by Steven H. Horne, RH (AHG)The Best Investment

Most of us spend a great deal of time and energy looking out for our financial well-being. We take out insurance policies to protect ourselves from accidents and unforeseen difficulties. We may save or invest for a ďrainy dayĒ or start a retirement account to provide for our old age. Unfortunately, many people fail to invest in their most important assetótheir own health and well-being.

Money is a representation of value. That is, it is simply a medium of exchange that allows us to obtain things we value. We obtain it by creating ways of offering value to other people. In other words, as we find ways to make ourselves valuable to other people, they will gladly part with their money to obtain the things we offer them.

Having acquired money, it has little purpose in our lives unless we invest it in things that we value. I would propose to you that one of the most important investments you will ever make is in your own health. What good will it do to save and invest for retirement if you die of a heart attack at age 55? What good will it do to have a million dollar retirement account, but suffer from Alzheimerís or dementia at age 65?

Living longer doesnít necessarily mean living better. Quality of life is more important than quantity of life, but investing in our health can improve both the quality and the quantity (length) of our lives.

My parents saw the value of investing in their health and were fortunate to live healthy lives up until the time of their death in their early 80s. They never had a lot of money, but they had enough to take care of their needs. What is important is that they both lived long lives that were active and productive.

My father worked hard as a painting contractor into his 70s and died just shy of his 84th birthday, two weeks after suffering a stroke. Up to the time of his stroke, he was both mentally and physically active. He walked an average of two miles a day and was still experiencing his full mental capacity. In fact, he was working on a book of poetry and photography when he passed away. You can read one of his poems on page seven.

Except for a short period where she was somewhat incapacitated from chipping her kneecap falling on the stairs, my mother was also physically active until she passed away at 82. She died of natural causes in her sleep. (Would that we could all be so blessed.) She was able to live in her own home and take care of herself and never had to be confined to a nursing home or retirement center. She was also still in possession of her mental faculties. She loved to bake bread and had purchased a book of bread recipes and was learning how to bake new and interesting breads in the months before her passing.

As I look around me, I see that my parents were largely an exception to the norm in todayís society. One might partially attribute this health and longevity to genetics, but I think lifestyle was the primary reason for my parentsí good physical and mental health in their senior years.

I believe this because when I got involved full time in natural healing in the early 1980s, both of my parents were in their late 60s and were developing some serious health problems. My mother had suffered from anxiety and mood disorders since her early 20s. She was severely hypoglycemic and prone to dramatic mood swings. Around age 66, she had a severe attack of rheumatoid arthritis that crippled her arm. She also had serious problems with varicose veins.

My father had problems with his ears due to serious ear and sinus infections in his youth. He had problems with high blood pressure and prostate swelling. In other words, my parents had some pretty typical problems we associate with aging. Fortunately, both of my parents were interested in my developing career as an herbalist and natural healer. So, instead of going the drug route, they listened to me and took the natural path.

When my mom experienced rheumatoid arthritis, I gave her a copy of Paavo Airolaís book, There is a Cure for Arthritis, which talked about using juice fasting to cure arthritis. She got a juicer and started making fresh fruit and vegetable juices. She started going to a chiropractor whose X-rays showed she was experiencing some arthritic problems in her spine, too, and both she and my father started getting regular chiropractic care.

On my recommendations, my mom also started taking Paavo Airolaís arthritis formula ART-A (now known as Joint Support) and HSN-W. Later, she took Devilís Claw as a single herb. (This was before NSP added Devilís Claw to Joint Support.) Using these, and other natural methods, she was able to cure her arthritis and never took any drug medications for it.

Mega-Chel and Butcherís Broom helped clear up my momís varicose veins. By getting her to change her diet and use licorice root, her blood sugar stabilized and so did her mood. Towards the end of her life, I started giving her Kava Kava for anxiety and two of my cousins who were very close to my mom asked me what I was doing to make her so calm. They were amazed and encouraged me to stick with it.

My father also started using herbs and supplements on my recommendations. He took Mega-Chel and Capsicum, Garlic and Parsley for his high blood pressure. He reduced the dose of his high blood pressure medication (by himself), but continued to take small doses when he felt his blood pressure was going up. He was taking 1/4 of a tablet, once in a while.

