I once again thank you for your many letters of encouragement.
Over the years, I have been honored to share some of the lessons I have learned in my research of timeless remedies and folklore throughout the world. In turn, you have shared your own wonderful, personal home remedies you have found to be the most useful in relieving common maladies of everyday life.
One common thread runs through each of those letters -— your belief that the age-old remedies and recipes of yesterday can lead to a stronger, healthier life. It is because of your interest in preserving youth the natural way that I bring you this book, FIGHTING ARTHRITIS NATURALLY.
Over many years (and across many miles of travel) I have collected these practical living hints and folk remedies from around the world. I have shared some of these with you in the dozen or so other books I have written. Your interest and response has been overwhelming, with more than 4,000,000 copies of just THE VINEGAR BOOK having been sold – in more than a dozen countries. In my quest to understand how folk medicine has been used to treat the common maladies that plague us all, I have visited hospitals, clinics and universities around the globe. My travels have allowed me to gather age old wisdom and traditional remedies for promoting better health from kind and sharing people in East Africa, Asia, South America, the South Pacific and the Middle East – as well as across the United States.
Many of the bits of folklore and country wisdom associated with arthritis are from oral history; others are from out-of-print, hard-to-find books, monographs, pamphlets and correspondence with healthcare providers (such as two doctors in Belize who make therapeutic vinegar from bananas). Countries I have visited include Bolivia, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Belgium, Uganda, Kenya, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Tanzania and The Netherlands.
I have a very personal interest in old-time remedies. Practical, hands-on experience has shown me that they can be at least as helpful as many of conventional medicine’s prescriptions. Many of the plants featured in my books and articles are featured on my three-acre homestead, where the house is heated with the help of passive solar greenhouse that I designed and built.
I have found there is much wisdom embedded in the healing practices of generations ago. Often, modern medical science has verified age-old beliefs about maintaining health by providing medical confirmation of what our grandmothers knew by instinct. Yet, some old beliefs are in disfavor today. Newest medical research tells us these old-time remedies are dangerous or cannot possibly do what was claimed for them. Other old nostrums merely bring much needed smiles to our faces.
Well, medical theories come and go. What we are told is ‘good for us’ today may be labeled as ‘dangerous to our health’ tomorrow. Remedies that are scoffed at today may well be heralded as wondrous innovations tomorrow. And, with more people finding frustration in the endless trial and error of medical prescriptions, more and more of those people are going back to the old time, natural ways of generations past. Perhaps the most important old-time bit of wisdom is that moderation and common sense are the keys to healthy living and a long life.
Because, you see, evidence continues to mount that pure, natural foods are the best source of more than just the common vitamins and minerals we know are the basis of good health. Trace elements, enzymes and amino acids also play an essential part in optimum nutrition, although the amounts needed continue to be investigated by medical researchers. To date, the part each of them plays in maintaining health has not been fully defined. And, this may explain the value of many traditional ways of treating illness. Many old-time remedies are based on foods and herbs that contain an abundance of trace elements, as well as other substances for which science has not yet decided a value.
Nearly all illness in individuals over fifty is due to degenerative diseases: arthritis, diabetes, cancer and vascular disturbances such as heart attacks and strokes. Most physicians agree these are conditions that are affected by what we eat and how we live. This means that the way we conduct our lives can assure more radiant, abundant futures. Diet and lifestyle can help us maintain good health and well being so that we can fulfill our total potential for extended life.
We cannot control our medical history or genes. They create within us tendencies and weaknesses. But we can control some of our future health. We do this by controlling what we eat, how much exercise we get and our outlook on life. And that is what this book is about – preventative maintenance to help us live longer by using time tested anti-aging strategies. They can help us enjoy each additional year more and more. After all, this is the only body we have, so we had better take care of it as well as we can.
Most of the remedies I have selected for this book use common, easy to acquire ingredients. Most are found readily available in your home pantry or vegetable and herb garden. A few old remedies use substances that are considered dangerous, today. Some use herbs that are widely available through health food or other specialty stores or ones you can grow in your own backyard. Most importantly, all have many years, sometimes thousands of years, of history behind them. To determine whether or not a specific remedy is considered safe today, always consult a qualified healthcare professional before using.
Please remember, old-time remedies have value. But, they cannot – and should not – take the place of timely medical advice. For a serious illness, or little problems that do not go away, you need a medical practitioner. For the aches and pains that make up everyday living, you may want to consider the wisdom embedded in the natural helps and all around good sense of time-tested home remedies. Much of what this book does is relate history. The value of these applications in today’s world must be left up to you, the reader.