Let’s begin with our foundational health…
“Let Your Food be your Medicine and Your Medicine be your Food”, Hippocrates proclaimed this more than 2,000 years ago. This is one of my favourite quotes because it says it all. Good health begins in the kitchen and food is our best medicine.
Parents try to give children the best start in life with healthy foods, support during growth and development and every opportunity to expand their horizons. Even if you didn’t have an idyllic childhood, every moment is a new chance to start fresh and rebuild your foundation.
When you build a strong foundation, you can create something long-lasting upon it. It’s the same with health. When you get all the basic ingredients just right, then you’d be amazed at what can happen. Some basics when it comes to wellness include regular physical movement, nutrient-rich foods, adequate water, healthy elimination, sunshine, clean air, relaxation, positive relationships and joy.
If you don’t work on these first as a foundation, anything that comes next will eventually crumble. Then it’s back to square one.
It’s important to consider if your current health and lifestyle include these essential elements, and if not, find someone who can help you establish them. With a solid foundation under you, you can build whatever you want upon it and count on it being there a long time for you to enjoy.
The use of nutrient rich foods, including herbs does not have to be an expensive trip out to the big health food stores or grocery stores. Medicine is all around us, down the back lane, out in a pasture field even in the produce section of your local grocery store. For at least eight months of the year, from April till November, I can gather all my greens for my morning smoothie from the nature surrounding me at home. Dandelion, Nettle, Plantain, Alfalfa, Red Clover, Sorrel, Good King Henry, Kale, the list goes on and on. While I use these plants as a food, they are also medicine. Although many of us are trained in the complexities of herbs, I believe the most powerful way to use them starts in your kitchen. It is important to understand that well trained herbalists, do not treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe herbs for diseases. Instead, herbalism often takes a more personalized approach, choosing herbs for the person rather than simply for a particular ailment.
If you do not have access to these plants, Richter’s Herbs is a great place to order online or visit in Goodwood, ON.
Eating locally grown, organic and nutrient-rich foods is gaining in popularity. Try taking this challenge with me – ingesting 200 different plant species each year. This challenge was spoken at the 2019 AARM Conference by both Terry Wahls, MD and Kevin Spellman, Phd. After only a couple of months into the challenge I have ate almost 100 and its not even spring yet. With spring comes our own gardens and markets. The number of farmers markets have quadrupled since 1994, so we are eating much more local foods however one critical ingredient is still missing from our dinner tables – herbs and spices! These herbs and spices count in our challenge. Remember that eating healthy does not have to be boring – “what’s that delicious smell?” – the herbs are already working on the brain’s endorphins – its eating pleasurable foods that are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that keep you feeling great. They transform a bland meal into a decadent and flavourful experience!
Transform your life through the use of herbs and spices. – First begin by the act of doing. Inhale their fragrances, taste them, make a cup of tea, use in your daily meals and use them often! In doing so, you can avoid or even begin to heal some of the chronic problems affecting our population today. This can lead you to a place where you can make empowered decisions about you personalized health care.
This not going to cost you any more money, these items are already in most cupboards. So today we are going to begin with herbs and spices you have at home, let’s see what we have in our spice cupboard to begin. Pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, ginger, sage, thyme and rosemary
The Benefits of Herbs and Spices
Every meal and drink present an opportunity to nourish yourself and powerfully support your health. Adding more herbs and spices into your diet comes with many benefits. They provide essential nutrients, improve your mood, reduce oxidative stress, support natural energy, promote healthy aging, prevent diseases, aid in the repair of vital processes and strengthen healthy bodily functions. ensure that you are digesting and absorbing the nutrients from your healthy foods and prevent many chronic diseases. There are thousands of scientific studies showing the effectiveness of herbs and spices. Herbs and spices aid your health in myriad ways including strength to get the most benefits from your herbs and spices you will want to use them every day in in good amounts. This isn’t about sprinkling a little bit of herbs ns spices into your soup pot. Instead it’s looking at every meal as an opportunity to get an abundance of herbs into your life as a powerful wat to bolster your health. This is food as medicine at its best!
