An African Bush Doctor's Prescription For Better Health
Bush Medicine is traditional herbal medicine- the oldest system of healing in the world. Bush medicine started in Africa about 30,000 years ago. In the African-Caribbean culture plants are referred to as “Bush” such as “fever bush” or “toothache bush and are revered for their healing and spiritual properties”. Every culture in world practiced and still practices bush medicine to treat the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual problems of the people. Today 70% of the world’s population still uses traditional herbal medicine (bush medicine) as it’s primary source of health care. For the past 75 years medical doctors and drug companies have tried to discredit traditional herbal medicine while at the same time sending ethnobotanists all around the world to acquire the knowledge of local plants from bush doctors in order to make new pharmaceutical drugs.
Often once a drug company has appropriated local plant knowledge- usually without compensating the locals in any way, they patent the plants and pressure the governments into banning the local population from having access to the plants they have depended on for millennia. Fortunately there is now a worldwide effort underway to protect local plant knowledge from unethical exploitation. People are returning to their traditional herbalists because of the failure of pharmaceutical drugs to treat chronic health problems safely and effectively. I am from a long-line of African bush doctors. My family has practiced traditional herbal medicine for many generations.
My grandmother was a prominent bush doctor in Trinidad, the country of my birth. The African-Caribbean culture is a largely intact culture where we have retained much of the knowledge of our bush doctors. Here are some simple tips for improving your health from me, Christopher Scipio- your friendly neighbourhood bush doctor. 1. Eat less. Unless you are very physically active you are probably eating a third more calories than you need. Excessive caloric intake is one of the biggest factors in reducing life expectancy. 2. Don’t eat alone. People eat too quickly, chew their food less, and tend to consume less nutritional meals when they are eating alone.
Having company provides many health benefits and is much better for your mental and emotional well-being. 2A. Pay attention to your eating environment. Loud noises, lack of a comfortable sitting position, too many distractions and a less than peaceful environment can all contribute to digestive problems and may cascade into other health issues. Eating in a relaxed quiet environment with good company is a great habit to get into. 3. Along the theme of eating less- use smaller plates and cutlery and consider using chop sticks or your fingers to eat with. The oversized cutlery just promotes the wolfing down of food. I love using chopsticks for lots of different kinds of meals and there is much sensual pleasure with eating with your fingers the way we Africans do. 4.
Reduce your carbs, especially bread and pasta. Obesity and many of the health problems that go with it like diabetes were virtually unknown until we started consuming such large quantities of bread, pasta and baked goods. I recommend not eating bread or pasta more than 3-4 times per week and substituting beans and dishes like hummous as a replacement. 5. Get and use a juicer. The juice you buy in a store is dead. Many juice enzymes die within an hour of extraction. Most juices have been pasteurized to further deplete their nutritional value. Making your own juice is a joy. I like starting the day with a blend of carrot, apple, Hawaiian ginger and beet juice, but there are so many juices to discover.
I recommend the book on healing juices by Heinermann. 6, Cook your own food. It is more than worth the time. I know you are busy but you can work cooking into any schedule. Consider getting a slow cooker. Consider cooking large batches on your days off and keeping them ready in the freezer. Cooking your own food is the only way of knowing what actually is put into your food, plus it sends the right message to your body that you care. 6A. Don’t assume restaurant food is healthy.