Being sick is never fun. Period. I've been sick for the past couple of days, presumably with a virus. Everyone knows there is virtually nothing one can do to ease a virus. You just have to ride out the symptoms for the next couple of days to a week. I've still been working during this time and I think I'm just about near the end of this. So to help ease my suffering I've been drinking orange juice like it's going out of style, rubbing down with eucalyptus oil, and throwing back Robitussin like it's little cherry flavored shots.
So imagine my surprise when I'm speaking to a fellow Witch about the medication I'm taking and she scolds me for not using herbs in place of my Robitussin because apparently modern medicine is not as efficient and is more dangerous than drinking herbal tea and tinctures. I felt like I needed to clear up some misconceptions out there about herbal remedies vs. modern medicine and I think the best way to get this out there is by writing it in Q & A form. Just so everyone knows, I am in no way a physician. I'm a veterinary technician with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science and Chemistry and just so happens to be a Witch.
You're a Witch! How come you don't heal yourself with your energy and through using what Mother Earth has given you?
First off, deciding to use modern medicine to help you with the cold, the flu, strep throat, etc doesn't mean you're any more or less of a Witch. I'm sure if I summoned a 17th century Witch to modern times they would think taking one pill to cure a migraine in half an hour would be a gift from the Goddess herself or even *gasp* MAGICK. With that being said, I'm not saying using an herbal remedy wouldn't work. I'm just saying that herbal remedies are not as fasting acting as modern medicine from my experience. A lot of herbal tea remedies say you need to drink 4 to 5 cups over a period of 3 to 4 days and that's from a remedy just to help with menstrual cramps, not something like the flu!
Modern medicine takes those chemical compounds found in plants, isolates them, and puts it into some kind of oral form like a pill. So you're not getting all the vitamins and minerals from the herbs along with the other inactive/active ingredients. You are getting that one isolated compound that soothes the symptoms you have and you're also getting it in larger doses to where you can feel it working very soon.
As for using your energy to heal yourself, it does help to balance your energies to try and prevent illness. However, relying solely on energy to heal an illness is the same thing as Christians relying on prayer. So if you don't believe prayer can heal the flu or cancer then you're probably like me and highly doubt relying solely on your energy can heal you too.
Isn't modern medicine more dangerous than herbs and oils?
Not necessarily. Herbs aren't regulated by the FDA and therefore do not come with warning labels attached to them like modern medicine does. However, there are some herbs out there that can cause harm just like modern medicines. Some herbs cause dermatitis when in contact with the skin, abortions, vomiting, hormone/glucose peaks and valleys, allergic reactions, etc. Not to mention it can be very easy to confuse poisonous plants with non-poisonous ones. With oils, there is always a chance it could cause an allergic reaction or dermatitis. Usually there will be a label on your oils warning for dermatitis if you buy them from a store.
I want to strengthen my immune system. I feel like modern medicine suppresses it so wouldn't herbs help make it stronger?
A lot of people think this way and I'm partial to the idea as well. That's why if I have minor illnesses like a headache, a sore throat, or a rash I'll most likely use an herbal remedy or nothing at all and see if I can get better on my own. However, if I have a fever of any sort, I equate that to needing to bring out the big guns and will use something like Robitussin or even see a doctor. If you are really ill, please see a doctor and get something to help you get better. Illnesses such as strep throat can get increasingly worse without that penicillin shot and unless you're cultivating the mold for it in your backyard you will be miserable suffering through it and it can potentially be life threatening.
Remember that Witch I was talking about that sparked this conversation? She was using herbal teas and eucalyptus oil for an upper respiratory infection to "strengthen her immune system" and ended up with pneumonia. Please, don't let it get that far.
I don't feel like a Witch when I'm not using herbs for healing. Do you ever feel that way?
I love my herbal teas. I look at them as a way to strengthen my immune system and communicate with my spirituality. I'm not saying you can't use herbs when you're sick. I use herbs and oils all the time but you do need to be careful when mixing these with modern medicine. Too much of those compounds can lead to complications and that's why there is a warning on the label of modern medicine saying to consult a physician if using an herbal supplement. Seriously. Read the labels!
Do you think people who refuse to use modern medicine are dumb?
Absolutely not. Ultimately, the choice is ours to use it or not to use it. It's just my personal opinion and preference to use it because I hate being sick and want to recover as quickly as possible because I feel like my energy just sucks when I'm feeling shitty. Like, I don't even want to write in my beautiful Grimoire when I'm feeling sick and that just doesn't fly with me. Whatever floats your boat. If you can get through a bout of the flu without a Z Pack, more power to you!