My Thoughts On Natural & Modern Medicine

This post has been brewing in my mind for weeks. Recently, when I posted on my personal Facebook page that I loved natural medicine assumptions were made that because I loved natural medicine I most definitely must despise modern medicine.

source: recycledinc

That assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So, hang on for the ride while I get this issue off my chest. :)

A Little Background

I grew up learning as my Mom learned about natural remedies. My dad is a pastor who also worked a 40+ hour/week job and we didn’t have gobs of money to spend on doctor bills. So we made do…

Home remedies including nutritional supplements, herbs, essential oils, teas and homeopathics all aided our health and healing when needed.  If there was a serious problem, we went to the doctor.

I’ve learned more and more over the years from herbalists, my naturopathic doctor, from research and learning from the experiences of others and most importantly – personal experience!!

Y’all, this stuff works!! :)

A Balanced, Informed Perspective

Being an informed momma who has read many perspectives on many different subjects {and who continues to learn and research}, I love the balance between natural medicine/home remedies and modern medicine.

The key is balance! I don’t for a second believe that it’s only one way or the other. God created herbs and minerals for our benefit and He’s allowed humans to accomplish amazing scientific discoveries.

Extremes in both directions should be avoided.  Sure, there are wacko extremists in each direction, but please don’t automatically classify me as one of them.

Modern Medicine Has It’s Place

In the last year my husband, Ridley and I have been to the ER seven times, so obviously we’re on a huge anti-modern medicine kick…not!  :) I’ve been on massive antibiotics for a staph infection, Ridley’s had a reaction to penicillin {and stitches} and my hubs is a klutz and had to get his shin checked after falling at work…to name just a few emergencies.

We just found out that Ridley is tongue tied because we followed a hunch and took him to an ENT.  The ENT found his problem right away and Ridley’s having surgery on May 18th to correct the problem.

On the same day, my nephew Levi, will be having surgery at the Children’s Hospital for his cleft lip. His treatment has been a lovely blend of natural and modern medicine. My sister has used chiropractic and herbal treatments to help drain fluid from his ears to avoid having unnecessary tubes put in his {never-ever-infected} ears.  It worked!  Also, instead of putting Levi’s little body through 90 days of antibiotics to “prevent” kidney infections, herbal remedies have both prevented infection and strengthened his kidneys.

Unfortunately, our country bumpkin quackery wouldn’t work to fix either Ridley’s or Levi’s issues that need surgical attention. {sarcasm} Ha!

If Your First Choice Is Modern Medicine…

I respect you.  I also expect that you will respect me for my opinion, preferences and choices.

I don’t assume that just because natural remedies aren’t your first choice, that you wouldn’t consider using hydrogen peroxide and a bandaid for a scratch on your hand. I also don’t assume that you wouldn’t consider alternative treatments if modern medicine failed to heal a problem.

The controversy that surrounds natural and modern medicine is just silly and usually ignorant. It’s not an either/or issue. I firmly believe that both modern medicine and natural remedies are available for our good health.

To those who want to make assumptions about me because I happen to love natural medicine and my first response to non-life-threatening situations is to find alternative treatment, stop. Just stop making mistaken, hurtful assumptions.

Whew. I feel much better now. :)

I’m linking up to Things I Love Thursday!

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Comments

  1. I would never judge you for choosing natural remedies when you can! Truly, I am just not knowledgable enough about them to feel comfortable. Between having a few kids and having spent months in the hospital with one of them, I feel pretty handy with many “modern medicine” applications. I’m a fish out of water with homeopathic treatments! Thus, I’m not too comfortable with them. Doesn’t mean I think those who use them are crazy or wrong. :) (And, honestly? I just don’t use much medicine of any kind… but that’s because I’m overly sensitive to much of it. Again, personal preference and all. :))
    JessieLeigh´s last blog post ..Feed Reader

    • @JessieLeigh, I completely respect you. :) I think that a lot of people attack others about natural medicine because they don’t know it, they haven’t researched/learned it. Just what I’m thinkin…

      Oh and yeah, I’m a minimalist too when it comes to much medicine. :)

  2. “country bumpkin quackery” You already knew I loved this line. :D

    And, I totally agree… to each his/her own. Our family goes both ways, depending on what ailment is currently going on. Like you, I cannot perform surgery on my own foot, so we went to a surgeon :P But, on many things, I DO turn to more natural resources for the reasons you stated, one of them being I have found that they work MUCH better than I ever thought.

