The disease symptom tree

I try and help my patients understand the difference between natural medicine and conventional medicine by giving them the analogy of a tree.

The disease symptom tree

Look at the tree above, with all its branches and leaves, as hundreds of symptoms and diseases. This is what conventional medicine is interested in. Doctors deal with disease states and help you manage the symptoms by giving you medicine. Yet the medicine—which is not natural to the body—is not accepted very well and creates side effects. This eventually leads to you having to take more pills for those side effects and so on in a vicious cycle.

The roots of the tree

Natural medicine on the other hand is more interested in prevention; dealing with the root cause of the condition (illness) by focusing on the roots of the tree. By healing the root cause of the disease or symptoms, you will heal the body and naturally eradicate any symptoms. The tree (body) is healthy and no symptoms or disease are present.

Please don't think I am discrediting conventional medicine. I am not. My brother, Marc Laniado is a well respected Urologist, and we often work on many cases together. He has the wisdom to embrace and celebrate natural medicine and sees the benefits in using it to support the treatment plans for his patients. My aim is for us to have a fully integrated medical system, where natural and conventional medicine work hand in hand. Together they can help both acute and chronic disease.

We should always bear in mind that if it wasn’t for conventional medicine, we would not be able to help people with acute problems from broken bones to heart attacks. Western medicine is a necessary and fundamental part of our health care system. However, doctors are over worked, underfunded and lack the time to really understand the chronic illnesses of their patients.

This is where natural medicine comes into its own.

We, as Naturopaths, understand that these small and perhaps inconsequential symptoms are part of a much bigger picture; they therefore need to be taken seriously and validated, to avoid more serious health challenges later on in life.

What the body needs

The body loves an alkaline environment. Processed foods, fried foods, white bread, pasta, pastries, biscuits, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco all create acidity in the body. The body thrives on water, whole foods, organic vegetables, fruits, a little meat (if you eat meat, I encourage you to go organic), lentils and nuts and seeds. By giving the body these types of foods, you are helping nourish all the tissues and cells; giving the body enzyme rich, living, healthy nutrients that are going to maintain balance and wellness.   An abundance of these foods long term will ensure healthy regular bowel motions and a healthy, vibrant life till old age free from chronic illness.

What conventional medicine says

Since conventional medicine does not yet fully see the connection between a healthy balanced diet and a healthy balanced body and mind, be careful following what the government considers a balanced diet—it's usually not enough.

The generally recommended advice is to:

  • Eat more fibre: all bran from your nearest supermarket.
  • Take some Fybogel laxative.
  • Drink some Senna herb tea.
  • Wash it all down with lots of water.

Generally, these are short term solutions to the problem; they don't promote natural health giving foods, helping the body function as it should. In particular, the body does not like the bran in most supermarket cereals, which irritates the digestive tract. There are better natural alternatives.

All bran box with red cross

Also, most cereals have high quantities of sugar, which are damaging to the body, affect blood sugar balance and eventually imbalance hormones. Long term use of laxatives weaken the bowel muscle and irritate the gut, causing inflammation, cramping and flatulence.

It's bad advice.


What are the natural cures for constipation?

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