Friday, 25 November 2011
This really spurred me on to look after my health, and since then I've lived by the maxim "prevention is better than cure". I'm really interested in how diet plays such a huge part in overall health, both physically and mentally. This is something I only discovered in my early 20s, so I'm still learning. For example there is a serious condition in my family that my aunt has been taking prescription drugs for 20 years to keep it at bay, it's incurable and degenerative. I have had early warning signs of it for the last 5 years or so, and have kept them in check by reading up on it and increasing certain minerals and oils in my diet when it flares up. This has worked for now, and I hope it will continue to do so.
My grandad suffered with alzheimers before his death, which is such a tragic condition, and was especially difficult for the family caring for him. Recent research shows that brain function can be impaired by ongoing vitamin and mineral deficiency over a lifetime. Simple vitamin B Complex tablets are the first step to helping older patients with memory loss. All too often doctors wait until a condition has been established, then prescribe the heavy-duty drugs to minimise the damage and repair where necessary. What a pity that we get to this stage. Previously in Chinese cultures for example, the doctors were responsible for maintaining health, not curing illnesses.
(I know I'm not citing any references for these "facts", sorry, I'm lazy! You can google any of them, or contact me and I'll refer you to my sources! I wanted this to be an opinion post, not a reference article!)
I was given it during both my labours (home births) for pain relief, and it was the only thing I used. It worked like a charm on my 14.5 hour first labour with my 9lb 4oz (4+kg) son, and the second, more intense 4 hour labour with my second son. More difficult than the physical sensations was my fear and panic in labour, and the midwife managed that really well with homeopathy. There would be a tricky contraction, the midwife would give me a sip of one remedy dissolved in water, it would/would not work, she'd give a different remedy if needed, and it would work, and labour progressed well.
Reasons I think it works:
It got me through two labours
It helped manage (not cure though) my morning sickness
It works on my babies and they just know it as the "shake-y sweets", I don't tell them that they're sick, nor that they're being given medicine.
"Teetha" teething powder is accepted for mainstream teething pain relief
Arnica cream is accepted as a mainstream bruise healing cream
I honestly feel it working when it's worked.
I've had bad moods disappear instantly on taking the right remedy. Like magic. Before I could be in a funk for a whole day until I'd slept it off.
I have had problems disappear and not reappear for months, when before I'd get them days/weeks later
Reasons I think it's bunkum:
There is no scientific proof it works, only anecdotal
You cannot trace any medicinal quality in the pills, they could be just sugar
If the original element is so diluted, how can it have any effect?
It's too wishy-washy
You can't overdose on it. Therefore there's nothing in it
It's probably placebo effect
I've never seen a homeopath. I've been self-prescribing. Which I don't see a problem with as you can't get it wrong. If you take the wrong remedy all that happens is you don't get better. It's foolproof. It's cheap (about 6-8 euros for a remedy in a health shop). I turn to it in the scary nights when my child is running a fever and I'm considering calling a doctor, and it helps them and me. My children have never seen a GP, never had to take mainstream medication. A lot to do with that is the breastfeeding, but I think homeopathy has had a part to play in it too. My baby has calmed down from unexplained evening crying (colic?) with chamomilla. My son's viral fevers were managed with belladonna. They were unaware of the process, but it seemed to work. That's good enough for me.
I don't think it can or should replace conventional medicine, but for minor ailments it seems to work. It is truly a complementary medicine, and can be taken alongside conventional medicine to promote healing. It works for mental and physical problems too. I like that the mental state is taken into account with the physical state when prescribing. I really believe body and mind are linked, and if homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo, it's one that works for me, and that alone keeps me turning to it.
My next area of research will be ayurveda, I think it works along the same principles, restoring a balance in the body, but using herbs and spices to do so. Turmeric (in the form of curcumin) is used in many prescription antifungal creams, and I've used neat turmeric to cure some skin problems, applied topically. There is scientific reasearch into turmeric as a cure for alzheimer's, cancer and arthritis. I'm fascinated by these discoveries, and love googling natural remedies for minor ailments, then going to my kitchen cupboard and using these fantastic substances that we take for granted. Please share any knowledge or natural remedies in the comments!