Thursday, November 30, 2006

Principles and Practice of Nature Cure

Nature Cures, not the Physician.
- Hippocrates

Nature cure is a constructive method of treatment which aims at removing the basic cause of disease through the rational use of the elements freely available in nature. It is not only a system of healing, but also a way of life, in tune with the internal vital forces or natural elements comprising the human body. It is a complete revolution in the art and science of living.

Although the term ‘naturopathy’ is of relatively recent origin, the philosophical basis and several of the methods of nature cure treatments are ancient. It was practised in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the father of medicine ( 460-357 B.C.) strongly advocated it. India, it appears, was much further advanced in older days in natural healing system than other countries of the world. There are references in India’s ancient sacred books about the extensive use of nature’s excellent healing agents such as air, earth, water and sun. The Great Baths of the Indus Valley civilisation as discovered at Mohenjodaro in old Sind testifies to the use of water for curative purposes in ancient India.

The modern methods of nature cure originated in Germany in 1822, when Vincent Priessnitz established the first hydropathic establishment there. With his great success in water cure, the idea of drugless healing spread throughout the civilised world and many medical practitioners throughout the civilised world and many medical practitioners from America and other countries became his enthusiastic students and disciples. These students subsequently enlarged and developed the various methods of natural healing in their own way. The whole mass of knowledge was later collected under one name, Naturopathy. The credit for the name Naturopathy goes to Dr. Benedict Lust ( 1872 - 1945), and hence he is called the Father of Naturopathy.

Nature cure is based on the realisation that man is born healthy and strong and that he can stay as such as living in accordance with the laws of nature. Even if born with some inherited affliction, the individual can eliminate it by putting to the best use the natural agents of healing.

Fresh air, sunshine, a proper diet, exercise, scientific relaxation, constructive thinking and the right mental attitude, along with prayer and meditation all play their part in keeping a sound mind in a sound body.

Nature cure believes that disease is an abnormal condition of the body resulting from the violation of the natural laws. Every such violation has repercussions on the human system in the shape of lowered vitality, irregularities of the blood and lymph and the accumulation of waste matter and toxins. Thus, through a faulty diet it is not the digestive system alone which is adversely affected. When toxins accumulate, other organs such as the bowels, kidneys, skin and lungs are overworked and cannot get rid of these harmful substances as quickly as they are produced.

Besides this, mental and emotional disturbances cause imbalances of the vital electric field within which cell metabolism takes place, producing toxins. When the soil of this electric filed is undisturbed, disease-causing germs can live in it without multiplying or producing toxins. It is only when it is disturbed or when the blood is polluted with toxic waste that the germs multiply and become harmful.

Basic Principles

The whole philosophy and practice of nature cure is built on three basic principles. These principles are based on the conclu sions reached from over a century of effective naturopathic treatment of diseases in Germany, America and Great Britain. They have been tested and proved over and over again by the results obtained.

The first and most basic principle of nature cure is that all forms of disease are due to the same cause, namely, the accumulations of waste materials and bodily refuse in the system. These waste materials in the healthy individual are removed from the system through the organs of elimination. But in the diseased person, they are steadily piling up in the body through years of faulty habits of living such as wrong feeding, improper care of the body and habits contributing to enervation and nervous exhaustion such as worry, overwork and excesses of all kinds. It follows from this basic principle that the only way to cure disease is to employ methods which will enable the system to throw off these toxic accumulations. All natural treatments are actually directed towards this end.

The second basic principle of nature cure is that all acute diseases such as fevers, colds, inflammations, digestive disturbances and skin eruptions are nothing more than self-initiated efforts on the part of the body to throw off the accumulated waste materials and that all chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatism, asthma, kidney disorders, are the results of continued suppression of the acute diseases through harmful methods such as drugs, vaccines, narcotics and gland extracts.

The third principle of nature cure is that the body contains an eleborate healing mechanism which has the power to bring about a return to normal condition of health, provided right methods are employed to enable it to do so. In other words, the power to cure disease lies within the body itself and not in the hands of the doctor.

