Laut World Health Organization (WHO) are still using around 80 percent of the world's population in their basic medical care on plants back. These are available regionally and are processed without great technical effort with the traditional knowledge of natural remedies.
Interesting: Not only humans but also animals use natural remedies for various ailments. Chimpanzees fold certain sheets of paper into a "pill" in order to get rid of annoying intestinal parasites. Forest elephants from the Central African Republic regularly eat a clay mineral that - similar to a charcoal tablet - helps them to excrete toxins. Dogs and cats, on the other hand, use grass as an emetic. The orangutans on Borneo smear a paste of leaves on their arms. Their purpose is probably similar to that of the people in the region: to alleviate their joint pain.
Natural remedies: millennia-old knowledge
Folk medicine is indisputably one of the greatest achievements of human culture. It was practiced on all continents and at all times in parallel. Over the millennia, a comprehensive knowledge came together, as can be understood on the basis of Indian Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM. As one of the oldest written sources for medicinal plant science is often called the book Chen Nong Ben Cao Jing, which is attributed to the legendary Chinese Emperor Shennong (about 2800 BC). It documents 365 plants with their specific healing properties. But herbal medicine goes much further back than written sources can ever prove. In the Mehrgarh settlement in present-day Pakistan, teeth were found where stone-age "dentists" had already found 7.000 - 6.000 v. Chr. Chr. Should have performed treatments with vegetable pastes. Soil analyzes of 60.000 years old tombs in Iraqi Kurdistan indicate that already deceased Neanderthals were bedded on bouquets of selected medicinal herbs (on yarrow, flake flowers, etc.).
"Nature can not be taught by anyone, she always knows the right thing."
Hippocrates (460 to 370 BC) on natural remedies
In our culture, the Greeks in particular brought forth famous herbalist doctors, of whom there is still talk today. From Hippocrates comes the sentence: "Nature can not be taught by anyone, she always knows the right thing." Even today, the so-called Aesculapius (Aesculap = Greek god of medicine) serves as a symbol for our doctors and pharmacists. The ancient Greeks were later inspired by the Christian monastery hospitals, with their gardens full of fragrant medicinal herbs. Of course, there was also a wealth of experience in Europe outside the church: herbalists, root cutters and midwives. Their competence, however, was increasingly considered as competition. In the dark age of witch burning, there was a serious break in the line of traditional European folk medicine and natural remedies.
Plant medicine today
With the onset of the industrial age and the triumphant advance of science, traditional plant medicine and thus natural remedies in Europe finally lost their supremacy. What was effective now was what could be measured in the laboratory. It began by means of chemical methods to isolate individual active ingredients from the plants and synthetically replicate. Practical standardized finished preparations became more and more popular and conquered the markets in Europe and the USA. Antibiotics, vaccines, chemotherapy and genetically engineered substances were used as new weapons against diseases of all kinds. At the same time, globally operating pharmaceutical companies with billions in annual sales were created.
This development causes stomach ache today. Critical physicians and journalists point to the massive influence that the pharmaceutical industry has on key areas of society: medical education, research, legislation and public opinion. Yes, the independence of science seems endangered. According to the court expert Dr. Today, John Abramson is funding 85 percent of all clinical trials from companies, and from the most influential studies, even 97 percent.