Herbs/spices Strengthen digestion system
A fundamental truth is that most chronic disease begins with poor digestion. If you can not transform your food into the nutrients you body needs, then how can you have good health? Many will brush off their digestive upsets as “normal” – remember it is not normal to not poop for 3 days. In fact, many culinary herbs have been in use for thousands of years not only because they taste good but also because they help with digestion.
Clues: bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, constipation nausea, poor appetite, diarrhea and ulcers.
Herbs/spices Support the nervous system
Living in a world for ever increasing excessive stress that it almost seems normal. Chronic emotional stress leads to cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the lives and suicide. We need to simplify our modern lifestyle and manage our unrealistic expectations. Herbs are not the silver bullet or make you super human. They will, however, shift us from the fight -or -flight response of our sympathetic nervous system to the rest-and-digest state of the parasympathetic nervous system. They can help with anxiety during the day and help us get restful sleep at night. Along with fresh local food, they offer us high amounts of vitamins and minerals needed to support our nervous system.
Herbs/Spices are Antimicrobial
Some herbs and spices offer a powerful defence against pathogenic bacteria. This does not sound so amazing when there are pharmaceutical antibiotics out there, but I choose to save these for when I will really need them. We do not want to get antibiotic resistance. In the USA alone more than 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections. Plants have been changing and evolving with bacteria for millennia, they have a very complex system that my make it harder for pathogens to adapt to them.
While sometimes necessary to use antibiotics, they can have a far-reaching negative effect, particularly on our gut flora, which is beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract. The term anti- biotic means anti-life. Herbs and Spices can be strongly antimicrobial with out being anti life.
Scientists have been studying how plants can make antibiotics more effective for antibiotic-resistant infections using the compound berberine, found in plants such as Goldenseal and Oregon grape root.
While being effective against viruses and fungal infections, herbs go beyond simply killing a pathogen, they also support the ecosystem of the body. They can restore integrity to mucous membranes and support health gut flora.
Herbs Support the Immune System
Strengthen or modulates our body’s own immune system which is arguably out best defence against pathogens that lead to illness. Immune system dysfunction can increase our risk of infection and is also implicated in cancer, autoimmune disorders, and seasonal allergies. Herbs can help to strengthen and boost our immune system so it can do its complex job well.
The Taste of Herb and Spices
Pungent – warm and spicy. They awaken the senses and get things moving. They are ideal for someone who tends to feel cold, damp or sluggish, as they increase circulation and bring warmth from the core of the body out to the limbs. Dosage: easy does it! Example: Cayenne, Black pepper, Ginger, Garlic.
Salty – high in vitamins and minerals. They are nutrient dense and considered the most nourish and food like of all herbs. In herbalism the term salty refers to herbs that are high in micro nutrients; they have a mineral taste rather than an overtly salty taste. Known for affecting the fluids in your body. Some are diuretics, helping with the flow of urine, others a lymphatic, helping with the flow of the lymph fluid. Examples- Seaweed, Oat straw, Violets, Chickweed, and everyone’s favourite Stinging Nettle.
Sour– subtle sour taste. In herbalism sour is unlike our current thinking of sour, such as a lemon, think subtle. Astringent herbs are considered sour. Astringent unripe banana, black tea or cotton balls in the mouth feeling. Astringents/sour tighten the mucosal tissues they come in contact with. In Chinese medicine it is thought of as tightening and emptying, allows us to clear out the heaviness and stagnancy of winter’s cocoon, preparing the body to go out and move in search of adventure and nourishment (Gagne, 2008). The sours stimulate digestion, build strength, and reduce inflammation. They are cooling and high in antioxidants. Astringency helps with bleeding or swollen gums, swollen throats, healing wounds and excess discharge such as a runny nose. Example: Hawthorn berry, Rose hip, Sumac berries, Schisandra berries, Sorrels, and Partridge berries.
Sweet – nourish and build. They can restore energy levels and modulate the immune system. They do not taste sweet at all so don’t get too excited. In fact, your first taste of these plants may not have you thinking about sweetness at all. Most of our adaptogen herbs are listed for as sweet, they can ease inflammation, help you to sleep deeply every night and modulate your immune system. Example Cinnamon bark, Licorice root, Astragalus root and Codonopsis.
