When the leaf from a tree saves your life,
the world changes.
We live in interesting times. Did you ever notice that in a world constantly changing, people talk about their lives as if everything is stable? From a bigger perspective, change is natural. Each one of us is a single organism interwoven into a massive ecological matrix that has lasted billions of years. No matter how much we like to think we have everything under control, we do not.
Social and economic change has impacted all of us deeply the last few years. Even our understanding of science, medicine, and what it is to be truly healthy has altered. The interests, and hubris, of powerful corporations, activist groups, media, educational organizations, governments, and self-interest trade unions (this includes medical doctors) seek to define our needs for us. While incredible benefits from cooperation among these groups are possible, I have never been comfortable assuming they are doing everything we need them to do. As a microscopist and clinical family herbalist, I can also tell you that the inventions of medical science are most certainly not always shaped by the needs of those who become ill or even by a genuine understanding of disease organisms and processes. Do we need to simply accept this as the best we can do?
Before the great pandemic of Covid-19 the western medical paradigm was already failing. Not because a lack of caring people within it, but because of a lack of understanding of the organisms it has held responsible for most diseases. As a result, most "medicine" within this paradigm treats symptoms – not causes.
Over several decades, we have seen the increasing failure of popular pharmaceuticals – especially antimicrobials – to cure. This is especially obvious with antibiotic resistance. The reality of this single fact should be enough to terrify even the strongest among us. Antibiotics are the single most powerful advance in medicine ever to have occurred on our planet, yet they are no longer enough. Not only are they failing, but they are creating bigger problems than the ones they were created to solve.
With these recent challenges, modern science and medicine have produced a new solution – vaccines. We all agree that nothing could be better than to prevent something before it begins. Unfortunately, this is not the case for our newest vaccines. The new mRNA pharmaceutical products do not prevent anything!
Just as with antibiotics, we must not assume everything is working perfectly. This does not mean that we should discard medicine and science – no, not at all. It means that we need to seriously re-think it. And there is great advantage to thinking for ourselves rather than leaving important answers to the interests of the large corporations. I am not bashing progress, I am saying that ultimately we only have ourselves to depend on. The global shutdown of health services brought this fact to the attention of all of us.
This is not the first serious health challenge science is facing. Bacterial and viral researchers have agreed for decades that not only will our world see the emergence of microbial diseases more potent than humanity has ever before seen but also projected the failure of most antimicrobial pharmaceuticals that are currently in wide use. Let me be clear – we are no longer able to depend on a physician to cure every microbial disease. This is a terrifying reality, especially for those who are trying drug after ineffectual drug, completely dependent upon what we are told is the best that medicine has to offer. During a crisis when every minute counts, the last thing we want to realize is that we were not prepared for the future.
Humans are powerful creatures, born to adapt. As one idea fades away new things are created. Fear or stress that may defeat us instead, commonly transforms into powerful new innovations and solutions. The first step to innovation is admitting that something entirely new is needed. The second is to think for ourselves.
Plants began flourishing on our planet over 500 million years. Humans have been on earth just 6 million years. This alone gives insight into the unfathomable intelligence of these ancient species. Each plant is an inconceivably advanced laboratory that has been evolving perfect life-sustaining processes within it for hundreds of millions of years. The science of plant medicine is much better established than most of us are lead to believe. After all, pharmaceuticals usually originate from plants. Unfortunately, pharma usually borrows just the single solitary most powerful constituent from a plant instead of taking them all. This easily allows the enemy (the germ) to outwit the medicine. Instead, we must borrow all of the medicinal compounds from plants, lest we lose the synergy which has evolved over millennium.
The Cherokee peoples indigenous to the southeastern United States tell a legend of the time plants were asked by the animals and insects to turn against humans and give them diseases. The humans had harmed the animals and insects from lack of awareness toward their place in our world, so the animals and insects had long since turned on humans out of self-preservation. Yet the plants thought over the animal/insect request and what was their response?
"No, we will not harm the humans for they are our children.
And for every disease you create for them, we will make a cure.
And when they come to us in their need, we will heal them."
Within each one of us there is a library of knowledge and wisdom borne from the spirit of necessity. When we face the future with honesty and realize we are not one another's enemy but instead brothers or sisters, everything changes. We are stronger together, and nothing brings us together more than the common goal of finding the truth. The "system" will always argue and fight (and they don't mind creating arguments between us as well) to win their version of the most important "medicine" – money. Let's beat them at their own game and come together to find real answers to share with one another.
I am here to tell you that there are no limits to the possibilities of natural plant medicines. Every single week I personally work face to face with people whom modern medicine has been unable to help, but have found new life (and health) with natural alternatives. This does not mean that every “natural” product out there is going to be great. It means that we must not allow the products on the market that do not work keep us from the real ones that do. This is why I do what I do, and why I am so committed to ensuring you have the best care and options possible today. Besides the right information, we need the best tools.
It's a new world. Just as I teach you, I learn from you. May tomorrow and every day contribute to a future we are all happy (and healthy) with. Have a wonderful holiday season.
December 24, 2022