With so many individuals becoming curious and seeking out holistic medicine for their ailments, some may wonder what the real difference is between holistic approaches versus seeking out a modern day allopathic doctor. It’s important to understand the difference and to be able to make informed choices regarding your health and your plan for longevity!
Generally, allopathic medicine is used once you get sick. You go to the doctor and are likely given synthetic pills to reduce symptoms of the disease and infection that has developed in your body. These can include anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and anti-biotics, just to name a few. I’ll be the first to say, thank goodness we have many manmade drugs when we have infections and pain that are unbearable! If I break a limb, I will definitely be seeking out an allopathic doctor for help! I also like the option that I can use this system combined with holistic means if I choose to.
Holistic medicine works on a different premise; emergency situations that require immediate relief aren’t what holistic practices are generally used best for. Even though herbs can be used once the body has manifested disease, holistic remedies are best used throughout your life, for the prevention of disease.
This is where a conversation needs to be had. As a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I see many individuals in desperate situations. Even though much can be done, ultimately, using herbs daily is the best way to maintain optimal health. So it is important to understand that rather than seeking out herbal remedies later in your life when a problem arises, the best time to begin exploring herbs to maintain your health is now!
“So with so many herbs out there, where can I start?”
Herbs come in categories; one herbal category is called “Tonic Herbs”. Tonic herbs are said to invigorate and tone the body. Just as your choice of healthy foods contain the nutrients your body needs -based on certain chemical constituents- herbs can feed your body in a restorative way as well. One of my favourite tonic herbs is a root called Ashwaghandha (Withania somnifera). Why? Research and personal experience tell me that this root is a powerhouse! It can be used from puberty throughout your entire life. Research shows that ashwaghanda can lower cortisol levels, strengthen muscle activity, and relieve insomnia and loss of memory. Ashwagandha is shown to be safe and effective! This herb is wonderful for easing anxiety and for restoring sexual function, particularly in men.
One thing I’ve noticed is that many dosages on supplement bottles are quite modest. Former president of the American Herbalist Guild and renowned Herbalist K. P. Khalsa, recommends greater doses of this herb to feel it’s positive effects. He states that starting with 2 grams per day and working your way up to 10-15 grams per day for acute situations is a more accurate dose. Once you begin to feel the herb working, bringing the dosage back down to the 2 grams per day should keep you balanced for the long term. You can use the capsules in recommended amounts if you are sensitive to herbs, but with larger doses I would recommend a powdered version to easily get this amount into your diet. Adding it daily to smoothies or food such as oatmeal (or food of that consistency) would work great!
Many argue there isn’t enough studies backing herbal remedies and it may be dismissed as quakery, but let me inform you that TCM -Traditional Chinese Medicine- has been around for thousands of years, likewise, Ayurvedic Indian Medicine has a lengthy history. Many healing roots, berries, flowers and leaves surround us on this earth. This isn’t a new concept that we’re inventing. Taking herbs is a tried and true practice that was here before we built pharmacies on every corner.
Remember that there is a powerful force innate to holistic healing. And quite honestly, with the backlash of anti-biotic resistance, I easily predict that humans will be forced to look for other means of fighting disease. Introducing Ayurvedic herbs such as Ashwagandha into your diet is a great use of holistic medicine to begin -or continue- your healing journey!
If you are seeking an Edmonton based holistic health coach, feel free to drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.