    Also, for the record, our family has been sooooo much healthier since I implemented more vitamins, a diet change (still changing), and ahem, skipped out on a few shots ;) Last year I missed five Sundays in a row because of one of the girls being sick with an ear infection or strep. This year? We had a stomach virus and each girl had a slight cold. I say “slight” because it was… we let the body heal itself instead of going to the doctor for meds. That really spoke to me.

    That being said, am I going to go around telling someone what he or she should or should not do with their kids? Heck no! If I am asked, yes, but otherwise? If you want to take your kid to the ER for that strep infection, go right ahead. I’m not going to tell you you are wrong :) it is your choice; you know your kids better than I do. So, like you said, M… “I also expect that you will respect me for my opinion, preferences and choices.”

    Great post, girl. Sorry for the book (blushing)
    -A
    Amy´s last blog post ..Five Steps to a Successful Garage Sale

    • @Amy, Totally, completely agree! :) xoxo

    • @Amy, I thought viruses need to be treated with modern medicine, or they can stay in your system and come back later even worse..? How did you treat your strep throat and stomach virus? I am curious because I didnt know it was possible to treat those with natural medicine :) Thank you!

  3. Beautifully written, Myra! You “defended” your position and choices without being defensive…does that make any sense? I love your gentle spirit. :)
    Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog post ..Mini Rehab

  4. Thanks for putting this out there, Myra! As someone who suffers from a long-term illness, I have learned to value BOTH kinds of medicine- natural AND man-made. As you said, God has provided both of them for our benefit. To refuse one or the other would be like rejecting a part of God’s creation.

    But I am curious about something. You mentioned that your sister has found herbal treatments to help drain fluid from the ears. Care to share? :)
    Elizabeth J.´s last blog post ..Forgiven!

    • @Elizabeth J., I will ask her about the details and perhaps she will weigh in here too. :)

    • @Elizabeth J., my doctors found I needed tubes in my ears when I was a year old.. They also didnt want to give me surgery when I was so young, so my parents tried to use other ways to help me (I was a good kid: lots of ear infections but hardly ever cried about them). I think it was pretty tough for them because I was so young and couldnt articulate my pain if I had any, so they really worried. But my great uncle is a chiropractor and my parents told me when I was older that taking me there was what really helped me! I did end up still needing the surgery, but we were able to delay it until I was a year older. I’m not sure if they used any herbal treatments though. :)

  5. Stephanie Burton says:

    Agree!! Thankfully we go to a family doctor whose last resort is meds!

  6. Oh Myra … so with you on this! I’m willing to go see the doctor but I’m also of a firm conviction that God created our bodies to function a certain way. I using natural/homeopathic medicines is a natural flow from my desire to eat (as much as possible!) foods the way God created them. Sugar instead of chemicals, butter instead of margarine, whole wheat instead of bleached, etc. With Scott’s ITP, we certainly have been the beneficiaries of many amazing scientific medicinal discoveries … but we also tried a few nontraditional treatments as well. I love your perspective on this and agree wholeheartedly!!
    Teri Lynne Underwood´s last blog post ..Top Ten Orlando Pics

  7. Myra:

    I may have missed a post about your love for natural remedies, but I would love to know some of the things that you have used that you have found particularly helpful. I am not quick to buy herbal supplements because I haven’t researched many of them, but I have had family members suffer worse health issues due to the modern medicines they have taken for chronic conditions. For example, I have a family member with rheumatoid arthritis. She took methetraxate for relief, and the doctors believe that it likely caused her cancer, which was Hodgkins Disease. The chemotherapy (I believe bleomycin) compromised her lungs and now in her late 40s she is on oxygen most of the time. I am growing more fearful of long-term medications and thankfully haven’t had conditions that require them. But I am really beginning to see the benefits of holistic approaches to health!!!

