Friday, 22 February 2013

Natural Health and Sustainable Living

Today we have a guest post buy a wonderful lady who practices natural medicine. She can share with you how natural medicine is good for you and how it helps the planet.


Ziggy - Natural Health and Sustainable Living 

I’ve been reading a lot about sustainable living recently, partly because the subject fascinates me and partly so I can better understand how my own work as a professional naturopath works within the sustainability platform. And yep, I’m happy to report that it most definitely does! I’d like to share with you how I think natural healing processes and medicines provide for sustainable health and nurture our relationship with this beautiful big blue planet we’re caretakers of. 

As I understand it, one of the aims of sustainable living is to live as full a life as possible whilst also minimising any damage to our precious environment. That means doing little things right through the big things. So one of those little things might be composting in your own back garden while one of the big things might be political lobbying for better use of non-renewable resources. 

My question has been “how does natural medicine fit within that?’ 

If we consider that natural medicine, and naturopathy in particular, focuses on treating people’s health with as natural a treatment plan as possible, then I think we’ve struck sustainability gold. 

In my clinic, and like most naturopaths, I usually give my patients herbal extracts and natural nutrient supplements as part of a holistic treatment regime. We don’t give synthetically developed medicines and we don’t suggest invasive techniques unless of course the patient’s illness is severe enough to warrant such heavy handed tactics. 

The herbal treatments and nutritional supplements naturopaths provide come from the land. They don’t come from the laboratory. We support our planet with organically grown herbal plants that are harvested and processed in a way that encourages further plant growth and feeds the land. Chemicals and fertilisers and pesticides and all that chemical junk is never used in the farming of medicinal herbs so the process is kind to the planet. 

Our nutritional supplements are top quality, concentrated nutrients extracted from the very cleanest source foods too. No chemically derived materials here and so of course these too support the planet, keep the impact and footprint of the natural medicine industry small and help the sustainability of a healthy living process.

But all this focuses on the sustainability of the planet and our environment. I think the mental, emotional and physical sustainability of people is just as important and that’s one of the strengths of a holistic medicine system like naturopathy. Mainstream medicine is fabulous, don’t get me wrong, it enables people to live where they might otherwise have died and it provides a better quality of life for many people. But it can also be sterile and distant. Mainstream medicines are usually designed and produced in a laboratory and while this keeps people alive, it doesn’t always feed our soul or the lifeblood of our planet.

In order to be healthy physically, we also need to be healthy emotionally, mentally and spiritually. For each of us, those factors will be different but total health is about supporting the whole body, mind and heart and not just the physical being. Mainstream medicine does a fabulous job of working on the physical body but it doesn’t necessarily feed and nurture the mind, the heart and the soul. Using herbs and the nutrient dense foods from our planet as our medicine source feeds not just our physical body’s but also our mind and our heart and our soul. It feeds our planet and it feeds and nurtures our holistic relationship with the greater world around us.

So I’m going to propose that in order to live a holistically sustainable life, taking gentle advantage of nature’s pharmacy instead of using chemically constructed medicines is possibly a better option. 

When I say “gentle advantage”, I mean making sure that the source of any herbs you use (or are prescribed by your natural medicine practitioner) come from sustainable resources. Avoid synthetic medicines whenever possible. Use food as medicine wherever you can. Learn about how nature can provide you with the pharmaceuticals you need by reading herbal books and websites and by talking to your natural health professional. 

You can live a holistic sustainable life but to be even more nourishing, make sure it feeds your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self as well. Sustainability means feeding our planet, our body, our mind, our heart and our soul and we can do that with just a little more thought about our medicines as well.

Smiles and abundant health, Ziggy


Ziggy is the principal naturopath at the naturopath clinic “Natural Medicine and Health” in Flagstaff Hill, South Australia. She’s also a published author, an ambulance officer and lecturer. 

You can download her free eBook and find out more about her on her website or find her on Facebook

Further Reading

Thank You
Sustain Your Life


  1. Having a healthier life is not a problem! :) I've been into holistic clinics and they gave me great ideas on how to live a better lifestyle.

    1. That's great Harold! It would be awesome if you could share some of those ideas.


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