What is nutrition?
The art of choosing our food to gain more control over how we feel, how we age, how we resist illnesses and how many years of active life we can enjoy. What we eat not only affects our day to day health but also helps determine the quality and the length of our life.
As the media give us more access to the results of decades of research, we are more aware of the effect the world we live in has on our health. We know that asbestos is an environmental hazard, that UV rays from the sun can cause skin cancer, and that smoking can damage health in various ways.
We are also learning more about how nutrition and the ways in which food is grown and prepared affect our general health and life expectancy. Today, most of us understand that eating is not just about putting fuel in the tank to keep going, as if we were a machine. We wouldn’t dream of filling up our car with the wrong fuel, so how can we learn more about what happens to our body when we feed it the wrong food? There is a very subtle relationship between food and human body. Minor changes in eating habits can lead to major changes in health.
Nutrition is still a young science but it is clear that there are few illnesses that diet can’t help to prevent, cure or at least make more bearable. As well as having a role in the struggle against heart disease, cancer and arthritis, food and the way we eat it can also help to conquer stress, insomnia, infertility and low energy levels.
What is herbalism?
In a time of drugs and chemicals, herbalism is a path to safe treatment which respects the oneness of life. It reveals and uses the gifts of nature for holistic healing, based on the relationship between plant and human, plant and planet, human and planet.
Holistic medicine can only be truly holistic if the perspectives it embraces acknowledge the social and cultural context in which the illness and the desired healing take place. The patterns of thought, behaviour, work and culture that are the sources of the disease and better know as lifestyle, must be taken into account. Herbal medicine can help retune the body in a positive environment where healing is being promoted as a whole for lasting effect.
Dr A Vogel said, “To live according to the principles of nature is much more than a technique. It requires respect and sympathy for Creation.”
I like the idea that my garden is a living pharmacy and I have often found that combined with good food, plants are amazingly powerful remedies and yet very soft in their effects.