  8. I think you said that so well! I didn’t know anything about home remedies until I moved to Oregon and had to give up my health insurance. Jewell was 11 antibiotics in 1 year for ear infections. A few weeks ago she had an ear infection. We didn’t have the money to go to the doctor so I tried a home remedy someone suggested. It cost 3 bucks! And guess what, her ear is fine now :). I wish I would have tried them sooner, because it could have really helped her little immune system. There is a balance, that’s all that matters!

  9. Thank you so much for putting words to the way I feel and run our family. I also seek out natural remedies first. And we do go the conventional (well, what is now considered conventional since the herbal route is what used to only be available…) when needed. It has saved us so much money. Our daughters have never needed antibiotics thankfully (at 4 1/2 and 3) and I can count on one hand the number of colds they’ve had (and yes, we do go out in public quite a bit). It stems from proper nutrition, using natural remedies when called for and not taking them to the MD at every little sneeze (like friends of mine do with their kids). It just takes some time to read and research and educate yourself. It isn’t that hard.

    Thank you for this post. It is great to know that I’m not alone!
    Crissyanna´s last blog post ..Mermaids are Flammable

  10. The older I’ve gotten and since having my son, I’ve started to learn and research the natural medicines and remedies. It started when my newborn son was diagnosed with severe acid reflux and was losing weight because he couldn’t keep bottles down. I bought him an amber teething necklace to wear and I swear it made a night and day difference in this child…even though that wasn’t its intended purpose. I’ve upped our vitamin usage and we also go to a chiropractor. I fully believe that there is a place for natural medicine in our lives.

  11. Crystal Michael says:

    I agree with you. Depending on the situation, I seek the Lord our great physician first, then the remedies I can do at home with herbs, homeopathic etc. and lastly modern medicine. It really makes for a good balance. I do my research and study up on first aid and all so I will know if it is an emergency situation and needs the modern med. first, or right away of course. I have always had an interest in medical things and all techniques for helping people to stay healthy or helping them out in an emergency so I have studied and read a lot on the subject. It has been a real blessing to my family and has saved us quite a bit of money and needless modern drugs when natural healing would do. It has been our experience that some of the modern drugs can cause side affects which lead to more problems and more meds. They are necessary sometimes and I believe that that is why God has allowed them to be here but I don’t believe they are the answer all the time. Thanks.

  12. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I’d love to glean from your knowledge if you ever care to share! I am leaning more towards natural for smaller things, but have a lot to learn. Do you recommend any books or websites?
    Miriam´s last blog post ..The Growing Garden

  13. Hannah L. says:

    Love the post, Myra!! Keep it up!
    ~Hannah

  14. MrsD05 says:

    “To those who want to make assumptions about me because I happen to love natural medicine and my first response to non-life-threatening situations is to find alternative treatment, stop. Just stop making mistaken, hurtful assumptions.”

    Amen sister!

  15. Right on! I am a fan of both as well. When it all boils down, allopathic medicine (MD doctors) only treat symptoms. Keeping a healthy life naturally prevents the symptoms in the first place! Now I agree with you too, if I’m puking with strep throat then I’m off to my doctors for some amoxicillan! It’s a balance between the two, like diet and exercise.

    Also, this is probably the Anthropologist in me, but traditional ayurvedic medicine has existed in India for three thousand years. The vaidya’s (healers) use a blend of natural and phsyical treatments (like chiro). I’ve been to India and seen many of these and KNOW they work as well as allopathy.

  16. Myra, I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned balance. That is so true! Good job on this post! :-)

  17. LOVE it! My grandfather was a doctor and was all for the natural approach. I learned a lot from him. I’ve been lucky enough to find a doctor for our family who agrees with the natural approach. She gives us the information and lets us decide. My OB is similar. We’ve gone the traditional medicine route OB-wise though due to complications.

  18. Rock on, Woman! You’ve taught me a TON in this area, and we’ve been able to make some important changes in our lifestyle. Love this post and your honest thoughts.

    Love you.
    QuatroMama´s last blog post ..Gigs- Decisions- and Some Other “Big Girl” Stuff

  19. Johnna says:

    As someone who who knows the medical side of medicine from being a nurse, I know nothing about homeopathic options..Can you share some websites that you use and trust for your research? I agree that it has to be a balance as there are some conditions were medical treatments are necessary…However, I would love to learn more about the homeopathic area.. God bless!

