Health is not for sale but is still priceless. Throughout our education we got used to the idea that health comes all by itself, and when you have bad luck or behave foolish, there are doctors, pharmacies and hospitals to fix the problem. Your lifestyle and your choices did not play an important role. Medications did. Medications or pharmaceutical products were seen as blessing. They were available, did little or no harm, and improved your health.
Recently we all got to know this was all based on deception. If you want to read more about how the pharmaceutical industry operates and why, read the bibliography (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7). Chances are you will be shocked.
In a few years, for whatever reason, we will see that many people will no longer have adequate access to medication. Taking into account that many people on this planet are suffering from this problem already. (8)
We are taught to ignore the fact that many health-supporting substances come from natural sources. We are taught they come from the pharmacy or a pill. A few examples: digitalis (heart medication) comes from the digitalis flower. Paclitaxel, against breast cancer, comes from the Taxus shrub. And when you think about it, all day long we are taking health-promoting substances by drinking herbal concoctions: coffee, tea, beer, wine, coca-cola, even soy, almond or chocolate milk, or lemonades. Think about the herbs and spices, used in your kitchen. One step further is the use of cannabis or opium. (8,9,10)
Or the ever growing popularity of psychedelic mushrooms and the use of aromatherapy and perfumes, based or natural compounds. (11)
During the last 50 years, as a kind of hobby, I have been studying natural compounds and their effects on human health.
Nature is supplying these substances for free.
Plants do not produce the substances for us. The production of these compounds costs plants, which are unrivalled chemical companies, lot of energy. Most of these bioactive substances, sometimes a hundred different ones in one plant, are produced in order to survive. To repel attackers like fungi, bacteria, snails, and insects, of even larger animals like goats and other mammals. Or they produce volatile chemicals to attract insects that help them to reproduce, like pollination by bees.
Plants are treasure chests, full of useful chemicals for us to use, many of them still undiscovered.
As good as this sounds, there are still some steps to be taken before we can use them properly.
We have to discover the effects of all these different components, and most of them work in synergy with each other, like a team with a specific goal.
Interestingly enough all this was already discovered and worked out a long time ago by the people who using herbal medicine. This knowledge is still being used in many places on this planet. Think about Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, folk medicine, shamanic medicine, etc. They know exactly which plants to use for which medical problem, what the effects are of each plant, and how to take them. And which ones not to use because of their possible toxicity.
Another potential problem is extracting and processing the bioactive compounds from the plant, since they are present in small amounts only. Also the optimal delivery and absorption of natural compounds used to be problematic. Great steps have been made to introduce better absorbable delivery forms such as liposomes, nanosomes, ethosomes, phytosomes, or herbosomes, so less bioactive substance is used to create the same effect. (12)
Nowadays there are quite a few handbooks available to help you to produce your own, cheap, effective and safe natural medication.
Just a few examples: due to the fact that some crazy virologist thought it necessary to create more dangerous viruses in the lab (as if these viruses weren’t dangerous enough in their natural form), the immune system got a lot of attention.
An optimally functioning immune system is a great asset in the fight against invaders like viruses. In natural medicine, immunostimulants have already been used for a long time. One of the most well-known ones is Echinacea from Echinacea purpurea.
Another one can be found in many places and can easy be processed into a good tasting and healthy tea, with more benefits than just stimulation the immune system alone. Chaga or Inonotus obliquus, an ugly black, dark brownish fungus growing on birch trees, easily to recognize and to turn into a healthy drink. Just divide into chunks, ground it and pour hot water on the powder and a good tasting tea appears. Anybody can do this. (13)
Another interesting mushroom is Coriolus versicolor found on old tree trunks. Making a tea of this has been proven to be a powerful weapon against cancer. (14)
Even in your own backyard, if you have one, powerful substances can be found. With a good look in my garden I observed a few plants and weeds of which research has been proven to fight cancer cells. These six common plants show the tremendous potential of botanical medicine.
Warning: if you don’t know what you are doing……. don’t use them. I am a maniac, knowing everything there is to know about the plants and fungi, what they contain, how they work, and what and how to use them. There are quite a few good books (21,22) from which you can learn how to produce your own medications.
1. John Abramson: Overdo$ed America – the broken promise of American medicine; 2008
2. John Abramson: Sickening – How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care How We Can Repair It ; 2022
3. Stephen Fried: Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, New York; Bantam Books, 1998
4. Dennis B. Mille: The Shocking Truth About Pharmacy; 2020
5. David Herzberg: White market drugs – big pharma and the hidden history of addiction in America
6. Gerald Posner: Pharma – Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America, 2021
7 Kenber, Billy: Sick Money – The truth about the Global Pharmaceutical industry; Canongate , 2021
8. Michael Farley, Ty Bollinger: A Guide to Understanding Herbal Medicines and Surviving the Coming Pharmaceutical Monopoly; 2011
9. A. Sahebkar, T. Sathyapalan (eds.): Natural Products and Human Diseases, Pharmacology, Molecular Targets, and Therapeutic Benefits – Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1328, 2021
10. Zhang L, Reddy N Bioactive Molecules from Medicinal Herbs for Life Threatening Diseases; J Mol Sci. Vol. 2 No.1: 4. 2018
11. Pollan, Michael – How to Change Your Mind- The New Science of Psychedelics
12. Madhu Gupta (Ed.): Novel drug delivery systems for phytoconstituents; 2020.
13. Ma, L., Chen, H., Dong, P., Lu, X: Anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of extracts and compounds from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus, Food Chemistry (2013)
14. Solomon Habtemariam: Trametes versicolor (Synn. Coriolus versicolor) Polysaccharides in Cancer Therapy: Targets and Efficacy,; Biomedicines 2020, 8, 135
15. Lisa Maness Wishon: Anticancer Activity Of Phytolacca Americana Root Extracts And Their Fractions On Breast And Colon Cancer Cells. Thesis 2010
16. Disha Arora, Anupam Sharma: A review on phytochemical and pharmacological potential of genus Chelidonium; Pharmacognosy Journal xxx (2013) 1e7
17. Md. Shahadat Hossan, Shahnaz Rahman: Rosmarinic action: a review of its anticancer action
World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 3, Issue 9, 2014. Pg.57-70.
18. Rehman G, Hamayun M et al: Effect of Methanolic Extract of Dandelion Roots on Cancer Cell
Lines and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway. Front. Pharmacol. 8:875. 2017
19. Mohsen Imanshahidi and Hossein Hosseinzadeh: Pharmacological and Therapeutic Effects of Berberis vulgaris and its Active Constituent, Berberine; Phytother. Res. 22, 999–1012 (2008)
20. You Ah Kim, Chang-Suk Kong, et al.: Constituents of Corydalis heterocarpa and their anti-proliferative effects on human cancer cells; Food and Chemical Toxicology 48 (2010) 722–728
21. Christopher Hobbs: Christopher Hobbs’s Medicinal Mushrooms – The Essential Guide; Story Publ.,2020
22. James Green: The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook; Crossing Press, 2002.