“The splitting of the atom”, said Einstein, “changed everything except man’s mode of thinking”.
Before we define medicine, let us define disease;
“A disorder of mind or body marked by definite symptoms; illness; sickness.”(Holt, 1970).
“All disease reactions are biologically goal oriented and thus serve in the detoxification of the system and in the repair of toxin-caused damage”. –Dr. Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg 1905-1985.
Whether one knows it or not, we are living in an extra ordinary time. For such a time as this, I have made it my own personal conquest to look back at time in history, and see which medicinal modalities were established when.
Natural medicine works with the body’s natural healing processes, it provides the immune system with the ingredient it needs necessary to heal itself, or removes the ‘obstacle’ for the body to cure itself. It does not work as quickly as westernized pharmaceutical medications and may sometimes be hard to find.
Pharmaceutical drugs: The first synthetic pharmaceutical drug was discovered in 1804, by a German scientist, Friedrich Serturner. The main active chemical in opium was extracted in his lab and was named morphine, after the Greek god of sleep.
Chemo and Radiation therapy: First developed and began to be used in the 1940’s with the first use of nitrogen mustards and folic acid antagonist medications.
Nutraceuticals: The technical definition for nutraceuticals would be natural substances that have a physiological effect on the body, and may be used to improve health, slow down aging, prevent chronic diseases, increase life span, and support the structure and function of the body.
Dr. Stephen DeFelice coined the term ‘nutraceutical’ from ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’ in 1989. The history of the modern vitamin officially began in 1916, it began with the development of Mastin’s Yeast Vitamon Tablet.
Perhaps the most prominent of diseases in disease history was that of scurvy, a simple vitamin C deficiency, supposedly began when the process of milk sterilization came into play, the heat from the sterilization destroyed the vitamin C content in the milk.
Homeopathy: Discovered in 1796 by the medical doctor Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) from Germany, the longest established medicine to come out of Europe. Hahnemann’s definition of disease is, “A blockage of some sort between the Spirit and the Form”, and ‘Obstacles to Cure”.
Homeopathy belongs to the field of quantum physics and not chemistry, as it is made of super diluted ingredients (either plant, animal or mineral source), where it is diluted to the point (beyond the 12th dilution) where no chemist will find a single molecule of the active substance in the preparation, it has disappeared leaving only a white luminous hole of brilliant white light. This white light is a dematerialization of the substance, which was once only physical.
Gemmotherapy: Falling under the umbrella of phytoembryotherapy, gemmotherapy utilizes the extracts of the young developing buds of plants and the young shoots, where the life essence is at its peak.
Primary studies were first done in the 1950’s by Belgian homeopath Dr. Pol Henry, the first research and clinical trials were published in 1970, and was called ‘Phytembryotherapy’, but it was then further developed by Max Tetau, who coined it ‘Gemmotherapy’.
This highly therapeutic form of medicine is made by using the freshly harvested buds of plants that contains constituents rich in embryonic ingredients rich in Gibberelins (plant hormone).
Gemmotherapy provides drainage on the cellular level to remove toxins from the body and to allow the body to then heal itself.
Herbology: The oldest and most common form of medicine, archeological studies have shown the practise of plant herbal medicine as far back as 60,000 years ago and from all around the world, from Iraq to China.
Under this umbrella we have;
Ayurveda: Indian based medicine more than 5000 years old, Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine that divides the body into 5 classical elements termed ‘dosha’, which are; earth, water, fire, air and earth. The medicinal herbs and components are picked based on which ‘dosha’ one is.
“Each dosha has particular attributes and roles within the body and mind; the natural predominance of one or more doshas thus explains a person's physical constitution (prakriti) and personality”. (Alternative Theories in Health and Medicine, 2001).
Predominantly plant based remedies (about 90%), plant treatments may be derived from roots, leaves, bark, fruit, or seeds, such as cardamom, turmeric root, cinnamon and ashwagandha.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Another ancient medicinal modality, TCM like Ayurveda uses specific herbal practices and specific herbs for its use, along with other healing modalities in and of itself, such as acupuncture.
“TCM is said to be based on Compendium of Materia Medica and Huangdi Neijing and includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy, gua sha, massage (tui na), bonesetter (die-da), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. TCM is widely used in the Sinosphere. One of the basic tenets is that the body's vital energy (ch'i or qi) is circulating through channels called meridians having branches connected to bodily organs and functions.”(Barrett S, January 2011).
As you can see, all these different medicinal modalities work very differently in the body, from the physical level to the energetic level.
There is more than one path to Rome.
Each modality of medicine has its place in our hectic world and lifestyle. I also would like to point out that we are in a very different time than our ancestors ever were, including our pets, with more than 250,000 chemicals lurking in our environment, seeping into our water supplies and even the air we breathe, we are practically becoming radioactive specimens!
Our pets not only have to deal with environmental toxins, but are also exposed to toxins via flea and tick medications, vaccines, and other concentrated forms of toxins.
I will conclude by stating that it is up to the individual and their trusted physician/ practitioner/ holistic vet to decide which medicinal modality is right for them and their pet, the more open minded we are with the right discernment, the more opportunities we give ourselves and our beloved pets to discover health in new ways.
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Lucy is an avid pet mom; with dogs, cats, goats and horses to keep her busy! All of her pet 'kids' are fed a species appropriate diet with proper supplementation so she can watch them thrive. Her expertise and experience lie in nutraceutical supplementation and is a health advocate for proper diet and nutrition. Her other passions in life are schutzhund and equestrian riding.