Panacea is the Greek goddess of Universal Remedy. Her potions healed all who were ill, no matter the affliction. What a beautiful thought, isn’t it? One cure for everything. One poultice, one brew, one salve. As rational, sound-minded people, we know in our heads that this cannot exist.
Yet day after day we buy into the subtle lies that make us believe that one oil, berry, diet, exercise, herb, pill, etc., will be the end of all our pain and suffering; and we buy into it more than you think. As a culture, we are searching for Panacea. We need her. At least, we need to hope for her. Even the soberest of minds can be excited by the prospects of a cure-all. Each one of us yearns for something permanent and perfect. There must be a cure for everything, one lost secret remedy, and we must find it.
Remember the Protein Power Plan? The diet that took the world by storm with thousands of people dropping hundreds of pounds by cutting out one thing: carbohydrates. How about P90X? Just 90 days to the body you’ve always dreamed of. Three months, and complete and total health and happiness is yours. The HCG diet—inject yourself with this hormone that makes your body believe you are pregnant, only eat 500 calories a day, and lose 50 pounds in 2 months! Or goji berries, a cure for anything from infertility to insomnia. Diatomaceous Earth can cure cancer, expel worms, and heal your digestive tract. Green Tea will make you live a healthy and thin life until you’re well into your 100’s. Food grade hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, royal jelly, sodium bicarbonate, yoga, meditation, green coffee, and even the timeless “apple a day.”
We are looking for something simple; one thing to bring our life into a harmonious balance. Now, there is nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, and most of them are healthy additions to your life (except the HCG—don’t do that); the problem lies in focusing on one thing while neglecting other areas.
I have seen the devastation first-hand when someone puts their faith, hope, and money into one thing. Billions of dollars are spent every year in search of that miracle substance that will slim our bodies, focus our minds, and ultimately make us happy. But the truth is, there is no panacea. Meditation can only do so much when our stressful work environment is running us ragged. Exercise only goes so far without proper nutrition. And long life is nothing without meaningful relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is important to do what we can to live a healthy lifestyle. I incorporate many different things into my daily life that improve my health, and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet as we continue in our clean living journey, we must be mindful of where our faith lies, and what we look to for our security. When all our focus, energy, money, time, thoughts, and hopes are in one thing, we lose balance, and ultimately, health. When we find we have slipped into this Panacea trap, we must take a step back and reevaluate. As human beings, we must search ourselves and as Kris Carr says, find out where the “sweetness” is missing. The next time a new “superfood” is discovered, by all means do your research. And if it’s found to be beneficial, add it to your life—but do not depend on it alone. We must fight the temptation to put all our eggs in one basket and be swept away with the latest health trend. Let’s remain balanced as we work cheerfully for a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. No panacea needed.