to survive as a species and built this protective mechanism into milk.  Cows were meant to graze happily in the meadow on grass, chewing their cud, not stand around knee deep in mud and feces, confined to a small area with 100’s of other cattle.

I remember when my father told me about Round Up Ready Soy Beans.  I also remember a few years later his telling me that Japan wouldn’t buy any Round Up Ready Soy Beans. GMO foods, sometimes called Frankenfoods, are human’s way of really messing with Mother Nature.  It is important to distinguish between GMO foods and hybrids.  Hybridization involves selectively cross breeding over time to increase what are perceived as positive traits in a particular plant or animal and decrease negative traits. So perhaps a tomato variety evolved which appeared to have a resistance to a particular pest or disease, but it wasn’t a particularly tasty tomato.  Plant scientists could use the genetic materials from two or more different varieties of tomatoes to create a “better” tomato. This dates back to the time of Gregor Mendal who recognized dominate and recessive genes (in a primitive sort of way) in peas to selectively breed for certain traits.  For nearly a century this was done by grafting on branches from different plants.

GMO foods on the other hand, splice genes from different genus and species of the particular kingdom to create, again, what is perceived to be a more desirable plant or animal. Let’s say you are hoping to develop a tomato with a longer shelf life.  GMO might take a piece of genetic code from perhaps a Brazil Nut and splice it into the tomato which might create a longer shelf life.  The problem with this, of course, is if you are allergic to Brazil Nuts, you could die from eating that tomato.  Thus the demand from consumer groups to label GMO foods.

Both Hybridization and GMO are fooling mother nature.  Hybridization, however, may cause only a small thunderstorm compared to the Tsunami that is GMO foods.  Plants actually do hybridize on their own via cross pollination, so it is perhaps only speeding up what mother nature might be able to do on her own.

GMO foods, are another story completely.  Studies on Monsanto GMO corn show that it leads to organ failure, including the liver and kidneys.  Of course, Monsanto came up with some legal mumbo jumbo about faulty analysis, etc.  But if the rats got sick from eating their corn, the rats got sick, right?  The even bigger problem with GMO foods is the cross breeding that occurs naturally with other non-GMO foods.  Remember, Mother Nature will cross pollinate on her own.  It makes it nearly impossible to have Organic Food if GMOs are allowed to proliferate. That sounds like a natural disaster just waiting to be put into place by Mother Nature.

As an aside, I sometimes wonder if Roundup Ready Soy Beans and other grains invented to be resistant to Round Up (also a Monsanto product—how convenient) were crossed with wild Buckthorn.  That is most certainly naturally resistant to Roundup.

Many believe that the reason there are so many people with allergies to corn and intolerances to gluten is due to the GMO crops.  Counties and States all through the United States are hoping to tame the wrath of Mother Nature by banning GMO crops all together.  In July of 2011, the Hungarian Government ordered GMO corn crops plowed under so the seeds weren’t allowed to pollinate. Farmers planted them unknowingly, but they were ordered destroyed to protect the future food supply.

Knowing the results of messing with the food chain in animals and trying to control the world’s food supply with GMO food, next time I will turn to medicine and question whether we can get by with fooling Mother Nature there either.  There is always a price to pay when tinkering with the grand design of things.  Can we really get by with it?

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