I have been a big believer of natural remedies for years, and rarely use any medicine. My trust in Western medicine significantly went down with my pulmonary embolism scare a few years ago. When I got 13 blood clots because of medicine I was taking, and my children were very close to losing their mother, I started paying even more attention what kind of medicine we are taking. Luckily our family has been pretty healthy over the years, and I think our healthy eating habits help us stay healthy too. However, a family member got sick last year, and I just recently turned 40 years old. I started realizing that now it is the time to do more for our health and general well-being, and pay even more attention how we can live even healthier lifestyle.
I grew up in Finland, and while I never thought we were a different kind of family when growing up, but after living in the USA and having an American husband, I have realized how “crunchy” my own family is. When I as a kid was playing in the yard and fell down, my grandmother would pick a plant leaf to stop the bleeding in my knee. It was normal that when we were sick, we would drink a certain type of berry juice for each illness. Many of the berries, fruits and vegetables we grew in our own garden. We also reused or recycled everything, and had our own composter. My mother owns and operates a flea market where other people’s trash turns into treasure for others, and my sister started a company making disposable diapers for babies among other items years ago. I guess we are all a bunch of treehuggers.
I’m getting older (and so are you), and I want some more “remedies” on daily basis and I want to be more open also what happens in our home, and how we live life to the fullest each day. I joined Young Living essential oil company as a wholesale distributor, and I think right on time.
Eastern Medicine, and using herbs and essential oils for better living is not a fad
I really feel like healthier living, and the need for more sustainable and holistic solutions are what many other people crave at this time and age as well, also in America. Sadly it has been in such news topic lately, that many see it as a fad. Many companies also use our need for better well-being in their misleading marketing. (For example I recently wrote about Argan oil from Morocco – Argan oil is now used in so many cheap beauty products as an ingredient and many of them also have chemicals, fragrances and coloring that all the good what Argan oil is doing in the product is shadowed by the harmful ingredients.)
For centuries people in Asia, Africa and also in Europe have found relief through herbal medicines derived from shrubs, vines, trees and other plants, and I have traveled in so many places to see how these remedies are still used to the day. However, none of the health statements or remedies have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and in reality none of them really can be called “medicinal” in the USA and legally it is not allowed to claim that natural remedies could prevent or cure any disease.
The World Health Organization estimates 65 – 80 percent of the world population use holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care. (Source). I have been trying to find an accurate figure how many people globally don’t have an access to Western Medicine, and have seen estimates anywhere between 50-75% of the population in the world. Globally many people who have an access to Western Medicine, still choose more natural ways of healing and use herbal products instead. For example, as many as 60 percent of those living in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom consume homeopathic or herbal products. Only 1 to 2 percent of Americans use homeopathy, but 10 percent of adults use herbal medicines, 8 percent visit chiropractors, and 1 to 2 percent undergo acupuncture every year (Source: Ni, Simile, and Hardy 2002).
While living in Sweden, Finland and Germany, it was normal to me that even the Western Medicine practitioners used herbal remedies, and many of the over-the-counter and even prescription medicine we used in those countries included herbal elements or were completely natural products. When our daughter Gabriella was born in Germany, I was only using essential oils as pain medication when I was in labor with her. Very normal in a typical hospital practicing Western medicine in Germany. (But let’s just say that 13 months later, when our son Kristian was born in the USA, I was happy to take epidural when offered. I still believe in Western medicine as well, I don’t think believing in one means you can’t believe or use the other.)
Herbal medicine is still in the very beginning in the USA, and not considered as part of Western medicine.
I can see many reasons why not. The lack of legal control and standards is one of them. When you go to any store, you will see aromatherapy products, natural remedies and natural essential oils are used in majority of cosmetics and hair care products these days. The problem with many of these products is that while they might have some essential natural oil in them, they also come packed with chemicals, and the essential oils used in the products might not be as high quality as they could be. The herbal medicine is just what it sounds like – a type of medicine, and while anyone can start using essential oils in their everyday life immediately, it takes years of practice to practice herbal/Eastern medicine even in the countries where it is legal.
Nevertheless, essential oils and herbal products have gone mainstream in the USA, and even more doctors are starting to see some benefit of using them. Also companies like Young Living experienced an enormous growth in 2014, and more and more people are realizing the difference in the products available to us, and the benefits of good quality herbal remedies and essential oils. Nobody should use essential oils to treat a health problem without consulting a doctor, but I am excited to have essential oils as part of my lifestyle.