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Editorial Issue 54

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 54 - July 2000

The huge gulf which exists between natural-oriented therapies and people who follow more mainstream life practices never ceases to amaze me.

One recent Sunday evening I was absolutely gobsmacked to hear a round-table discussion on Radio 4 in which all three participants mocked and basically rubbished the emotion 'compassion', disparaging compassion as a saccharin excuse for feeling sorry for not doing anything. Having just finished reading the book The Heart of Healing (reviewed on page 6), in which the author discusses ancient Buddhist meditation practices which use compassion as their point of entry to understanding another human being, and thereby to become closer to friends, enemies and all those in need, I could not believe that anyone, let alone all three presenters, could be so critical and dismissive of compassion. One of the fundamental prerequisites to love it would seem, is empathy, and with that compassion. The absence of these human feelings would appear to give rise to the hard-hearted logical medical and health systems about which people feel so let down.

Which brings me to the next surreal debate I heard one day on Woman's Hour, about whether complementary therapies should be made available on the NHS. Taking part in the debate from one side was a doctor sympathetic to complementary medicine; opposing was a very typically sounding NHS doctor, whinging about how could we possibly make homoeopathy or aromatherapy (smells) available on the NHS when there weren't even the resources to buy enough antibiotics!!! As if more massive doses of antibiotics is what we all needed anyway.

With all the evidence accumulating regarding the antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties of many essential oils (see article next Issue 55), not to speak of cancer preventing properties (see Cancer-Preventing Properties of Essential Oil Monoterpenes D-Limonene and Perillyl Alcohol, Issue 53, page 23), the utter disparagement of these health enhancing chemicals is hard to take. Making people feel better using non-toxic, less expensive approaches would appear to most of us perfect common sense.

But these topics are minor compared to the really big issues discussed in the cover story Toxic Chemical Overload. When we look back at the epidemics of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases which have been occurring during the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, it shall be obvious that the causes have been environmental, from the industrial wastes polluting the air and water, toxic fluoridation applied to our water systems, fertilizers applied to the soil, pesticides sprayed on our food, down to our personal toiletries and household cleaning products, which contain many exceedingly toxic and carcinogenic materials.

Just as experts now predict and chart the cancer and heart disease epidemiological curves caused by tobacco smoking, so we will be able to forecast the massive declines in fertility rates, explosions in cancer rates, and rises in neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's.

We all need to be worried, because we all use shampoos, deodorants, soap and dishwashing liquid in our personal lives; this is where the real protests should be directed, in my opinion, against chemicals and poisons in our water and food and common household products. It is terrifying that enormous quantities of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are being consumed by children and adults alike, that toxic pesticides are left on our fruit and vegetables (see The Arguments for Eating Organic Foods, by Joseph Keon, Ph.D. Issue 47), not to mention the harmful antibiotics and growth promoters fed to livestock. Is it any wonder that with such a poisonous, unhealthy food supply, we struggle to resist an unhealthy middle and old age?

Such enormous contrasts abound between health concepts being bandied about today – on the one hand we hear about tremendous technological achievements in genetics and molecular biology which will enable us to reverse the ageing process and replace our body parts; on the other hand, we hear that two thirds of all NHS resources are spent on older patients, who are often denied even basic health care, and who are condemned to years of pain and suffering prior to losing their will to live.

It is obvious to most Positive Health readers that the food we eat and our immediate home and work environments make a huge difference to our long-term health, and that appropriate natural-oriented therapeutic practices for non-life threatening conditions are superior to drug-oriented, hi-tech desperate measures. We need to direct the intensity of our protests more powerfully against our existing food and product supply, or we won't be around long enough to enjoy old age.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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