Bitter – stimulate digestion and often have a cooling and draining effect, which can help to modulate inflammation. Bitters are cooling and drying. Many of these herbs are also very important for liver health. People love to hate bitters! – the bitter truth, bitter tears, a bitter personality. Yet in herbs bitters are our most important and common tastes. Herbalists are fond of saying that many digestive problems are due to a “bitter deficiency syndrome”. Example: Sage, Coffee, Mugwort, Valerian, Chicory, Wormwood and Chamomile.
What’s In Our Spice Cupboard?
Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
Flavourful, strongly supports digestion. Warming and energetic. Good for problems associated with colds. Pepper is found in many herbal formulae to help the body absorb the much-needed nutrients and properties found in herbs. Very popular in today’s spice trade, accounts for a fifth of the total spice trade in the world.
Historically speaking has been in common use in India for at least 4,000 years and presumably much longer. was once called black gold in middle ages and were even used like money to pay taxes and dowries.
Plant part used: Berries
Energetics: Warming and drying
Properties: antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, stimulating diaphoretic, stimulating expectorant
Plant uses: fevers (with chills), mucus congestion, slow or stagnant circulation, increasing bio availability of other herbs, hemorrhoids, gentle laxative, arthritis
Plant preparations: food spice, tea, tincture, pastilles
Daily add to all dishes. If using therapeutic reasons, such as for arthritis or cold and flu symptoms, the therapeutic amount ranges from 1-15 grams per day
Special considerations: large doses may cause stomach upset. Ti could potentially act as a synergist with many pharmaceutical drugs, which means it can increase the effect of a drug in unexpected ways. Consult with your doctor before taking in large amounts.
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Is a hot a spicy herb that has countless uses in your kitchen as well as benefits for your health. Dramatically support the heart health and promote healthy weight loss. However, be cautious with the extremely hot energetics of cayenne. Cayenne has legendary curative properties, its exciting flavour and its magical ability to sustain a sense of well being, Cayenne is the favourite of many herbalists and one of my personal favourites
Historically speaking has been cultivated for at least 7,000 years.
Parts used: mainly fruits, also seeds
Energetics: warming and drying
Matching energetics: best for people who tend to be cool, especially those with cold hands and feet or cold digestion.
Plant properties: Stimulant, antimicrobial, analgesic, carminative, styptic, antioxidant, stimulating diaphoretic, stimulating expectorant, immunostimulant, rubefacient, anti fungal, metabolic stimulant, blood mover.
Plant uses: toothaches, arthritis, fever, heart disease, poor circulation, parasites, digestive problems, sore throat, depression, low libido, bleeding, inflammation, hypertension, hypotension, headache, neuropathy, shingles, fungal infections, type two diabetes, insulin resistances, weight loss, menstrual cramps
Plant preparations: tea, tincture, liniment, oil salve, culinary spice. One of my very favourite drinks hot lemon and cayenne!
Recommended amounts: take with meals to avoid stomach upset. Use anywhere from a few sprinkles up to 1-10 grams per day. In a cup of tea ¼ tsp lemon and honey if desired.
Special considerations: very irritating to th eyes and sensitive skin. Do not take in large amounts during pregnancy. before using large amounts consult doctor if using blood thinning pharmaceuticals.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)
Cinnamon improves many chronic illnesses. It powerfully supports metabolic function.It has been proven that 99% of viruses and bacteria cannot live in the presence of cinnamon. Therefore, it makes a great antibacterial and antiviral weapon. Also known as an aphrodisiac, girls get baking those apple pies?! Traditionally used by many ancient cultures. It is indicated for a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal problems, urinary infections, relieving symptoms of colds and flu and has remarkable anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Some studies have shown that Cinnamon helps people with diabetes metabolize sugar better. Familiar kitchen spice, adding fragrance and warmth to everything from break to roasts but what most people don realize is it is a potent, powerful, well-reserached medicine. Reaches at least 2,000 years ago when it was written in Chinese texts. At that time a bag of cinnamon was worth more than a bag of silver. Moses makes anointing oil in the bible from cinnamon.
