Disease follows in the wake of disaster

Jimi Wollumbin, Uki

Driving through the carnage in Murwillumbah this morning I was reminded that from Hippocrates day on, physicians have always observed the way illness follows war and pestilence. The outer environment cannot change without changes simultaneously being wrought within us. Floods, quakes and fires are like fevers and flus of Gaian proportions.

But what does this mean in practical terms? It means obviously there are changes in the microbial culture of our air and water. Being very cautious around what you eat and drink and how you prepare food is foremost. If you live in a flood effected area right now, just imagine you’re on a holiday in India; don’t wash your salad in tap water for a while, take a probiotic and burn essential oils in the house to keep down immune suppressing mould and treat even minor cuts with good disinfectants.

Easily as important as all this is the effect of shock and trauma in the community. The fight or flight response switches off the immune response. On top of this, nerves are frazzled and tempers can be short. Humans aren’t so different from other small furry mammals – we need to be held and cuddled and settled.

Adaptogenic herbs like Ashwaganda are perfectly suited to such times as are simply nervines like passionflower. If anxiety persists try Kava Kava very hour or two.

Finally, never underestimate the healing and restorative power of a good soup. The best way to consume them is to take one round to someone in need and sit down and have a chat about it all.

Like human fevers however, natural disasters often clear the way for prioritising what truly matters and can ultimately be very healing for the whole community.


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