Herbs for Healthy Living


Listen to Your Body

By: Irma Schutte

His face said it all. Disbelief was written all over it when, in response to his complaint of pain behind the knees, I suggested a kidney tonic! “But the pain is nowhere near my kidneys!” he exclaimed in frustration. Patiently, I explained how referred pain could indicate an organ in distress, and that in turn might be the cause of the pain.

Sometimes pain in a particular area is just that. Maybe you bumped your shoulder against something and now it hurts. The pain is explained and the cause is known. What do you do if the shoulder hurts without you injuring it? What could the cause then be? This is where the language of the body needs to be listened to so that the true cause can be treated.

Pain behind the knees, without it being caused by an injury, usually indicates that something is wrong in the urinary tract. I offered the gentleman Solidago, as a means to rid him of his pain, and I gave it to him on condition that he would come back to pay for it, if it helped him. I was quite sure that he would be back... which he was!

Few people know how to interpret the signs that the body constantly uses to attract your attention. You now know that the pain behind the knees could indicate kidney or bladder problems in some people, or prostate problems in men. Other indicators of poor kidney function could be swollen ankles, feet, hands or puffy eyes as water collects in the cells. Pain on the top of the head, behind the neck and down the spine can also indicate the kidneys are in need of help. Athletes’ foot, smelly feet, hot burning feet, weeping eczema—they all respond to healthier kidneys.

The kidneys depend on water and minerals to be able to function optimally. Each day, enough water is required to produce clear urine, which has a slightly salty odour to it. Bad smelling, dark urine is not what you want.

Solidago is also known as Golden Rod. This ancient remedy for urinary tract problems has an antiseptic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect on the kidneys and the bladder. Solidago is traditionally known for its mild diuretic effect, and is a great way to ensure that the kidneys can fulfil their daily task of filtering approximately 8 litres of blood, without loss of potassium.

If you wake at 2am to 3am for no apparent reason, you need to take note and consider that your liver could need attention. Headaches on the right hand side of the head could be an indication that the gall bladder is congested with thick bile or the liver could be congested, due to the poor flow of bile out of the millions of liver cells. The liver and gall bladder act as a unit and will both respond to similar help. Pain in the right shoulder or right hip, fungus under the right toe nail, dry itchy flaking skin, often with no noticeable eruption, a bitter taste in the mouth, nausea, indigestion, flatulence, irritable bowel symptoms, spastic colon, haemorrhoids, and constipation can all indicate liver toxicity.

I remember well the case of a young man with severe vertigo attacks. A variety of solutions had failed to bring lasting relief. His life was severely affected by these attacks, which took longer and longer to resolve. As he sat down, I noticed that he held onto the right side of his head to ease the discomfort. Upon questioning him, he revealed that he loved to eat, drink and be merry! With shock, he agreed to participate in an alcohol-free, vegetable-rich lifestyle for six weeks. The transformation of this man was remarkable.

He lost kilos of unsightly weight, his tongue cleared to a healthy pink, which also led to sweeter smelling breath, in no time at all. The vertigo disappeared and he felt well for the first time in years. What was the cause of his problems? Right-sided symptoms indicate that the liver and gall bladder are not at ease. Milk Thistle and Cynara (Globe Artichoke), a decent selection of fresh foods and no alcohol made the difference. Sad to say, he persistently went back to his old habits, which made him sick and miserable time and again. Strange but true...