Some basics of natural medicine and herbalism

February 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm (herbalism, medicine, natural medicine, oriental medicine, psychiatry, Science, vegetarianism)

In my continuing fight against big pharma and their attempts to hook everyone on dangerous drugs, I feel it necessary to put out there basics of natural health, so my post is divided into two parts, one, being a overview of the principles of oriental medicine, ie food as medicine, and then secondly, a basic list of herbs useful in treating common ailments.

To begin with Oriental medicine is a medical system dating over 3000 years.  For us westerners we are accustomed to decrying medical systems that old as the product of the dark ages, but the dark ages were only in the west, the arabic and oriental nations maintained their direct lineages from the time of the ancients and contrary to popular belief, the ancients knew much more about healing than modern sources are willing to give them credit for.  To their credit they did maintain something akin to the scientific method, and through thousands of years of direct observation, compiled an incredibly effective system of medicine free of radically invasive procedures and destabilizing drugs.

Oriental medicine is based off of Taoist thought, so the interplay of opposite forces (yin and yang) resulting in a dynamic balance that is greater than the sum total of its parts.  The I Ching and Feng Shui are also examples of Taoist contributions to society.  Building upon this premise of balance between yin and yang, is five element theory.  It is through this basic framework that all ailments can be treated by natural methods.

Yin can be defined as substances that have a cooling or sedative effect, whereas yang are foods that have a warming or energizing effect.  As the interplay of these two is cyclical, it is possible for some foods to “switch”, the most obvious example of this being very hot peppers, who start out as warming, but because they are so hot, they act as a diaphoretic (makes  you sweat) and as a result are cooling in the long run.

Five element theory is not only the five elements of taoist thought, but the five organ systems as well, they are as follows:

 kidney/adrenals/water,

liver/gall bladder/wood,

 heart/mind/fire,

spleen/pancreas/digestion/earth, 

 lungs/metal. 

 The cycle begins with the kidneys as the foundation and in the creation cycle runs through the systems in the order given.  Each organ system is dependent on the health of the ones next to it so if a person has a stopped up unhealthy liver (as most westerners do), it will affect not only their kidneys, but their heart and mind as well.  The kidneys and heart are linked, as to much water extinguishes fire, etc.

There are secondary organ systems included with each major organ system and they are as follows,

water-bladder/sex organs/bone/hearing/urine,

 wood-gall bladder/eyes/tendons/tears,

 fire-small intestine/blood vessels/speech/sweat,

 earth-stomach/muscles/taste/saliva,

metal-large intestine/nose/mucus/skin and colon. 

 There are emotions associated with each organ system as well and listed after are the “virtues” if you will to balance this emotion;

water-fear/keeping moral precepts,

wood-anger/patience,

fire-joy/wisdom and concentration,

earth-worry and anxiety/giving,

 metal-grief/vigor.

There are tastes associated with each organ system, as in certain flavors affect each organ system, listed are examples of food containing these flavors as well as food to maintain normal function of each system, as well as the season when these foods should be emphasized in the diet;

water/kidney(black and blue)-salty, winter-miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, salt, millet and barley.  In addition beans and protein should be emphasized in the winter months.  Also it is important to eat foods that help the heart and mind as well, as there is a link between the kidneys and heart.

wood/liver(green and brown)-sour, spring-lemon, lime, apple cider vinegar, leek, sauerkraut, pickles, apple (especially green), blackberry, grape.  Also algae (chlorella or spirulina), Omega oils coming from flax, borage and evening primrose, romaine lettuce and sprouts, wheat and oats.

fire/heart-mind(red and orange)-bitter, summer-romaine, sprouts, rye, citrus peel, radish leaf, scallions, white pepper, celery, asparagus, quinoa and apple cider vinegar.  Also algae, omega oils as listed above, tomatos, bell and hot peppers, cucumber, summer squash, mushrooms, corn and amaranth.

earth/spleen/digestion (yellow and brown)-sweet, late summer, early fall-corn, yellow summer squash, begin winter squash, begin warming spices (fennel, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger onion family etc), potatos, millet and barley.

metal/lungs (gold and white)-pungent, fall-rice, winter squash, onions and tubers, pungent/warming spices as listed above)

It should be obvious that there is carry through on these seasonal nutrition choices, there is no set date where you end eating for one season and begin the next, it is a gradual transition, and it really depends on what is seasonally available, and what your body craves.   It should go without saying that you want to get as high quality food as possible, free range and hormone free meat and dairy, organically grown, whole grain, whole food.  If possible eat the skins of what you consume, as there are immune enhancing minerals in the skin.  The adage goes as such “those who eat food with no clothes, will also have no clothes”.  It should also be noted that we are what we eat, and eating GMO or factory farm meat where there is massive suffering involved will meld with your mind, and affect your health.

In addition to making proper nutrional choices, there are some herbs that help with specific conditions, and they are listed below;

chamomile-helps cool both the liver and heart mind.  Beneficial for cleansing (diuretic) as well as wind disorders, such as ADHD, bipolar, as well as allieviating the underlying causes of depression(stopped up liver)

burdock-benefical for weight loss as it dries up fatty accumulations in the liver, together with red clover it as a powerful diet aid.  Drying, would want to consider adding fruit or something of the like to the diet to combat any dryness that might arise.

pau d’arco-destroys yeast in the body, can be taken internally, as well as made into a tea for douching purposes.  Also drying.

valerian-powerful sedative, warming. 

schizandra berries-cleansing to heart/mind.  Source of ying or life essence, ie foundational energy of the body, aids longevity.

fenugreek-warming, aids lactation, renews mucus membranes, affects lungs

yarrow-diaphoretic/induces sweating.  helpful for cleaning out heart/mind, as well as the treatment of diabetes (together with bran and omegas).  Purported aid in the development of psychic powers.

horsetail-high silica content, aids in restoration of teeth and bones, aids in formation of integrity.

scullcap-anti-anxiety nervine (affects heart and mind), sedative.

nettle-cooling, aids in mucus membrane renewal and as such affects the lungs.  Also high ying content, aids longevity and is also purported to aid in psychic development, including levitation.

comfrey-immensly effective in the treatment of muscular injuries and strains.  Made into a compress can alleiviate just about any cramp, strain or tear.

algae (chlorella and spirulina)-mana, one of the most nutritionally complete foods with ample amounts of highly digestible protien.  Together with brown rice this is what was given to concentration camp victims and other victims of severe starvation.  Algae is very cooling, contains high amounts of Omega oils, magnesium to repair muscles and cures such things as restless legs and muscle cramps.

Kelp-nutrionally also very valuable, moistens dryness as well as very cooling

Garlic-natural antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.  Warming.  Use fresh garlic.  Also chelates (removes heavy metals such as lead, aluminum and mercury)

Cilantro-mild sedative as well as chelates, together with garlic and algae, it can be used to treat the toxic metal buildup in associated with Autism.

Oregano-warming, also anti-bacterial.  Useful for sinus and bronchial infections if put in a bowl of hot water and the steam is inhaled.  If using for this purpose, add nettle to balance its warming effect

Red clover-blood purifyer together with burdock

marijuana-useful in the treatment of neurological disorders where calming is needed, and severe liver and mental damage due to prescription psychiatric drugs.  High in EFA’s (omega oils), and is beneficial in certain eye disorders.  Cooling and overuse can lead to a “spacy” personality, or inability to focus, as well as a depletion of ying/life essence.  Also useful as a meditation aid.  Sacred to Shiva.  Also anti-nausea as well as appetite stimulant. 

Flax-high in EFA’s as well and therefore has the same effect on the liver as well as helping in the clarity and moisture content of skin.  Benefical to mental function as well

Borage and or evening primrose-high in GLA, useful in treatment of alcoholism as eventually body loses the ability to produce GLA on its own and is dependent the alcohol to do it.  Useful in the treatment of schizophrenia, and aids mental and liver function in general.

As  final note it should be emphasized that the expression all things in moderation is key here.  The most basic premise is learning to balance cooling versus warming, sedative versus stimulant and respecting the power inherent in the medicinal properties of plants.  I highly recommend to anyone being a vegetarian for a while.  Having a mnd free from the influence of flesh is a soul-nurturing and centering experience.  It should be cautioned that you can become too passive on a vegetarian diet, stemming from an empahsis or more cooling foods.  As a person who was a vegetarian for 5 years, I can tell you I had more stamina and clarity of mind so that now, when I do eat small amounts of meat, I have a string foundation to guage it’s effect on me and how much is too much, and most people in this country eat WAY too much meat.  I have roughly 1/4 – 1/2 of a pound of meat a week.  Over consumption of flesh leads to the liver stagnation evident in most people.  You will also find that humans do naturally have night vision.  As the eyes are linked to the liver, we have gotten so used to side-effects of a out of balance liver we dont even know what baseline normal is.  Not only does vision improve, but so does skin clarity, aging is stopped if not reversed to some extent.  Try this, and for further reading, buy Paul Pitchford’s healling with whole foods, as the information in this post largely comes from that work.  And invaluable purchase.  Happy healing:)

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6 Comments

  1. Kelly said,

    Chlorella is very dangerous for those with heavy metal toxicity. It does not chelate metals strongly enough, but can redistribute things like mercury to the brain. NOT a good thing, I’m sure you’ll agree. ALA per the Cutler protocol is the only safe way to go.