The simple touch of cinnamon infuses warmth and energy throughout your body. As part of tea blends, cinnamon improves the taste of less tasty herbs and adds powerful antibacterial power to cold and flu remedies. Cinnamon essential oil is a reliable remedy for athletes foot but should only be applied to the skin when diluted with a carrier oil. Stimulates circulation. Clears congestion. Powerful antiseptic and slight aphrodisiac. Used in cooking, cinnamon aids digestion and is recommended by German Commission E for treating loss of appetite and stomach upset. Cinnamon prevents bloating and flatulence and treats heartburn and nausea.
Parts Used: bark (sticks, chips, powder, or EO), twigs, dried flowers
Energetics: warming, drying
Taste pungent, sweet
Plant properties aromatic stimulant, warming, demulcent, sweet, astringent, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antimicrobial
Plant uses: toothache, diarrhea, blood movement, infections, arthritis, insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), colds/flu. Eases many digestive complaints, including indigestion, gas and cramping.
Plant preparations: in food, tea, tincture, culinary, tooth powder (chia seed pudding)
Recommended amounts: enjoyed in small amounts in order to flavour foods or sweets and the therapeutic dose is 1-6 grams per day
Special considerations – cinnamon should not be taken in large doses during pregnancy. Cinnamon is an effective blood thinner, therefore only take as common culinary amounts when taking pharmaceutical blood thinners. Lowers blood glucose levels, monitor insulin levels closely if taking this herb regularly.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic has been cultivated for thousands of years. Sadly, today we mainly think as a culinary herb historically it was used as a panacea for may types of illnesses, including the bubonic plague. Todays herbal uses support digestion immune system and the heart.
Helps fight infection, detoxifies the body, enhances immunity, lowers blood fats, assists yeast infections, helps asthma, cancer, sinusitis, circulatory problems and heart conditions. Even used to prevent allergies. Traditionally taken for colds and flu, simply add it to everything at the first feeling of being unwell. Notice I said “feeling” not “symptom”, because before you see a symptom you will have a little feeling which you need to act upon immediately, get to know your body and the feelings you are given. Garlic was a well-respected antidote during the black plague.
Improves the immune system, they are also an antioxidant and doubles as an antibacterial and antimicrobial fighter. Traditionally used for tooth aches by simply chewing on the clove.
Parts Used bulb, green scapes
Energetics: warming, drying
Plant properties: circulatory, stimulant, alterative, stimulating diaphoretic, stimulating, expectorant, antimicrobial, carminative, immune modulating, vermifuge
Plant uses: hypertension, fungal infections, bacterial infections, optimizing cholesterol levels, colds, flu, bronchial congestion, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, digestion, asthma, dysentery, plague, cancer, parasites, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance
Plant preparations: food, oil, vinegar, honey (love in olives, hummus, pesto)
Recommended amounts: foods, eating 1-2 cloves a day canb be a delicious way to get many health benefits from this herb. Recommend eating it with other food, especially oils to avoid nausea; olives stuffed with garlic are the perfect way to take
Special considerations if ou are taking any pharmaceuticals or medications that thn the blood consult doctor
Ginger root (Zingiber officinale)
Ayurveda revers ginger so highly it is freferred to as the “universal medicine”. Has been used for centuries and is till one of the most popular herbs of our time. Widely studied by scientists, with positive results make it on of the more accepted herbs in Western medicine. Gingers stimulating properties make it a synergist, something that increase the potency of other herbs (and pharmaceuticals) therefore is commonly added in small amounts to larger formulas.it moves energy in the body through increasing circulation promoting digestion aor increasing the flow of fluids in the body. Many people find that ginger relieves nausea and vomiting. Available in root, tea or candy form, use fresh, organic ginger when possible. Historically speaking has been used in southeast Asia for well over 5,000 years. In the 13th and 14th century a pound of ginger had the same value as an entire sheep.
