Medical biology is a science, but the way it’s applied often has more to do with philosophy, politics, and funding. That’s why we know more than we ever have about the body, yet modern medicine is failing us pretty miserably when it comes to our chronic physical and mental health conditions.
Correctly-prescribed medications are estimated to be the fourth-leading cause of death in the US, and lifestyle diseases have long-since replaced infectious diseases as our major killers. Modern medicine boomed in the early 1900s with the discovery of drugs that could finally overcome our once-deadly infections. This was, obviously, great news.
The problem? Our medical system continues to try and apply the same philosophies that worked for infectious disease medicine to our epidemic of chronic disease caused by modern lifestyles. But the disease-causing bacteria and pill model doesn’t work when there’s no obvious bad guy, and indiscriminately adding drugs to every condition without a plan can often make bad situations worse.
You may have experienced the frustration of going to a different provider for each medical problem. Your dermatologist doesn’t want to hear about your stomach, your gastroenterologist doesn’t have much interest in your skin, and your rheumatologist may not care about either. Our bodies, though, don’t work as separate systems. And treating them as though they do just winds up giving us poor-quality healthcare with more and more pills to suppress symptoms and less answers as to what’s really going on.
The good news is that more and more people, including doctors and other providers, are noticing we have a major problem. And they’re advocating that we look to research for science-based answers. Ironic that the medical system is anything but evidence-based? Maybe, but it’s not surprising when you realize that it takes even basic health guidelines 17 years to make it to your doctor!
So where does the Nerdy Herbalist and its motto “Mind and body health, naturally” come in?
I’m passionate about evidence-based philosophies of medicine that emphasize doing as little harm as possible while using therapeutic techniques or substances that have the best track record of benefit-to-harm. Too many drugs we’re using simply don’t work for the long-term use we’re prescribing them, and they’re making us even sicker.
Sometimes this kind of medicine does mean using a pharmaceutical medication when we need concentrated strength, and fast. But more times it may mean the use of other powerful interventions: nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and more. I love botanicals because they tend to have a much better side effect profile than drugs, and evidence-based herbalism ensures we’re not guessing. This way we can know that what we’re using works for the problem we’re using it for.
“Natural” is a vague term and has incurred a lot of rage from skeptic communities of late. But if you’re here and you like what you’re reading, you likely know the vibe I’m going for when I use it. Because it got you here, didn’t it? We like earthy things and safe medicines and they can hate all they want but that’s that.
Here at the Nerdy Herbalist, we also want our health info to be based in science. There’s so much noise out there when it comes to health and medicine that it can be hard to know the difference between actual science and the, well, not-science-at-all. I’m on a journey to sort through the noise and learn all I can while healing myself and helping others to do the same.
If you want to find your way to your greatest well-being yet and are open to learning new things, I hope you’ll join me.