Nature Cure vs Modern System

The modern medical system treats the symptoms and suppresses the disease but does little to ascertain the real cause. Toxic drugs which may suppress or relieve some ailments usually have harmful side-effects. Drugs usually hinder the self-healing efforts of the body and make recovery more difficult. According to the late Sir William Osler, an eminent physician and surgeon, when drugs are used, the patient has to recover twice - once from the illness, and once from the drug.

Drugs cannot cure diseases; disease continues. It is only its pattern that changes. Drugs also produce dietary deficiencies by destroying nutrients, using them up, and preventing their absorption. Moreover, the toxicity they produce occurs at a time when the body is least capable of coping with it. The power to restore health thus lies not in drugs,but in nature.

The approach of modern system is more on combative lines after the disease has set in, whereas nature cure system lays greater emphasis on preventive method and adopts measures to attain and maintain health and prevent disease. The modern medical system treats each disease as a separate entity, requiring specific drug for its cure, whereas the nature cure system treats the organism as a whole and seeks to restore harmony to the whole of the patient’s being.

Methods of Nature Cure

The nature cure system aims at the readjustment of the human system from abnormal to normal conditions and functions, and adopts methods of cure which are in conformity with the constructive principles of nature. Such methods remove from the system the accumulation of toxic matter and poisons without in any way injuring the vital organs of the body. They also stimulate the organs of elimination and purification to better functioning.

To cure disease, the first and foremost requirement is to regulate the diet. To get rid of accumulated toxins and restore the equilibrium of the system, it is desirable to completely exclude acid-forming foods, including proteins, starches and fats, for a week or more and to confine the diet to fresh fruits which will disinfect the stomach and alimentary canal. If the body is overloaded with morbid matter, as in acute disease, a complete fast for a few days may be necessary for the elimination of toxins. Fruit juice may, however, be taken during a fast. A simple rule is: do not eat when you are sick, stick to a light diet of fresh fruits. Wait for the return of the usual healthy appetite. Loss of appetite is Nature’s warning that no burden should be placed on the digestive organs. Alkaline foods such as raw vegetables and sprouted whole grain cereals may be added after a week of a fruits-only diet.

Another important factor in the cure of diseases by natural methods is to stimulate the vitality of the body. This can be achieved by using water in various ways and at varying temperatures in the form of packs or baths. The application of cold water, especially to the abdomen, the seat of most diseases, and to the sexual organs, through a cold sitting ( hip) bath immediately lowers body heat and stimulates the nervous system. In the form of wet packs, hydrotherapy offers a simple natural method of abating fevers and reducing pain and inflammation without any harmful side-effects. Warm water applications, on the other hand, are relaxing.

Other natural methods useful in the cure of diseases are air and sunbaths, exercise and massage. Air and sunbaths revive dead skin and help maintain it in a normal condition. Exercise, especially yogic asanas,promotes inner health and harmony and helps eliminate all tension: physical, mental and emotional. Massage tones up the nervous system and quickens blood circulation and the metabolic process.

Thus a well-balanced diet, sufficient physical exercise, the observation of the other laws of well-being such as fresh air, plenty of sunlight, pure drinking water,scrupulous cleanliness, adequate rest and right mental attitude can ensure proper health and prevent disease.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Herbal Magic: Herbs terms to know

DECOCTION: Place one ounce of herb in one pint of water. Make certain that roots are put in to boil before leaves. Once the water has come to a boil, simmer for about 30 minutes covered, then leave to cool completely. Strain and use as directed.

INFUSION: The original form of a potion, an infusion is not unlike a tea in quality. Pour boiling water over the herb in the proportions of one ounce herb to one pint water (although you may need much less for herbs that infuse quickly in water). Steep for fifteen to thirty minutes until a tea is formed. Use as directed.

MACERATE: To steep an herb in fat, such as done with salve and ointments. Best oils to use are almond and sesame. Warm one cup of oil over a low flame and place onehalf ounce herbs wrapped in cheesecloth to soak. Continue until the herbs have lost their color and the oil is rich with their scent.