Take two carrots and call me in the morning – Dr. Gerard Mullin one of usa nations top experts on the relationship between food and gut disorders “People how have nausea, or gastric dysmotility’s or other GI problems for them Ginger is at the top of my list. It works the same way Zofran does, which is one of our most powerful antinausea drugs. It works on the same receptor in the brain. But a lot of docs aren’t aware of it”
Parts Used: rhizome
Energetics: fresh rhizome (warming , drying), dried rhizome (hot, drying)
Energetic match: not a good match with someone who is heat, dry
Plant properties: aromatic, anti-inflammatory, diffusive, stimulating diaphorectic, stimulating expectorant, carminative, analgesic, antimicrobial, blood moving, vermifuge, rubefacient
Plant uses: arthritis, migraines, colds and flu, nausea, dysbiosis, menstrual cramps, ear infections, heart health, inflammation, stomach bugs
Plant preparations: culinary, decoction, powder, in tincture, candied, fresh juice, smoothies
Recommended amounts: can be added in small amounts to savoury and sweet dishes. Therapeutic dosages: fresh root 1-15 grams per day. Dried root 3-12 grams per day.
Special considerations: should not be taken in therapeutic doses if pregnant. If taking blood-thinning medications see doctor before taking large amounts.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Nutmeg comes to us from a far away island called Spice Island in the East. The nutmeg tree and fruit are powerful medicinal herb. Nutmeg is widely used in cosmetics and in flavorings in dental creams, often in combination with peppermint, methyl salicylate and cloves. Historically, nutmeg has been used as a form of medicine to treat many illnesses ranging from those affecting the nervous system to the digestive system. Nutmeg has been used as the active ingredient in commercial cough and congestion preparations such as Vicks cough syrup and in herbal pain-relieving ointments. Relives chronic nervous disorders and heart problems. Relieves nausea. Large doses can be poisonous.
Historically speaking have long been highly prized as both food and medicine. Native to Banda Islands, north of Australia. For thousands of years the Banda people have harvested the fruits to use the flesh, the mace and seed as food and medicine. It is said when the spice trade was at its heights that in Europe, a sailor could retire comfortably with one small bag of nutmeg seeds.
Parts Used: seed, mace
Energetics: warming, drying
Plant properties: relaxing, aromatic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, antimicrobial, antiemetic, hypotensive
Plant uses: insomnia, stress, digestive issues (gas/bloating and diarrhea)
Plant preparations: powder, essential oil
Recommended amounts: use as a spice. The therapeutic dose range form 1-5 grams of freshly grated seed. Delicious in spiced eggnog or carrot cake.
Special considerations: large amounts (10-20grams) can leave a person feeling groggy, 30 grams can bring on uncomfortable symptoms including vomiting, headache, and hallucinations. Do not use therapeutically if pregnant or nursing, although safe as culinary amounts.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Healers have long celebrated rosemary for its gently warm and dispersing effect, which bring benefits to the heart, improves digestion, liver and mood. A very important antioxidant. Improves concentration and memory. Low blood pressure? Try Rosemary. Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Cleansing and detoxes the body. Supports the liver and combats cirrhosis. Used in many natural hair products, helps with thinning and balding. Rosemary is actually an aromatic member of the mint family. Long before refrigerators, rosemary was simply rubbed on meat to help preserve meat. ok on a very important role of preserving meat. Rosemary has the ability to help prevent cancer from charred meats or meat cooked on too high a heat. Also found to be helpful against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Can be useful in inflammation of the heart and circulation system. While it is not a main heart herb it can be added to hawthorn for people with cardiac weakness alongside depression. Helps with short term memory and also has a role in preventing and addressing Alzheimer’s.
Traditionally used to improve memory but was used metaphorically for remembrance. Found in wedding and funeral ceremonies.
How did this beautiful aromatic get its name? On the Virgin Mary’s family’s flight to Egypt, a bush protected and sheltered them. When Mary laid her cloak upon the bush, the white flowers turned blue and thus became the “rose of Mary”.
Parts Used: leaves
Energetics: warming, drying
Plant properties: aromatic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, hepatic, antimicrobial, stimulating/relaxing nervine, antioxidant
Plant uses: mental stimulation, digestion, colds/flu, fungal infections, hair wash, food preservation, skin protection, Essential oil
Plant preparations: culinary, tea, tincture, herbal steam
Recommended amounts: Use culinary amounts frequently. The therapeutic dose as a tea is 2-4 grams, up to 3 times per day (1 tsp per cup hot water, steep for 3-4 minutes), as a tincture 15-30 drops three times per day.
