The Natural Market

part two

In the first part of this article I looked at what we now call complimentary medicine and found that before the technology explosion that actually started in medicine somewhere around WWI, it was once the mainstream of healing and not considered just complimentary. That the overuse of medicines­­including antibiotics­­is causing an imbalance in nature and that we need to heed the call of nature and not suppress symptoms such as fatigue, pain and insomnia to the point that our bodies break.

The recent growth in the business of herbal supplements and food supplements reflects the interest of the consumer to have not only longer lives but healthier more productive lives. We are wiser and more educated about how our bodies work, and we have to be to utilize the millions of new products that are coming into the mainstream everyday.

A trip to the health food store­­such as Cornucopia on S. Seminary St.­­can be confusing. Here are some things to remember when you are looking for herbals or food supplements. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the product. Since manufacturers cannot make health claims for herbs or food supplements, questions and/or reference material is a must and it does abound. Buy only the purest of brands, once again from the health food store. Be willing to experiment with your supplements and don't over use them. Rest the body from any vitamin, mineral or food supplement at least one day a week unless you know that you do not feel good without it. Start one product at a time. Otherwise if something backfires or causes too severe of a cleansing reaction you'll not know which item caused the upset.

Here's a brief look at some of the newer supplements coming out recently.

DHEA: (Dehydr-Epian-DrosteronE) is a steroid hormone produced in the body by the adrenal glands. It is referred to as the "mother of all hormones" because it is used by the body to manufacture several other vital hormones that the body requires. Among these hormones are estrogen, testosterone and corticosterone. These hormones have a huge effect on the body's metabolism of fat and minerals, endocrine functions and level of energy. DHEA declines rapidly after the age of 25 and the major focus on research is the possibility that it is this dramatic decline in DHEA that is the major cause of aging. Some users indicate a greater feeling of well being, more energy and better moods to name a few. I've had no experience with this food supplement but the research I have seen appears positive.

Melatonin: studies sponsored by the NIH have established melatonin as a safe and effective sleeping pill, capable of easing insomnia without side effects or hangovers. Personally, it does give me a hangover but I have several clients who swear by it.

Blue-green algae: touted as a complete food. It minerals, enzymes and vitamins occur naturally and closely match our bodies make up. Used for all kinds of ailments including arthritis, cancer and AIDS. Its high chlorophyll content is the major reason it works, oxygenating the cells.

Evening Primrose Oil: not new, a wonderful product that is rich in Omega 3 & 6. A missing domino in many enzymatic processes within the body. Good for arthritis, MS, lowering cholesterol and especially helpful for PMS. Lots of my clients would not be without it.

Cat's Claw: an herb from the rainforests of Peru. Research indicates the plant's value as a powerful cellular reconstitutor with a place in the treatment of arthritis, gastritis, ulcers, rheumatism, acne and ear and sinus infection. The antidotal information I'm hearing from my clients is that it works for them, especially for sinus and ear infections.

Whatever the herb or food supplement you choose to work with, be willing to experiment. No, many of them don't taste good, but neither does aspirin or Tylenol©. Herbs are plant medicines. Treat them as such. Till next time, Rebecca

Last Modified: November 28, 1996
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