We Buy Local and Eat Local… Why Don’t We Heal Local?

by: Sara on 06/01/2015

In today's blog post Dawn Combs, the author of Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it Yourself Home Healthcare, starts breaking down the barriers that stop us from accessing local medicine and empowers us to take our health back into our own hands -  one herb at a time.

The message is out and the movement to buy your food locally and support your local farmer has been a part of our mainstream culture for a few years now. Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to where we should be sourcing our medicine. While we lovingly select our spinach, as a whole our society is comfortable with a supplement bottle full of glossy pills that were prepared in an unknown facility by unknown hands (or worse by no hands at all).


If it is important to protect our carbon footprint and ensure that our food is as fresh and nutrient dense as possible, shouldn’t the quality, sustainability and freshness of our medicine also be a top priority? We need to eat local and buy local, yes. But I wrote my most recent book, Heal Local, 20 Essential Herbs for Do-it-Yourself Home Healthcare, with the hope that we can get everyone to see a value in the need to Heal Local as well.

There are quite a few obstacles to sourcing our medicine and supplements from local farmers and producers:

  1. A lack of self-empowerment- One of my most important missions in life is to help people reconnect to their inner wisdom. A medical degree is not required to know our own body enough to make our own decisions about how to maintain and preserve our health. We all need to take responsibility for our daily health and this extends to reclaiming the knowledge required to care for minor health issues at home.
  2. The need to build local medicine economies- Because food and medicine have been divorced on the plate and we have given away our power to someone outside ourselves, we no longer have the structures in place in our local communities to care for ourselves. Local medicine requires more than a pharmacist and a medical professional. It calls for a grower, a maker, retailers and open air markets, open-minded physicians as well as self-empowered and informed consumers. The Western culture likes efficiency, preferring a small number of large growers and makers over many hundreds of them each focused on their own unique community. For Heal Local to be safe and personal, we need to bring back the personal relationships that we once had when health care providers knew our families and prepared our medicines for our individual needs.
  3. The rift between Western medicine and the wholistic mindset- The finger pointing and polarization that is around both ends of this debate is just a distraction. The longer we villify each other, the longer no one listens and all of our health suffers as a result.  We live in an amazing time with mind-boggling advancements in medicine. At the same time our ability to share information across the planet and learn from traditional health practices has never been easier. The way forward is not one or the other but a mixture of both.



I’m planning to get on the road and spread this message. I hope you pick up my book and join me in the coming revolution in healthcare. Maybe you’ll grow a couple plants in your garden intended for self-care. Maybe you’ll decide to make a local salve or grow healing plants to take to your farmer’s market. Perhaps you’re a medical professional that can help us to tie both of these worlds together using your in-depth knowledge of the human body and your desire to help your patients gain self-sufficiency in their daily health. We need everyone doing whatever small bit they can to move us forward. Just imagine what our healthcare landscape can become when it is personal and home-grown. 

Also by Dawn Combs




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