Long ago, when people believed that the earth was made up of four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—they thought the stars and planets were made up of yet another element. In the Middle Ages, people called this element by its Medieval Latin name, “quinta essentia,” literally, “fifth essence.” Our forebears believed the quinta essentia was essential to all kinds of matter, and if they could somehow isolate it, it would cure all disease. We have since given up on that idea, but we kept “quintessence,” the offspring of “quinta essentia,” as a word for the purest essence of a thing. Some modern physicists have given “quintessence” a new twist—they use it for a form of so-called “dark energy,” which is believed to make up 70 percent of the universe.
Thanks to my handy-dandy Merriam-Webster iPhone App and it’s Daily Word feature, I was enlightened by this very interesting dig into the history of the word “Quintessence.”
Isn’t it a lovely picture this history has painted, too?
I don’t know much about the medical field other than that I have nothing but the utmost respect for all of those out there conducting research and finding cures to disease and cancer. However, the core of my being relies on the attempt to not pump my body with man-made chemicals and instead to rely on the “old-school,” dare I say “hippie” ailment remedies.
And, quite frankly, while I think those Middle Agers were over-shooting a bit when they concluded that harnessing stella-lunar power would cure all diseases, I do think that they were on to something that was lost over time. I think that people jump too quickly at the chance to “trick” nature or mask it and pretend it isn’t there by disguising the pains by way of modern medicines. Instead of taking this route, I think it’s important to first go back to the quintessence of one’s body and mind to see if there is something somewhat more simple that’s the underlying cause of the problem at hand. For instance, I happen to be pretty anemic. I tend to fall under deep lethargy and sometimes feel achey and flu-like due to my iron dropping too low. I came to realize that if I ate large amounts of spinach and other high-iron, vegetarian-friendly foods, I was cured in a jiffy. This can also be said of my admittedly bad knee and hip (I really shouldn’t run, but it’s such a great release!). When they ache, I find that not only a dose of vegetarian Glucosamine can help, but adding flax, turmeric and ginger to my meals, can be extremely beneficial.
The next time you’re feeling achey and low, maybe try checking out a homeopathic, cheaper cure to what ails you! What do you think..?