Celebrating African Traditional Medicine Week 26 – 31st August

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The celebration of African Traditional Medicine Week 26th – 31st August recognizes the work done by traditional healers for centuries. This holistic medicinal practice incorporates natural herbs, ingredients and African spirituality to bring physical, mental and spiritual healing to individuals.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) offers the following description –

“Traditional medicine refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge & beliefs incorporating plant, animal & mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques & exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illness or maintain well-being.”

About 80% of Africa’s population relies on traditional medicine for their basic health needs. In some cases, traditional medicine is the only healthcare service available, accessible and affordable to many people on the continent. In this case, the significant contribution of traditional medicine as a major provider of healthcare services in Africa cannot be underestimated.

The tradition of a treating the person as a “whole entity” – body mind & spirit has far reaching effect as the cause of physical ailments stem from a spiritual or emotional malady – manifesting physically as an ailment. Too often in medicine today we seek advice for a symptom and seldom do the medical fraternity seek the root cause… The Traditional healers approach the “patient” as a whole and not just as a disease or ailment.

Traditional Medicine, as seen in the 21st century, has made immense advances in human well-being, coexisting with extreme deprivation in many parts of the world, where the natural route handed down through the ages prevails. The folk medicine which has mainly been transmitted through word of mouth, ritual & ethnic cultures, are more diverse and encompass various modalities of the healthcare system.

Let’s take a look at some of the SOUTH AFRICAN traditional indigenous plants and their incredible medicinal properties:

aloe plant image

Externally: Heals wounds, burns, sunburn, scrapes, and ulcers; Treats eczema and fungal infections like ringworm and thrush. Internally: Used for gastric ulcers & Irritable bowel syndrome


+Enemas, poultices, vapor, infusions, body washes, lotions, smoked, snuffed or drunk as a tea. Blood purifier for treating acne and boils.
+Colds, headaches, coughs, fever, earache, malaria, diabetes meilitus, intestinal parasites, stomach disorders, loss of appetite, colic.
+Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, pain-relieving – wormwood dressing of hot leaves bound over sprains, arthritic and rheumatic swellings.
+Tea – disinfect cuts and grazes.

African potato

+Immune Stimulant; Helps with Diabetes; Prostate problems.
+Anti-cancer properties (like prostate cancer); Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); Urinary tract disorders including bladder infections; TB & Arthritis.

Buchu Plant image

Used for treatment of bladder infections, inflammation & gout. It also has a diuretic effect.


An adaptogenic providing Immune System support against chronic diseases or immune deficiency diseases; aids in reducing wasting due to illnesses such as cancer, TB and Aids; regulates and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
ALSO viral hepatitis; bronchitis; flu; asthma; rheumatoid arthritis; peptic ulcers; liver conditions; urinary tract infections – Topically to treat burns, wounds and inflammatory skin conditions.

wild ginger image

A variety of medicinal and traditional uses to the native South African people. Rhizomes and roots are chewed fresh to treat asthma, hysteria, colds, coughs and flu.It is used to treat malaria and is chewed by women during painful menstruation.

penny wort plant image

The leaves are used to treats wounds and fevers; also used to treat acne and allergies.

Hoodia Plant image

The stems are dried and used to suppress appetite; also used for indigestion and stomach ache.

Madagascar periwinkle plant image

The roots are used to treat diabetes and rheumatism. Liquid from the leaf is used in chemotherapy to treat several types of cancer.

Contact BALANCED HEALING for more information regarding the benefits of traditional medicine.

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Balanced Healing offers an integrated holistic approach to health & wellness in the workplace & for the individual
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A new year brings new hopes and desires to improve health. We seem to want to lose weight, improve our fitness levels, change our look & even relook our personal & business goals and aspirations.

Personally, I am one of those that sweeps clean and starts off with great gusto on new projects and have found that without proper thought & planning - I seem to lose sight of the very goal I set out to achieve in a very short space of time due to being unfocused – probably a little ADD which in itself would probably require Mentat – Jokes aside, I do know for myself that if my nutrition is good and my exercise regime is regular I can accomplish so much more. Without the planning and structure so necessary to achieve the desired outcomes, I invariably fail to accomplish all I set out to do.


