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Monday, March 22, 2010

Naturopathic vs Allopathic

This post probably isn’t for everyone ~ just saying, kind of a caution light, warning of what is ahead.

With the passage of last night’s healthcare bill, I am going to encourage you, urge you to begin to take control of your health and the health of your family.

You may of guessed or assumed by now, I am a big fan of naturopathic medicine. I am not totally against allopathic medicine, as I believe it too has it’s place. I just think people should use wisdom and no one knows your body better than you.

With the internet and the availability of information, it is fairly easy to do the research. Allopathic medicine relies heavily on manmade compounds, often containing chemicals that respond differently depending on the person taking them. They produce side-affects and sometimes cause unforeseen problems in the future.

My health liberation started in the late 90’s. I was extremely overweight, had high blood pressure, was enjoying the typical American diet, a border-line diabetic, and mainlining Dr. Pepper. I was on seven medications at the time.

I began to develop Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which can be life threatening and is a severe skin disorder. At the time, I did not know what it was, but each time I went to the doctor, I asked questions and we discussed what could possibly be causing the terrible sores that were covering my body. The most often response, nerves. One P.A. told me it was poison ivy. Really? I know poison ivy and this was not poison ivy. My main physician suggested Prozac, I said no. So, I began my own research.
My biggest concern was the question, if something is causing this kind of problem on the outside of my body, what is it doing to the inside of my body?

After reading everything I could find on skin disorders, medicines causing skin disorders, side-effects of the meds I was on, I was pretty sure which medication was causing the problem and quit taking it. Yeah, looking back, that might have been a bit reckless, but to continue taking a medication that was possibly causing major problems was just as reckless. Within weeks, the sores on my body began to heal. I was overjoyed! Two and a half months later, I went back to the doctor for my regular appointment.

The doctor was thrilled to see the improvement in my skin. When I explained to her the information I had discovered concerning Steven Johnson Syndrome and the med I had eliminated, she wasn’t as “thrilled.” She assured me, it was not SJS and wanted me to give the medication another try. Well, okay. (Back then, I actually thought she knew best. After all, she was the doctor.)

Within three weeks, I began to develop sores once more. I pitched the medicine for good.

During this time, the Holy Spirit was also speaking to my heart to make dietary changes for my health and the health of those around me. I was in my 50’s and dh and I had acquired a second family, three little boys to raise. I realized if I didn’t make changes, I wouldn’t be around to do the work God had given me.

The very first changes were 1) no more Crisco and 2) no more Dr. Pepper. About the time I adjusted to cooking without Crisco –or any other hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated shortening or oil – we felt led to stop using table salt (which is sodium chloride) and switch to sea salt, preferably Celtic Sea Salt, which is all natural and still contains all the trace minerals.

From this small start, we have continued to make small changes and some not so small changes. It has been a very gradual change, but each of us, have experienced better health and that has been greatly impacted lives.

I found a wonderful naturopathic doctor and with her help, I was able to stop using the other six prescription medications. My health has continued to improve and where I could not stand on my feet for any length of time, I can now work standing for several hours.

Three years ago, we were awaken early one morning, with our oldest daughter pounding on the door. She said, her husband (who was 29) had had a stroke or something. She had managed to get him along with their three children in the van and drive to our house. We left all the kids with Papaw and I went with her to take David to the emergency room.

The doctors there, thought David was having seizures and gave him injections to stop the seizures, each time he was injected, his body reacted with more seizure like activity.

A team of doctors was called in, including specialists in internal medicine, neurologist, psychiatrist – the whole “shootin’ match”. After being hospitalized for over two weeks, we asked the doctors if he could be having a reaction to some of the medications. They lowered the doze and extended the time between doses. David slowly improved and was allowed to go home after 17 days. A few weeks later, he had another episode.

To make a long story short, he had been to the doctor for a gall bladder problem three days before the morning Jenny came banging on the door. We first suspected all his problems might be related to a pain medicine the doctor had prescribed. Then one day, David was drinking a Mountain Dew, and asked what bromeliad(ed) (I think that is correct) vegetable shortening. It’s purpose is to keep the citrus flavoring suspended in the liquid.

When we looked up the possible side effects to this little known ingredient, BINGO! Every side effect, right down the line matched David’s.

Armed with this information, David went back to visit the neurologist. They did extensive testing and found David’s body does not make a particular enzyme that is needed to breakdown certain foods and medicines. Once we got to the bottom of the problem, he has been able to manage with only mild reactions. The only drawback is never knowing when he might consume something only to find out his body cannot tolerate one or more of the ingredients. Another, more common ingredient he has trouble with is MSG.

Of our herd of boys, one was born 10 ½ weeks early. He came home after a 5 week stay in Children’s Hospital, on oxygen and a heart monitor. For about 7 months, he saw the doctor once every two weeks. He is now 10 years old and has never seen a doctor since being discharged as a baby, except for wellness check ups.
The same is true for the other three boys and three of the other grandchildren.

I would be crazy to suggest their overall good health is because of me, as we rely heavily on prayer. But when they do need something for a minor illness (earache, etc.), God has been faithful to either heal the hurt or lead us to the solution.
As for me, I am 62 – raising four busy boys, homeschooling, teaching at the local university, helping to take care of my m-i-l (Granny will be 92 in October), helping to run the homestead, and running a candle business. I think that is pretty good for my age. (And yes, I am still overweight..just not as bad!)

I have considered getting my naturopathic license, as I love taking classes and studying all of this vast knowledge God has given us. However, God has allowed me to help a number of people over the last few years and that is what it is all about. Why get a license at my age? Why not just continue to study and help all those who seek help?

I wrote all this is to say, if I can do it, YOU can certainly do it!

Last Thursday night, one of the grandsons who isn’t normally here was spending the night. About 9:30 p.m., he started crying with an earache. He is 8 and I knew it really hurt, as he never wants to go home and he was willing for me to call his mother. I thought and thought, what could I use on his ear? Then in my spirit, I knew. I placed two tablespoons of olive oil in a small glass bowl and added a clove of crushed garlic. I place the bowl in a small pan of warm water and let it heat over low for a couple of minutes. Then I turned off the heat. When the oil cooled to just warm, I put a few drops in the ear. I gave him a skullcap to take. (Skullcap is an herb that relaxes the body. It is wonderful for stressful headaches.) I massaged the area around the ear with the remaining oil and along his neck on that side. I fixed him a warmed pillow to sleep on and he went right to sleep. The next morning, he bounced up and said, “Mammaw, my ear, it don’t hurt anymore!”

I was so thankful, but at the same time it amazes me we have lost the art of healing, of knowing what herbs God has provided for our use. We have become a society, trained to rely on some else’s knowledge, rather than seek the Great Physician! I think with the new healthcare program, we all need to relearn some of the very basics of what our grandmothers knew.

There are some great resources out there and many of them are inexpensive. In a few days, I’ll try to list some sites.



  1. I need to learn more about this and would love for you to teach us some things. I do what I can, but I am literally very "ignorant" on medical matters. I hate going to the doctors.
    Bring it on Cheryl! Thanks for posting this info. Can't wait for more on this subject.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. It was very interesting. I have just started trying to lead a more healthful lifestyle and am going to add sea salt to that list.

    I was wondering if you had any good web resources that you'd recommend?

  3. This post is absolutely fascinating from beginning to end! I am in awe of your wisdom and knowledge, as well as your calling to raise more children as a new state in life in your 60's! (Did I understand that these are your grandchildren?) God BLESS you and your wonderful family! I would love to learn more about skullcap but I hesitate to "google" for things like that...I'd rather receive a TRUSTED link or two from YOU if you have any that could lead me to further information on that herb and its use for headaches. I have read much recently about ONIONS and their healing properties to draw infection/germs out of the skin just by being placed in certain ways in the vicinity of the sick person...are you familiar with this? I am so glad that your son in law, David, can now manage his health and I am so thankful that you have shared these things with us!

  4. Cheryl, I don't know when I've read a more enjoyable and informative post! Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. I'm hungry for more of your knowledge. Have any ideas on natural ways to help with Fibromyalgia? I certainly admire you for all that you do...with family, farm, teaching at the University, etc.etc. Quite a list! But somehow I know that you do it all with zeal. I'm only two years younger than, I can relate to so much of what you've shared.

    Thanks, too, for stopping by today and leaving me such a heartfelt comment.

  5. Thanks for sharing Cheryl! Looking forward to hearing more!

  6. Wow. This is really interesting information. As it happens, I'm trying to eat better and be healthier. My mother would talk your ear off -- she's a big natural healing person, as is my pottery teacher.

  7. This is an excellent post. I've been trying to get more natural- especially with food (I don't really take medication). I have so much more energy, I've lost 35 pounds, and I love that I'm setting this example for my son. Kudos to you for being such an active proponent!

  8. Thank you for this post I found it to be very awesome I have considered some natural meds recently as well ....I am trying to just get back to simplicity

  9. Here is another good site I said I would pass along.

  10. Great post! I look forward to reading more about the natural remedies you use. I prefer home remedies to a trip to the doctor (when possible and practical).

  11. Thanks for the Niacin heads up. I used to take Niacin regularly as I had read that it was good for people with allergies. I know it makes most (all?) people flush but I have a VERY STRONG reaction to it and the flush hangs around for quite a while. Scared my husband half to death one time when we were running around Branson and I started swelling (like all over hives) and turned bright red. :)

  12. have you read The Makers Diet? It got me started on my way to eating real food. We don't have pop at our house unless for special occasions and I try to live by the rule to buy from the outside grocery lanes..the ones in the middle tend to be processed food, while the outside ones hold fresh produce, meats and dairy. After being anti-organic for years, I'm also starting to see where a lot of our food is not as healthy as we think and I do buy certain food organically now - apples and strawberries have tested highest iln pesticides! I would love to do more research on medicinal herbs..I believe so many of our illnesses are caused by lack of something...great article Cheryl!


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