OINTMENT: A fatty substance such as lard to which herbs are added. Choose herbs according to the effect you desire, or enchant them, or both. For healing ointments, choose according to physical ailment. Three teaspoon of herb to one cup of fat, steeped and heated several times should prove very nice. Vegetable shortening will work very well, especially almond and saffron. All ointments should be kept cool and in air tight containers for best results. For magic, ointments work best when applied to pulse points or charkas.

POULTICE: A portion of herbs placed in an equal amount of boiling water to steep. Once herbs have been fully dampened, strain the water and place the herbs in gauze or cheesecloth applied directly to the affected area. This can be a little messy, so have a towel handy. It works fairly well, especially for rashes and other mild skin disorders.

TINCTURE: For ounces of herb steeped in eight ounces of alcohol for about two weeks gives a reasonable tincture. The bottle should be sealed and left in a dark area, and the liquid strained when the tincture is ready. WASH: A tea or infusion meant only for external use. A mild form of a wash would be 1/4 ounce of herb to one pint of boiling water, steeped until lukewarm, then applied.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fasting - The Master Remedy

Fasting refers to complete abstinence from food for a short or long period for a specific purpose.

The word is derived from the old English, ‘feastan’ which means to fast, observe, be strict.

Fasting is nature’s oldest, most effective and yet least expensive method of treating disease. It is recognised as the cornerstone of natural healing. Dr. Arnold Eheret, the originator of the muscusless diet healing system, describes it as "nature’s only universal and omnipotent remedy of healing" and "nature’s only fundamental law of all healing and curing."

The practice of fasting is one of the most ancient customs. It is followed in almost every religion.

The Mohammedan, the Buddhists, the Hindus and many others have their periods of strict fasting. The saints of medieval times laid great stress on this method.

Fasting indisease was advocated by the school of natural philosopher, Asclepiades, more than two thousand years ago. Throughout medical history, it has been regarded as one of the most dependable curative methods. Hippocrates, Galen, Paracelsus and many other great authorities on medicine prescribed it. Many noted modern physicians have successfully employed this system of healing in the treatment of numerous diseases.

The common cause of all diseases is the accumulation of waste and poisonous matter in the body which results from overeating. The majority of persons eat too much and follow sedentary occupations which do not permit sufficient and proper exercise for utilisation of this large quantity of food. This surplus overburdens the digestive and assimulative organs and clogs up the system with impurities or poisons. Digestion and elimination become slow and the functional activity of the whole system gets deranged.

The onset of disease is merely the process of ridding the system of these impurities. Every disease can be healed by only one remedy - by doing just the opposite of what causes it, that is, by reducing the food intake or fasting.

By depriving the body of food for a time ,the organs of elimination such as the bowels, kidneys, skin and lungs are given opportunity to expel, unhampered, the overload of accumulated waste from the system. Thus, fasting is merely the process of purification and an effective and quick method of cure. It assists nature in her continuous effort to expel foreign matter and disease producing waste from the body, thereby correcting the faults of improper diet and wrong living. It also leads to regeneration of the blood as well as the repair and regeneration of the various tissues of the body.


The duration of the fast depends upon the age of the patient, the nature of the disease and the amount and type of drugs previously used. The duration is important, because long periods of fasting can be dangerous if undertaken without competent professional guidance. It is, therefore, advisable to undertake a series of short fasts of two to three days and gradually increase the duration of each succeeding fast by a day or so. The period, however, should not exceed a week of total fasting at a time. This will enable the chronically sick body to gradually and slowly eliminate toxic waste matter without seriously affecting the natural functioning of the body. A correct mode of living and a balanced diet after the fast will restore vigour and vitality to the individual.

Fasting is highly beneficial in practically all kinds of stomach and intestinal disorders and in serious conditions of the kidneys and liver. It is a miracle cure for eczema and other skin diseases and offers the only hope of permanent cure in many cases. The various nervous disorders also respond favourably to this mode of treatment.

