For the record I’m in the market for a new doctor and I know it will take a little time to find a good match. Seriously, I’m looking for the equivalent of the village wise man or woman who also happens to have a medical degree.
This is relevant to this entry because I’ve been doing a little research on the old world wide web on the relationship between certain foods and blood pressure. Turns out celery, carrots, bell peppers and apples are tops on the list of good things to munch on. Of course most of the sites advise you to check with your doctor first. Based on the few times I’ve brought the subject up my current medico would only recognize an herb if you cooked with it. And forget anything about foods you should eat or avoid. I got the standard little sheet based on a diabetic exchange diet and the offer of an appointment with a nutritionist.
I don’t know if any of you who also have weight problems have noticed this. I get the impression that the folks around you mentally knock about five points off your IQ for every 20 pounds or so that you’re overweight. Excuse me doc, I have written a research paper or ten in my life. I know about checking my sources and having at least two sources who agree. I don’t automatically go, “gee, this sounds great, let’s go with it.” It’s more like “this sounds possible, who else says the same thing.” Then and only then will I consider it. And after thinking it over for a week or two. And this from a doctor who couldn’t tell me thing one about the side effects of the drugs she was prescribing. And yes, I did read up on the side effects of the herbs I’m taking too. The goal is to get to the point where I take the minimum amount of anything to keep me reasonable healthy.
At least with the web you have access to research done outside the US. Many medical schools overseas areexploring the medical uses of plants and herbs used by their native practitioners to see if they’re useful. And guess what? The old boys and girls knew what they were talking about at least part of the time. You can read about the information and at least attempt to verify it.
And perhaps that's part of our problems in the US. The family fragmentation started by the pioneer era, continued in the post war corporate move where we transfer you, move the seniors to enclaves in the south west and Florida ensures generational amnesia.
Much of the herbal knowledge of western Europe was lost or fragmented during the witch scares and religious wars. And what wasn't lost is ignored by the philosophical split that puts heaven up there and the natural world down here. Salvation is found in the laboratory not the natural world. We're taking baby steps in treating our bodies as self contained, inter dependent systems rather than bags of bones and organs surrounded by skin.
While we’re getting the song and dance about the patient being more responsible for their care I really get the feeling that we’re not supposed to stray too far from the well travelled path. Being more responsible seems to translate as “buy into the advertising and ask your doctor for this drug.”
At least none of the herbs have the notation that basically says “don’t even think about becoming pregnant while you’re taking this.”
So, done venting, for now.