My dadís cardiologist once remarked to him that he was the only one of his elderly patients whose high blood pressure medication was actually keeping his blood pressure in normal range. When my dad told him he was only taking 1/4 of the tablet occasionally and was relying primarily on herbs and supplements, the doctor encouraged him to continue because it was obviously working.

My dad also found PS II, a Stan Malstrom formula for prostate problems, helpful for his prostate swelling. I also had him take some blood purifiers to help his liver detox from the paint fumes he had been exposed to as a painting contractor.

By the way, three of my uncles were also painting contractors. Two developed neurological problems as they grew older. One had Parkinsonís disease. The one uncle (the only one of my dadís family who is still alive) who did not develop these problems started drinking red clover tea decades ago to detoxify his liver. So, my dad and his brother who also took herbs were spared from developing nervous system damage from the chemical solvents in the paint.

In their late 70s and early 80s, both my mother and my father commented to me how grateful they were for learning about herbs and supplements. They noted that many of their elderly friends were on 10-15 prescription medications and were not doing well because of it. Many of these friends had bigger bank accounts than my mom and dad, but lived less active and productive lives.

If you want advice on retirement accounts, investing in the stock market or insurance, donít talk to me. Iím not qualified to guide you in these kinds of financial matters. However, I do have some recommendations for some great investments that you can start making at any age to improve your quality of life by improving your health. And, unlike other investments, you wonít have to wait years for these investments to pay off. Theyíll start paying you big dividends right away. Plus, their value will compound as you grow older, improving your odds of having a great retirement and a healthy and happy life in your senior years.

With that in mind, here are my choices for some wise investments of your time, energy and money.

Healthy Foods High-Yield Preferred StockHealthy Foods High-Yield Preferred Stock

The most important health investment you will ever make is in purchasing healthy food. Dr. Bernard Jensen used to tell his wife to spend money on healthy food because if you donít youíll wind up spending more on doctor bills.

Even if youíre on a tight budget, food is not the place to cut corners. Sure, white bread and white flour pasta are cheaper than their whole grain counterparts, but is this really a bargain? No, because whole grains will fill you up faster and youíll eat less and get better nutrition at the same time.

So, donít fall prey to the hawkers of the Cheap Food Money Saving Scheme. Like so many scams, it looks appealing on the surface, but youíll lose in the long run. In this case, you may not lose your life savings, but you will lose your mental clarity, your energy, your health and maybe even your life. Itís not worth it.

Believe it or not, you can actually eat healthy and save money at the same time. How? Skip the sodas, chips, frozen TV dinners and other processed convenience foods and learn how to prepare whole, natural foods yourselves. Purchase a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, lentils and nuts. These foods are surprisingly inexpensive and very filling.

Use olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter and cream for fats. The most expensive part of eating healthy will be purchasing organic, grass-fed eggs, meat, dairy and poultry. However, youíll be healthier if you eat smaller portions of these foods anyway. Generally speaking 3-4 ounces (1/4 pound) of animal protein is sufficient at any meal.

I learned the real price of cheap food and the real value of natural foods many years ago when I was financially struggling with my young family after graduating from college. I had been unable to find the kind of job I wanted to support my wife and child, and wound up getting assistance from my church. They provided us with some food, but most of what they provided was white flour products, canned goods and other processed foods.

My wife and I tried to utilize the best parts of this offering, but our health suffered as a result. When I got a little extra money, we went to the grocery store and bought fresh fruits and vegetables. They werenít even organic, but as soon as we started to eat them, I could see a difference in our health and energy. More importantly, I noticed that I was able to think more clearly, which also helped me resolve our problems. I have never tried to save money by eating low quality food since that time.

Nutritional Supplement Health Insurance PolicyNutritional Supplement Health Insurance Policy

When we purchase insurance, weíre buying something that we may or may not need. We donít want to get into an accident and total our car or have our house burn to the ground, but we purchase insurance so we wonít be financially devastated if these things happen.

Using supplements for prevention of disease is a similar investment. We may or may not need them, but they can help our health from being devastated by unforeseen problems.