    • etheria888 said,

      Okay after re-reading my post now I am really confused because I never mentioned Chlorella specifically as a chelating agent. I mentioned garlic and cilantro and algae, not chlorella specifically. I guess you must be referring to it mentioned in the entry on cilantro. My previous response to your comment was to defend my use of chlorella, because I personally have used it to great effect, and I have used the combination of the three (garlic, cilantro and chlorella) for chelating my son after his father wnet and got some vaccinations against my wishes, but I didnt realize I had not put that specifically in this post.

      Regardless the way in which I mentioned it does leave the impression that that was how intended it so allow me to clarify. In my research I have found that Chlorella is uniquely suited to deal with brain “injuries” as I would classify mercury poisoning/Austism as, as it contains significant amounts of brain building substances. So much so that there is something called the Chlorella growth factor, where it can actually trigger development where it was stunted before. making it perfect for regenerating brain tissues, stunted by mercury, aluminum and/or lead. The reason chlorella was included in the three for chelating, was not as the chelating agent, but as a food to supply the nutrients to rebuild the brain after the cilantro and garlic mopped up the heavy metals. I did not put it forth solely as a chelating agent by itself, because it is not. It is purifying, but not to remove heavy metals. It is there for rebuilding nerve and brain function while the other two clean out the mercury, and to balance the warming effects of garlic

      However, I must say I am taken a little a back that someone has said it can deposit metals in the brain. I would be interested in seeing research pointing to that conclusion because to the contrary, I used it to bring myself back from the brink of toxic psychosis brought on by ten years of forced psychiatric medication when I was a child. Many of the drugs I was put on for ADHD, and later the heavier drugs as, big surprise, after five years of amphetamines such as ritalin and adderall, my behavior had deteriorated even further, contain heavy metals. I have found that algae is a miracle drug in my opinion for negating the effects of those drugs, and to clean me up.

      Ten years ago I was suicidal and completely out of control, and yet through a concerted effort to heal myself, and the help of a few angels along the way, today I suffer from a mild case of being scatterbrained and/or head in the clouds and that is it, and I credit algae as being central to that process. After being told by doctors when I was a child that I would be on these drugs forever, after being forcibly turned into an amphetamine addict, something few if any ever make it back from, I do not take so much as a tylenol anymore. I have dare I say a normal life, and whether you agree with my positions or not, you can not argue that I am clear headed enough to write intelligent articles on a regular basis about things you simply do not hear about from mainstream media, and I have been doing it for almost four years now.

      I was one of the first to be diagnosed with Autism-related disorders, and I made it back in a time when nobody even had an inkling how corrupt big pharma had become. I defied insurmountable odds, and of all the things you could have picked on in that list of herbs, you chose the single most effective of the bunch, the from personal experience I KNOW, works. I do not know who you are, nor do I know who Dr. Cutler is, but you need to go back and do a little more research, and not trust the words of a western doctor whose motives may not be entirely pure. The information in this post is based off of Oriental medicine, and subject I went to school for, and whereas I did not finish, as I had children and could no longer afford college, I know what I am talking about. By all means though, do not take my word for it, ask any of the thousands of Doctors of Oriental Medicine, or herbalists springing up all over the country because they actually know how to heal, whereas western medicine does not. Ask them, hell, even print this article and bring it to them. I highly doubt you are going to find any disagreement.

  2. etheria888 said,

    It should also be noted that one of the biggest fundamental flaws in the western approach to healing is the use of overly powerful drugs. I do not know precisely what the Culter protocol is, but I looked it up and I read he is a chemist by training? I feel it is therefore safe to assume that the Culter protocol uses strong chemicals to chelate (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). These “strong chemicals” are the reason our children are getting sick in the first place, how can the problem be part of the solution? Western mecidine and pharmacology seem incapable of grasping the concept that A) humans are a delicate balance of internal chemistry, that is very easily thrown off by even the mildest of foods, and so the effects of strong pharmacueticals on that balance is horrific, and B) that anything unnatural is going to be harmful to a natural creature. This not happy-hippy flim flam, this is one of the basic tenents of Oriental medicine, aryveda and other natural healing systems. Refined drugs lack the natural stabilizing nutrients and substances that an unrefined herb or food would have. There are thousadns if not millions of subtle processes that go on in the human body which we have not even begun to discover. There is NO WAY doctors can claim these chemical drugs are safe, because there is a large portion of the functioning of the human body they simply do not understand yet. Without that understanding, how can they say their drugs are truly safe?

  3. jennifer said,

    I was wondering, why big pharma is trying to oust the natural meds. Couldn’t they just join up with the natural meds industry and make even more money? Natural meds are pretty expensive too right, I mean not as expensive as pharmacudical drugs, but still, they could make a profit. Just starting out as a career in natural meds hopefully.

    • etheria888 said,

      Thats a very good question because you are absolutely right.

    • jennifer said,

      I have found a response to my own question about big pharma being able to make money off of natural meds. There’s no patent on food so there’s no money in it.

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