Fasting should, however, not be restored to in every illness. In cases of diabetes, advanced stages of tuberculosis, and extreme cases of neurasthenia, long fasts will be harmful. IN most cases, however , no harm will accrue to fasting patients, provided they take rest, and are under proper professional care.


The best, safest and most effective method of fasting is juice fasting. Although the old classic form of fasting was a pure water fast, most ofthe leading authorities on fasting today agree that juice fasting is far superior to a water fast. According to Dr. Rangar Berg, the world – famous authority on nutrition, "During fasting the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes. We can help this cleansing process by drinking alkaline juice instead of water while fasting ... Elimina tion of uric acid and other inorganic acids will be accelerated. And sugars in juices will strengthen the heart ... juice fasting is, therefore, the best form of fasting. "Vitamins, minerals, enzymes and trace elements in fresh, raw vegetable and fruit juices are extremely beneficial in normalising all the body processes. They supply essential elements for the body’s own healing activity and cell renegeration and thus speeding the recovery. All juices should be prepared from fresh fruit immediately before drinking. Canned or frozen juices should not be used.

A precautionary measure which must be observed in all cases of fasting is the complete emptying of the bowels at the beginning of the fast by enema so that the patient is not bothered by gas or decomposing matter formed from the excrements remaining in the body. Enemas should be administered at least every alternate day during the fasting period. The patient should get as much fresh air as possible and should drink plain lukewarm water when thirsty. Fresh juices may be diluted with pure water. The total liquid intake should be approximately six to eight glasses.

A lot of energy is spent during the fast in the process of eliminating accumulated poisons and toxic waste materials. It is, therfore, of utmost importance that the patients gets as much physical rest and mental relaxation as possible during the fast. IN cases of fasts in which fruit juices are taken, especially when fresh grapes, oranges or grapefruit are used exclusively, the toxic wastes enter the blood -stream rapidly, resulting in an overload of toxic matter, which affects normal bodily functions. This often results in dizzy spells, followed by diarrhoea and vomiting. If this physical reaction persists, it is advisable to discontinue the fast and take cooked vegetables containing adequate roughage such as spinach and beets until the body functioning returns to normal.

The overweight person finds it much easier to go without food. Loss of weight causes no fear and the patient’s attitude makes fasting almost a pleasure. The first day’s hunger pangs are perhaps the most difficult to bear. The craving for food will, however, gradually decrease as the fast progresses. Seriously sick persons have no desire for food and fasting comes naturally to

them. The simples rule is to stop eating until the appetite returns or until one feels completely well.

Only very simple exercises like short walks may be undertaken during the fast. A warm water or neutral bath may be taken during the period. Cold baths are not advisable. Sun and air baths should be taken daily. Fasting sometimes produces a state of sleeplessness which can be overcome by a warm tub bath, hot water bottles at the feet and by drinking one or two glasses of hot water.


There are several benefit of fasting. During a long fast, the body feeds upon its reserves. Being deprived of needed nutrients, particularly of protein and fats, it will burn and digest its own tissues by the process of autolysis or self-digestion. But it will not do so indistriminately. The body will first decompose and burn those cells and tissues which are diseased, damaged, aged or dead. The essential tissues and vital organs, the glands, the nervous system and the brain are not damaged or digested in fasting. Here lies the secret of the effectiveness of fasting as a curative and rejuvenative method. During fasting, the building of new and healthy cells are speeded up by the amino acids released from the diseased cells. The capacity of the eliminative

organs, that is, lungs, liver, kidneys and the skin is greatly increased as they are relieved of the usual burden of digesting food and eliminating the resultant wastes. They are, therefore, able to quickly expel old accumulated wastes and toxins.

Fasting affords a physiological rest to the digestive, assimilative and protective organs. As a result, the digestion of food and the utilisation of nutrients is greatly improved after fasting. The fast also exerts a normalising, stablising and rejuvenating effect on all the vital physiological, nervous and mental functions.

