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The School of Modern Herbal Medicine
Health: The Best Investment
- Categorized in: General Health
This is page 1 of a three-part article.
Most of us spend a great deal of time and energy looking out for our financial well-being. We take out insurance policies to protect ourselves from accidents and unforeseen difficulties. We may save or invest for a “rainy day” or start a retirement account to provide for our old age. Unfortunately, many people fail to invest in their most important asset—their own health and well-being.
Money is a representation of value. That is, it is simply a medium of exchange that allows us to obtain things we value. We obtain it by creating ways of offering value to other people. In other words, as we find ways to make ourselves valuable to other people, they will gladly part with their money to obtain the things we offer them.
Acquired money, however, has little purpose in our lives unless we invest it in things that we value. I would propose to you that one of the most important investments you will ever make is in your own health. What good will it do to save and invest for retirement if you die of a heart attack at age 55? What good will it do to have a million dollar retirement account if you suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia at age 65?
Living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living better. Quality of life is more important than quantity of life, but investing in our health can improve both the quality and the quantity (length) of our lives.
Personal Family Experiences
My parents saw the value of investing in their health and were fortunate to enjoy a high quality of life well into their early 80s. They never had a lot of money, but they had enough to take care of their needs. What is important is that they both lived long lives that were active and productive.
My father worked hard as a painting contractor into his 70s and died just shy of his 84th birthday—two weeks after suffering a stroke. Up to the time of his stroke, he was both mentally and physically active. He walked an average of two miles a day and was still experiencing his full mental capacity. In fact, he was working on a book of poetry and photography when he passed away. You can read one of his poems on page seven.
Except for a short period where she was somewhat incapacitated from a stairway fall that damaged her knee, my mother was also physically active until she passed away at 82. She died of natural causes in her sleep (would that we could all be so blessed). She was able to live in her own home and take care of herself and never had to be confined to a nursing home or retirement center. She was also still in possession of her mental faculties. She loved to bake bread and had purchased a book of bread recipes and was learning how to bake new and interesting breads in the months before her passing.
As I look around me, I see that my parents were largely an exception to the norm in today’s society. One might partially attribute this health and longevity to genetics, but I think lifestyle was the primary reason for my parents’ good physical and mental health in their senior years.
I believe this because when I got involved full time in natural healing in the early 1980s, both of my parents were in their late 60s and were developing some serious health problems. My mother had suffered from anxiety and mood disorders since her early 20s. She was severely hypoglycemic and prone to dramatic mood swings. Around age 66, she had a severe attack of rheumatoid arthritis that crippled her arm. She was also hampered by varicose veins.
My father had problems with his ears due to serious ear and sinus infections in his youth. He had problems with high blood pressure and prostate swelling. In other words, my parents had some pretty typical problems we associate with aging. Fortunately, both of my parents were interested in my developing career as an herbalist and natural healer. So, instead of going the drug route, they listened to me and took the natural path.
When my mom experienced rheumatoid arthritis, I gave her a copy of Paavo Airola’s book, There is a Cure for Arthritis, which talked about using juice fasting to cure arthritis. She got a juicer and started making fresh fruit and vegetable juices. She started going to a chiropractor whose X-rays showed she was experiencing some arthritic problems in her spine, too, and both she and my father started getting regular chiropractic care.
On my recommendations, my mom also started taking Paavo Airola’s arthritis formula ART-A (now known as Joint Support) and HSN-W. Later, she took Devil’s Claw as a single herb. (This was before NSP added Devil’s Claw to Joint Support.) Using these and other natural methods, she was able to cure her arthritis and never took any drug medications for it.
Mega-Chel and Butcher’s Broom helped clear up my mom’s varicose veins. By getting her to change her diet and use licorice root, her blood sugar stabilized—as did her mood. Towards the end of her life, I started giving her Kava Kava for anxiety, and two of my cousins who were very close to my mom asked me what I was doing to make her so calm. They were amazed and encouraged me to stick with it.
My father also started using herbs and supplements on my recommendation. He took Mega-Chel and Capsicum, Garlic and Parsley for his high blood pressure. He reduced the dose of his high blood pressure medication (by himself) but continued to take small doses when he felt his blood pressure going up. He was taking 1/4 of a tablet, once in a while.
My dad’s cardiologist once remarked to him that he was the only one of his elderly patients whose high blood pressure medication was actually keeping his blood pressure in normal range. When my dad told him he was only taking 1/4 of the tablet occasionally and was relying primarily on herbs and supplements, the doctor encouraged him to continue because it was obviously working.
My dad also found PS II, a Stan Malstrom formula for prostate problems, helpful for his prostate swelling. I also had him take some blood purifiers to help his liver detox from the paint fumes he had been exposed to as a painting contractor.
By the way, three of my uncles were also painting contractors. Two developed neurological problems as they grew older. One had Parkinson’s disease. The one uncle (the only member of my dad’s family who is still alive) who did not develop these problems started drinking red clover tea decades ago to detoxify his liver. So, my dad and his brother who also took herbs were spared from developing nervous system damage from the chemical solvents in the paint.
In their late 70s and early 80s, both my mother and my father commented to me how grateful they were for learning about herbs and supplements. They noted that many of their elderly friends were on 10-15 prescription medications and not doing well because of it. Many of these friends had bigger bank accounts than my mom and dad but were less active and productive.
If you want advice on retirement accounts, investing in the stock market or insurance, don’t talk to me. I’m not qualified to guide you in such financial matters. However, I can recommend some great investments that you can start making at any age to improve your health and your quality of life. And, unlike other investments, you won’t have to wait years for these investments to pay off.
They’ll start paying you big dividends right away. Plus, their value will compound as you grow older, improving your odds of having a great retirement and a healthy and happy life in your senior years.
With that in mind, here are my recommendations for wisely investing your time, energy and money.