alicia silverstoneIn her new book, The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone covers everything from her pregnancy to her beliefs on circumcision and vaccination. Though the book has only been out for two days, it's already got tongues wagging, as does a recent interview the famous vegan actress did with People about her parenting philosophies, in which she says she's "not against Western medicine. The problem is we’re using it as a first step for everything, even when it’s not needed."

Alicia deserves applause for bravely putting that sentiment out there! She's right: We are far too quick to jump to conventional medicine "fixes" -- which can be disappointingly closer to temporary bandages than true cures -- for too many of our ailments.

That said, her take on vaccines (of course) really has people fired up. She admits Bear hasn't had vaccinations for measles or chickenpox or a "drop of medicine." Instead, she feels that her son's body "is a super-clean healthy machine" that "can defend itself and flush out all the nasty stuff much more quickly than a baby whose diet isn't as kind." Eek.

But it's not as though she's staunchly anti-vax. In Kind Mama, she acknowledges that "vaccines are a very complicated issue" and advises other parents to "get educated and make a decision that feels best for you." Fair enough.

Questioning, researching, and educating yourself on a plethora of parenting decisions, like vaccination, is perfectly acceptable. I can't see how anyone would disagree that the more parents know, from multiple, reliable sources, the better.

Ultimately, I love that she's calling attention to that, and the fact that we do have a nasty tendency overmedicate, overprescribe. Moms are told to give their kids antibiotics even if they're just kicking the common cold. Maybe opting out of vaccination isn't the best battle for every mom to pick. Maybe it's choosing not to give them antihistamines when a bit of pure eucalyptus oil would do a far better job of addressing a case of the springtime sniffles.

Alicia's message that moms should explore and decide where and how they want to their little ones to go chemical- and medicine-free is awesome. At the same time, immune-boosting miso soup (or herbs or green smoothies or breast milk) isn't the cure for everything. And Alicia knows that. It's just about deploying healthy skepticism on both ends of the spectrum, which is ultimately what's best for us and our kids.

What natural therapies do your kids use instead of over-the-counter or prescription drugs?

 

Image via Jason Kempin/Getty