how money fuels the current face of our “medical system”
text & a video via wren haffner
i’ve been doing a lot of herbal research lately. first for a project in conjunction with a friend and secondly because i feel herbalism is a path i may want to more closely pursue at this point in my life. since becoming buddies with Mother Earth, the immediacy of her medicine & its empowering availability & access has WOWed me. I still hear “scare stories” however from friends & family & news articles & headlines. “Herbs aren’t safe”; “You can’t control proper dosage from herbs”; “Herbs don’t work / Herbal medicine isn’t powerful enough”. If you have more limiting beliefs surrounding herbal medicine, I’d like to hear them – I’m interested in hearing what further constrictions are out there.
as I do research, I am amazed by the healing potential of many common herbs. we’re talking backdoor herbs here, people, like holy basil, rosemary and thyme or mother fuckin’ weeds like goldenrod (which is called “golden” for a reason)- weeds that people try to get rid of, like honeysuckle, or things that people pass by on hikes all the time like the common turkey tail mushroom (did you know this medicine actually makes cancer cells commit suicide?). so, you may be thinking, why, if these medicines are so great, isn’t there any “proof” and by that i assume you mean “scientific data/ studies” or the touting of medical experts. there is, actually! in other countries like China & Japan, places where herbal medicine has been practiced and valued for thousands of years, there is a great deal of medical research backing its use. but in the US, the FDA has very strict guidelines, and let’s face it most science labs (and the whole “medical system” in general, including the FDA) are backed by big pharma. Now what does that mean, you might ask? Let’s look at a quote from Paul Stamets in relation to the turkey tail mushroom,
“Due to its long history of therapeutic use, however, turkey tail prepared and packaged as an immune therapy drug is unlikely to be patentable, deterring big pharmas from conducting costly clinical studies. Typically, the longer the historical use of natural medicines for treating an ailment, the less likely derivatized drugs from these natural products will be patentable.” (from)
Ah, so big pharma can’t patent these drugs, therefore there’s no use in doing research on them to produce studies that will “back” products. I see… How long has _that_ been going on?!?
As I research herbs and get to know them in my daily life, I am SO INSPIRED to make herbs, not only a bigger part of my daily life, but to learn how to share them with others and use them as an empowerment tool. This video below is a great spoof for the crazy height the culture in relation to the “medical system” has gone off the deep end of “taking a pill for everything” and how thoroughly big pharma and its primary goal of making money have influenced how we take care of ourselves.
For as Susun Weed has taught me, friends, Herbal Medicine is People’s medicine. If you can grow it, preserve it and have basic guidelines on how to use it: herbal medicine is an accessible, inexpensive, powerful way to stay healthy and heal yourself. I’m not advocating the death of our current “emergency medical techniques”, I’m calling in A BALANCE. Imagine, as midwifes, medicine people, healers, witches, shamans, etc have done since human origin, we can heal ourselves through our connection with Mother Earth. It’s so basic, we’ve forgotten that. We’ve forgotten we are part & parcel of the earth. I and many others are calling that back in.