I'll start with the usual disclaimer... talk with your favorite health care professional before making decisions about your health. I'm not a doctor. I have dabbled in the field of health for decades now and love to share what I've learned. This post is the "Black Lives Matter" edition because the titles are by Black authors for the most part (all except #4 below) and speak directly to health challenges that disproportionally impact the African American community.
Books on Natural Remedies
One of the repercussions of the pandemic has been that society is spending longer hours at home. Let’s make the most of it by working on our health goals. Let’s pledge to be better off after the pandemic than we were before it and learn as much as possible. We can commit to doing our part to live a healthier life and add daily practices to reduce reliance on hospitals to mend us when broken. In this post, I will offer a few ideas on natural remedies taken from some great books on the topic. I am not a doctor, and don’t even play one on TV. I will simply share the results of personal experiences for you to consider.
I’ve had a plant-based diet for over 26 years. One of the reasons I decided to do so was because I noticed a direct link between what I was eating and how I felt after removing meat from my diet. It all started after reading an article about meat. The article stated that meat can impact digestive tract wellness, contains many chemical toxins and that the way animals were "processed" was cruel. Making this health choice has served me well over the years, but occasionally I’m not able to pinpoint exactly what I ate that contributed to my ailment. I’ve found that if I just drink some lemon water (a few drops fresh lemon/lime added to 8 oz room temperature spring water), symptoms I’d never experienced before, all clear up. You may recall being served a twist of lemon in water in your favorite restaurants. This is an excellent practice to continue at home. Lemon and lime has a reputation of detoxing the liver which can accumulate toxins from unknown sources. Some of you can drink the lemon water upon rising if you have a strong stomach; I have to drink it after meals. It works behind the scenes to do a mini cleanup of the digestive system. It’s quite gentle as well. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve taken some naturopathic classes from some of the best in the field and it comes highly recommended.
For more on the topic of the benefits of lemon, check out “The Master Cleanser.” This is a tiny booklet which discusses the benefits of fasting with lemon water. The recipe is a bit different in the booklet than the one I shared above because it is for long term use without any food in between. For example, the booklet gives is a specific ratio of water to lemon and maple syrup. A long term cleanse may work well for you once you’ve tried it for a day. I’ve been on the Master Cleanse for almost a month and aside from the first 3 days, I did not even have a desire for food nor miss it. The human body is a remarkable bio-machine that can adapt to the decreased food intake. As always, consult with your doctor or a health care professional you trust and respect. Cleansing gives your body a reset. Once you haven’t had food for awhile, it's easier to determine which ones your body digests well, and which ones you may want to remove or reduce. After breaking your fast, add one food at a time and monitor your body's response. You may be surprised at the results. I recall finding out that my body was allergic to dairy after noticing that my sinus problems cleared up after removing them from my diet for 5 days. While I loved the taste of cheese and milk, because I preferred the feeling of clear nasal passages, I totally removed them from my diet without regret. My decision was based on having a desire to feel better. When I ate better (without dairy), I felt better, so I continued.
Without a direct correlation between body response and food intake, I think it's tougher to maintain a specific dietary choice. Each person has different goals. It could be for better sleep, more energy, or improved digestion. Whatever it is, it will be important to stay in close contact with what you're eating, and how you're feeling. Consider keeping a food intake diary to keep track of it all. It's amazing what will be revealed when you start focusing regularly on your health. Also, you can show the information to your doctor or health care professional and discuss your results. For those who are interested, I can send you a health tracking spreadsheet to help with this. Otherwise a simple journal like the ones we have on our website will do, click here.
Doctor Africa, author of "African Holistic Health" made his transition March 22, 2020 at age 74, and may he rest in power. He taught generations about natural health. I was introduced to him soon after I began my journey into alternative healing treatments. Twenty-six years ago I hurt my back and my mother travelled from Atlanta to assist me with running Afriware Books, Co which I’d just opened for business. I was in so much pain I couldn't even lean over the bathroom sink to brush my teeth because doing so put too much strain on my back muscles. I was literally crawling around the house to keep from being in so much pain. My first stop was to the emergency room. After taking an x-ray while on my back and talking with the doctor, he concluded that all I needed to do was take 2 aspirins. He said nothing was wrong that he could see and basically, it was just all in my mind. I was shocked that aspirin was all he could offer. Tried it and woke up with the same pain.
Out of desperation, I called some people on the job and told them about my situation and someone mentioned Chiropractic Care. In a matter of days, I was walking again without pain. I recall being so amazed that all the medical profession could offer me were pills for what I found out to be a structural issue with my bones and muscle. The chiropractor took x-rays while I was standing up so that he could see how my spine was supporting my weight. Turns out my spine had some 's' curves in it. He pinpointed the exact spot where the pain was on my spine without me revealing it to him ahead of time. He was able to feel the slight rotation of one of my lower back bones that was pressing on a nerve. The combination of x-rays taken while standing, bone-to-muscle identification, and explanation he offered all made sense. He recommended exercises I could do to develop specific muscles. He also manually adjusted my entire back. .I took no medications to treat my condition.
The Chiropractor taught me “how to fish,” as they say, so that I could heal myself. I was socialized to believe that medical doctors in hospitals had all of the answers no matter the ailment. When the medical doctor insisted that the pain would go away with pills to no avail, I was forced to turn elsewhere for relief. When I look back on that incident now, I’m thankful that his actions caused me to become curious about other options. This new world of natural healing treatments is vast. Dr. Afrika’s book discusses the use of chiropractic massage, and many other healing modalities like color, crystals, herbs, food, food combining that are available to us. Additional insight is given when he discusses the African origins of these treatments. It is encouraging to know that there is more than one way to heal.
One of my number one book recommendations for those ready to make some dietary changes is “Heal Thyself” by Queen Afua. She starts with food substitutes, gives a daily plan, and expands into lifestyle considerations like exercise, meditation, massage, water therapy, and many other options. Her gradual approach to change best sets newcomers up for success. It took most of us a long time to get where we are and it's more realistic to expect people to improve day-by-day rather than cold turkey. For example she offers honey, stevia or sugar cane as a substitute for white sugar.
I wanted to share this with others who may feel depressed or discouraged when hearing the diagnosis of one doctor. First, get a second opinion. And, consider visiting a natural health store and talking to the staff or some of the customers. There are many options outside of those recognized by Western medicine.
Want to Learn More?
As always, I appreciate that you have read through this blog post. I hope that you’ve become curious to find out more about positively impacting your health. We ask that you consider purchasing your books from our Black owned business, Afriware Books, Co. If there is a title you’d like to purchase that is not mentioned here, or could not be found on the website, feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To watch/listen to the entire Youtube video (1 hour) I made in 2020 that inspired this blog post, click here.
Another blog post goes into detail about other natural remedies called, "Back to Eden." More details on crystals are in another blog article called, "Are Crystals for Black People."
Books on Spirituality are in another blog called, "Books by and About African Spirituality."