Sick of Medication
pill lady

by Rain Fordyce

We don’t have a television in our home, though we do have computers and a few mainstream magazines. Mainstream, meaning enough people read them that they have more ads than articles. Pick up any mainstream magazine, and you will be faced with the plethora of advertisements for over-the-counter and on-the-shelf medicine. They have created something for everything. They even tell you that what you are feeling in your mind or body could be a fearfully diagnosable but happily curable (by prescription only) condition.

The more dangerous chemical medications, available by prescription only, are big business. It is important to the medication factories that we teach our kids early to accept these chemical magic makers as necessary and safe. One way to achieve that is to introduce chemical medication as the proud solution to everyday ailments. In the beginning, I was so quick to give my babies medication for crying, teething, runny noses, coughs, ear infections, and when I didn’t know what else to do. My babies never liked it. They would try to spit it out and they would sometimes suffer more deeply from being forced to eat this strange and bitter tasting goo, than from what I was trying to fix. Whatever was happening inside their bodies, I will never know. All I knew was that they would fall asleep. That was usually the goal. Try to get them to sleep it all away.

The other day, I was on the internet watching a television program and I was first shown a commercial, which you cannot stop, fast forward or skip over, about a children’s cough medicine. The company who made this product was showing a sad little child, suffering miserably and unable to sleep in the night. Once the loving mother gave the medication to her child, the child was peacefully sleeping once again and all was right with mom and with the world. The company explained to the viewers “they do what they do, because they care.” I began to wonder, who do they care about? Care about the sick child? Care about the easing the parent’s mind? Or care about continuing to impose the idea that to be a good parent we need to dispense their choice drugs. Maybe they just care about everything… I am not really sure.

I read a study that found a teaspoon of honey was the safest and most effective cough suppressant for anyone over 1 year old. I remember being extremely surprised… honey? If that is the case, why would I give a mixture of chemical pharmaceuticals, chemical artificial colors, flavors and sweetener to my child or even myself? I wondered if the scenario in that persuasive 30 second commercial looked similar to my life in any way. My children really don’t stay awake when they are sick. When their cough has been bad, I have tried cough medicine, I have tried steam showers, hard candy, and now honey. All solutions seem to do something positive, but mostly, once they are tired enough, they fall back to sleep, cough or not.

What is the alternative? As I matured into a free thinking parent, I began to allow my children to say no to drugs. Isn’t that an interesting thought? I allowed them to say no. I would explain to them, as best I could, that they could take this medicine and their symptoms would go away, or they could choose to heal on their own. Needless to say, they chose the latter almost every time. I no longer felt bad if they were coughing or had runny noses. I knew their bodies were working to get better, and they had decided on their own to brave it without symptom relief. This is an amazing courageous quality that I highly admire in them. These days my children rarely get sick.

I have had my own experience with a very long and persistent cough. It lasted 7 weeks! I went to the doctor, bought medicine, drank healing teas and took a host of healing herbs. I tried everything I knew. It wasn’t that I couldn’t sleep, I could. It was that I was keeping everyone else awake that drove me to take medication to stop this annoying cough at night. The last couple of weeks I was ready to be better. I was done. I took more medication than I can ever remember taking as an adult. It stopped the constant coughing, though I was still coughing. Cold medication is not a cure.  It makes your symptoms go away while your body cures itself.  I am not sure why I had a cough so severe, I never had before so I became a “culprit detective.” I suspected it could be due to extensive and quick travel in different elevations and climates. I suspected it could be due to too many nights in over-bleached sheets and towels and chemically sprayed hotel rooms. I suspected it could be due to plain old homesickness. After trying it all, the best medicine ended up being driving back home. Miraculously, when I was home for 2 days in my non-toxic and naturally “clean” environment and the elevation and climate was what I was used to, the cough miraculously disappeared.

We all get sick for a myriad of reasons. The most common seems to be from long term stress. Yes, it is our minds that need to be well for our bodies to be well. Medication is not always necessary, and one day we may find it never was. The idea that we need a carefully crafted pill to heal ourselves seems as old fashioned as snake oil. At the same time, I absolutely love that we have so many kinds of symptom relievers out there for people who want them. I definitely honor my choice to take the easy road or the more challenging road. And I always suggest the more threatening the illness the more options you allow yourself. Just make sure you look at ALL the options.

Remember, medication is a non-food chemical and there is no such thing as a “safe” chemical. Know that in the end, to make it through your illness and discomfort, whatever road you choose, that your body is an amazing healing machine, and it wants to be in a natural state of wellness. Taking better care of yourself on a daily basis, will keep you well away from medication.


smiles and inspiration!



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