Special considerations: Avoid therapeutic doses. Rosemary may lower blood glucose. Those taking insulin should be checking glucose levels. Possible skin irritations to a small percentage.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage is our aboriginal women’s medicine. Conferring strength, wisdom, and clarity of purpose. It is a powerful purifying medicine that drives away negative energies. Sage can be found braided and hung in homes, perhaps tied with a ribbon in one of the colours of the medicine wheel. The threefold braid represents body, mind and spirit.
While sage is simply delicious part of our holiday’s meals, it has been honoured for centuries for its amazing uses; anxiety, nervous disorders, promotes digestion, abdominal disorders and anti-inflammatory. Ideal for colds, especially a scratchy, sore throat. Recent research is showing that Sage is important in supporting a healthy mind and heart. Let us all move Sage to the forefront of the spice cupboard and enjoy a lovely cup of tea, a personal favourite of mine😊
Maude Grieve, famous herbalist and author or A Modern Herbal says that sage was also known as Sage the Savior. An amazing medieval saying “Why should a man die when sage grows in his garden?”
Parts Used: top aerial
Taste: pungent, bitter
Plant properties: aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, antiseptic, blood moving
Plant uses: sore throat, excessive sweating, infections, stagnant digestion, type 2 diabetes, hot flashes, toothache, oral health, sore muscles, high cholesterol, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, weaning
Plant preparations: Tea, culinary tincture, tooth powder, facial steam, essential oil. (can fry fresh leaves in coconut oil and add as a garnish or cheese plate)
Recommended amounts: Use culinary amounts frequently. The therapeutic dose as a tea is 2-4 grams, up to 3 times per day (1 tsp per cup hot water, steep for 4-5 minutes), as a tincture 15-30 drops three times per day.
Special considerations: Not recommended during pregnancy in large doses. Sage can dry up a nursing mothers’ milk.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is primarily known for its ability to address digestive issues, infection and upper respiratory symptoms, it has also be used as a pain reliever. Is a wonderful for the immune system. A “pick me up”. Thyme is one of the best herbs to use as a cough and cold remedy, addressing all your cold symptoms in a holistic way. Thyme acts both as an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion and as a antitussive, calming coughing spasms. Thyme tea will settle the stomach, help you sleep, soothe a sore throat, relieve aches and pains, and encourage your body to sweat, helping to eliminate toxins and bring down a fever. Drinking a warm thyme tea sweetened with thyme honey is a pleasant and tasty way to get these benefits. Thyme essential oil can also be used in room diffusers. This long list of medicinal actions is attributed mainly to the essential oil components, thymol and carvacrol which are highly antiseptic. Thyme oil can be used to treat cuts and wounds to prevent and treat infections when diluted with a carrier oil. When using as a culinary herb remember a little goes a long way with this very strong aromatic herb.
Parts Used: leaves
Energetics: warming, drying
Plant properties: aromatic, antimicrobial, carminative, stimulating/relaxing diaphoretic, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, vermifuge
Plant uses: infections, symptoms of colds and flu (fever, sore throat, cough) Urinary tract infections, yeast infections, topical fungal infections, dyspepsia, wounds, burns, toothaches, congested sinuses, mouthwash, inflammation, whooping cough, digestive spasms, menstrual cramps, amenorrhea
Plant preparations: infused honey, infused vinegar, tincture, steam inhalation, infused oil and salve, culinary spice, cough syrup, douche
Recommended amounts: Culinary use small amounts, Therapeutic doses: Tea 1 tsp per cup, steep 4 minutes, Tincture use 15-30 drops 3 times per day.
Special considerations: Pregnant and nursing women should not be using therapeutic doses. Nor should they use the essential oil. Thyme has been associated with a few rare allergic reactions.
In closing – perhaps it is time that we begin taking more proactive steps in our physical well being. People no longer want to simply suppress symptoms with drugs but want to discover and eliminate the root cause of disease. Natural medicine teaches not only the treatment of disease but also its prevention by instilling dietary and lifestyle habits that promote health. Healthy habits such as detoxification, healing emotional wounds, herbs and vitamins and minerals. Preventative is what I believe in most. When one is healthy that is when we should be nourishing and toning our body systems and organs. We all individually have certain weaknesses, you should learn what those are and try to keep them healthy. Then if illness does strike you will be strong enough to fight and get well.