Dr. Alexina Mehta works with adults, kids, teens, seniors and families. Virtually all acute conditions and chronic conditions may benefit from Naturopathic Medicine.
My question in response to this definition is: Relative to what ?
In the last 100 years modern medicine has emerged...with benefits AND disadvantages.
The benefits are obvious: for example, surgeries that save lives and medications that alleviate major pain provide respite for many. The discovery of modern medicine is remarkable when used wisely.
But like anything that is not used wisely- problems arise sooner, or later.
Anti-biotic resistance is one such problem we are dealing with today- but that is for another blog post.
Prior to the last 100 years, people relied on mother nature for medicine...what some may consider to be alternative was mainstream for a long, long time all over the globe, across every continent. Many countries have a rich history in the development of medical and healing practices that worked with plants, food, energy medicine type practices and more.
I love science- in fact, studied it in university for years..my favorite subject was biochemistry. Since those early years, I have come to realize that mother nature`s intelligence offers more then simply science. Mother nature is incredibly complex. She offers art, wisdom, science and a potential experience of the sacred- if one is open to it.
Speaking of the sacred, I am reminded by an experience I had when I was in naturopathic medical school. We were at the cadaver dissection lab, led by the brilliant Gill Hedley, PhD and story-teller of the sacred which exists in physical form. I had a very strong palpable understanding in that lab that we as human beings are truly sacred. I felt a deep reverence for the immaculate design of the human body. Where did this come from ? Who is responsible for this miracle of life! ? Experiences like this are unforgettable.
Natural healthcare is primary healthcare for those who choose it, and this number is growing. More and more people are wanting to finally treat the root cause of their ailments, not just the symptoms. More and more people are acknowledging that isolating one system from the whole in and of itself is not logical. More people want to be proactive and prevent potential suffering and become inspired and empowered when it comes to their overall health and well-being.
SO what do I like to call natural healthcare ?
It is life affirming medicine. It is medicine that INSPIRES you to be better- not just physically but in all aspects of who you are...because you are with your entire self ALL the time (I will write another post on INSPIRED MEDICINE next time).
It starts with small steps. No matter where you are, you can make a choice to move towards health or away from it. Towards life or away from life. Each little choice we make adds up to behaviors that shape who we become and what we inevitably stand for.
A focus on prevention, treating the root cause, teaching the patient about how to live a good, healthy life, first do no harm, treating all aspects of a person, taking into account how the body works as a whole and supporting the body to heal itself innately: the essence of natural medicine.
And let us remember that in essence, we collectively have a lot to learn about healing. Illness still exists as an epidemic globally. Infection illnesses and genetic predispositions are one thing, but illnesses that stem from our own actions and lack of actions is another. Something is not right. Asking questions can open us up to what we did not know before, but perhaps what we need to know to live a good life with well-being.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the chance to learn- but this requires above all- an open mind. A wise mentor of mine said, `Always remember beginners mind. It will allow you to go far in life.`
And finally, let us remember that which allows us to be here, to breathe, to live and to discover more about who we are each day.
May triumph and inner peace prevail.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment below if you have some thoughts to share!
This week's question comes from a lady who deals with allergies seasonally, especially at springtime when all the stunning flowers are coming into bloom.
She asks me, "Dr. Alexina, what can I do for these allergies? I can't stop sneezing and I feel tired as soon as I am around certain kinds of pollen."
Well, there is the "take care of my symptoms answer" and then the "let's deal with the root of this issue" answer.
If you care about feeling better and staying feeling better, both answers would apply.
There are many remedies in natural medicine that have been shown to be effective for seasonal allergies. Some favorites include Quercetin which is a flavonoid found in many of mother nature's fruits, vegetables and grains. When you buy it as a supplement form, it is simply the processed and concentrated form of this flavonoid. In food, Quercetin is particularly high in capers, red raw organic onions and cilantro for example.
Stinging nettle leaf: (Urtica dioica)
According to the University of Maryland Medical center, stinging nettle has been shown to reduce sneezing and itching in those with hayfever. Researchers think that this could be due to the ability of stinging nettle to reduce the amount of histamine the body produce in an allergic reaction.
Pictured above is stinging nettle leaf.
Energize and Detox Smoothie
Today I decided to make a smoothie incorporating stinging nettle. It turned out pretty good!
1/4 cup raspberries, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp ashwaganda powder, 1 square organic ginger root, 1/2 tsp mucuna pruriens,1tbsp stinging nettle juice and voila! I would have added banana but I am out!
An overview of the ingredients:
Mucuna Pruriens: balances all three doshas (Ayurvedic medicine): pitta, kapha and vata which is rare amongst herbal adaptogens. It contains L-dopa which is a direct precursor to dopamine, a neurotransmitter which increases human growth hormone production from the pituitary gland. This can lead to increased energy, improved immunity, improved deep sleep and much more!
Turmeric: the benefits are vast... Medline, a database of research studies has documented over 1500 citations related to the use of curcumin which is the active ingredient in Turmeric. In ayurvedic medicine it has been used for 100s of years in the treatment of allergies as it is a natural leukotriene inhibitor, which is helpful for conditions such as asthma. The anti-inflammatory effect is remarkable as well which can calm down the aggravation of an allergic reaction.
An adaptogen that helps balance cortisol levels. Adaptogens will increase or decrease cortisol depending on what your body requires. Mother nature is very intelligent! Cortisol is important in helping you deal with stress and an allergy is essentially a stress in the body.
Immune Support: Do you get colds and the flu often? Do you take a over 10 days to get over it? Have your allergies just started or have they gotten progressively worse over the years?If so, you may need to strengthen yourself by not only addressing your immune system, but also your hormonal regulation systems. The adrenal glands come into play here understanding what your cortisol and DHEA levels are like can give valuable information about how to approach improving your long term hormonal and immune health.
You can treat your seasonal allergies in a number of ways. Some tools I like include:
Cleanses and detoxification techniques
Remember you have options with your health. Mother nature provides many solutions and sometimes you just need some perspective and a fresh new way of looking at things to inspire and motivate you to become better.
To find out more of what you can do to empower yourself in your health, book an appointment at 604-731-7789 or book online on my website.
I wish you ease and grace in your health,
Dr. Alexina Mehta
Here I am just about to be filmed for Passionpreneur television! It was a relaxed and fun interview where I was able to share how I got into Naturopathic medicine and why I love helping people become better!
Stay tuned and subscribe to this blog for updates as that video should be released in about a month :)