• Homeopathy and Community Supported Agriculture: Like Peas in a Pod (published by Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative)

    As a CSA member, you know how important the quality of the food we put in our bodies is. In addition to our diet, there are many other opportunities to make better choices for our health. One route that many health-minded people explore is homeopathy. Homeopathy has great potential benefits for fellow CSA members and farmers alike. One of these benefits is the opportunity to create a more sustainable lifestyle. Before we address that aspect, it is important to first understand what homeopathy is, and what it is not. Many people use the term homeopathic interchangeably with herbal. It is not herbal medicine, although many of the remedies come from herbs; and, unlike conventional medicine, it does not work through suppression.

    Background:

    Homeopathy applies the opposite philosophy as conventional medicine, which is technically called allopathy. Most allopathic drugs are designed to suppress (or mask) symptoms of disease – i.e. antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, etc. Homeopathy, on the other hand, works through the “like”. The remedies are matched by finding a substance in nature that could cause similar problems to the ones you are experiencing. A great example is Allium cepa. This comes from the onion. We all know what happens when you cut an onion: running, watery eyes with burning. Allium cepa is most commonly used during allergy season, when we experience the same exact problems.

    The next important point comes back to why homeopathy is not herbal medicine. In fact, it cannot be classified as medicine at all. Homeopathic products are called “remedies” because they are energy-based. Therefore, they don’t work like medicines do. Returning to the allergy example, if you take an antihistamine, it is the physical matter in it that will suppress your symptoms. If you take two tablets instead of one, it might bring more relief because it’s a larger dose. With homeopathy, you could take one pellet or ten without seeing an appreciable difference. Either the remedy will bring relief or it won’t. With practice, you become more skilled at selecting remedies and potencies (strengths).

    One of the best strengths of homeopathy is that it can be used safely in conjunction with any form of medicine. This is not always true with herbs, which can have potentially dangerous interactions with medication. I love that you don’t need to choose between homeopathy and conventional medicine. Everyone can decide how much or how little of both you want to incorporate into your wellness plan.

    Applications for Individuals and Farmers:

    The potential benefits of homeopathy are very far-reaching, ranging from emergency to acute to chronic problems. A little bit of education goes a long way for ourselves, our families, and our animals (large and small). If you’re interested in research being conducted, please visit the following site - http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org/2011/01/14/extraordinary-evidence-homeopathys-best-research/.

    In addition to personal wellness, homeopathy has a very unique application in organic agriculture in that it can promote health while adhering to the USDA standards. Just as people and pets can benefit from homeopathic remedies, so can livestock and even crops. Following is a link to a study that was done on bovine mastitis. With antibiotics not being a viable option, homeopathy proves itself to certainly be worth exploring, especially for organic farms - http://www.hawl.co.uk/fileadmin/HAWL/user_upload/articles/comparativeefficacyindiastudy.pdf.

    A shared goal of many of us as CSA members is creating a sustainable life. We are always looking to integrate more sustainable components, and homeopathy certainly fits this bill. There is negligible waste in producing a remedy, and the remedies are replicated again and again by copying the existing pellets so the environmental cost of manufacture is also extremely low. Compare this to pharmaceuticals! Another plus is that there are no by-products of remedies in urine to contaminate our water source. I see it as a plus all around.

    If any of our members or farmers are interested in more information on homeopathy, please feel free to visit my website http://www.pagodawellness.com or give me a call (484)366-1670. Together we can create a more sustainable future!

    Ashley

    To view the article on LFCC's blog, please follow this link: http://lffcsa.wordpress.com/

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