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Natural Awakenings Boston

Plant Based Medicine is Here

Feb 28, 2020 10:37AM ● By Maisie Raftery

A growing number of Americans are moving away from meat toward plant-based foods, a development that comes with the promise of glowing health and expanding culinary horizons. Writer April Thompson shares the secrets of making this a seamless transition in “The Roots of Good Health: Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet.”

Local Integrative and functional Dietitian, Bridgitte Carroll also provides tips and caution for those interested in making a switch in, “Three Mistakes to Avoid While Moving to a Plant-Based Diet.” Carroll makes sense of some of the most common mistakes made by those on the move to plant-based including the possibility of a small amount of grass-fed animal-based proteins.

Keeping with the plant-based theme, this month we introduce the new Plant-Based Medicine department as a monthly feature. In “Barking Up the Right Tree: The Medicinal Value of Bark,” author J. Garnett, shares a multitude of medicinal uses of tree bark including the origin of today’s aspirin.

My first real exposure to plant-based medicine came in 1994 shortly after our dear sister-in-law, Ro, was diagnosed with a rare form of adrenal cancer. A tumor the size of a small football was discovered after she took a line-drive to her stomach while pitching during a women’s recreational league softball game.

A few months into her treatment, one of the side effects left her with uncontrollable shaking. I’m not sure whether this condition was more disturbing to her or to the rest of us, but what I do remember was being there as she finally decided it was worth resurrecting the use of cannabis, the plant she had occasionally used recreationally, many years before.

I was witness to her first inhale. Perhaps within a minute, the months-long side effect that left her unable to rest, stopped. That moment changed my life in a way that opened my mind considerably. Sadly, at just 40 years old, Ro passed in August of 1995, but not before she planted a seed in me helping me to recognize the value of plants as medicine.

It is our intention to continue being, and growing as, Boston’s bridge between conventional medicine and more natural approaches to health and healing. With the understanding that there are times we may need drugs and/or surgery, we are happy to expand our horizons into this new opportunity to learn and discover together with our readers more about the healing power of nature.

May you be blessed by something you pick up in these pages this month and every month!

Peace, Maisie