The healing power of nature or ‘VIS MEDICATRIX NATURAE’ is a philosophy that really sets naturopathic medicine apart from conventional medicine. Instead of just relying on prescription drugs as modern medicine does, naturopaths utilise what nature has provided. Whatever your belief is regarding our creation, it was done with the simultaneous creation of natural produce that has the power to nourish and heal every body. It is crazy that we continue to make synthetic food and medicine that our bodies were not designed to ingest.
The use of plants through diet is an important aspect of naturopathic healing. The saying ‘food as medicine’ translates to the natural goodness of plants being able to treat and heal disease. It is well known that many common diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease develop from a lifetime of poor food choices. If food can have such a detrimental impact on health, then it really just makes sense that is can be source of optimal health if the right choices are made. Food has the ability to treat nutrient deficiencies and in turn treat disease.
It has been well documented that plants have been used for centuries to treat disease. The unique phytochemical components of plants have the ability to target specific organs, systems, hormones and chemicals of the body to apply a natural alternative to modern medicines. Today many common prescription drugs have been derived from plants, with the active chemical component being synthetically produced. Take opioid drugs for pain management as an example. These drugs are based on the phytochemical component of a flower belonging to the well known poppy family. In naturopathic medicine these herbs can be safely prescribed to help with pain management while avoiding the addictive nature of their synthetically produced, modern alternative.
Not only does the healing power of nature refer to the use of plants as food and medicine, but reminds us of how getting out in nature can truly do us a world of good. Whether it be soaking up the warmth of the sun, walking on the grass in bare feet, or getting your hands into the earth, the impact that nature has on us is profound. Just missing your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun means you can be more susceptible to mental health conditions, weakened bones and muscles and a fragile immune system. Imagine a time you have spent in nature doing anything like going to the beach, bush walking or just sitting in a peaceful garden. I bet by the end of it you felt great. Energised. Motivated. Alive. The power of nature is not given enough credit, but it can truly be healing for the mind, body and spirit.