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Rosehip

Rosehip plants grow fast, and they don't suffer from insect infestations or diseases, so they don't need pesticides.

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Guest-blogger Stephen Eddey, the principal of Health Schools Australia, talks about some of the benefits of natural medicines.

I was 20 years old when one Sunday I woke up with extreme back pain. It was quite odd, because I couldn’t remember hurting myself. The back pain got progressively worse and I ended up in the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where I spent five weeks. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a type of inflammatory arthritis. I was given powerful drugs to suppress my immune system and had cortisone injected into my joints as the AS had spread through my body. I was crippled.

For six years I suffered with this terrible disease and I was at its mercy. I was finally convinced to see a ‘naturopath’ who gave me some herbs and said that my arthritis was diet-related. I was naturally very sceptical, after all, who says my knee is connected to my bowel? Begrudgingly, I changed my diet and took these strange tasting herbs. Six weeks later, I was pretty much pain-free.

Along with a natural, low-impact diet, I’ve discovered some effective supplements to ease my arthritis, and to help with any other problems:

- Rosehip powder is said to be one of the best treatments for arthritis. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory, but it discourages the immune system’s attack on the joints. As a distance runner, I take this powder to stop the aches and pains of running 20+km at my current age of 43.

- Glucosamine is another good preventative treatment for Osteoarthritis because it helps build the cartilage that has been destroyed due to the auto-immune attack on this tissue. Glucosamine improves some arthritic conditions however it doesn’t reduce the initial autoimmune attacks on the joints.

- If you are having trouble sleeping, I have found Valerian is a good natural option rather than sleeping pills. A recent study found that valerian helps improve sleep quality without producing side effects. Valerian is also an excellent treatment to help your body cope with the negative effects of stress.

- A supplement for the brain is our much loved caffeine. A recent study showed that Alzheimer’s disease prone mice that were given 500mg of caffeine a day (5 cups) were protected from cognitive impairment and had decreased brain plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Natural medicine works in many ways! I love working in the natural medicine industry now because we use clean, healthy natural foods as the basis to improve health. My journey begs the question, why take prescription medications as your first choice if there’s an effective natural option that is scientifically supported, with no known side-effects? Talk to your health care professional about which is the best for your condition.

Stephen Eddey is the principal of Health Schools Australia, and a freelancer for Rose-Hip Vital, www.rosehipvital.com.au