The Compass, August 2022
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As a young girl, I watched my mother use herbs to heal everything from sore throats to cancer. I assisted her as she made poultices for ulcers, to help heal broken bones and sprained joints and many other ailments. A master herbalist and a woman knowledgeable in pioneer ways, my mother tried to instill in me the importance of knowing how to heal naturally, listening, and watching the rhythm of the body. Unfortunately, for a time, I left my mother’s ways behind, thinking herbs were old-fashioned and too slow. I would be a “modern” mother and did the “good mother” thing—I took my children to the doctor for regular checkups and diligently followed the protocols recommended by the pediatrician. It wasn’t long before my children came down with illnesses that the doctors couldn’t answer. My children seemed to always be sick, and with the doctors’ inability to help me, I was desperate. I turned back to my roots—remembering my mother’s naturopathic ways. I began learning about and administering herbs to my family, and—a few children later—became a certified family herbalist and began studying under an essential oil master. I blended my mother’s foundational teachings with my new knowledge of herbs, essential oils, and nutrition to bring health and healing to my own family and to my friends. These things are now a regular part of our family’s everyday life. My mom was right, and I have used herbs and oils and other amazing natural remedies to help with a variety of health problems for the past 25 years with incredible success.
About 15 years ago, my husband got involved with a revolutionary new science project that shed light and knowledge on many subjects. Initially focused on the science behind the worldwide Flood—Noah’s Flood—the Universal Model explained that one of the threads connecting nearly everything was microbes. These tiny, invisible-except-under-a-microscope, living entities affected the color of the rocks, the origin of oil, and countless other aspects of the natural world, including our own internal microbiome. As I set out to understand more about how microbes influence us, I learned that the human microbiome consists of tens of trillions of bacteria of many different types. These reside in colonies from our mouths, throat, stomach, intestines, and rectums. This bacterium, or the lack thereof, is the cause of most of our society’s health problems, including obesity, physical and mental ailments, allergies, and almost everything else. The food most people eat today alters or destroys the natural gut bacteria, leaving us susceptible to all sorts of diseases and autoimmune disorders. Simply changing what we eat to include natural foods, like fruits and vegetables, and avoiding processed foods can reduce inflammation, strengthen our immune systems, and provide much-needed natural energy.
The first step is knowledge. For example, the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration), CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) claim that red 40 (coloring), Palm oil, soy, monosodium glutamate and High fructose corn syrup, and other preservatives are safe in small quantities . However, there is mounting evidence that these substances are responsible for serious adverse effects on our health and our children’s health. As consumption of unnatural substances such as these increases, so does anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems in our children. In fact, those rates are increasing as much as 24% in recent months . Thankfully, the CDC and WHO websites at least mention diet as part of the routine for dealing with these issues, but the focus of the medical community is still largely centered on medication as the solution. If you or your children are suffering from anxiety or depression, prayerfully seek the appropriate counsel, but also look at ways of improving your diet. Even simple steps, like eliminating artificial food colorings or sugar, can have a remarkable effect.
I had an adolescent son who began eating “Takis” almost every day at high school. These were a type of corn chip chemically flavored to produce a spicy-sweet explosion of taste. It wasn’t long before he experienced serious stomach pain and then open sores appeared on his bottom. I didn’t know he had been eating these snacks when I began trying to ease his discomfort. Nothing seemed to work, and I became alarmed by the appearance of the sores on his bum. I still knew nothing about his “Takis” diet . Because nothing natural was working, I took him to a specialist who diagnosed him with Crohn’s Disease, an incurable autoimmune disease. He was offered only two choices: take immune depressants for the rest of his life or commit to a lifetime diet of Ensure, an artificial nutritional supplement. Because he didn’t have any immunizations (our family had stopped years earlier), he chose to start the Ensure diet. After reading the ingredients, I knew there would be no healing, and I immediately realized the Doctors weren’t attempting to heal Crohn’s because they can’t—they were simply trying to help him live with Crohn’s for the rest of his life! This was a microbiome problem, and the discomfort my son suffered helped him to be willing to learn. We began our journey together, scouring Doctor Christopher’s School of Natural Healing book for remedies dealing with the stomach and the immune system. We came up with 18 herbs that would benefit the gut and the immune system and began the process of resetting his microbiome. He drank this herbal tea daily. Slowly, we introduced vegetables and fruits, until he was eventually back on track, living a normal life with no evidence of Crohn’s. Now he only needs to drink the tea occasionally if he feels any discomfort.
