Sunday, May 16, 2010

Herbs: The Spice to Life

I recently took a trip to the book store with my daughter.  It's become a tradition to go every year around this time because we scout out books for my daughter's summer reading.  I also tend to pick up a title or two for my own summer reading pleasure.

We got to the magazine section and something caught my eye.  It was a copy of The Herb Quarterly.  I have always been an advocate of natural cures to aliments, even before being diagnosed.  My Grandmother taught me most of the common natural remedies like baking soda for bee stings, aloe for burns, and peppermint for an upset stomach.  These were great, but I knew they were only the start to my budding curiosity.  I knew there was more, I just didn't know where to start.

While thumbing through this magazine, I saw that I found a gem.  Articles like how to make your own lip balms, soaps, and lotions brightly popped from the pages.  I was happy to find such recipes because it may end my problems with chemical based products.  And as most of you know, chemicals are an enemy to the Fibro sufferer.  This was exciting to say the least, but what I found most intriguing were some of the statistics about herbs and supplements.

According to the Miscellany section of The Herb Quarterly the next generation of doctors will be more than less likely to use alternative treatments, such as herbal medicines, along side standard Western medicine.  The study goes further in saying that out of 1,770 students surveyed about 74 percent believe Western medicine combined with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are more effective than just one of these practices alone.  What is sad about all of this is that only 50 percent of the U.S. medical schools offer some type of CAM course.

Ryan Abbott, a researcher from the University of California Los Angeles Center for East-West Medicine and the author of this survey, states that 60 percent of the respondents want an increase in education of CAM.  He believes it's "a global phenomenon" because "policy makers at the highest levels (are) endorsing the importance of a historically marginalized form of health care."

Another article delves into the scary statistics of OTC counter and prescription medication fatalities.  According to the article, 4,825 deaths and almost 21,000 injuries can be linked to prescription drugs in the first three months of 2008.  The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study stating that deaths due to prescription drugs have tripled between the years of 1998-2005.  In comparison, there have been zero deaths reported from herbal supplements, vitamins, mineral, or amino-acid consumption in 2008.

With statistics and information like this, it kind of makes me feel good that my old herbal standbys are still tried and true.  I've always said that a disease will never kill me, but the medications and the bills will.  Seems to me that this statement is becoming more and more true as the data pours in.

I still believe in doctors-- don't get me wrong and I will continue to go to them when I need to.  But I also know that what I'm growing in my proverbial back yard will aid me too.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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