This is where I take the time to screen & evaluate my patients current status, lifestyle – and assist in unpacking the toolbox we all have within us and remind every patient that these are all achievable with some guidance, perseverance and dedication. I pride in providing an integrated approach working with the patient to achieve their personal health goals.

To achieve those New Year’s health goals there are 2 fundamentals that need to be highlighted:
1. CLEAR, ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION ON EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACHES TO HEALTH allowing you to differentiate between fact and marketing hype. Balanced Healing – Sr Bridget Spargo, can set the stage for sustained health and well-being, by better managing issues like diet, sleep, and stress.
2. A SHIFT IN MINDSET from seeking separate, disconnected solutions to treat various ailments to recognizing that many health problems may be connected. While our general approach to health care tends to zoom in on specific diseases or even individual body parts, research continues to tell us that assessing the big picture can be important to setting the stage for sustained whole-person health and well-being.

I will be continuing to educate through various articles / Blogs and useful information during the year.
MY wish for you is to gain a better understanding of the interrelationship of factors that make up your health, and I hope you’ll stay up-to-date with new findings and future directions with our blogs and make an investment in your health with a personalized consultation & screening to assist you on your journey to health & happiness in 2020.

A Healthy Happy New Year to all.


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A silent tragedy

There is a silent tragedy that is developing day after day in our homes and concerns our most precious jewels: our children.
Our children are in a devastating emotional state.
Over the past 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics about a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Statistics don't lie:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD was noted
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression was noted
• A 200% increase in the suicide rate in children between 10 and 14 years has been noted.

What is going on and what are we doing wrong?

Today's children are over-stimulated and overloaded with material objects, but they are deprived of what is truly fundamental for a healthy and happy childhood, such as:
• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits
• Responsibility
• Balanced nutrition and good sleep quality
• Movement in the open air
• Creative play, social interaction, unstructured play opportunities and spaces for boredom.

Instead, these last few years we have filled them with:
• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent and permissive parents who let children "rule the world" and be the ones who set the rules
• A sense of right, of undeservedly everything without earning it or being responsible for it
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• A sedentary lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification and the absence of boring moments.

What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we must wake up and go back to basics.
It is still possible ... with the following recommendations:

• Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you are in control of the helm.
• Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what they need, not just what they want. Don't be afraid to say "no" to your kids if what they want isn't what they need.
• Provide nutritious foods and limit junk food.
• Spend at least an hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching.
• Enjoy a daily family dinner with no phones or technology to distract them.
• Play with family board games or if the children are very young for board games, let yourself be carried away by your interests and allow them to lead the game.
• Involve your children in some homework or homework according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, arranging food, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).
• Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure that your baby sleeps well. Timetables will be even more important for school-aged children.
• Teach responsibility and independence. Do not protect them in excess against any frustration or error. Making mistakes will help them develop resilience and learn to overcome life's challenges,
• Do not load your children's backpack, do not bring their backpacks, do not bring them the task they have forgotten, do not peel their bananas or oranges if they can do it alone (4-5 years). Instead of giving them fish, educate them to fish.
• Educate them to wait and delay gratification.
• Provide opportunities for "boredom" as boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. You don't feel responsible for keeping children entertained.
• Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it on the first second of inactivity.
• Avoid the use of technology during meals, in cars, in restaurants, in shopping malls. Use these moments as an opportunity to socialize, thus training your brains to work when they are in "boredom" mode.
• Help them create a "jar of boredom" with business ideas for when they are bored.
• Turn off phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
• Become a regulator or emotional trainer of your children. Educate them to recognize and manage their frustrations and anger.
• Educate them to greet, to take turns, to share without remaining without anything, to say thank you and please, to recognize the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​that you inculcate them.
• Connect emotionally - smiles, hugs, kisses, tickles, reading, dancing, jumping, playing with them.

Thank you for the share.

Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos psychiatry.
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It has taken twenty years of research, but the verdict is now in and scientists are saying that negative feelings, especially those of un-forgiveness can lead to the development of cancer.
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Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year
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Balanced Healing would like to wish you and your family a Happy, Healthy Xmas.
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