  20. Rachel says:

    Growing up in a family that practiced natural medicine I always turn to it first. As a result my daughter who is 6 has NEVER been to the dr. being sick, or been on any prescriptions. But I have still taken her once a year for well check ups. I to feel like there is a balance to be had. I suffer from migraines, tension and cluster headaches and didn’t want to get on prescriptions for them. So I started going to a herbalist, she has me set up on what I need to take, and I have been mostly headache free for a long time now. I go see her as I feel like I need to and what I pay her is cheaper than our co-pay. Win win in my book. My husband had strep about two years ago. Went to the DR. got the meds. And then I found out that there are even natural things you can do for strep! So next time we would probally go the natural route even with strep. One of the only drawbacks I see to not spending money on co-pays and prescriptions is you lose the tax deduction;)

  21. Girl, I think your approach is perfectly balanced, and I LOVE it! I think I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are trying to study and learn more and more about natural meds — in fact, our health insurance just changed, and one of the most stressful issues on my plate right now is choosing a Dr and practice who is on the same page as we are :/ A balanced approach is the best, and I absolutely love watching “country bumpkin quackery” work! haha =)
    I would love to just “pick apart your brain” and glean from what you already know! =)
    BTW, I will continue praying for Ridley & Levi!

  22. Oooo and one more thing, sorry :D Would you ever consider writing an in depth post about your resources, knowledge, etc.?
    Rebekah´s last blog post ..Springtime Lavender Flower Clippy Set

  23. I feel the same way and use both… right now, I am currently treating my son for pink eye using natural remedies and it’s working fantastically and without the typical burning that comes from modern medicine.
    debi9kids´s last blog post ..Waiting this long priceless

  24. KIMBERLY S says:

    Thank you for your post and for putting your thoughts and feelings so beautifully. I’ve been bucking modern medicine if you will for more than 20 years and leaning towards a more holistic approach. I really didn’t feel any judgment until my first child was born almost 17 years ago. The whole concept of taking control and responsibility of your medical/health choices is to some a scary subject. Our family practices a balance between modern medicine and holistic. I’m very happy to report that no one has gone blind, lost a limb, or ended up a babbling idiot for this decision. I think that every person, especially in this day in age has the right to choose and not be judged. Thanks for the post!!

  25. How sad that people feel it necessary to comment on your choices of medicine. You seem like a well informed person who wants the best for her family, someone who thinks before she acts, who makes intelligent decisions. And whom I admire. I am sorry you had to set the story straight, but so glad you did! Amen!

    Keep up the good work and don’t be discouraged by small minded people with an ax to grind.

  26. Rebecca says:

    Well said. This respect for one’s own beliefs should extend to nearly all areas of “practical living”. I’m certainly firm about theology, but this topic in especially, great post! I love reading new thoughts from personal experience. One of my biggest pet peeves is someone trying to “push” their ways on someone, but your way of sharing is just that, genuinely sharing what’s worked for you. I RESPECT that!

  27. Thank you so much for posting about this! I totally choose a natural remedy first and it drives me crazy when people “assume” things about me.
    Kyla @ Funky PolkaDot Giraffe´s last blog post ..What I LOVE Wednesday- Heres to May!

  28. How about sharing som Natural Home remedies, in this economy all the help to do it your self is appreciated. Natural Beauty products are great ideas too. Share, share, share.

  29. Totally agree, Myra! Let’s stop making judgments and assumptions about each other and live alongside each other in peace, no matter what our preference may be! I have a good mixture of both as well and that’s what works for us! Good for you for standing up for yourself, although it is a shame that anybody has to stand up for themselves over something so small! Take care, girl! Praying for both the boys’ surgeries.
    Kristen´s last blog post ..Lunch Conversation

  30. Monica says:

    I worked really hard as a single parent to get through nursing school practiced as a nurse for many years (no longer an active nurse) and I don’t even believe in going to the dr. every time we are ill. I grew up with a mom who believed in a lot of home remedies and raised my kids the same way but did go to the dr when necessary. Our dr was a D.O. who had respect for home remedies and would even discuss some that we could try before giving me a Rx. So many of the medications used are synthetic and cause so many side effects you have to really become educated and weigh the “chances”. I have respect for both homeopathic and “modern” medicine-God created both so to speak by creating the plants and giving certain people the knowledge and wisdom that they need for healing! God bless you and your sweet family!

