Sometimes I wonder if I was born into the wrong century. A part of me longs for the days of the Healer. Before credentials and PHDs. When the Healer was respected and revered for their knowledge. When that knowledge was passed down from mother to daughter...wise woman to wise woman. The days when you went to the healer because you knew she could help, without any doubts. I dream of walking into an old world apothecary, with the wrinkled old healer behind the desk. You know the kind I am talking about. The kind portrayed in all the stories of the old days. Herbs of all kinds hanging from the ceiling, the smell of them drying, permeating the room. Walls covered in shelves buried with bottles and jars of all sorts of medicines. A time when Witch and Healer were synonymous. When you weren’t sure if you were getting medicine or a spell (which are the same thing FYI). I find something romantic about that image. It fits nicely into my heart.
It’s hard to be a healer in this modern world, especially when you use the old ways to do it. Ways that have not been “scientifically proven” in a double blind, placebo controlled study. Ways that have been around for generations and generations, and have worked for centuries, but all of a sudden aren’t good enough. Anecdotal, and ancestral evidence means nothing today...if it hasn’t been “proven” by Science, then it’s not real.
Yes I know those days were hard, and I know it was easy to die from a simple infection, but we seem to overlook the vast amount of people who die every day from Pharmaceuticals in our modern world. Taking drugs that maybe they didn’t need to take, but were told they had to to be healthy. People taking too many at once, taking the wrong ones, adverse reactions, dying from side effects caused by the medicine that was supposed to heal them…
“Few know that systematic reviews of hospital charts found that even properly prescribed drugs (aside from misprescribing, overdosing, or self-prescribing) cause about 1.9 million hospitalizations a year. Another 840,000 hospitalized patients are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions for a total of 2.74 million serious adverse drug reactions. About 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking 4th with stroke as a leading cause of death. The European Commission estimates that adverse reactions from prescription drugs cause 200,000 deaths; so together, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year. The FDA does not acknowledge these facts and instead gathers a small fraction of the cases.” https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages
Many pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants. People often use that as an argument in the favour of pharmaceuticals, but they are not the same thing. Drugs are not from nature. Not even close. Out of hundreds and hundreds of compounds, scientists isolate what they believe to be the one and only “active compound” in a medicinal plant, and then they turn it into a drug and make massive profits. More often than not, these isolated compounds can cause severe reactions or “side effects”, but the drug is still said to be “safe” and it is then produced for the masses. Meanwhile, the plant that the drug comes from originally, is said to be unsafe because it hasn’t been through a clinical trial to prove otherwise, even though that plant carries what often amounts to centuries or more of safe human use as a medicine.
White Willow bark (Salix alba) is a well known example of this. It was about 120 years ago that scientists isolated the compound salicin from White Willow. This is what was then turned into Aspirin. Aspirin can cause severe stomach issues https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10763205/ , but a strong decoction of White Willow bark does not, and has been used for centuries safely. Plants are complex, living creatures. Some of those other compounds in the willow, that scientists didn’t deem worthy to extract, are what help make willow bark safe to consume. Quite often, when a plant has a compound that carries potential dangers, that same plant will also contain compounds to mitigate those effects.
Somewhere in the recent past, we have been taught that our bodies are not intelligent. That our intuition is not intelligent. That nature is not intelligent. That without scientists, and doctors with PHDs, and pharmaceutical companies stepping in, we will all surely die. Take childbirth for example. Something females across species have done in one way or another since the beginning of existence, and now all of a sudden, we humans have forgotten how to do it. Pregnancy and childbirth have been turned from something that is beautiful and natural, to something that needs to be heavily medicated, monitored, and overseen by teams of physicians.
We have been taught that the only things that can heal us, or keep us healthy, are drugs (and foods) made in a laboratory, when a lot of the time, that is not what we need at all. When we need a medicine, we should reach for a medicine from a plant that has evolved along with us. Animals and plants have shared this planet for millenia. I believe that a plant, like Horsetail (Equisetum spp.) for example, which is one of the oldest plants in existence, knows how to help our body heal because it is made of the same stuff we are, and it knows us...it has watched us grow up. It has evolved along with us and all other species on this planet. Drugs have not. Our bodies have no idea what to do with them.
Animals self medicate using plants all the time and they have been doing it just as long as humans, if not longer. Humans have actually learned a lot of what we know about plants from observing animals. Have you ever watched your dog or cat eat a bunch of grass and wondered why. They are trying to induce vomiting because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have, and they know just what to do to help. Animals have been known to use plants to purge parasites, ease sore muscles and heal wounds. https://daily.jstor.org/how-wild-animals-self-medicate/
Now, I would like to make it very clear that I am NOT entirely against modern medicine and science. We have learned so much through our scientific efforts, and modern medicine saves millions of lives every year...it has its place for sure. I know several people, including myself, who would not be here today if it weren’t for allopathic intervention. There are times when allopathic medicine is absolutely the best and only option. What I am saying is that alternative forms of healing should not be looked down upon because they don’t follow the same strict framework as allopathic medicine. It is hard to be an alternative health practitioner these days because the medical system seems to try as hard as it can to squash us.
Allopathic medicine focuses on symptom treatment, not people treatment. It tends to ignore the underlying issues that are actually causing the symptoms, in favour of symptom suppression instead. Quite often, a person who was diagnosed with systemic inflammation, for example, and prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, only needed to remove some unknown food allergens and exercise more, but instead they are given this drug which comes with all sorts of GI side effects that they now have to live with as well. You will not get better, until the underlying cause is dealt with. This is super important to remember so I am going to say it again...if you have an unknown food allergy, or another underlying cause or reason for your symptoms, you are not going to get better until the reason is removed. It’s that simple.
That’s what holistic health care is. This is what I do. I dig deep. Really get to know my client. Find the underlying issue or issues causing all of the symptoms and then address that. More often than not, it is a food allergy or intolerance that has gone undiagnosed for decades. Sometimes, the person doesn’t even need herbs! They just need a lifestyle makeover...I help with that too.I’m going to hop off my soapbox now, I’m sure I’ll be up there again soon though (it has a nice view). I want to invite you to contact me, if you feel called to. I am taking one client a week right now. Go to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/newmoonaroma, or newmoonaroma.com to book.