Of course, our first investment should always be in quality food, but in our modern world finding quality food isnít easy unless you grow it yourself. Produce typically spends two weeks in cold storage before it arrives on the supermarket shelf. There is a significant loss of nutritional value during this time.

Not all food we get is organically grown and even organically grown food can be grown in soil that hasnít been properly cared for. Locally-grown food that is not organic often has more nutritional value.

The bottom line is that it makes sense to supplement oneís diet with herbs and nutrients that help insure we are getting the nutrition our bodies need to stay healthy. Like an insurance policy, we may or may not need it, but it improves our ability to bounce back when we experience difficulties.

There are seven basic supplements that my research suggests most people might benefit from. You may or may not need any particular one of these seven, but they are the place you should begin.

Iíd start with a good whole food supplement. Many people start with a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, but in my personal experience, supplements using whole nutrients work better.

NSPís Ultimate GreenZone is a great example of a whole food supplement and there are others in the marketplace you can also consider. A whole food supplement will not only give you extra vitamins and minerals, it will also provide numerous phytochemicals for which science hasnít yet determined the nutritional value.

For elderly people, I often recommend taking two tablets of Mega-Chel daily in place of a multiple vitamin. This seems to do wonders for maintaining good circulation and general health.

Iíd also consider taking some kind of trace mineral supplement. A few to consider include HSN-W, Colloidal Minerals and Mineral Chi Tonic. Even the best diets are lacking in trace minerals due to our poor agricultural practices.

Most diets are also deficient in omega-3 essential fatty acids. If you donít eat organic grass-fed meat and dairy products or deep ocean fish (farm-raised salmon doesnít count) on a regular basis, you should probably take flax seed oil, cod liver oil or Omega-3 EPA.

If you donít eat yoghurt with live bacteria or other cultured foods daily, you should also consider a probiotic supplement like Acidophilus, Bifidophilus Flora Force or Probiotic Eleven.

A fiber supplement is essential for most people to maintain both colon health and general health. Just taking a heaping teaspoon of Psyllium Hulls Combination, Natureís Three or Everybodyís Fiber, once a day can make a big difference in your health. However, be sure to accompany each serving with a large glass of water.

Most people in our society donít have enough enzymes because they eat mostly cooked food. Hence, enzyme supplements are another basic nutrient many people need. Enzymes become even more critical as we grow older as our bodyís production of enzymes and hydrochloric acid tend to diminish with age. Therefore, enzyme supplements like Proactazyme or Food Enzymes are basically essential for most people over 50.

The final basic supplement to add to your health insurance policy is some form of antioxidants. Naturally present in fresh fruits and vegetables, antioxidants reduce inflammation and free radical damage, the underlying cause of most chronic and degenerative diseases associated with aging. Thai-Go is a great choice for an antioxidant supplement because it is so pleasant-tasting and easy to take.

Super Trio is a good basic supplement option for those who want a multi-vitamin and mineral. It contains the omega-3s, an antioxidant blend called Super ORAC and Super Supplemental, a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement.

So, if you want to help ensure your good health, invest first in high quality food and then, if your budget allows, take out some added insurance by selecting a few appropriate supplements.

Natural Healing Low Risk Mutual Health FundNatural Healing Low Risk Mutual Health Fund

When most people get ill, they invest their money in Big Pharmaís High Risk Common Stock. Itís common because the vast majority of people do it. After all, arenít drugs ďscientifically-proven?Ē Isnít modern medicine the best and most advanced option out there?

Unfortunately, using drugs as your first choice when you get ill puts you at high risk for a loss of health. Just like my parents observed, people who wind up taking several drug medications never seem to do well in the health department. In fact, they are at a high risk for a loss of health and quality of life.

How can this be? Well, the answer is simple. Drugs are ďscientifically-provenĒ to address specific symptoms such as high cholesterol, pain, high blood pressure, etc. But, does fixing these specific symptoms result in an overall improvement of health? Often it does not. Instead, there is a net loss of health. The one symptom improves while overall health suffers.

