Biodiversity, and its deliverables are main pillars for all the lives on this planet, including human life. They are the sources of food, essential nutrients, medicines and medicinal compounds, fuel, energy, livelihoods and cultural and spiritual enrichment. They also contribute to the provision of clean water and air, and perform critical functions that range from the regulation of pests and disease to that of climate change and natural disasters.
Promoting a natural surrounding with an abundance of species is beneficial in improving physical and mental health of the mankind. At the same time, we have to understand that, loss of biodiversity may reduce our well-being, as they have direct as well as indirect impact on our health and wellness. Each of them are important component of the epidemiological puzzle that confront our efforts to stem the tide of infectious and noncommunicable diseases. We know we have disrupted the entire process and the outcome we are witnessing right now in the form of this Covid19.
The links between biodiversity and health
Biodiversity supports human and societal needs, including food and nutrition security, energy, development of medicines and pharmaceuticals and freshwater, which together underpin good health. It also supports economic opportunities, and leisure activities that contribute to overall wellbeing.
Medicines: the contribution of biodiversity to the development of pharmaceuticals.
Medicine derived from bio diversity are the best example of the bond. According to a report posted by WHO: Biodiversity has been an irreplaceable resource for the discovery of medicines and biomedical breakthroughs that have alleviated human suffering. Between 1981 and 2010, 75% (78 of 104) of antibacterial newly approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) can be traced back to natural product origins. Percentages of antivirals and antiparasitic derived from natural products approved during that same period are similar or higher.
The dependency and research for new medicine will continue to grow. We always look at the biodiversity for medication to many challenging health problems in present time.
How and Why do Naturopathic Doctors Use Botanical Medicine?
Botanical medicine, also known as herbal medicine, is the science and practice of using medicinal plants and extracts to improve overall health, support wellness, and treat acute and chronic disease. As mentioned above even some pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants.
Naturopathic doctors in their curriculum, learn how to choose and effectively prescribe herbal medicines in order to treat the primary cause of illness. They also work to minimize side effects and drug interactions. The doses of medicines are very individualized and formulated for the maximum therapeutic benefit.
Here some common herbs used for medication:
- Elder (Sambucus)—a flower or berry that can be used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant, often used in syrup form
- Garlic—an anti-microbial herb that can help break up mucus, and is delivered through tinctures, syrups, capsules, or crushed fresh
- Thyme—an anti-microbial herb, also an immune stimulant, effective against biofilms, and can also help relax a spastic cough
- Echinacea—an anti-inflammatory, immune modulating herb that can activate white blood cells to fight infection and also be used for prevention
- Carom Seeds– for digestive issues
- Honey– as replacement of sugar
- Turmeric– as antiseptic.
And many more herbs and spices.
Apart from these there are other therapies as well that is used by Naturopathic Doctors Like:
Nature Walk: It controls depression, improves athletic performance, improves immunity and memory, reduces anxiety, helps battle colds and flu, makes you happy, speed up recovery time after sickness, reduces cancer risk. It further helps in Neutralizing Free Radicals. Free radicals are generated through inflammation, infection, cell damage, trauma, stress, and our toxic environments. It balances earth element in the body, balances our root chakra.
Walk on the water: As per the beliefs of the traditional Chinese medicine the feet are connected to various body organs, and therefore the cold feet soak is extremely beneficial for health, as it activates the blood circulation in the body. enhances immunity and keeps healthy body as the body will get more resilient to the influence of viruses. It also helps to boost immunity. This therapy can be taken even when you are having a flu or cold.
Walk on stones: Walking barefoot on stones is a very effective therapy to better health, it helps lower tension and blood pressure. This practice, is a kind of reflexology, and very common in China and the government encourages construction of cobblestone footpaths to improve fitness and overall health. Our Pm Sri Narendra Modi also walks on a track that is inspired by the 5 elements of nature such as, Fire, Water, Space, Air, and Earth. This includes walking on stones as well. He claims that this is extremely refreshing and rejuvenating and frankly it’s quite a different way of exercising and staying fit too.
Bird watching: Birdwatching can be a very meditative activity, and often provides those taking part with the opportunity to spend a time in a quiet place without any distractions. Additionally, for those living with dementia, getting out and experiencing the nature around them has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Waterfall Watching: Waterfalls have a unique ability to pause the flow of thoughts, bring our awareness to the present moment and fill us with awe. Seeing the movement of water on it’s journey to the ocean reminds us in many ways of our own journey in time. It’s a complete meditation
So in nutshell it’s the nature which is a direct and indirect provider and hence we should be more sensitive about that. I really hope that this Covid experience gives us enlightenment to really take care of the nature in a effective and better way. As destruction of nature and biodiversity will lead to destruction of life.