YOUR HEALTH

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - with BELINDA & SO­PHIE

ECHINACEA, vi­ta­min C, pro­bi­otics: these are the pop­u­lar ‘kids on the block’ sup­ple­ments when it comes to in­fec­tions. Most of you will have them in your medicine cup­board, next to the ibupro­fen, even if you ‘don’t be­lieve in natur­opa­thy’. While natur­opaths have al­ways used herbs, food and nu­tri­ents to pre­vent or treat acute in­fec­tions, I think the place natur­opa­thy re­ally shines is in post-vi­ral symp­toms. These are the symp­toms that linger af­ter the in­fec­tion has been said to be re­solved and keep you feel­ing ‘just a bit off’ to ‘quite un­well’, de­spite there be­ing no med­i­cal rea­son. The cough you still have a month af­ter that cold, the low en­ergy re­serve three years af­ter glan­du­lar fever was di­ag­nosed, the re­cur­rent thrush or IBS you de­vel­oped af­ter that par­a­site you picked up in Asia (stool sam­ple all clear by the way!), the tin­ni­tus you de­vel­oped af­ter your last ear in­fec­tion... Herbs and the natur­o­pathic par­a­digm are out­stand­ing when it comes to con­va­les­cence and im­ple­ment­ing a com­plete re­cov­ery in a de­pleted sys­tem. Our sup­ple­ments are of­ten aimed at sup­port­ing the or­gan or sys­tem that is fault­ing, rather than just killing off the in­fect­ing or­gan­ism. This is why I al­ways say that natur­opa­thy and med­i­cal man­age­ment can be used in con­junc­tion with each other. Let’s use the ex­am­ple of a stub­born si­nus in­fec­tion. An­tibi­otics might kill the bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, but 3 weeks later you still have fa­tigue, si­nus pain and mu­cous. A natur­opath will use ‘al­ter­ative’ herbs to drain and detox the glands, ‘trophorestora­tives and as­trin­gents’ to tone the in­flamed mu­cous mem­branes, diet to re­duce the in­flam­ma­tory load and mu­cous pro­duc­tion, and pro­bi­otics and im­mune adap­to­gens to im­prove the re­sis­tance to an­other in­fec­tion. So, it is not just about killing off an in­fec­tion, but about mak­ing the whole en­vi­ron­ment stronger and less sus­cep­ti­ble to re­cur­rent in­fec­tion. Hav­ing said that, the re­sponse of herbal medicine in ac­tive in­fec­tion, es­pe­cially in chil­dren, can be pow­er­ful. Con­junc­tivi­tis, vul­vini­tis, oti­tis, glan­du­lar fever, si­nusi­tis, laryn­gi­tis, coughs, ton­sil­li­tis, and UTIs can all re­spond well to natur­o­pathic care when a trained prac­ti­tioner is in­volved.

◆ NOT 100 PER CENT: Natur­o­pathic medicine can help on your way to feel­ing your best again af­ter bat­tling an in­fec­tion.

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