Since I was a child, my parents tried to practice all-natural remedies to any ailments that pronounced themselves within our family. Granted, we were an extremely healthy family who rarely got sick, but when we did, my mom would make some lemon-grass tea (pulled straight from our backyard), plant a cool rag on our fevered foreheads and let us sleep it all off. It worked! I don’t ever remember her shoving cough syrup down our throats or rushing us to the clinic the minute we started sweating through our pajamas. Then again, living in a remote part of Costa Rica in the early 90s, we had little choice. My mom and dad literally had a book titled “Where There Is No Doctor.” I remember flipping through it with fascination, pausing to look at the dramatic drawings of sick people; always naked and miserable. But the book presented a solution to our modern-world’s dependence on medication and hospitalization. It said, without actually saying it, that the body can ultimately heal itself through natural remedies and plenty of rest.
I suppose due to my upbringing I always was wary of medication, even something as simple as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I can’t say I really understood my refusal to ingest any of it, especially as a teenager. I say this mostly because although I boycotted modern medicine, I also had horrid eating habits back then. I consumed large quantities of Starbucks blended coffee drinks, Panda express meals and ate little to no fresh vegetables or fruits. I didn’t really understand what nutrition was and am still in the process of learning about it.
Recently, I have been diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disorder. What it is, I am still not sure. Due to the fact that I am wrapped up in a free medical program, a lot of waiting is to be had. Not that I am ungrateful. On the contrary, I feel blessed for the large amount of help I have been given. I was handed down from helping hand to helping hand, all in an effort to assist me in receiving the care that I need. Most likely, coming from the various suggestions of nurses and staff, it is Lupus. For those of you who do not know; Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that can start off as various kinds of skin out-breaks and can lead to more serious internal issues, affecting the organs and deteriorating them little by little. My skin has been affected by this since October of 2012, when I got a horrible, unrelenting itch on my hands that eventually turned into closed sores and scarring from the irritation. That is when I made a trip to the Dermatologist and have since then taken blood-tests, been poked and prodded and eye-balled until it made me uncomfortable. The bottom line is: my symptoms are unique. Although I am displaying a rash and show grave signs of fatigue and sometimes foggy mind; I am relatively healthy. I would like to thank my unbelievable immune system for this, but who knows. The dermatologist I initially visited pushed a steroid cream on me that she informed me should be taken in moderation due to its side-effects that could destroy my immune system. I had to pause and absorb the information: say what?
Side-effects: my biggest vice. Think about it this way; you take medication to cure an ailment yet the medication may cause another ailment in turn. Where’s the logic in that? In addition, dependency is highly likely. Isn’t the point of getting better to eventually be able to be 100% healthy? The body is a miraculous thing. It tells you when something is wrong through pains and discomfort. By taking medication you are pretty much telling your body to shut up. Modern medicine puts the body in a sort of numbing state, easing the symptoms in a temporary sort of way. Sure, things and can and have been cured through these methods- but is the risk really worth it when so many alternatives are available? I believe modern medicine serves its purposes but there are limits on when the reliance should stop.
So why don’t more people rely on natural remedies? I am not sure exactly, but I have a few theories. First, there is little knowledge of it in the world at large. From birth, most of us are taught to depend on hospitals and clinics to help us: “take some NyQuil when you’re sick, take antidepressants when you’re sad, etc.” But we forget to think about the root of the problem. What is really causing our discomforts? Is a lifestyle change in order? Should we be exercising more? What are we eating? That’s another point! I’m surprised at how many over-weight people struggle with diabetes and do little to change their eating habits and exercise routines (if they have any at all,) yet they pop pill after pill and inject shot after shot. Insulin serves it’s purpose, but a good diet and exercise routine can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. My last point is a bit controversial but I feel the need to address it nonetheless. It is a joke to say that pharmaceutical companies don’t know what they are doing. That is to say; they are well aware that alternative cures are out there and are equally aware of the potential dangers of the medication they prescribe. So, what’s their motive, right? Money of course. They fear the day when people realize they can grow their own medicine in their backyards and change their own lives. Pushing medication keeps people sick and as long as people are sick, money is to be made. I still marvel at this, mostly because I hate to give into the evils of the world but it’s true: evil exists and money and power rule.
Since my iffy-diagnosis I have taken matters into my own hands. I tried the steroid cream for a few weeks but saw no real improvement and threw it into the trashcan, much to the nurses’ chagrin. I was given a cream by an old co-worker that was made from a huge list of all natural ingredients. It has been the only thing that has helped. The itching has completely resided and the rash has become very manageable and I believe will be gone completely with time. I have also seeked the help of a Naturopath who has turned out to be a wonderful addition to my life (but more on that in another post.) I feel good about the future and plan to execute this healing process au-natural.
Health is an ongoing process. You can’t go for a run once in your life and be cured from any potential dangers. It’s hard work and dedication and most importantly; knowledge. What’s the point I’m trying to get at? Simply to open your eyes to the possibilities. Do not limit yourself to the information you have been fed since childhood. Look at all sides of the way you are living your life as well as the remedies and changes out there. I am by no means an expert and do not claim to be. I am simply a student of health and an advocate of change.