March brings the promise of spring. With this season approaching, you can start thinking about spring cleaning, which can be more than what you do for your house. You can also offer your body a spring cleaning with a detoxification regime. Take advantage of this month’s second floor table display near the reference desk at the Columbia Public Library for information on this topic. We’ll be featuring books on nutrition, including detoxification diets, herbal and home remedies. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor if you are considering using any of these alternative modalities.
There are many things you can do yourself at home to bolster your health, treat illness and prevent disease. Good health is the result of many factors, but an essential contributing one is diet. You can think about “food as medicine,” that what you eat is very important in creating and maintaining vibrant well-being. Since each of us has different dietary needs and preferences, there is no “one size fits all diet” for everyone. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options to investigate if you want to use food as a first line of defense in preventing illness. Paul Pitchford’s book “Healing with Whole Foods“ looks particularly interesting. His approach synthesizes Asian healing traditions with modern nutrition to offer treatment for disease.
An herbal or home remedy can be a useful first response when treating common maladies. I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it here; my all-time favorite “cure” collected along my since-teen-hood herbal medicine path is garlic and onion broth* to help clear colds and sinus infections. My mother spent some time researching her line of the family tree and let me know that Dr. A. Q. Simmons – my great, great, great, great, great grandfather of Georgia – developed “Dr. A. Q. Simmons Vegetable Liver Medicine” back in 1840. This medicine was later patented by Simmon’s grandson, Miles Thedford, and sold as Thedford’s Black Draught. The main active herbal ingredient in this dark, syrupy elixir was senna, a powerful laxative, and so says my mother, “it will set you free.”
So it seems my interest in herbs as medicine goes back even farther; I’m channeling Dr. Simmons – he lives through me in the 21st century! Wishing you vibrant health and speedy recoveries from whatever may ail you.
*The Garlic & Onion Broth Cure (for colds and sinus infections):
Gently simmer in a covered pot, one half of a thickly sliced onion with 3 cloves of garlic in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Drink all of it over the course of the day. Repeat daily for as long as you have symptoms.