Sometimes Remedies Come From Our Own Backyard

April 4, 2018

As cancer treatments and supportive remedies are explored further, maybe we will find ourselves going back to using some of the basic ingredients found in nature.

Sometimes what we need for our healing can come from our own back yard and garden.

Growing up in Michigan, I got to enjoy all the seasons and learned a little bit about nature from a Native American perspective. Story has it, one of my great grandmothers was full-blooded Native American. My grandfather would tell me stories of nature and a little about Native American heritage, which was mostly the importance of respecting nature. My grandfather died from cancer while I was in middle school, but I was fortunate that I got to spend time with him learning the basics of hunting, fishing and the importance of sustainability. Most of his wisdom was about listening to our environment and helping to be a protector of it.

My grandfather had hidden his Native American heritage much of his adult life while pursuing a career, but as the oldest of his grandchildren, and once he retired he found a sense of pride sharing what he learned and knew with me. He enjoyed spending time on property he purchased for hunting and fishing retreats which I enjoyed sometimes on long weekends or during the summer. It is a peaceful place where you can sometimes see lights from the Aurora Borealis and hear a whippoorwill or two echoing through the trees.

While my grandfather was not a medicine man, he did speak of herbs and resources from nature. While I was healing from cancer, I was reminded of the importance of connecting with nature, and I did so whenever possible. I also used resources from my own backyard to support healing. I have some very large aloe vera plants that came in handy for individuals around me who were undergoing radiation therapy. Many of my peers were suffering from radiation burns or wanted to help protect their skin. So, I took several large leaves from my plants to help provide a natural resource for healing. During one of my final surgeries, I had a severe reaction to the glue they used to close my incisions. I used the leaves along with green tea when I was suffering from blisters and raw and reddened skin.

I was reminded that sometimes what we need for healing can come from our own environment. Far better than any commercial version of aloe, the natural leaves were appreciated and effective. I now have a few extra plants I offer freely to others.

There are other suggested benefits of using aloe, too. It can help boost the immune system, support digestion and act as a relief for constipation. Aloe also feels refreshing as a natural moisturizer in the form of a facial mask.

During my own healing, I tried to enjoy the most basic things in life to support my recovery. In fact, I still rely upon good food, fresh air, healthy breathing and connecting with nature. As cancer treatments and supportive remedies are explored further, maybe we will find ourselves going back to using some of the basic ingredients found in nature.


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