We’ve had requests to post previous newsletters so we’ll be posting all Dr Brom’s newsletters since mid 2017.
From the desk of Dr Brom
Welcome to our new-look newsletter. It coincides with our new website and, I’m delighted to say, the publication of my first book ‘Healthy Medicine’.
The book covers the principles and philosophy of natural medicine and provides you with the tools you need to firstly understand the role of natural medicine in your life and secondly to answer all those questions people ask when they hear that you use ‘lots’ of nutrients, and even choose nutrients over drugs.
I was reading, for example, a criticism of vitamin D in a website run by pharmacists and drug regulators. They were complaining about the overuse of vitamin D and the lack of good scientific studies. What they don’t seem to get is that vitamin D and all nutrients are essential for good physiological function.
They are not used like drugs to block physiological functions (beta blockers, antihistamines, serotonin uptake inhibitors, statins which block cholesterol production etc) but instead are used to support function. All physiological functions in the body require nutrients. It’s why we eat food to supply the body with nutrients.
Drugs do not support health but treat symptoms. Antibiotics kill bacteria and give the body space to do the healing, which requires nutrients.
Healing is not a drug function but requires nutritional supplements. Vitamin D like all vitamins and minerals and trace minerals and enzymes and fats, protein, carbohydrates etc are all needed to support healthy function. Nutrients are not medicines in the way drugs are called medicines, but supplements for health.
The battle between the ego and the soul never stops, until we can subdue the loud voice of the ego demanding its way. The ego is surrounded by boundaries that have been woven into the fabric of its walls, and it does forget that the walls are artificial creations that separate it from others. The walls of the ego are its beliefs, philosophy, and conditioning. These are all conditions of mind and bind us to the ego and its viewpoints. These are viewpoints and not reality, as the ego cannot see past its own boundaries.
The Soul is another voice that was there in the beginning and got covered by the ego boundaries. Once those boundaries disappear we discover another reality that is free of boundaries, that is open minded to the NOW rather than the past or future. Without boundaries there is freedom to meet people without prejudice and judgment.
We all need to decide which voice we want to listen to.
There is too often the idea that herbal teas are ‘just teas’ and don’t really have medicinal properties. This is untrue and I want to just discuss two herbal teas that are powerful in their actions and can be used with great benefit when used correctly.
The first is chamomile and the second is peppermint.
Chamomile’s value is largely due to three actions: it reduces inflammation, relieves spasm and counteracts flatulence so that its focus is acute stomach complaints, but also chronic gastritis.
The action is often rapid with pain reduction and everything settling down in the abdomen. It is a great remedy for stomach ulcers because of this anti-inflammatory action and can even be used to prevent ulceration of the mucous lining. It is best to take it between meals and at least 3 times per day.
Inhaling chamomile vapour (steaming) can also favorably influence conditions of the respiratory tract such as sinusitis and bronchial inflammation. In my early days of practice I remember often prescribing chamomile in this vapour form that I learnt from a well know naturopath.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile also make it useful in treating wounds that have not healed, such as chronic leg ulcers.
Dose: 2-3 teaspoons of the herb in a glass of boiled water. Allow to draw for 5-10 minutes or use 2 teabags per cup.
In an acute more serious condition 2-3 cups of chamomile tea can be taken every 20-30 minutes.
Chamomile is non-toxic and also a great remedy for children with colic and indigestion.
Peppermint is the other herb that is easily available and useful for home use.
The active principles of peppermint are a volatile oil, tannins and bitters. Its principle actions include a mild anaesthetizing effect on the mucous membrane of the stomach, so that it acts as an anti-emetic, ie counteracts nausea and vomiting. It promotes liver and gall-bladder function, releasing bile, and it has a mild disinfectant effect in addition to a spasmolytic action and carminative effect. This makes peppermint great for indigestion with cramps and winds.
Both chamomile and peppermint are true medicinal herbs. The fact that they are also taken as a normal ‘tea’ should not detract from their powerful medicinal properties.
Health cost vs chronic ill health
‘Two elements characterise medicine in the USA today: The cost of health continues to escalate, and the health of Americans continues to deteriorate. If the two trends continue to hold, a time can be foreseen when the nation’s total resources will have been committed to health care, and everyone will be unwell.’
The above quote is from Professor Ali, a pathologist turned integrative medical practitioner, teacher and author.
Butter versus margarine.
Just in case there are people out there still buying margarine in the mistaken belief that because it has the Heart Foundation logo on it it is healthy:
Before 1910, there was primary butterfat, beef tallow,and lard in our diets. By the early 1900s, soybeans were imported into the US to increase the protein content of the food. Soybean oil was a byproduct. The method of hydrogenating fat and turning liquid fat into a solid one was soon discovered, and with the shortage of butter an alternative was produced using hydrogenation and the soy oil. Very soon this substitute began to replace butterfat in cooking and baking. While there is some natural transfat in milk, the chemical composition of the transfat in margarine is different and its effects on the body is decidedly not healthy.
Transfats from hydrogenated foods like margarine change the composition of the arteries, while natural transfats do not. Keep in mind also that margarine is made from highly processed oils which are not healthy to begin with, and then they are processed even further to make the margarine. This is really no longer a food and should be seriously avoided by everyone.
Late Night Musing
Recently there was a world series on vaccines by Ty Bollinger, who was trying to find both sides of the debate. What will astonish everyone that listened is how split this story is, even among specialists. The vaccine debate is even scary to raise among friends if you don’t already know their stance. It seems almost impossible to change the other side’s viewpoint. While there are some specialists who may be adamantly against vaccines, the truth is that most of the professional anti-vaccine lobby is not actually against vaccines, but against the routine use of the massive amount of vaccines given to babies and children at an age that is not appropriate. Many vaccines are unnecessary; others should only be given at certain ages and not at the same time as a range of other vaccines. So perhaps one should really stop using the word ‘the anti-vaccine lobby’ but rather speak of people who want an appropriate use of vaccines. The choice may vary between specialists, but most are aware of the value of some vaccines but also very aware of the chance of mild to serious effects of vaccines.
It’s nonsensical to keep saying that vaccines are safe when the USA health department has already paid millions of dollars in compensation for vaccine damage. Acute damage may be rare and the benefits do need to be weighed up against the risk. That choice should be left to the parents, but in fact it is mandatory in many countries.