Hygieia in greek as well in Roman mythology was the goddess of health. She had four sisters: Panacea, goddess of universal remedy, Aceso, goddess of the healing process, Aglaea, goddess of beauty and adornment, and Laso, goddess of recuperation from illness. The oldest traces of her cult are at Titane, west of Corinth but she was not worshiped as an independent goddess until after the plague of Athens (430–427 BC) and in Rome in 293 BC.
Hygeia and her sister are both mentioned at the opening of the Hippocratic oath (oath taken by physicians).
"I swear, calling upon Apollo the physician and Asclepius, Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses as witnesses, that I will fulfill this oath and this contract according to my ability and judgment."Hippocratic oath
In Greek mythology, the mint plant was cherished by Demeter, the goddess of harvest, and her daughter, Persephone. Mint was used to treat gastrointestinal issues, bad breath, and insomnia.
The therapeutic use of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can be traced back almost 4,000 years, by an entry in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (18th century BC) mentioning its use as a treatment for asthma.
From ancient belief systems to experiential applications, the use of plants for healing and beauty is as old as ancient civilizations as evidenced by preserved documents, monuments, and gravesites. These ancient herbal and plant-based medicinal discoveries were largely instinctive and experimental but remained the primary source of treatment until the 16th century.
Homeopathy, holistic Medicine and Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies work on a certain part of the body or help with a particular symptom. Licorice appears to affect the cells of the stomach, milk thistle is generally used to nourish the liver.
Homeopathy involves the treatment of the individual in its entirety as opposed to the particular disease. Homeopathy works by stimulating your immune system responses. Essentially, you’re helping the body to heal itself. Many practitioners feel that the more dilute a solution is, the more effective it is. Homeopathic remedies are considered drugs by the FDA and are regulated by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) assuring consistency in the production and safety of the remedies. Professional homeopaths make recommendations that a respectful of the natural tendencies of the body to help heal itself and may also suggest utilizing medical intervention strategies at the same time.
Another commonly used term is holistic medicine. Homeopathy and holistic medicine tend to be confusing terms that are often used interchangeably. They are related but different. Holistic medicine is used to describe a variety of therapies that attempt to treat a person as a whole. In contrast to traditional western medicine, holistic medicine will consider an individual’s overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being before recommending treatment. Homeopathy is a type of holistic medicine but has a distinctly unique approach in that it is a gentle and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve pain and aid in restoring itself. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants, minerals, which are very affordable, and used by adults, small children, even pets.
Homeopathy can be used to treat acute illnesses, like colds, ear infections, migraines, and sore throats, as well as chronic conditions, like asthma, depression, autism, and arthritis.
Our bodies are complex, sensitive systems affected by our environment, lifestyle, and various inner and outer stresses. There are 30-40 trillion cells in the human body that work tirelessly to achieve equilibrium, keeping or bringing us back to a natural balance. Choosing an herbal supplement is relatively safe however, they can interact with conventional medicines.
There is an abundance of resources if you are interested in learning about these natural remedies and herbs and mineral supplements to relieve various ailments. I have been using the Natural Health Bible (find on amazon) but I'm always open to suggestions and your favorite resources.
I have been using quite a few of these remedies for myself and my family throughout the course of my life but I have never perceived them to be exclusive or in place of conventional medicine or doctor's advice.
I have successfully and safely used Valerian root as a sleep aid, Chamomile, Hops, lavender and Passion Flower for anxiety, Milk Thistle, dandelion root and rosehips for detox and cleansing as well as many others.