Integrative Medicine & The Magic of Natural Medicine & Compounds

It saddens me that so much local, old and indigenous knowledge of healing is disappearing because I’ve been involved in experimental medicine with consenting patients recently and found the most extraordinary uses for essential oils, herbs and other natural compounds. 

The thing is, although western medical sites tout some as poisonous, don’t buy it!  Many of these old herbs and compounds are far less poisonous and more effective than they would have us believe.  In addition, they can be used in unimagined ways and body places so long as medical and hygiene guide lines (in some cases as near to sterile conditions as possible) as strictly followed….just like ‘regular medicine’ has guide lines.  You can treat most anything with it.   Often the amounts are minute and the process of cure is not over night and could be viewed as cumbersome or messy, but if ‘regular medicine’ fails to put one out of one’s misery, the alternative way might be the only option.  Examples  range from hydrogen peroxide and essential oils internally to powdered elements topically.  For example, hydrogen peroxide for resistant cystitis and sulphur internally and externally for acne.  And YES, they can work alongside modern medicine.  A good integrative practitioner could change your life!!!  I can tell you if I’ve found it out, it’s out there, lurking, but the atmosphere in which ‘regular medicine’ is practised today makes people shut up. 

Into to Alternative Medicine…knees first

“Susan, I wouldn’t touch you with a 10 foot pole.  Unless the pain woke you out of your bed, I’d never cut your knees”, quoth the well known Jamaican orthopaed.

Right Rx, but where did that leave me?  Season was coming up and I’d be at it 4hrs/day, 6 days/week.  …But I couldn’t, the pain was knife like.

Waddled into my boss’s office.  “What’s up?  Why you look so miserable?”

“Can’t dance.”

“How you mean, ‘Can’t dance’?”

“Can’t dance.  Doctor says I have tight kneecaps.”

“Tight what?”

“Basically, when you stretch out my relaxed leg and wiggle the cap, mine won’t wiggle so when I exercise heavily the hot tissues in the joint have nowhere to expand and they hurt me.”

“Go see my wife.”

“Your wife?”

“Yes, ever heard of homoeopathy?”


“Go see her.”

We dancers…(pilots, race drivers, horse riders, some surgeons)..we’ll do anything to do what we love.

“Oh, you have one leg shorter than the other”, this housewife ‘doctor’ told me.

First person ever told me that and I’m not one of those who actually has scoliosis or contracture or hip drop, etc.  I was ‘goneometred’, splayed and measured…1/4″ difference …massive for hard dancing, especially en pointe.  Types like me are weeded out of Sadlers Wells, etc., one time.  Could have some effect on knee pain because right leg was longer and pain was worse in that knee.

“Do you dream vividly?”

“Eh?”  Was this woman nuts?

Two hours later I left with a little vial of ‘nothing’, made of a common mineral in such infintesimal quantities that I was told not to take it except on an empty stomach and not even trace amounts of caffeine, mint, perfume, etc., were to come near me. Eh?  Quantum physics.  Oh yeah?  Well off I went to the Bureau of Standards to get it measured.  Nothing in it.  Oh well, I’d just keep taking it, I had dancing to lose.  End of the week, no pain.  Never looked back and of course I altered how I danced too.  From there I moved on to other remedies and the sky was the limit…right up to the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital.

Homoeopathy is ‘reverse’ pharmacy.  The stronger the substance or nearer to the pure distillate the less potent it is as a cure of whole body systems or, may be a frank poison.  3x is an ointment, you shouldn’t swallow this, whereas MM (a thousand thousand) if correctly used can, for example, shift intransigent depressions without bad effects on the the central nervous system, via quantum physics it is assumed.  Seriously powerful.  I would not say I’m au fait with this level of practice.  We’ve only just started really testing the stuff as western science understands the word ‘test’. 

To say there are no side-effects is not really acurate.  If you ‘hit the right note’ and find the right remedy, the disorder can get a bit worse for a couple hours to a couple of days and then the curing starts.  The other well known reaction is that it is an instant soother and cure, my favourite reaction.  The patient just falls asleep and when he wakes up, voila…gone or hugely reduced distress.  Then too, like most medicaments, one homoeopathic remedy can be used for different things.  I had a patient had the usual monthly pain getting in the way of exercise and I gave her something that could also bring on late periods…useful substance if you don’t have a pregnancy test kit to hand…well, she wondered why she was cycling earlier and earlier…  Had to find another way to deal with the pain.

I can’t make you try anything but if you want to, try the substance that converts 90% of people, (it did me)….Arnica.  Made from the Leopard’s Bane plant… no athlete, exerciser or senior citizen should be without it.  Miraculous for bruising and blunt trauma.

The other thing I’ve been doing is finding Jamaican natural substances that work just as well as homoeopathic remedies (which have to be imported) and I’ve found quite a few, made from different plant stuff but just as effective.  So I thank my ‘alternative’ mentors, the University of the West Indies and now the University of Technology for introducing me and getting us the electives and courses that shine light on these practices.   If you walk into a pharmacy in any of the French West Indies, you’ll find one section for natural and homoeopathic stuff and one for ‘normal’ medicine.  The English Caribbean is a bit late, but waking up.  The Spanish Caribbean is another matter; an over the counter ‘wild west’ and, in Central America particularly, a stunningly vibrant herbal tradition.