A Natural Approach to Health
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates
Unify Consulting PMA favors a natural approach to health by focusing on prevention, treatment, and optimal health using substances that encourage the body’s inherent self-healing process. The substances that we utilize are herbs, homeopathy, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils. We will not solely focus on the disease itself. We will also consider the physical and psychological aspects of a person’s health in a holistic fashion.
The ancient Egyptians, Indians, Chinese and Greeks were herbalists. They used herbs, diet, exercise, and other methods of restoring health. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, also known as “The Father of Medicine”, adopted these practices.(1) Hippocrates believed in the body’s ability to heal itself. He gave priority to nutritive, tonic, and holistic approaches to health over treatment of symptoms. There are Biblical references for the use of herbs, not only for food but for medicinal purposes. In Ezekiel 47:12, the Lord states “….and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine”. The use of herbs varied over the centuries until the discovery of chemical and pharmaceutical principles in the early 19th century. The use of the active ingredients of the herbs were being used, instead of the whole plant, resulting in the medical community turning away from the old practices. Herbology declined rapidly with the events of the production of penicillin, which cured many quickly, and World War II which disrupted supplies of herbs from around the world.(1)
Nature designed herbal remedies to be taken whole (seeds, roots, berries, leaves, bark, or flowers) not chemically altering them. Extracting or synthesizing active compounds from herbs, to produce pharmaceutical drugs, results in toxic substances with adverse side effects.(2) Drugs have no life force, no nutrition, and no enzymes, but herbs contain all of these. Herbs contain the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and enzymes to cleanse, nourish, and heal the body.(2) Some commonly used herbs:
Being used for thousands of years, herbal medicine has proven to be very successful in treating a host of health conditions. It works with the body, rather than attacking it, to restore optimal function of its immune and digestive systems as well as its organs. With fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drug-based medicine, herbal medicine is also far safer for long term use. This support, restorative and preventative care is simply not available with modern medicine.
In the 1800’s, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist, was responsible for developing homeopathy.(3) The basic principle behind homeopathy is “like cures like”. A substance given in small doses will stimulate the body’s reactive processes to heal rather than cause specific symptoms. For an example, the use of “Coffea Cruda” is derived from unroasted coffee beans, which can cause symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is simply a symptom of an imbalance in the vital force, or “energy” which animates the body. When an insomniac is given the homeopathic remedy “Coffea Cruda” the energy of the remedy resonates with the existing state of imbalance being experienced. The vital force is provoked to throw off the energy of the remedy, and along with it, the existing imbalance. The imbalance is “cleared” and sleep is improved.
History of the treatment of epidemics with homeopathy:(4)
During the 19th century, the practice of homeopathy spread rapidly throughout the United States and Europe. Practitioners were able to adopt these methods due to Dr. Hahnemann’s textbook “Homeopathy Materia Medica”. In 1847 the American Medical Association (AMA) was founded and at this time the homeopaths outnumbered the AMA allopaths by two to one.(5) Over time, the AMA built up its power until it assumed complete control over medical schools and the accreditation of physicians, resulting in our current allopathic system.
Vitamins are needed in minute amounts for growth and good health. Vitamins act as coenzymes, that is they act with an enzyme to accelerate a chemical reaction. Some examples of vitamins:
Most vitamins are not made in the body and must be taken in by food or supplementation. Vitamins are found in all food groups but no one food contains all the required vitamins. For this reason, it is essential to have a balanced diet. Although, the typical American diet is low in nutrient density, aka empty calorie or "junk food", and supplementation may be needed. Nutrient deficiencies can rob the body of its natural resistance to disease while weakening its overall performance.
Minerals, like vitamins, work with other nutrients to ensure a smooth functioning body. They can be bound to organic compounds, saccharides and lipids, to form hormones, enzymes and other functional proteins. When multiple minerals are incorporated together, they give added strength to structures. As an example, when mineral complexes such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium salts are formed they harden teeth and strengthen bones. Most minerals are found in body fluids and are labeled as electrolytes because they have an electric charge. For example, sodium and chloride are the major electrolytes in blood that help maintain normal osmolarity (concentration) of body fluids and for the responsiveness of neurons and muscle cell activation. Some more examples of minerals:
Mineral rich foods can be obtained from vegetables, legumes, meats, and supplementation. As vital as they are, in the developed world many people are mineral deficient due to stress, medications, and diet. Please read the article “Emotional Stress” on this site for more information on how stress effects mineral stores and health.
Essential oils, just as herbs, were used by the ancient world. The Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Arabs and Israelites used essential oils for their aromatic and therapeutic properties. One of the oldest documents from Egypt, the Ebers Papyrus, states how the Egyptians used frankincense and other aromatics for treating a variety of ailments.(6) Contained in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, are numerous references of fragrances, odors, aromas, and anointing oils, that indicate the use of aromatic oils. Matthew 2:11 states the wise men, that came to worship the Christ child, presented frankincense and myrrh as gifts. Spikenard, a precious medicinal oil in ancient times used only by priest and kings, is mentioned in John 12:3 for anointing the feet of Jesus. Hence, anointing the feet of Jesus Christ the King. Other essential oils mentioned in the Bible are cedarwood and cinnamon. Properties of essential oils:
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, one single essential oil can treat multiple conditions. For instance, frankincense has antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, expectorant, immune stimulant, and sedative properties. Hippocrates suggested that the key to good health was to take a daily aromatic bath and receive a daily scented massage.(6)
(1). Antillo, Humbart. 1993 Natural Healing with Herbs. Prescott, Arizona. Hohm Press.
(2). Sainsbury, Reed. 2008 Healing Poisoned Medicine: Medicine That Heals vs. Medicine That Kills. Bloomington, IN. iUiverse
(3). Cummings, Stephen. 2004 Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines. New York, NY. Penguin group (USA) Inc.
(4). Julian Winston, “Some history of the treatment of epidemics with homeopathy,” www.whale.to/v/winston.html
(5). Mullins, Eustace. 1998 Murder by Injection. Staunton, Virginia. The National Council for Medical Research.
(6). Aroma Tools. 2015 Modern Essentials. Pleasant Grove, UT. Aroma Tools