I have learnt both by reading and experience, that it is far better to learn how to prevent disease than to know how to treat it once it comes about. Though I study herbal medicine (and love it!), I am still under the impression that herbal remedies are not always necessary in every situation and sometimes a simple change in diet and lifestyle habits can be the best medicine!
For example, whenever my health is not at it’s greatest, I go through 8 health principles in my head, and more often than not, there’s at least one of them that I am not taking heed to as I should be. So before herbs even come into my thoughts, I try to ascertain the cause of/contribution to the malady. Likewise, when a friend or family member asks me for advice on a problem they may be having, I always remind of the basic health principles that we should all be implementing, as well as natural remedies to assist in healing.
The 8 health principles I am referring to are as follows:
Trust in Divine power – most important 🙂
We all know that OXYGEN is vital for our health and well-being. In the complete absence of air and thus oxygen, we would die within a few minutes. But when we don’t receive an adequate supply of fresh oxygen, our cells/bodies do not function as they should do and we don’t tend to feel our best. This is because oxygen is needed by pretty much every cell in our body, and if the supply is not sufficient, the cells become slack in the process of metabolism and you will start feeling the effects fast.
Try to get as much fresh air as you can, daily! You will definitely notice a difference 🙂
Oh SUNLIGHT! I love the sun and unfortunately during winter, I do not get enough of it. I’m sure we all know that sunlight has the ability to boost your body’s Vit D supply. As more research is being done, more and more important benefits of Vit D are being discovered. Some of the health benefits include proper calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning. Try to make sure you are getting sufficient sunlight (especially the summer sun!)
Read this article for more information on sunlight and Vit D.
Temperance is important in maintaining health! Too much of even the good things can be detrimental. Overeating is very burdensome to the system and some of us are so used to doing it, that it would never even occur to us that it may be the cause of some of the health defects we experience. Try to be temperate in the good things, and totally abstain from that which is harmful/poisonous to the body (ie alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine).
Sufficient REST is soo important and unfortunately there are so many things that tend to cause us to get less of it (work, coursework, stress etc.). Getting physical and mental rest rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood,
and is linked to learning and memory function and not getting sufficient rest can negatively affect these things, as well as your immune function. Whenever I don’t get enough sleep, I am EXTREMELY irritable and have a low mood.. not a nice thing for yourself or those around you!
Be sure to get to bed early and get sufficient physical AND mental rest!
Exercise is a prevention and a cure for countless diseases! It can lower your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, some cancers and many other chronic diseases. It is also found to improve mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is important for digestive health (definitely something to look into if you suffer from constipation or sluggish bowels) and it is also important for circulation of your blood and lymph!
Try to get daily exercise (even power walking counts as exercise as your heart rate is being raised).
I’m sure the implications of diet is something that most of us are aware of now. Many of us kno¬w that our diet is closely linked to health, yet we sometimes disregard what we know to be right, and give into that which provides our taste buds the most pleasure. These things are habits that are possible to shake off. It’s all about self-control and a retraining of our taste buds. Try eliminating from your diet the things which you know are harmful to you (probably starting with the worse) and replacing it with something better. You will soon realise it’s easier to avoid those things and that your taste buds gain a liking for healthier things 🙂
Another one we’ve all heard .. Our bodies consist mostly of water and it is a vital part of all functioning. When we lack it, our bodies don’t work at their optimum and we often feel it’s effects quite quickly. How many of us, at the first sign of a headache are quick to moan or reach for the paracetamol?! The first thing that we should consider is what has been our water intake for the day. As adults, we should be drinking round about 2L water a day, yet most of us drink none or very little. Instead of buying a soft drink, try replacing it with water. And if you don’t like the taste of water (as some claim ¬_¬), try having infused waters* – They are absolutely lovely 😀
Trust in Divine power
I would definitely say that this is the most important. God is our creator and knows exactly what our bodies need to be preserved in the best possible condition! He is the one who provides us with these things in nature. As you do the best you can do, trust in Him for your health and preservation. [Matthew 6:30]
*Infused waters are easy to make. Just cut up some fruit, stuff it in your water bottle or a jar about half way, and then fill it up with water. Let it infuse for a while in the fridge and take it out just before you leave the house. Sip it throughout the day and top it up when you need to. My favourite is watermelon and mint! 😀