Breaking of Fast

The success of the fast depends largely on hos it is broken. This is the most significant phase. The main rules for breaking the fast are: do not overeat, eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly; and take several days for the gradual change to the normal diet. If the transition to eating solid foods is carefully planned, there will be no discomfort or damage. The patient should also continue to take rest during the transition period. The right food after a fast is as important and decisive for proper results as the fast itself.

Woods: their types and uses herbal magic

The ancient Celtic tree alphabet was used by the followers of the Old Religion to construct a language of the trees that could be used in conjunction with the occult symbolism of each of the trees. When translated from the ancient tongue we find the following trees referenced often: Elm, Birch, Hazel, Oak, Aspen, Alder, Ivy, Yew, Rowan, Ash, Pine, Willow, Elder, and Spindle.

These trees, along with others, will be covered. From early times, there have been the sacred groves and the sacred tree.

Individual trees of particular species have been revered, the kind varying with the divine force represented. Oak and Cedar are obvious examples of father emblems as Willow and Hazel are mother emblems. The androgynous Pine and the world bearing Ash also have their place in our folklore. The symbolism of the woods is very important in the construction of any magical tool. A complete description of the various woods and their uses is impossible in a limited space but we will cover as much as possible.


The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods. The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon. The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightings' flash. The Oak is a male wood, which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs. The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity,

sacrifice, guardian, liberator.


With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees. The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals. Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits. Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlled by the Lunar influences. Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.


The Hazel is a tree of wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft. We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.


The Alder is the tree of fire. In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line. It is described as the very "battle witch" of all woods, the tree that is hottest in the fight. from the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs; this symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth. The Alder wood is the wood of the witches.

Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds. It is

also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes. To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it. The Alder is a token of resurrection.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection. Making magical dyes.


The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus. Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dedicated to resurrection. Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally. The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.

OCCULT ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth. (IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.


The Yew is known as the death tree in all European countries. Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy. Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks. This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death. Its use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate's cauldron contained:” Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse. "The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters. They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Destructive workings concerning death. Not recommended for magical tools "...for I am the tomb to every hope.


The Rowan is seen as the tree of life. It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand. In the British Isles, Rowan is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts. In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle. The Rowan is also used for many healing purposes. The "Quickbeam" is the tree of quickening. Another use was in metal divining. In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.


The Ash is sacred to Poseidon and Woden. The Ash is considered to be the father of trees. The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water. Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness. The spirally carved druidical wand was made of Ash for this purpose.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Sea power, karmic laws, magical potency, healing,

protection from drowning.


External symbol of life and immortality. It is one of the few trees that are androgynous. It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame. It is regarded as a very soothing tree External symbol of life and immortality. It is one of the few trees that are androgynous. It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame. It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation


The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone, all death aspects of the Triple Moon Goddess, and was often used by the Witches in Greece. The moon owns it. Female symbol. It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally. The Willow is the tree of enchantment. Can be made into a tool to make wishes come true.

OCCULT PURPOSES: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility


A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan) thus making the Elder another aspect of the White Goddess. The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree. The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.


The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May.

It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning "harm". The Goddess, under the name Cardea, cast spells with the Hawthorn. In many cultures, the month of the Hawthorn (May) is a month of bad luck for marriages. The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol. The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.


Holly means "holy". The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept a it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross. The Holly has many uses form making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty


The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leaved White Popular, or Aspen, The shield makers tree. Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one). The Black popular was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth. Plato makes a reference to the use of Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination. The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Popular for loss of hope. In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Hope, rebirth, divinations.

This concludes trees referenced to be in use in Europe. However, I thought there may be interest in a few local trees.


Almond has a very sweet natural being. Aids in self-protection.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Fruitfulness, virginity


It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.



The Coconut is feminine and very fertile. The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.


The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.



The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse. It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities. It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe. The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Love, fertility, sexual potency.


Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves. Aids in rejuvenation. OCCULT ASPECTS: Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life


The Peach is an emblem of marriage.

OCCULT ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happiness

This concludes this short treatise on the various woods, their types and uses. This information was passed to me through various sources, and no claim is made as to its accuracy.