  31. I have to tell you! After 5 years of EVERYTHING you can think of to get pregnant (No IVF) I was pregnant 2 months after I started to take Chinese Fertility Herbs. AND I’m am now taking Chinese Herbs to balance my hormones and it’s made my periods PAIN, BLOAT, CRAMP, NOT SO NICE WIFEY FREE!!! I also learned while pregnant and breastfeeding my daughter for 28 months that I really didn’t need all the “meds” I was taking!

    I talk about my little miracle of a daughter in this post if you would like to see! :)
    http://alililly.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-alice-marie.html
    Ami w/AliLilly´s last blog post ..Spring Flower Wreath from Paint Chip Samples

  32. Beautifully said, Myra! Your post on “gut health” has also further inspired me to take more serious action to getting our family’s guts in health, too.

    Like many others have said, I am thankful that our family doctor (who I think my youngest-17mos-has seen about 3 times) is very sympathetic and even encouraging us to use natural medicine. (And those 3 times I took her in, I knew exactly what was going on/had a major hunch; I just needed either confirmation or a prescription.) My only wish would be that he were more knowledgeable with more natural remedies. :)

  33. Jennifer S. says:

    I would love to hear some of your home remedies. I was born a city girl and never learned any!

  34. Totally agree with you. would love to do more natural. how do you find what works and what you can trust? Cost of natural is high. When struggling to provide food how do you buy all the herbs and supplements? i have tried to read up but so much conflicting info and to keep trying different ones to see what will work is not doable. To find a homeopath again is cost prohibitive.

    • Hi Kathy! It takes time, research and experimentation to figure out what works sometimes. Being under the care of a naturopath or herbalist is key. Our herbalist charges $10/visit, so we are spoiled. Honestly, I’ve been building an arsenal of herbs and homeopathics for years, so the cost hasn’t been too bad. My mom and I have found that it’s least expensive to buy from distributors rather than through healthfood stores. I hope that helps! :)

  35. Awesome! My own personal and professional experiences have molded my own similar balanced approach. Couldn’t agree more. Individualized, empowered, educated, balanced options exist! Thanks for sharing. Empowering and sustaining! In appreciation :) (check out my weebly website…livingwithachoice.com …you might enjoy also :) Jess

  36. Renea Keitch says:

    I love the Dr. Mom series. I am a 52 yr. young school teacher who was thrown back over a desk by one of my students. Due to the assault, my back is terrible shape. Two drs. said if I have surgery I will be handicapped for life! I DESPISE being on pain killers and muscle relaxers!!! Any ideas you have on this subject will be appreciated. I do not like being bed-bound or using a wheelchair when out with the girlfriends. :(

    ;

  37. Myra,

    This is a wonderful post with a great perspective. I think it is a tragedy that there is the assumption that you are either loyal to modern medicine or you are an absolute loony bin. Ha! What is up with that anyway?

    As an advocate for natural medicine as much as possible myself, I see it this way. Natural medicine treats the underlying cause and modern medicine treats symptoms. Unfortunately, western medicine often also baindaids symptoms where natural medicine heals symptoms.

    Now, I agree that we are all sick and dying to a point and at times we really have no option besides to opt for what western medicine has to offer. Tha sometimes our bodies are so past depleted that we surgeries and things to help. Sometimes for some mamas a csection is nessesay because her body was sick to begin with and so were her parents.

    But, why not begin to turn our health around now? Why not take steps towards good heal now? Right? With all the things that God has blessed us with since the beginning of time and allow the body to heal itself as God intended it to do if it has all the right tools. :)
    Becky @ Rooted Blessings´s last blog post ..Just Like Striking Gold: ‘Fall into Health’ Bundle Sale: $2000 Worth of Ebooks, Eclasses, Podcasts & More for only $39

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