March 4, 2017

10 Best Medicines

Healing sunshine is returning to my kitchen - Spring is coming.


“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”

- Luther Burbank


"For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth."

- Sanskrit Proverb


"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it."

- Plato


“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

- Margaret Atwood


“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

- Hippocrates


“Sleep is the best meditation.” 

- Dalai Lama


“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”

- George Gordon Byron


“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

- Voltaire


“The more one meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be their world and the world at large.”

- Confucius


"Love is a medicine for the sickness of the world; a prescription often given, too rarely taken."

 - Karl Menninger

Bonus Medicine - Music

"Philosophers of all ages have dwelt upon the importance of music as both an outlet for the spirit and emotions and as discipline for the mind. It is generally recognized that music gives access to regions in the subconscious that can be reached in no other way."

 ~Sophie Lewis Hutchinson Drinker (1888–1967), Music and Women, 1948

"Let a person be stimulated by poetry, established in character by the rules of propriety, and perfected by music."

- Confucius


  1. I'm curious to know your thoughts on music. I myself love the art form but the sheer amount of environmental resources and damage involved (CDs, touring etc.) and the imbalance of wealth (why are musicians millionaires?) makes me question how it's viewed by people who oppose consumerism and promote a more simple, healthy and eco-friendly way of life. I often feel conflicted about my love of music and my distaste for the wealth it's creators amass and the resources used in its production and promotion.

    1. It seems people will often use music to regulate mood. The brain processes music many areas, but music activates the same areas as the usual pleasurable activities that consumerism is already milking. Different genres have variable effects such as classical music accessing a rhythmical response while the disintegrated unharmonious effect of heavy metal will promote dopamine release. Love is vital to the music industry and the powerful rush of dopamine when lovers get to get together and the eventual breakup is endlessly referenced in pop music. In consumerism anything that can influence mood is heavily comodified along with cigarettes and entertainment etc with big financial awards.

    2. Music, like everything else, can be made very complicated and certainly the music industry is as Rob describes. The simple act of listening or playing music can do wonders for a person's soul, attitude, outlook on life,; whatever you care to call it. I have enjoyed listening to music for many years, but when I learned to play music, evenly poorly, it took on a whole new dimension. So, yes, maybe I am a musician, but like many keep it simple.

    3. Learning to play music has so many benefits. There is a difference between acoustic and electric. A live acoustic performance is great. Personally I like wind instruments. The brain has a whole area set aside for music called the temporal lobes. Life is rarely black or white, but most of our physiological functions can be finicialised. All of things this post lists can be used in consumerism, eg the mindfulness industry and eco tourism. Autogenic practice can be useful, by using the sound of rain or something similar which can be found on YouTube, balance can be restored between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This is very useful if you feel the so called news has repeatedly triggered the fight and flight response.

    4. Rob,

      I don't think that any human deserves, or NEEDS, much more than a basic modest income. The music industry is just another pusher of a product. However, it is a product I enjoy time to time. Having said that, I am currently not buying anything they have to offer. No CDs, no concerts, no digital downloads for a cost. There are many legal ways to access free music either for streaming or download, or by listening to radio.

      There would still be music without the current harmful, exploitative industry. Maybe there would be more. Like Ed says above for him, learning to play guitar and sing has given music a whole new dimension in my life as well. Along with Alex's comments, it can be seen that there are powerful reasons to take music back for ourselves. The benefits are well studied and documented - playing music/singing is good for you.

      Any music teacher that tells a student they "can't sing" should be fired. This reinforces the myth that only "special" people can make music, and therefore since they are so rare, they deserve an endless flow of money and attention. I call bull on that.

      More importantly, toxic music teachers can turn a student away from ever daring to think that they too can enjoy creating musical sounds. These are the real, though unintended, lessons that people never forget.

      We should be encouraging everyone to play an instrument, sing, and dance to our hearts content. How could that not make the world a better place? Would we even miss Big Music?

    5. I like this a lot, that's really cleared up a lot of my thoughts on the matter. Fortunately for me I play guitar and sing and write songs quite regularly. Maybe I'll do this more instead of fund multimillionaire bands instead.

    6. Learning to play an instrument grows brain cells and makes one feel wonderful, singing fills your heart with joy and dancing is wonderful exercise. What a great package. I haven't bought any music since the mid 90's when I became very frugal and decided that buying less of everything (or nothing at all) would make me free. And I'm still driving the car I bought at that time.
      I'm still on the fence about basic income though. If I thought people would spend that basic income wisely I might be more for it, but when I see poor people with cell phones and eating fast food take out that bothers me. Maybe it would be better to be sure everyone had a tiny place to live in, a box of healthy food delivered weekly (no Cheetos, chocolate milk, frozen prepared food [there would be a tiny kitchen in that tiny living space] or junk food), X amount of dollars per year of used clothing from a central warehouse, nearly free healthcare (everyone should pay a small copay even if it's $2 -$5 to keep them from running to the doctor with every sniffle) and a small allowance for sundries, misc. and that medical copay. And, if they wanted to work part time (up to 20 hours a week) to save up money they'd still get their "stuff" so they wouldn't be avoiding work just because they'd lose their benefits and they'd pay a small amount of taxes that would go into the kitty for everyone's basic living needs.

  2. Always look forward to your posts and nice minimalist kitchen. Spring is coming soon. This post has a elemental feel and all contribute to well-being.

  3. This is a grounded, calming list and quotes. Brings me back to simple. Thanks, great post, timely. It's a breath of fresh air.

  4. All wonderful medicines you have listed, and most of it free. The other side of the coin is not to destroy our health in the first place. For myself I'm most affected by too much work, lack of activity in the fresh air (because of too much work), not enough time with friends, not enough time for hobbies (gosh, probably because of too much work again!) I don't work particularly long hours but am finding that more and more time is being eroded by unnecessary paperwork and email.

    Anyone who owns a car or house in Australia, or has school age children, will also find a lot of time is eroded jumping through hoops someone else has decreed necessary. Add to this the internet and mobiles ( maintaining your service, updating, dealing with problems) and half the day seems to have vanished before you have even watched the sun rise.

    I'm dreaming of an off-grid simple dwelling, fully paid for with no mortgage. It would be great not to rely on anyone for electricity, sewer removal, rubbish removal or water. And of course wonderful to have most of my food growing at my back door. And it would be wonderful if I could avoid all of the in-town radiation we're now surrounded by because of wi fi. I don't even want a phone, my friends would know where to find me if they wanted a cup of tea and a chat :-) I can only imagine my health would flourish.

    Anybody else working towards this? Or maybe you've even achieved it?



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