Maintaining good health has and will be a topic of discussion for the ages. Throughout the ages there have been plagues, disease, mutations and other impacts on our health. The Black Plague during the Dark Ages wiped out most of Europe and epidemics such as smallpox and measles also lowered the population considerably. The good news we have been able to bounce back through modern medicine and new medicinal practices that have significantly extended our lives. The issue now is we may have become victim of our own success. Vaccines now eradicates chances of disease at earlier and earlier stages in our lives.
The question now becomes if we are living longer lives, then why are humans still getting sick. Recently, there was a panic about the flu vaccine and people were still getting the flu even with the proper vaccine. If you remember a few months ago there was a huge nationwide panic about Ebola and now the conversation is about the anti-vaxxers and not getting their kids vaccinated, because of the undetermined threat of autism. What is an issue for me is that we have gotten away from ancient traditional medicine and depend solely on pills and injections.
This might sound gross, but some argue that worms were one of the biggest defenders against disease and strengthening the immune system. Since they have been taken out of our gastrointestinal tracts there has been a rise in immunological diseases. I know that’s far-fetched, but people like Joel Weinstock, Chief of Gastroenterology at Tufts University Medical Center in Massachusetts argues that our vaccines have become too effective and the lack of interaction with antigens could be a reason in why our bodies do not fight off disease as we used to.
There have been mixed reviews on natural medicine from cinnamon to help with blood sugar control, cranberry juice for UTI’s, dairy products like yogurt for diarrhea and other natural remedies that have existed before modern medicine. We as a culture have gotten away from these common practices, partly because of the skepticism around using natural and herbal meds. What we have to keep in mind is that these cures and countermeasures have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years and only until a couple hundred years ago we have been relying on vaccines, pills and treatments. There, needs to be a balanced approach using modern, traditional and even placebo treatments, where the patients own body can help cure themselves.