Archives for July 2011

Herbs for teeth and gums?

Herbs for teeth and gums?

A reader asks: What are your favourite herbs to support healthy teeth and gums? I have a number of recommendations to promote healthy gums and teeth, and chief among these is to avoid eating sweet foods and drinks, attend to good digestion, and avoid stress, alcohol, smoking and coffee. The teeth and gums do well when there is a healthy oral ecology and the mouth is slightly alkaline from sufficient saliva production. So things like stress, which inhibits digestion, or substances like coffee, alcohol and smoking, which dry out the mouth and inhibit saliva production, are a definite no-no. In Ayurveda we recommend cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper every morning, followed by a procedure called gandusha, or oil-pulling, which is rinsing out your mouth with sesame or coconut oil. No need to do it more than 2-3 minutes at most... there is no additional benefit from doing it longer, as some people that have no training in Ayurveda sometimes claim. Following gandusha is the use … [Read more...]

Q&A: Why don’t some people heal?

Why don't some people heal, even though they do all the "right" things? Sometimes the right thing for one person isn't the right thing for another - so part of the problem is the "one-size-fits-all" approach that modern marketing uses to sell their products and services. In traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, everyone is seen as an individual, and so when someone is unwell, a specific plan must be created to address their specific health issues. In a related fashion, sometimes the problem is that what is being recommend as the "right" thing isn't right at all. This is more a problem of ignorance or not knowing. For example, some people are sold a product or a service that claims to be helpful when it is not. Likewise, sometimes people continue to engage in behaviors or activities that are counter-productive to good health, but aren't aware of this. Another issue relates to the staging of the disease, and depending on how far the condition has progressed, different … [Read more...]

Q&A: How to change health care?

How would you change health care? This is a big question, and could easily form the subject of several books. But since I don't have the time to do this, I am only going to highlight a couple points and keep the discussion brief, and welcome input from others. The first issue when it comes to health is one of personal responsibility. None of us are born with an instruction manual, and so it is very important to provide people with a model of health and personal health care that is easy to understand and practice, including both diet and lifestyle. I believe that medical science is too complex a model - too liable to shift and change opinions - to be a sustainable model for health care. You should not need to go to school and become a doctor to understand how your body works. Thus, the first task I believe is to provide people with a simple model that accurately represents effective health practices that work. Fortunately we have many examples of traditional health care models … [Read more...]