Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the warm days and the colder nights and of course the leaves changing. This past weekend seemed to almost be the peak time for the Aspen trees so if you haven’t been up to the mountains yet to see the leaves changing you had better hurry.
The one place I still want to go see the autumn colors some year is in New England. The different colors of their tree’s leaves are supposed to be incredible. Coincidentally, I recently read a book about Vermont Folk medicine written by a medical doctor named D.C. Jarvis. This book was originally published in 1958. He was a 5th generation Vermonter and had learned about the home remedies passed on for generations in his family and community. As a medical doctor he was curious to see if they really worked and to try and understand the mechanism behind the successful ones. Folk Medicine, a few England almanac of natural health care from a noted Vermont country doctor, by D.C. Jarvis can be purchased at www.seleneriverpress.com.
Dr. Jarvis starts out the book commenting on the extremes of Vermont weather and its effect on the people. He found that two days before a bad storm, the normally acidic urine would turn alkaline and would take several days after the storm passed for the urine to return to its normally acidic state. He takes some interesting conclusions based on his observations of people. Some are based on racial characteristics like Nordic verses Mediterranean and physical characteristics like small ears and big ears. According to Dr. Jarvis, people with large ears like vegetables and bulky foods while small-eared people like meats and concentrated foods. Slender people get sick in the Spring and stocky people tend to get sick in the fall. He admits they aren’t 100% foolproof but I’m sure these observations served him well in his practice.
As with most doctors who practiced in the first half of the 20th Century, food was an important part of their treatment program. He said, in the long run you must pay either the grocer or the drugstore" He used a lot of apple cider vinegar to treat just about every ailment you could think of in both his human and animal patients. His hobby was doing studies on animal nutrition and he would add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the feed of cows to improve their milk quantity and quality, decrease abortions due to infection and make them more fertile and have healthier calves. This addition to the food of race horses made them run faster and stay healthier when the other horses in the stable were all sick. He found it helped dogs with skin conditions, arthritis, fatigue, heart problems, etc. And of course his human patients also got over these conditions by putting 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water 1-3 times a day.
In this time of rampant obesity and systemic yeast infections, we tend to keep our patients off sweet things like honey even though it‘s glycemic index is ½ that of glucose. Dr. Jarvis used it for healing allergies, bedwetting, hay fever, baby formulas, burns, infections (bacteria cannot live in the presence of honey), insomnia, bed wetting, nervousness, cough, muscle cramps, athletic recovery and endurance, etc. Chew on honeycomb daily for those really bad hay fever attacks and allergic reactions and it will fix you up in no time. He knew that eating locally produced honey was supposed to help with pollen allergies but didn’t know about the honeycomb chewing. Honey is also a great source of minerals. 1-2 teaspoons of honey with 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar stirred in a glass of water 1-2 times a day took care of whatever was ailing you. He also added iodine from Lugol’s solution (the liquid form of Iodoral that we use in the office) or kelp tablets (Min-Tran) for the addition of iodine the most important mineral in the body.
Acid vs. Alkaline
Today there are books everywhere touting the health benefits of alkalinizing your body. I need to do a more in-depth discussion on this fad but suffice it to say there is a lot of bad information mixed up with some basic truths. Yes the blood is slightly alkaline and unless you go on a starvation diet, cothing you eat is going to change your blood pH. Dr. Jarvis was really into studying the acid state of the urine and found that illness only came on when the urine was alkaline. Bad organisms only grew in an alkaline medium and animals could seek out and eat only those plants that were acidic. Jarvis would follow the animals around the field and juice samples of the plants and grass they ate and tested them for acid or alkaline pH. They instinctively knew which plants were acidic and avoided the alkaline plants. He added the apple cider vinegar to the diets of people and animals to keep their urine acid and recover their health. You can buy pH strips in a drugstore to measure your urine pH and see where you are. I have also found an alkaline pH every time a patient has kidney stones or bladder infections. You need acid in your stomach to absorb protein and minerals from the food we eat. That is why hydrochloric acid and enzymes help to make people healthier by improving their digestion. You can try Dr. Jarvis’ vinegar and honey remedies and if you are still suffering I can help you figure out what else needs to be changed so that you regain your health.