California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Herbal Medicine Can Heal And Save Lives

    During high school I used to see a doctor when something went wrong, or when I got really sick. The doctor would prescribe me medications and the issue would seem to go away for a while.

    One doctor put me on a medication and I woke up one morning to what looked like bruises on my back and discoloration in my eyes. Then, I started waking up to broken capillaries underneath my skin. It literally looked as if someone had repeatedly beat me on my legs, arms and back.

    When I showed the doctor how my blood vessels were literally popping underneath my skin, her face said it all. She frantically called over a nurse and had me take multiple blood tests that same day and took me off the medications.

    That was the last time, four years ago, that I have seen a doctor to prescribe me pharmaceutical drugs. This led me to make the best decision I have ever made: undergo the transition to holistic medicine.

    According to the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, holistic medicine is โ€œthe art and science of healing that addresses the whole person โ€“ body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health.โ€

    Seeing an herbalist and taking natural herbs to counteract any symptoms has benefited me way more than seeing a doctor ever had. My herbalist immediately noticed the discoloration in my eyes and sat with me for almost an hour going over what side effects had occurred from the prescription drugs. I came to find out that I was extremely anemic, so my body was unable to handle such a strong dosage of man-made drugs. This whole experience could have been easily avoided if the doctor had sat with me and talked to me rather than just prescribing me a drug.

    โ€œI would never say that pharmaceuticals are the enemies but I think that they are a cop out. I think it is very easy for us to pop pills because we want something right away, but our bodies need progress. We need patience with our bodies and thatโ€™s what holistic health does,โ€ said Sara Omanovic, certified herbalist and owner of Emaโ€™s Herbs in downtown Ventura.

    Omanovic said it isnโ€™t that doctors are the โ€œbad guy,โ€ they just donโ€™t have time to sit and talk to you about what is happening to your body internally.

    Doctors are just prescribing drugs without having enough information. Using prescription drugs for every infection you have also makes it difficult for your body to fight off any bacteria. Herbs and vitamins help build up your immune system so your body can naturally fight off toxins.

    In the article arguing against herbal medicine, โ€œModern Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine: Different Levels of Evidence,โ€ Steven Salzberg, a biology researcher at the University of Maryland at College Park, argues that modern medicines [pharmaceuticals] are proven to work whereas herbal medicines have no scientific research..

    Brandy Fall, a physician assistant at California Lutheran University, added on to that theory and said, โ€œMany infections need to be correctly treated with antibiotics. Like urinary tract infections, some believe cranberry juice and tablets can get rid of an infection, but there has been plenty of research showing that to be false. If a UTI is left untreated it can cause a kidney or blood infection, which could be fatal.โ€

    Man-made drugs may get rid of symptoms quickly but only using pharmaceuticals does not help oneโ€™s body in the long run. Not only is it hurting your body by not ever allowing the immune system to naturally fight for itself, but there are a lot of side effects as well.

    According to the Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine Healing Center, pharmaceutical drugs may bandage one problem but they damage the kidney and liver which are the organs that eliminate waste.

    Thatโ€™s happened to me. The drugs prescribed to me helped my one problem, but made my other organs start to fail. The discoloration of my eyes was because my liver wasnโ€™t relieving my body of toxins.

    Omanovic said herbs have side effects as well but only when taken at high dosages.

    โ€œNature doesnโ€™t make things that are so highly concentrated as medications that humans make, so you are more prone to have such extreme side effects because our body doesnโ€™t know how to break those drugs down properly,โ€ Omanovic said.

    Being opposed to pharmaceuticals altogether is wrong, but it is important for our bodies to first be naturally fueled by the earth. Going to the doctor and popping a few pills can harm our bodies even more in the long run. Itโ€™s best to explore natural options because after all, they can be more potent and less destructive.

    Herbal medicine helped me much more efficiently without the threat of serious side effects. That is powerful.

    Maryssa Rillo
    Staff Writer