Friday, December 9, 2011

Wellness - Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

I recently came across a video on Facebook describing how to make aspirin in the wilderness. I didn't actually watch the video. But I'm sure they were showing you what to do with white willow bark.

This is my response to the post:

As a person who used to work for a major pharmaceutical company making sure that everyone in North America had their aspirin manufactured, and who later became a strong proponent of wellness, herbal and other alternative health products, I caution that if you use white willow bark or any other "medicinal" herb, that you do it in great moderation.

One of the best lines I ever heard was that having a headache is not your body telling you that you are low on aspirin. It's not like being vitamin or mineral deficient.

Yet most people treat it as such. "I need an aspirin," they say to themselves.

When a person has a headache or other pain in the physical body, it means something is wrong and you should look for the root cause, not just cover it up with a pain killer. Maybe you have a food allergy. Maybe you are dehydrated. Maybe a million things. The body sends signals for a reason.

I'm not a doctor and therefore can not give you medical advice. However I can tell you a true story about a very healthy person who became quite ill because they heard a little aspirin a day was a great preventative.

A friend of mine was a very healthy fit guy who ran marathons. He came into my office one day and I immediately asked him what was wrong. His color was off. He had dark circles under his eyes. He was bruising. He told me had recently had a cut that bleed for a long time. He was exhausted.

I made him tell me everything he was doing that was different or new. I grilled him about his eating habits, his running program, his stress level. And then finally he said to me, "Well I started taking a baby aspirin every day."

So I asked him why. I asked him if his doctor had suggested it. He responded that the information had just come out that a low dose of aspirin could help prevent heart attacks or was good in some other way. I don't really remember what they said a low dose of aspirin was good for.

I asked him if he had a heart problem or some other issue that needed assistance. The answer was no. He had been exceedingly healthy. He didn't have any diseases that needed medication. He wasn't under some doctors care who told him to take the product. He had just done it on his own.

It made me mad. Here was a perfectly healthy individual who did something stupid because they heard something somewhere and it had seriously affected his health.

Eat healthy, wholesome food. Drink plenty of water. Get enough exercise and rest.

When your body sends you unpleasant signals, figure out why. If you can't do it on your own, then seek the assistance of a trained professional like your doctor, an acupuncturist, a nutritionist, a naturopathic physician, a chiropractor, or some other health professional.

Vitamin, herb, and mineral supplements can be highly beneficial. I take several of them every day. But "medicinal" herbs and medicines are not part of the body's innate makeup. They should be used with caution and care. If you aren't a trained herbalist or nutritionist, then get help when things aren't quite right with your body.

Have a deLightful day,

I would love to hear what you have to say about this subject!

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