If youíre willing to listen to my investment advice, I suggest that you utilize the Natural Healing Low Risk Mutual Health Fund like my parents did. You can invest in this program by doing the following:

First, whenever you have a health problem, if it is not immediately life-threatening, try solving it with natural remedies first. For example, change your diet, exercise more, use herbal remedies or supplements, see a chiropractor or massage therapist and look at your emotional issues and stress level.

If the problem doesnít resolve itself naturally, then try modern medicine as the alternative. Everybody gets this backwards. Natural medicine should be the first choice and modern medicine the alternative. Instead, most people try modern medicine first, and then when it doesnít work, they use natural medicine as the alternative.

Second, if the problem is life-threatening, then use modern medicine first. Modern medicine excels at stabilizing extreme situations. However, after the situation has been stabilized, utilize natural medicine to help your body heal and to correct whatever underlying imbalances caused you to get ill in the first place.

Investing in Big Pharma may give you instant relief, but itís also high risk. Natural Healing may not give you the quick fix, but itís a very low risk option. Sure, what you try may not work for the specific problem youíre trying to correct, but itís also not likely to further damage your overall health and will probably increase your overall health.

Remember that there are no guarantees with doctors, either. On several occasions where I was having trouble resolving a health problem with natural remedies and went to the doctor, he didnít do any better than I was doing. So, I went back to figuring out how to fix the problem naturally and learned a lot in the process.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of social pressure to put your money and energy into Big Pharmaís High Risk Common Stock. Insurance policies cover drugs and surgery, but not natural remedies. If you donít take the drugs the doctor prescribes, you can be labeled non-compliant and lose your insurance. Family and friends may be very critical of your choice to try natural remedies. Doctors may use fear tactics to intimidate you into investing your health and life in Big Pharma.

Hereís a story that illustrates what Iím talking about. My mother had a friend whose husband was developing Alzheimerís. I suggested she try the Mega-Chel Oral Chelation Program. She did, and after two months she noticed improvement in her husbandís cognitive abilities. However, she stopped the program because it was too expensive. It was costing $150 per month. Their insurance would pay for the drugs, but not the supplements.

Again, I ask, what good does money do if you donít have the health and mental capacity to enjoy it? The people I see who invest in natural healing in the manner I just described are typically much healthier and lead a better quality of life than the people who are taking a lot of drugs. That alone is enough to convince me that the Natural Healing Low Risk Mutual Health Fund is the best investment for my time and money.

Physical Activity Energy Market AccountPhysical Activity Energy Market Account

In order to get a higher yield on their savings, many people take money from a regular savings account and put it into a money market account or certificate of deposit that allows them to earn interest at a higher rate. Staying physically active does the same thing for your health.

I was fortunate to be able to work with Dr. C. Samuel West in the early 1980s and learn about cutting edge research on the lymphatic system. I learned that the lymphatic system was part of the immune system and helped to remove toxins and cellular debris from tissues. Stagnation of lymphatic fluid is part of the underlying tissue imbalance that causes degenerative disease.

Since the lymphatic system has no pump, it requires deep breathing and muscle movement to function properly. The more sedentary we become, the more sluggish our lymphatic system becomes and the sicker we get. Hence, some form of physical activity is vital to our health.

Both my mother and my father were physically active people. Iíve already mentioned that my dad walked an average of two miles per day. While my mom didnít engage in as much exercise as my father, she was always physically active, washing clothes by hand, baking bread, bottling fruit, doing genealogical research, etc.

Dr. West often told us about how people who were ready to die in concentration camps would simply curl up in a corner, stop moving and be dead the next morning. He also talked about native Americans who when they felt their time had come, would go off into the wilderness, sit completely still, breathe shallowly and allow themselves to die. Listening to him I came up with one of my primary laws of health, ďTo move is to live, to sit still is to die.Ē

Dr. West didnít believe in rigorous, push-yourself-to-the-limit exercise. Instead, he encouraged using a mini-trampoline and just gently bouncing, a process he called lymphasizing. He was full of stories about how people had healed from chronic and degenerative diseases by improving their diet and lymphasizing.

