Pollution is a problem. Foods contain pesticides. GMOs are everywhere. Formaldehyde is coated on our clothing and flame retardants infuse our mattresses. And then there’s radiation reaching us from the other side of the globe. We’re doomed, right?
Yet consider a different take on pollution, one that may be much more important than the randomly emitted sort. It actually might be the most vicious, as its overuse has become the number one killer in the U.S. today. Remarkably, we willingly accept this kind of pollution. In fact, the public has been convinced to respect it enough to pay for it! And it’s brazenly sitting right there in your medicine cabinet.
What is it? By now you must have guessed: I am speaking of prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs. Pharmaceuticals. These drugs are euphemistically called medicine instead of what they often are: pollution of a most personal nature.
Allow me to demonstrate the devastation that occurs in the wake of having taken, in many cases, only a round or two of one of these pollutants.
Meet Dolly. She is a plucky ingénue attending an Ivy League university where she pursues her major in piano performance. She has lived her sparkling nineteen years with nary a thought towards health. She eats organic fare at the school’s upscale cafeteria, enjoys full-fat, organic yogurt, and wouldn’t dream of consuming a Big Mac, yet her skin has become an issue of late. Each month she is visited by blemishes. And since she performs regularly on stage, she wishes to have flawless skin. So she takes a trip to the infirmary on campus to get an expert’s opinion. We already know what the doctor will say, but because of her age, Dolly is unsuspecting. She leaves the clinic with two predictable prescriptions: one for an antibiotic and the other for birth control pills. Her “acne,” that was in reality little more than a monthly show of pimples on her cheeks, disappears within days after commencing the drugs. All is well, right? But then, wham!
Perhaps a month or two later, Dolly begins to feel not so well. Her belly aches after eating, constipation sets in, and she begins to notice a creeping sadness that soon settles into depression. Small matters that never troubled her before become dismal and heavy. She also finds that certain foods cause embarrassing gas, one of which is her beloved yogurt. Dolly has developed chronic illness. And these sufferings may not dwindle over time, regardless of how soon she stops taking the drugs. If their effects are not fully addressed, they will be commensurate with the amount of time she ends up taking them. Dolly has traded a minor skin condition that could have been treated with a homeopathic protocol for a new life of lasting gastrointestinal discomforts and frank depression.
Like an innocent, well-trained poodle, Dolly drags herself (did I mention that she now suffers fatigue too?) back to the prestigious clinic in her prestigious university where, never fear, more up-to-the minute drugs are prescribed. This time she is given a psychotropic drug for her depression and a pain reliever for the gastrointestinal pain. There is simply no responsible argument for the use of psychotropic drugs in the case of a young woman whose equilibrium has been upset by birth control pills and antibiotics.
This, my friends, is a case of neglect and pollution of the most sobering sort, and, moreover, one that is entirely avoidable. It only takes a visit to drugs.com to accumulate enough vital facts regarding side effects of each of Dolly’s drugs. To find what I call the “unofficial” short- and longterm effects takes only a few key strokes to reveal the forums of people suffering from drug effects as they share their misery. Had Dolly thought to do this, or if the clinic doc had conscientiously warned her, she would have found that the side effects of her prescribed drugs sounded not unlike nuclear winter warnings.
We have not yet observed the full effects of the birth control hormones that Dolly is ingesting daily but we can only imagine what may superimpose on Dolly’s life in the next decade.
NUX VOMICA: POISON NEUTRALIZER
According to Dr. William Boericke in Homeopathic Materia Medica, “Nux vomica is the greatest of polychrests [medicine that cures many diseases], because the bulk of its symptoms correspond in similarity with those of the commonest and most frequent of diseases. It is frequently the first remedy, indicated after much dosing [of pharmaceuticals], establishing a sort of equilibrium of forces and counteracting chronic effects. Nux vomica is pre-eminently the remedy for many of the conditions incident to modern life.”
Dr. Roger Morrison in The Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms lists Nux vomica for breakdown from substance abuse and notes its significance in antidoting a simple hangover. Dr. Douglas M. Gibson tells us that “The treatment of a much-medicated patient, so frequent a type nowadays, may well be started with Nux vomica in high potency.”
In worldwide practices, it is the premiere remedy not only to antidote the ill effects of drugs but the effects of other substances such as alcohol and street drugs. Dr. Gallavardin, in his book, Homeopathic Treatment of Alcoholism, published in 1890, devotes nearly the entirety of his treatise on the importance of Nux vomica for substance abuse.
Unlike herbs, enemas, supplements, and so on, homeopathic remedies must be chosen with a less sweeping brush. Nux vomica is not to be administered willy-nilly, but must be chosen based on the substances abused as well as on the way the person responds to the drugs.
STOP, DOLLY, STOP!
So what is the solution? Dolly must stay clear of drugs that pollute the body and may project compounded symptoms into her future. The way to do this is to consider food changes, add patience and sufficient time to heal, perhaps a homeopathic remedy, and drop the idea that drugs are harmless when taken in moderation.
It is telling that Dolly’s mom took her to the doctor for nearly every sniffle and sneeze during her tender years. This is where it all begins: at the pediatrician’s. Parents and children are trained to depend on “the professional” to make important health decisions and accept taking drugs as normal behavior. This is where mothers are convinced that their instincts are not scientific, that fever should be quashed with Tylenol, allergies ought to be tamped down with steroids, that young girls are birth-control-pill deficient, and, up until only a few decades ago, that breastfeeding is unnecessary and even barbaric.
STEPS DOLLY CAN TAKE
The first step is for Dolly to get off the drugs. This can be done by offering homeopathics first, so that the need for the drugs becomes obsolete. This would include employing a protocol for her gut dysbiosis as well as one for depression and then aiming backwards towards her original complaint of blemishes. Each of these conditions will be thoroughly resolved via homeopathy and Dolly will be back on solid ground. This is not to say that all drugs can or ought to be stopped abruptly by everyone in all circumstances. Such a sweeping generalization carries potentially dangerous consequences. But in Dolly’s situation, antibiotics, birth control pills and psychotropic drugs are, at best, superfluous.
Next is to offer a dose of Nux vomica 200 that can be taken once daily for three days. This will help settle the chaos. It’s likely that her stomach pains, gas, and even depression will relent enough, once off the drugs, to allow her to move to a more intelligent way to treat each of her other conditions.
Dolly will need to tighten up the purity and choices of her food for some time while taking up a homeopathic protocol to right the wrongs the antibiotics caused her gut health. Her symptoms will dictate the remedy choice. If she suffers chronic constipation, in which she cannot complete a bowel motion, the protocol that will likely antidote this will be Chelidonium 30 mixed with Nux vomica 200, taken twice daily for approximately six weeks.
Next, it’s time to review what Dolly could have done to take care of her minor problem with homeopathy. Acne is often best met with Hepar sulph 200 mixed with Arsenicum album 200 taken every other day for about six weeks. Often that’s enough time to eliminate the problem permanently. I learned this little trick in Calcutta at the side of the great Drs. Banerji where they assured me of the efficacy of this medicine for acne. They were right. I witness the success of this protocol time and time again. In fact, for nearly any medical condition that Dolly might encounter, with a little effort she might easily have rooted it out safely with homeopathy.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2015