This morning while catching up on the weather on the news I saw a report on how a cancer patient found an alternative to illuminating his cancer besides the poisonous chemo-therapy alternative.
As he told his story he stated how he used an herbal auto-immune booster, they did not mention what it was of course, and how his cancer had disappeared completely. The media of course mentioned that since the FDA has not approved this remedy that one should not consider using such alternatives until they do.
I started pondering how so many remedies for diseases have been recorded for thousands of years and yet the FDA does not have any extensive research on these alternative therapies or any real approvals. “Big Pharma” seems to be the only medicines they really have any research it seems. Hmmmm, I wonder why? Could it be that corporations help fund their products and can afford to publish them once a patent has been attained? How strange since most of our medical pharmaceutical miracles seem to originate from plants. Oh that’s right, they can’t patent a plant so they have to alter or extract these plants in some way to patent it and then they can manufacture it for an incredible profit.
Thanks to the years of my own personal research and real testimonials, mine and others, I have been amazed at the results many have had using herbal remedies when properly used. Some of the dismay is that many herbal manufacturers like to make great claims on their products , like the pharmaceutical companies seem to do,which results in many over hyped disinformation about herbal remedies. The command for profit and not concern for the well-being of others seems to override this.
Just like as they have said in the past it seems, the revolution will not be televised, so to that the herbal remedies will not be televised as well it also appears to be the case.
Healing Ourselves – Healing The Earth
The art of Herbal Healing is almost as ancient as human history itself. Though we have lost the origins of this tremendously rich body of knowledge, in many parts of the world significant amounts of it have been passed down through the generations and survive to this day. In some countries treatises on the healing arts were the very first scriptures to ever have been recorded, and fragments of these have survived to this day. Although these scriptures seem ancient to us today – some dating to several millennium B.C., by the time they were first recorded the knowledge they preserved were already being lost.
It is not known how people first discovered the properties of plants for healing purposes. Scientists have proposed the theory that trial and error led to these early medical discoveries. While this might seem plausible to modern scientists – (this is largely how they go about trying to discover things) it does not seem very likely. Early creatures including all beings seem to possess a natural intuitiveness in survival skills from the beginning.
In earlier indiginous societies concepts of health and disease tend to be integrated into a larger cosmology. Health represents a state of wholeness and balance: balance within the individual and in relation to the society of which he or she is a part and in relation to the cosmic pattern. Disease on the other hand, is regarded as a deviation from this cosmic order, an expression of dissonance within family or social relations or a spiritual affliction. Healing then represents the attempt to realign an individual with themselves, his social context and the cosmic order. Herbs used in this way represent mediators between the psycho-spiritual planes and the earthly reality. Their physical properties are often considered of secondary importance in the healing ritual. It is through the power of the ritual practice that they are transformed into therapeutic agents.
In many indigenous societies plants are believed to embody a spirit and if treated correctly, will be drawn into the physical body of the plant by means of ritual, thus rendering it medicinally potent. However, in many traditions” the healer” then consumes the medicine, not the patient. The healer ritualistically assimilates the healing power of the plant, and thus can affect the healing.
It is recorded that healing rituals also often involved dream therapy. The patient underwent cleansing rituals in a specially designated healing temple where he or she prayed to receive a healing dream, which would reveal the therapeutic process or agents one should take.
When reading accounts of healing practices throughout the world it becomes clear that the obsession with ‘active principals’ as the therapeutically potent agent, is a fairly modern concept rooted in the utterly materialistic worldview that shapes our modern world today. Many modern doctors deny the existence of a relationship between body and soul in their healing practice. Some more perceptive doctors do admit that there is some correlation, but find it hard to correlate any scientific evidence yet . Healing in accordance with the laws of mechanics is a much simpler matter, no different from taking a car to the garage. Psycho-spiritual realities are much harder to integrate in the modern medical system since they are hard to quantify and somehow undermine the fact-based reality of the scientist. Healing is often equated with getting rid of symptoms instead of perceiving it’s root causes completely.
Medicines that act directly on the biochemistry are the norm in modern health practices, even though often the secondary effects on the overall organic balance has not been well established. These results can be catastrophic and result in damages that had not been estimated or understood. The majority of the overall population is taking drugs to maintain some sort of perceived physical balance (absence or suppression of symptoms), and just as many are on psycho-pharmaceutical agents that are supposed to gloss over the dismal causes of their spiritual and physical imbalance. This is called modern medicine – a far cry from ancient and traditional concepts of healing so far.