While I have come to realize that there is value in resistance exercise (lifting weights) and stretching exercises (such as yoga), I still believe that one of the best forms of exercise, especially for older people, is just gently bouncing on a mini-trampoline. My parents got a mini-trampoline and used it daily.

Of course, walking, swimming or any other form of general physical activity is going to provide the same benefits. It will keep you moving, which keeps your lymphatic system working.

Community Service Municipal BondsCommunity Service Municipal Bonds

When I worked with Dr. C. Samuel West in the early 1980s, I often heard him talk about how quickly most people die after they retire. He attributed this to them becoming sedentary, but I think itís deeper than that.

In all traditional cultures, elders were valued and respected for their life experience and wisdom. Health isnít just about nourishing oneself or otherwise caring for oneís body. Health also involves our mental and emotional state. We all need to feel valuable, to have something worthwhile to focus our mental and emotional energy on. So, to stay feeling young and healthy we canít retire from life and do nothing of value. We have to continue to find ways in which we can serve and help family and community.

One way of doing this is to find ways to spend time with young children, either your own grandchildren or other peopleís children. Traditionally, elders have devoted time and energy to training young people. In native societies elders were grandparents to the tribe and spent much of their time teaching children the ways of life. This created continuity and allowed children to develop greater maturity by learning from the wisdom of their elders. My own parents spent a lot of time baby-sitting their grandchildren. I think this helps to keep you young.

Another approach is to find ways to volunteer to do things for the community. Both of my parents were very active in church and involved in community service, too. Again, I think feeling that you have something valuable to contribute to others helps you live a longer and healthier life. So, invest some time and energy into family and community.

Life-Long Learner Investment FundLife-Long Learner Investment Fund

At NSPís Leaderís Conference in February and again at their National Convention in August, a Dr. Daniel Amen spoke about his work with brain scanning and keeping the brain healthy. Of course, he spoke about the importance of good nutrition, physical activity and protecting oneself from chemical and physical injury. But, he also stressed the importance of staying mentally active. He recommended that you should always be stimulating your brain by trying to learn something new.

I was pleased to hear this because Iíve been a firm believer in the principle of being a life-long learner since my youth. I made an interesting decision when I was in my teens. I decided that I wasnít going to let school destroy my love of learning. I think itís very unfortunate that most children enter school with a love of learning and by the time they graduate from high school or college, they hate it.

During the depression, my father had to leave public school in the 8th grade and never even completed high school. Yet, my father was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known. I learned more about how to write well from my father than I did from all the classes I took in school because my father was so well-read.

He particularly loved poetry and read books of poetry constantly. My sister once tested him by taking a book of famous poems and reading the first couple of lines to my dad. Nine times out of ten he could tell her the author and the title of the poem after the first line or two.

Both my mother and my father were always interested in learning something new and so am I. Putting time and effort into the Life-Long Learner Investment Fund will pay big returns in more than one way. Not only will it help you not lose your mental marbles as you grow older, it will increase your earning power and improve the quality of your life.

I sincerely hope youíll listen to my investment advice and make these investments in your own health and well-being. Like my parents, Iíd like to live a long, healthy and productive life and I believe that investing in the right form of health care is the secret to achieving this goal.

Choice by Percy M. Horne

I canít seem to decide whether I should die a natural death of old age,
Or just go quickly in a sudden burst of overexertion
For my extended years...a stroke, a collapsed heart
That suddenly stops beating--
A hurried obituary and a brief funeral.
No one would mind, once the initial shock was over.
A good, swift break with Life has its advantages...
But still, on the other hand, when I think about it...
Letís say Iíve lived eight decades or more
And exerted all my strength to keep up with lifeís demands,
Have kept my body in top shape with careful food and exercise
So that now Iím quite ready to just fade away...
No sudden trauma or painful sort of exit is anticipated.
Iíve enjoyed rehearsing stories of my childhood youth and marriage
The pleasure of children, grandchildren and friends
And also an abundance of lifeís most notable happenings
With all who cared to listen...
Now I can lie down peacefully some night, never to wake up.
It seems so simple and plainly realistic and desirable...
Still, Iím inclined to think about such choices with considerable indecision...
Itís difficult to make up my mind!