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Talking about herbal medicines at Canton Library FAN

on Thursday, 24th September, 2015

A new topic (I think) for our FAN Group meeting tonight at Canton Library – herbal, alternative and complementary remedies / medicines. The topic was introduced by Alessandra who is a trained herbalist and clearly passionate about the subject and a believer that herbal remedies can play a useful part in helping people deal with those ailments which are not life threatening. As she said, ‘chemical medicines’ do have an important role as well in dealing with more serious medical issues, but we all know that we can abuse both our bodies and the environment if we take too much medication.

Ian reminded everyone that herbal medicines are subject to the same regulation at a European level as other medicines and everything that is sold in a chemist or any other shop must be licensed as safe.

Riccardo introduced the idea that food is also a medicine which can keep us healthy if we eat carefully – you are what you eat.

Tass, like a number of us, was neutral in the debate between ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ medicines / remedies – both had their role. She also discussed the concept of the body as a sacred temple, which should be treated well and with respect. Having being brought up in a woodland area in Thailand she was well used to the use of plants as medicines and cures for ailments and injuries.

A couple of people touched upon the placebo effect possibly playing a role.

Grandparents often relied upon ‘old-fashioned’ remedies and people discussed various concoctions using combinations of such things as lemon, honey, salt and olive oil to deal with sore throats or to lessen the pain from stings.

Michael believed in a holistic approach to medicine bringing together the physical, mental and social needs. He also suggested that while being open to herbal remedies, in our society they were often very expensive and somewhat of a niche.

Zahra had read that an apple a day was a good way of helping with the occurrence of headaches and had seen a positive experience of this with her daughter. Many of us recalled that we had learnt as children ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

Next Wednesday at 5:30pm at the Canton Library: Mohammed will lead the conversation with sport as our topic.

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