From NyQuil and Advil to Probiotics, Plants, and Essential Oils

Normalizing SupplementsHere’s the deal y’all. The supplement isle in your grocery store is growing big time. Why? It’s because people, like me, are figuring out that supplements work. Even HEB carries essential oils now – or maybe that’s just because I live in Austin? If they weren’t working, they wouldn’t be selling.

I’ve truly been on a journey, over the last few years, and little by little, I have begun to think about health, my body, food, plants, and healing differently than I did before. I didn’t grow up with any of this crunchy, granola “snake-oil.” Not even close. My grandparents were pharmacists. (And knowing myself better now, that might have been a good career for me, too.)

One thing that has been so disheartening in this process is to learn how screwed up our system is. Trust me, I wanted to believe that the government was looking out for me and that my relationship with big business was interdependent, and that if my doctor was prescribing drugs, then they must be safe. Please hear me. I love doctors…I have several friends who are doctors. I think they genuinely became doctors because they wanted to make the world a better place. And I am thankful for the life-saving antibiotics, the reduced infant mortality rate, shots to stop a postpartum hemorrhage, surgeries and casts to fix misshaped skulls and broken arms and far more. I think most of them really do LONG to see you healthy and to see the root issues addressed. We need these doctors. I am so thankful for them!

What I don’t love (in fact hate) is that the pharmaceutical industry has become money driven at the expense of our health- yes, at the expense of it. What I don’t love is that our food supply is completely screwed up because of modern farming techniques (also money driven) and the nutritional value of your apple today does not compare to the nutritional value of your apple 30 years ago. What I don’t love is that sugar is added to EVERYTHING and it’s a battle to avoid it. What I don’t love is that healing plants, like cannabis, have been demonized when they actually work to correct crazy things like seizures and tumors with very little side effects. (NEVER thought I’d be on this side of THAT argument.) Making money is great, but not at the expense of the unsuspecting public, and as usual, the people who are hurt the very most are the poor. I don’t love that the government seems to be protecting these industries and not the people that these industries are hurting.

I don’t love that statin drugs and antidepressants are prescribed out the wazoo, but their proven side effects might actually be worse than the condition they’re treating. Hear me, I am not judging you if you are on an antidepressant or a statin drug or birth control or whatever. I do feel frustrated that these drugs are prescribed and consumed so nonchalantly. Even Tylenol messes with your gut bacteria and your liver. I don’t love that I had to specially request a more mild, less expensive pink-eye RX for my kids in place of what would have been prescribed: a very expensive RX of eyedrops with harmful floroquinolone antibiotics.  I don’t love that I wouldn’t have even questioned the floroquinolones if I didn’t have a friend suffering major health damage because of them.  I don’t love that we have been trained to cop out with “genetics” as a cause when environmental factors clearly contribute to many conditions. I don’t love that despite the fact that research proves that many drugs are harmful and/or at the least have the placebo effect, that this research is majorly suppressed by the large companies who would not thrive if we all got a clue.

If you are skeptical of supplements, I respect you even more. We need more healthy skepticism in this society. For me, slowly, after reading testimonies of healing via diet change and/or supplementation, hearing stories of people getting hurt by pharmaceuticals, watching and reading a LOT of documentaries, and experiencing for myself that supplements and hippie essential oils actually work, I slowly became MORE skeptical of the way things have traditionally been than of the naturally occurring plant turned into a pain-reliever or an oil. Turns out, those hippie plants have actually been around FOR A LONG TIME. Our “traditional” system is actually fairly new. Let us not arrogantly think we are advanced when the reality is that we just die from different things now.

If you’re wondering why I care, it’s not because I am uber-afraid of death, but because I am more afraid of a really cruddy quality of LIFE and the ripple effect of what happens in an overly medicated society. I am afraid of an entire society with really poor mental health (are we already there?)? I see loved ones on like 12 different prescriptions who are still suffering from different ailments, and I just think we have to do better. Please hear that I am not anti-RX… I just think maybe it should be a last resort instead of a quick fix? Just maybe.

Consider that God gave us plants for healing. Let’s stop thinking that it’s so crazy that we might extract the active ingredients in a naturally occurring plant and condense it into a capsule to benefit from it! What a gift that the earth is filled with these plants and minerals- truly!

I love Revelation 22:1-3. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.

I think that’s all I’ve got today. Ha!

PS If you are in any of these industries, I hope you know, I respect and admire your success and I don’t believe any one person is trying to do serious harm. To me, it’s just a broken system.

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Leah

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