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The Way of Healing

That which restores health, promotes well-being, cures, alleviates––healing returns us to an earlier state free of hurt or harm. It’s almost as if healing reverses time. We turn back the clock to return to a place we once enjoyed of strength, vitality, and wellness.

To promote healing, one would think traditional remedies will be cast aside in favor of what modern medicine has to offer. But research from around the world continues to this day to examine the efficacy of natural remedies. To list only a few:

Coral. “We concluded that 11-dehydrosinulariolide ameliorated SCI[spinal cord injury]-induced motor dysfunction. Hence, the soft coral-derived compound 11-dehydrosinulariolide to be identified as a potential candidate for future development as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of neuronal injury.”[1]

Plants, fungi, and bacteria. “Recent studies demonstrated that natural compounds derived from plants, fungi, and bacteria, including mustard seed, Antrodia cinnamomea extract, curcumin, resveratrol, thiostrepton, azithromycin, and andrographolide, inhibited psoriasis-like inflammation induced by the TLR7 agonist imiquimod in animal models…”[2]

Artichoke. “Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) was one of the plant remedies for primary health care… ALE [artichoke leaves extracts] displayed high potential as natural source of minerals and phytochemicals compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties…”[3]

Turmeric/curcumin. “Turmeric/curcumin is currently being investigated for its possible benefits in Alzheimer’s, cancer, osteoarthritis and pancreatitis…”[4]

A compound derived from soft coral may be beneficial in patients with spinal cord injury, mustard seed may come to have a role for patients with psoriasis, artichoke extract may have anti-inflammatory properties, and turmeric may one day help patients with cancer––none of these are curative, but their efficacy tells us something about how the world works.

The reason scientists have not given up on natural remedies is because they recognize the body most readily accepts that from which it is derived. It’s probably a good rule of thumb in most contexts not to work against the laws of nature. These laws control; they shape the world silently, invisibly.

The Way of Healing is best viewed as both a natural and unnatural process. Natural because healing is reflexive, involuntary; unnatural because at times healing is assisted with compounds the body cannot itself produce. Seen in this light, natural remedies are just another means of restoring balance.

“Various chronic diseases are kept under control by homeostatic compensation, which masks a problem by compensating for it (making up for it) in another way. However, the compensating mechanisms eventually wear out or are disrupted by a new complicating factor (such as the advent of a concurrent acute viral infection), which sends the body reeling through a new cascade of events. Such decompensation unmasks the underlying disease, worsening its symptoms…”[5]

To some extent, this notion of masking/unmasking explains the human body––as well as human psychology (and perhaps other areas as well). Natural remedies have one thing in common: they work in combination, synergistically. That’s perhaps their secret. Only when introduced into something living do their healing properties emerge.

The Way of Healing pertains to more than just physical health––it actually applies to other areas as well. Perhaps the best way of restoring one’s health––whether physical, mental, or spiritual––is simply to ask: what’s in a state of imbalance? That question, truthfully asked, opens many doors––and it’s through those doors where perfect health awaits our return.

[1] Chun-Hong ChenNan-Fu ChenChien-Wei FengShu-Yu ChengHan-Chun Hung, Kuan-Hao TsuiChi-Hsin Hsu, Ping-Jyun SungWu-Fu ChenZhi-Hong Wen, A Coral-Derived Compound Improves Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury through its Antiapoptotic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects, Mar Drug, 2016 Sept; 14(9): 160.  10.3390/md14090160

[2] Chao-Yang Lai, Yu-Wen Su, Kuo-I Lin, Li-Chung Hsu, Tsung-Hsien Chuang, Natural Modulators of Endosomal Toll-Like Receptor-Mediated Psoriatic Skin Inflammation, J Immunol Res. 2017; 7807313: 10.1155/2017/7807313

[3] Maryem Ben Salem, Hanen AffesKhaled AthmouniKamilia KsoudaRaouia Dhouibi Zouheir SahnounSerria HammamiKhaled Mounir Zeghal, Chemicals Compositions, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cynara scolymus Leaves Extracts, and Analysis of Major Bioactive Polyphenols by HPLC, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017 Article 4951937 : https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4951937

[4] Parviz Khajehdehi, Turmeric: Reemerging of a neglected Asian traditional remedy, J Nephropathol. 2012 Apr 1(1): 17-22 : 10.5812/jnp.5

[5] Homeostasis, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeostasis