I feel that vitamins, minerals, herbs, diet, exercise, and mental and emotional attitudes are all part of a holistic healing program and cannot be separated. If you were building a brick house, you might want a forklift or bulldozer to help you lift the bricks into place. In building this foundation we can liken the bricks to minerals as they are the building blocks of the body. Vitamins are similar to the gasoline used to run the bulldozer (vitamins mostly work as co-enzymes to activate enzymes) and the bulldozer itself is like the body’s enzymes, which catalyze actions in the body. Now, we could build a house with these few substances, but a simple house it would be! If we were then to add herbs (which also contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other substances) to our own building program, it would be similar to adding a new environmentally conscious technology such as wind or solar power to the house. Now we have a more efficient house that functions with respect for nature! Because of the cleansing nature of herbs we are even left with some workers to clean and tidy up the mess after the building is complete.
Many would say at this point, "If herbs are so good, why not use them alone." Herbs, like vitamins and minerals, may be used alone. The best and fastest results, however, are obtained when all of the raw materials for the construction are already in the form required for that construction. By using all three together you have all the parts present right at the start of the building, without having to spend time and energy recycling used parts to get the other raw materials needed. This is especially important because some of those ‘used parts’, which were recycled are used later in the building process in their original form!
So, not only should we combine vitamins, minerals and herbs, we should be careful to include exercise, diet, and mental/emotional attitudes in our building process.
In general, I would say that a person should not be working on more than four areas of the body at one time. Of course, as with every rule, there are exceptions. A woman may be working on one area, female organs for example, but will be using a FemaHerb and Vitamin E. This constitutes only one problem area, and the woman may work on up to three other organs or tissues at the same time. The number of formulas then depends on the nature of the individual problems.
Specific information as to the combinations involved would provide the most accurate answer. As with medical drugs, certain herbs do not combine well, and it is a general practice not to work on diverse areas of the body at exactly the same time. If you were working on the heart and the colon, the best results would be obtained by taking the formulas at different times of day, say at breakfast and lunch. If you try to work on two areas at the same time, the vital energies of the body are pulled in two different directions, giving less power for healing in both areas. If, however, you were dealing with the pancreas, liver and large intestine, then there is a difference; all are related to the digestive system so the energy being applied is kept localized.
When using herbal formulas we are dealing with a more definite time period than for the use of vitamins. If a formula were being used for kidneys, we would continue use until the organ built up its strength, usually a period of three to nine months (more in some cases). Vitamins, though, are chemicals necessary for life support that are not produced in the body in sufficient quantity to maintain it. Because of this vitamins must be consumed regularly throughout our lives either in our diet or in pill form. Many of these vitamin needs can be supplied from our diet, but the vitamin content of the foods we eat is deteriorating and the stress of the modern world is placing a stronger nutrient demand on us. This is where vitamin supplements may make the difference.
Herbs are used as a relatively short-term tool and the need for them lasts only as long as the problem exists. Once the healing is done, and as long as we stay away from the habits that gave us the problems in the first place, the herbs may no longer be needed.
Each health program is highly individualized, but it is usual to begin with the digestive system. I start most of my patients with a twelve day D-tox program. I get them to fill out the question sheets during the cleanse to help aid in determining what to do next. If digestion is not working adequately, there will be inefficient absorption of the nutrients, herbs and vitamins that are taken to help other systems and organs of the body.
After cleansing the digestive system to permit more efficient use of the nutrients supplied, we usually move to work on the eliminatory organs: colon, kidneys, lungs and skin. With these systems operating well we can remove toxin build up inside the body. At this time, too, we can start to build the other specific vital areas of the individual that require attention. These would include the heart, liver, endocrine glands and nervous system. From this point we would start to concentrate on less vital areas.
The concept of the "healing crisis" is found in a Homeopathic Law called Herring's Law of Cure, which states that all cure comes from within out, from the head down and in the reverse order of the appearance of the symptoms.
Let us take the example of a person who goes to a drugstore upon ‘catching’ a cold. The product purchased is one advertised to relieve the symptoms of a cold. This product will likely relieve the symptoms of the cold, but it probably won't do much more that is beneficial. It will, in all likelihood, dry up and crystallize the mucus and toxins being released through the action of the cold, driving them deeply into the bronchial tissues. This changes the condition from acute to sub-acute, a less noticeable state, making the person feel better. Sometime later (often at the change of a season) the body will make its attempt to throw these toxins off. This may result in a cold, cough or even the flu, which frequently drives the person back to the time-tested formula used earlier to relieve the ‘problem’. This, of course, reverses the cleansing at once, driving the mucus and toxins ever more deeply into the tissues. Starting with a cold, a usual history is to develop tendencies to coughs, flu, bronchitis or hay fever, then asthma and finally, perhaps a degenerate and chronically diseased lung.
At some stage, however, the person may decide to begin living in a healthier manner and eventually begins to feel better. This healthy period progresses happily until the person is usually heard to remark, "I haven’t felt this good in years". At this point the body has built up enough strength again so that it attempts once more to eliminate some of the toxins. In our example, the person might appear to ‘catch’ asthma, which s/he hasn’t had for years. During this crisis, the body is simply trying to rid itself of the toxins and the disharmonies.
Throughout a cleansing/building program there will be periods of better health punctuated by short crises. The person in our example will then, over perhaps months or years, re-experience asthma, hay fever, bronchitis, flues, coughs and colds, in that order. Each of these conditions will appear as a Healing Crisis, with symptoms similar to that of the original disease crisis. The major difference is that the crisis is of much shorter duration and is often more dramatic. The person also feels much better both before and after the crisis (if left to run its natural course). The individual should ensure the intake of plenty of vitamins, minerals, herbs specific to the problem and brothy soups to promote a speedy recovery.