It is hardly surprising that large numbers of people are becoming dissatisfied with this type of therapy. They are looking for alternatives and find them among the ancient healing traditions, which treat the body as a psycho-physical totality and not just as a bio-machine. Chinese herbalism, one of the most ancient healing traditions in the world has become hugely popular in recent years. Western herbalism, Ayurvedic practices, Aromatherapy and others are also steadily gaining acceptance among the mainstream, though the medical and pharmaceutical industries are trying to discredit these practices any way they can.
Yet, they too have relied on plant-based medicines as the basis of some of their most powerful weapons in their ‘fight against diseases’. According to the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center, just in the U.S. alone 56 percent of the top 150 prescribed drugs, are linked with discoveries made in the wild. This amounts to an economic value of $80 billion! Pharmaceutical companies are again looking at plant materials as possible sources for new drugs. They are targeting tropical plants in particular. The tropical forests are a huge reserve of bio- and chemical diversity. It is estimated that of the approximately 250, 000 tropical plant species that less than one percent have been tested. And yet, the few that have been tested have supplied the pharmaceutical companies with the raw materials of many of their most profitable and widely used drugs. And so they are sending ethnobotanists into the field to gleam the healing secrets from the few surviving healers and shamans among some of the most indigenous tribes left on the earth.
Many conservationists and ethnobotanists have jumped on this issue as a plausible argument for saving the rainforest. While this is a vitally important and a noble cause, the issues involved are full of “loop holes” and controversy. First there is the question of ownership, a modern concept and not well understood by the , and I quote,” the primitives” of course. Pharmaceutical companies usually want to own the patent on the plant materials they hope to turn into vast profits. Yet, without the shamans that entrusted their knowledge to the field researcher, they would probably still be randomly picking herbs and leaves in the hope of finding something. But the shamans or tribal people rarely receive an agreement on benefit sharing should any of their plants be developed into a successful drug. Meanwhile it is expected that even the people on who’s knowledge the discovery depended on should one day pay for the drug themselves. In recent years tribal people have become very discontent with this kind of bio-piracy and are now beginning to fight for their rights as sovereign custodians of these plant medicines.
All the while the forests are still being cut down as the tribal communities are becoming displaced and impoverished, along with the healing knowledge and traditions that are disappearing together with their cultures. Now modern development and western drugs are moving in to take away and we are now loosing this precious knowledge and their ancient traditions.
Another effect of the steadily rising popularity of herbal medicines is the fact that unethical commercial collectors gather not just a modest amount of wild species for their own supply, but ravage the countryside till there is nothing left to replenish and to sustain the resources from which these plants came from. This kind of ‘feeding frenzy’ is beginning to take its toll and increasing numbers of wild medicinal species and are becoming scarce and endangered. Ethical herbalists and reputable herb companies , (like Artisan Botanicals to get in a plug), recognize this fact and are acting accordingly to bring in measures to preserve and sustain the wild stands of medicinal herbs and their habitats by supporting only eco-friendly harvests.
It might be time (we don’t have much left) to reconsider our attitudes towards health and wholeness within a truly holistic context that includes our environment as an extension to ourselves. Nothing in this world lives in isolation and everything is affected by everything else. Such is the web of life – if we touch one string the whole web of life resonates. To heal ourselves we also have to heal the planet and to heal the planet we also have to become whole once again ourselves by adjusting the balance of personal, social and cosmic interactions.
It seems apparent that the only way to have true healthy healing in one’s life is to empower ourselves and be responsible to what we consume in our bodies and what kind of healthy lifestyle we want for ourselves and transfer this in the kind of environment we want to live in. The truth about healing is out there and thanks to the cyber -library of clinical and factual information on the web, one can filter through the “fluff” and the disinformation to find it! The truth for one’s self lies in the direct experience and testimonials we experience and the healing indigenous cultures that still remain around us. I have had these amazing discoveries myself as well and can attest to the direct healing experiences I have had in my life. The good thing is that by these many years of direct results from life experiences is that one can find what works for themselves and share it with all living things.
So it is with this experience and research background that Alter-Journal would like to compile direct testimonials from others and the latest research from individuals and share in this important information .