Originally posted 13 April 2009
This is one of those good news/bad news kind of stories. Okay, maybe not “bad news,” but at least news that makes you wonder:
In flusher times, Ms. Parham said, she spent $50 a month on prescriptions for her asthma, allergies and other chronic problems. Now, she pays $6 a month for over-the-counter protein supplements and oregano oil capsules. “That’s an important savings for me,” she said. “It means I can rent a movie or make the kids food that they actually like.”
A lot of consumers seem to be doing the same math. Sales of vitamins and nutritional supplements, which have grown consistently for years, have surged in recent months, rising as the stock market has fallen. People are clearly cutting back on many items, from bread and milk to designer jeans and flat-screen televisions, but they are stocking up on pills that they think can spare them expensive doctor visits.
Good news: holistic health practices continue to rival drug-loving industrial medical practices, albiet from perceived economic necessity.
News that makes you wonder: if you’re only paying $6 a month for two supplements, we would seriously wonder about the quality of those supplements. While low cost does not always mean low quality, too often, it does. And especially in these days of tainted imports, it’s important to know what you’re really getting in the supplements you buy – especially considering that you’re buying them to improve or support your health.
If you are looking to support your health via supplementation, we recommend you work with a naturopath or other qualified holistic health care provider. He or she can help you learn which supplements may be of most benefit (and which may not) – and help guide you to quality products.
That said, it should also be remembered that health isn’t just about popping pills. That’s the thinking of industrial medicine: pop a pill and all will be well. It’s also the thinking of hyper-consumerism – the idea that, whatever you want to accomplish, you must buy stuff.
Fortunately, health doesn’t have depend on buying lots of stuff. In fact, buying less by changing behaviors can do a lot to improve your health.
- Stop buying highly processed, unreal foods and beverages and eat out less.
- Start a garden and grow your own fruits and veg.
- Stop driving everywhere.
- Start walking or cycling more.
- Stop smoking.
- Start practicing yoga, pilates, tai chi or other exercise that doesn’t require equipment or gym membership.
And so on. The number one thing that supports health, after all, is a healthy lifestyle.
Then the money you save in such ways is money that you can restore to your food budget so you can include organic, sustainably raised foods in your diet. Or, if supplements are something that will help you toward your particular health goals, you can buy higher quality ones. Or you can use the extra cash for your safety net. Or pay down your debt and lessen your stress…
So many possibilities!