A Gentle Way of Healing…
I read with great interest randgrithr’s Essay on Swine Flu and encourage her to write more about the “New Dark Ages”!!! Our conversation there reminded me that yeah, I am an herbalist, and maybe I should offer some of what I know to those among us are wondering about how to stay healthy while the Murder-by-Spreadsheet crowd is busy robbing us blind for nothing.
First (I guess) I should say that the “active ingredients” in most drugs – including synthetics – are called alkaloids. Opium, for instance, is an alkaloid. Alkaloids are chemical compounds that contain nitrogen, which gives them an alkaline base. Life from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals all produce alkaloid compounds, usually extracted via an acidic extraction method. Quinine, cocaine and nicotine are further examples, as are a great many of the compounds identified as “active” in other natural sources that end up getting synthesized by Big Pharma and sold for way too much money to sick people who can’t afford it.
The difference between synthetic drugs and natural herbal remedies is significant. When you use an herbal extract or tea, you’re also getting a host of associated natural compounds that can boost the effects and/or dampen harmful effects. Plus, natural compounds come in the proper chirality for life, thus are readily absorbed by the body and put to good use. Synthetics often have backwards compounds that life can’t use, and these are either useless or harmful depending on what it is you’re using and how it is put to use in your body.