At first, changing the diet my family was eating to a healthy, fresh-food-based regimen with an emphasis on plants was not easy, especially in our fast-paced world. However, I learned that it can be much simpler than we think. God is so good to us. He has given us an abundance of plants and vegetables to keep life interesting while working on being strong and healthy. There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world, yet fewer than 20 species provide 90% of our food today. There are hundreds of lesser-known plants from all around the world that are both delicious and nutritious. With such an abundance of plants, why do we continue to eat fake food? Why ingest petroleum-based products and preservatives, or mind-altering food like MSG? The first step comes back to knowledge—and we can get some of that by simply reading the labels on the food we buy. Look at the hydrogenated oils that your family is consuming. Learn what type and how much sugar are you eating. Is it High Fructose Corn Syrup, a highly processed sweetener that metabolizes in the liver to form sucrose? The body can use a little of this for energy, but a greater amount of it is stored in the liver. Too much increases liver stress and can make the liver fatty and less able to filter other substances. HFCS can also contribute to a host of other health issues. We’ll talk more about the steps to create a healthy plan in future articles. In the meantime, begin by making a list of the preservatives and the sugars you and your family are consuming.
Essential Oil Highlight:
This issue’s essential oil highlight is Frankincense. This is an ancient oil with a long tradition in the Middle East, Africa, and India. For thousands of years, Frankincense has provided the essence of rich perfumes, but it is a powerful medicinal as well. Derived from the resin of Boswellia trees, the oil is generally a product of steam distillation of the hardened gum resin. One of the most amazing anti-inflammatory substances, Frankincense oil, can be rubbed on the head for headaches or exhaustion, it can be used in the mouth for toothaches, and it is good for joint pain and swelling. It can help with asthma and can heal scars and help them disappear. Many people have used this oil to fend off encroaching cancer and have experienced success in dealing with certain cancers such as skin cancer. I especially appreciate its calming effects on the nervous system. You can use Frankincense daily, and if you chose to do so, I think it will change your life! It sure did mine. When you search for your own oil, be sure to get pure oil from a reputable dealer. And if you chose to use Frankincense orally, always be sure to use oils certified for ingestion.
Sometimes herbs are passed over as being mere weeds, and their real value is completely missed. Many times, these overlooked plants ought to be found in our salads, on our plates as healthy greens, or garnishing our food as flowers baked into breads! This featured herb goes even further because you can chop up its roots and make a hot, coffee-like drink or steep it in tea. What is this amazing herb? The dandelion! This ubiquitous spring and summer flower can be eaten from flower to root, with each part playing a specific symbiotic harmony with our own microbiome. These plants are highly nutritious and loaded with vitamin A, C, K, E, folate, and a small amount of vitamin B. They are a strong antioxidant, and they fight inflammation. The dandelion can help clean and strengthen the liver, contributes to healthy digestion, has anti-cancer properties, and helps lower blood pressure. Next time you see a dandelion, don’t grab the weed killer. Instead, eat it! If you do decide to go harvest your own wild dandelions, be sure to gather where the dandelions have not been sprayed with chemicals and avoid gathering those growing close to the road. Use the leaves (best gathered when they are not too large) in salads, as greens on a sandwich, or in an omelet. The flowers can be plucked off (before going to seed) and added to your bread. The root can be dried, roasted, and ground into a powder for use as a hot drink. All these parts can also be used for tinctures, and for other medicinal purposes. There are so many uses for this plant, it’s no wonder they grow so plentifully!
I invite you to add Frankincense into your daily life and dandelions to your dinner table as a step toward a healthier lifestyle. And start reading labels when you buy your food!
Most of all, Live Well and Live Happy!