The Victorian Era : The Golden Age Of Health?

Why don’t plants get more cred from the medical community? Apparently, they used to…

Flora of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (1885) by Otto Wilhelm Thomé

Wanted to share a fascinating tidbit about the popularity of botanical and homeopathic remedies in the 19th century…I was reading some of the writing of Dr. Loretta Lanphier, founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness.  She has been a strong voice in the healing community when it comes to examining emotional and hormonal imbalances as the core culprits in disease.  Dr. Lanhpier feels that traditional western medicine continues to take the wrong approach to treating cancer with chemotherapy.  She also says most doctors are greatly mistaken in defining cancer as a localized disease…that in fact there is a more complex, holistic system of issues in mind, body and emotions at work.  I’m sharing her thoughts below:

“Our scientists, doctors, etc. have not given us much to work with in the last 40-50 years when it comes to cancer. They keep spending the money, racing for the cure, tying pink ribbons everywhere and making darn sure that anything that is natural/alternative is ‘quieted’ very quickly. How many oncologists get sued because their treatment did not work? How about…none!

We continue to look for this magic bullet that will make everything go away without us having to do or change our lifestyle— a lifestyle that is toxic in every way to the body. We are lazy and literally killing ourselves in the name of convenience. We have huge food corporations that are trying the smudge the line between what true organic means and what they ‘want’ it to mean so they can continue to add their chemicals in order to allow food to last longer on the grocery store shelf. We are told that foods that actually will benefit the body are harmful and should be outlawed.”

In essence, Dr. Lanphier believes that the downward spiral of cancer cases with unsuccessful outcomes is created by 1) our own desire for a quick cure without the necessary lifestyle changes 2)  the pressure in the medical community to “sell” chemo to patients.

Which brings me to the point/title of this post.  Looking back at history, during the 19th century, America had a Golden Age of Botanical/Homeopathic Solutions.  Keep in mind, this was an era in which these kinds of modalities were heartily supported, both by patients and doctors, unlike today, in which many doctors exploring natural/alternative therapies have been sued, as in the unfortunate case of Dr. Glenn Warner in Seattle.

“During the early part of the 19th century, the United States experienced an era known as ‘free trade in medicine.’ A historical vignette in the Journal of the American Medical Association explains that during the mid-1800s, botanics and homeopathy were in great demand.(17) Those alternative health practices were a powerful counterforce to regular medicine. Most state licensure laws that granted special privileges to physicians were repealed because of the widespread consumer demand for botanicals. During the period, the United States was one of the healthiest nations, with the world’s lowest infant mortality rate.(18)”

(17) Lester S. King, “Medical Sects and Their Influence,” Journal of the American Medical Association 248 (1982). (18) Lawrence Wilson, “The Case against Medical Licensing,” in The Dangers of Socialized Medicine, ed. Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling (Fairfax, Va.: Future of Freedom Foundation, 1994), p. 59.

After a long period of bad press and politics, we now see many studies proving homeopathy as a possible treatment of cancer. For example, this landmark study on homeopathy and cancer appeared in the February 2010 issue of the International Journal of Oncology. Scientists at the University of Texas, in collaboration with the Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, have confirmed the ability of four homeopathic remedies to kill breast cancer cells.

In the mid-Victorian period, cancers and heart disease were under 10 percent of the levels we have today. This is due to the prevalence of more beta glucans in the Victorian diet. Hazel Courney explores this in her article So should we all copy the Victorian diet?.

You can download an entire PDF version of Otto Wilhelm Thomé’s book of beautiful plant illustrations and their medical applications here.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in Science, Wellness