Friday, January 14, 2011

The Science of Homeopathy, by George Vithoulkas

I very much enjoyed reading 'The Science of Homeopathy' by George Vithoulkas.  I have been reading and learning more about natural healing and kept coming across 'like heals like/homeopathy', but I could not figure out what the difference was between herbal remedies and homeopathy.  Slowly I began to understand it more, and then found this book at the library.  It's a textbook written in 1980 by a well-known homeopathic doctor. 

After reading the book, I find there is a LOT to learn about homeopathy, and it's mostly out of my reach.  But I am glad to know more about the science of homeopathy and plan on looking up more books on the subject, just for my own curiosity.  I think, in order for a person to be able to use homeopathic remedies properly (the way they were intended to be used), you have to have a HUGE knowledge of the remedies as well as experience under a homeopathic mentor. 

Homeopathy was started in the 1800s by a German doctor named Samuel HahnemannHe realized that most doctors of his day looked at symptoms and tried to cure them, rather then trying to understand why the patient was manifesting the symptoms.  He came up with the concept that 'like cures like'.  Essentially, the body 'detoxes' (although that word was never used), by manifesting symptoms on a certain level, in order to provide homeostasis.  The symptoms show where the body naturally releases it's disease symptoms and should be encouraged to do so as much as possible. So by giving the patient a substance that creates the same symptom in a healthy person, it encourages the body to come into balance. 

So Hahnemann, and many other homeopaths since his time, have taken substances (herbs, minerals, poisons and disease organisms) and 'proved' them on healthy human beings to see what symptoms they bring about, and after years of proving on hundreds of people, healthy and sick, it is considered a 'proved remedy' and put into a book of remedies, along with all of the major and minor symptoms it caused/cured. 

There are strict rules that they use for proving, as well as for preparing the actual remedy that is used.  The original substance is 'potentized' by adding a medium to it, shaking it for a certain amount of times and then diluted again.  This is done into the thousands.  And rather then making it weaker, as one would assume, it supposedly makes it a stronger potency. 

Homeopathy is considered a science and an art.  Coming up with the right remedies for a person is considered an art, but the actual healing process is considered a science.  My husband calls it 'quack'. :) 

I love reading different 'disease theories' and considering their implications on my own health, along with my families.  I do find, the more I study, that God has made us extremely diverse people.  Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  And all aspects must be considered when dealing with someone's overall health.  They are all connected and effect each other.  Modern, allopathic doctors consider only the physical level, as that is easiest to see and affect. 

What I found most fascinating about homeopathy is that they consider the most important level to be the mental level.  The second 'layer' is emotions and the last physical.  Physical issues are considered secondary to mental and even emotional.  Well, geesh, is that is true, then we are really sick!  Our mains symptoms are moods, anger, etc. 

I am looking forward to finding more books on the subject, esp with updated information and 'case studies'.  I don't see us ever searching out a truly experienced homeopathic doctor, as they are very expensive, but it's good to know they are out there if we decide we want to go that route. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Untold Story of Milk, by Ron Schmid

I've heard of The Untold Story of Milk, by Ron Schmid, since my first foray into the world of 'Life's Perfect Food'-raw milk. But I only finally recently got around to ordering it from the library and reading it. It was a fascinating story tracing the history of milk from Bible times to present.  Of course, I didn't need to read it to be convinced of the health benefits of consuming raw milk, but it was fun to read it and get a better grasp of it's history.  Here is a review of the book on the Weston Price Foundation website. 

Ron Schmid has been practicing naturopathic medicine in Connecticut for over 30 years.  And he is on the board at the Weston Price Foundation (honorary, whatever that means). 

The book is, as the title suggests, the history of milk from ancient times to present.  He gave a lot of quotes from the Bible and other 'ancient manuscripts' to show that milk has been consumed for thousands of years-all from grass fed cows and unpasteurized.  Yum!  Of course, he believes in evolution and that man is millions of years old.  So, as usual, I glanced over the 'assumed history' until he got to the ancient Egyptians.  :) 

I found his ideas on the importance of the cow in America's early history to be new and interesting.  Cows were shipped from England to the new world and really helped the settlers to 'settle'.  People consumed buffalo, but they were mostly wild at the time.

He mentioned Drs, Price and Pottenger and their work quite a bit.  They made a big difference in his idea of overall health and holistic body care. 

He traced the history of milk over the last 200 years in America and Europe, and esp since World War II, when pasteurization became mandatory. It was sad to be reminded of the corruption and lies that were perpetrated in order to make pasteurization mandatory. 

He devoted a lot of time to the benefits of unpasteurized dairy products to the human body, both scientific and anecdotal. He explained how the various components are changed when they are heat-treated and homogenized.  And how all of this has lead to many of the diseases and allergies of today. 

After proving how important consumption of raw dairy products is to good health, he gave a warning.  Raw milk is alive and CAN be contaminated.  He made a good point that the milk that came from the distillery dairies needed to be pasteurized.  But mandatory pasteurization is not the answer.  Carefully milked cows, from clean, grass-fed dairies have a very small chance of contamination.  And he was very keen on government certification for such milk. 

It works for us!  We have been getting our amazing raw milk from Freedom Hill Farms, an upstate NY certified raw dairy.  And while I realize there is some amount of risk, I feel confident that they work hard to keep up the clean standards that are expected of them. 

It is a rather long book, almost 400 pages. But it was easy to read and enlightening.  I can't say there was a lot of new information in it, but it's a great 'compendium' of information regarding raw dairy products for anyone interested in consuming it, but still has some apprehension.

I am reminded yet again of why we do not consume the majority of milk available in stores today.  And I'm so grateful for my source of good, clean, raw milk for an amazing price. Local, sustainable, nutritious and affordable.  The PERFECT combination!