The business with the disease has become very lucrative. Earlier, a Chinese doctor should only have been paid if the patient remained healthy. If he became ill despite treatment, the doctor had to pay the costs. The opposite is the case in our society: the more treatments and medicines sold, the higher the gross domestic product. And the more the corporations earn. "What brings the doctor for his bread? a) health, b) death. Therefore, the doctor that he lives holds us in suspense between the two. (Eugen Roth)
"Everything is poison; but the dose makes it, whether something is a poison or not. "
Paracelsus (1493 to 1541) on natural remedies
Negative campaigns of the pharmaceutical industry
In order to create more space for your own products on the sales counter, the pharmaceutical industry has repeatedly cast natural remedies in a questionable light in recent years. For this purpose, individual isolated ingredients were proven to be harmful. This is what happened to coltsfoot, an ancient natural remedy for coughs. Coltsfoot contains traces of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are liver-damaging in large quantities. In 1988 the German Federal Health Office withdrew the approval for over 2.500 natural remedies with this ingredient. It was triggered by the death of a newborn whose mother had drunk coltsfoot tea during pregnancy. In retrospect, however, it turned out that the mother was a drug addict. The harmfulness of coltsfoot was also to be proven through animal experiments: rats were force-fed an enormous amount of the herb. After months, as expected, they finally developed liver tumors. But common sense knows that any substance is harmful if ingested in excess. Whether it is chocolate, alcohol, ready meals or coffee. As a natural remedy, herbalists only prescribed coltsfoot tea as a cure (max. Four weeks). As Paracelsus said: “Everything is poison; The dose alone determines whether something is a poison or not. ”The scare tactics with regard to old natural remedies mostly serve commercial interests. Pharmaceutical industry products seem safer than what nature has to offer.
Another aberration is the attempt to register patents for old traditional natural remedies, which means that home remedies may suddenly only be marketed by a particular company. As with the diversity of seed, the question arises as to what belongs to the immaterial heritage of all humanity. An example of this is the black seed, for which the Nestlé Group has sought to register patent rights regarding food allergies since 2010. However, the fact is that black cumin has been known as a natural remedy for digestive problems in the Orient for millennia.
Funny: Despite the massive use of new chemical drugs, people do not seem to become healthier. Dr. David P. Phillips of the University of California / San Diego, after evaluating 50 million death certificates, found that over the course of 21 years (from 1983 to 2004) the number of deaths from drug side effects or drug interactions in the US increased by over 360 percent has risen. The economic costs of treatments for adverse drug reactions are estimated at 350 to 400 millions of euros per year for Germany.
No wonder that the call for natural remedies is getting louder. Sebastian Kneipp, Pastor Weidinger, Maria Treben, Dr. Bach and many others tried in the last few decades to initiate a countermovement and to strengthen trust in natural remedies again. There are some hurdles to overcome: Although some herbal medicines have a long tradition of demonstrating their effectiveness, the evidence required by legislation is sometimes difficult to provide in the laboratory.
Natural Remedies: More than individual components
This is due to the fact that in plants or natural remedies a whole cocktail of ingredients is responsible for the healing effect and not a single component. However, many scientific research series refer to isolated ingredients. This is why situations arise that are so curious that old and popular medicinal plants (such as echinacea, mistletoe or ginseng) are only considered to have a modest medicinal effect by the relevant commissions. Other natural remedies are even labeled as ineffective.
The reason for this is that many natural remedies have a general, constructive and "adaptogenic" (stress adapting) effect. You feel somehow better - without the heightened sense of life could be expressed in numbers. In traditional herbal medicine, a plant is seen as a whole, with the sum of its ingredients, which often support and complement each other. Some aggressive substances are buffered by another, so they are better tolerated by the body. Often the plant molecular complexes are very similar to the body's own hormones and enzymes. So they can "jump in" with ease if a substance is missing in the body. When whole medicinal plants are used instead of isolated active ingredients, this often induces a more sustainable healing in the body (in contrast to pure symptom suppression).
But plants or natural remedies are natural substances, their active ingredient content varies naturally depending on the growth conditions, further processing, etc. Therefore, they are not so easy to dose. Especially not in anonymous medical care, when the doctor hardly knows his patients or can afford little time for the individual.
In the search for new active ingredients, thousands of samples are channeled through fully automated test procedures. There is hope that the plant will be found in the middle of the rainforest or in the desert, from which a great drug against AIDS or cancer can be produced. But most of the samples in the laboratory do not keep what they promised in their home country. One wonders: Have the indigenous medicine men only persuaded themselves the healing effects of natural remedies for generations? The narrow materialistic world view is blind to the finer levels of existence, to the power of the plant spirit and human consciousness.
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