These days, when you get sick you go see your doctor. In turn, your doctor will probably prescribe medicine which you will need to purchase. You’ll then take the medicine and hope you get better. And the same thing will happen the next time you get sick…and the next time after that.
If someone were to tell you to take certain herbs instead of the medication prescribed by your doctor, many people probably wouldn’t do it. In the back of their minds, they may be thinking this person must be nuts, right?
Maybe not. Natural medicine is just what it sounds like; using natural methods, herbs and traditional practices in order to heal the sick or the wounded. For every culture, there is a form of natural medicine. For example, the village medicine men of ancient cultures were looked upon as the community’s physician. They were the ones who passed down their knowledge to their apprentice who was to follow them.
These natural medical practices such as traditional, complementary and alternative medicine are usually referred to as those practices in place prior to modern medicine. They includes herbal medicine or phytotherapy, prevalent in Ayurvedic, Greek and Chinese medicine.
Modern doctors soon put the natural herbs aside and chose to use man-made medicine instead. Many people consider natural medicine to be a lost art, simply because it’s easier for them to prescribe a pill than to explain the mixture of herbs required, for example.
But when you think back to your ancestral roots, consider how they dealt with ear aches or an upset stomach. How did your mother treat your toothache? Did she have a special procedure for bringing your fever down that didn’t involve taking some sort of medication out of a bottle? These are all things you can think about before heading to the nearest pharmacy for over the counter drugs, or to the hospital at the first sign of a cold.
Many of the resources, herbs and other treatments used by people years ago can still have a positive effect on us now. For many of our family’s conditions, we can return to a more naturopathic, herbal method of treatment. Even in cases where we just want to prevent stomach cramps, or reactions to vaccines for our children, we can easily turn to natural ways to handle these situations.
Had natural, herbal and alternative medicines not worked for our ancestors, perhaps things would be different today. First of all, a lot of us wouldn’t be here, would we? Then there are all the illnesses, conditions and other situations which could have been passed on generation to generation, without any hope of being remedied or relieved.
Yes, many of today’s medications have become much more useful and powerful as those herbal remedies of our ancestors. And perhaps in some cases it’s very important to see modern medicine as being a helpful part of society. However, in other cases, which involve some minor conditions and ailments, can you see any reason for us not to try returning to those natural cures which were used for so many years? I think it’s worth the thought…