Medicine for the People
Walks With Hawks Doyle
If you have taken an aspirin then you have been
closely associated to herbs. Aspirin was derived from
an herb. If you have taken a decongestant that did
not make you drowsy? Then you have taken an
ingredient or substance that came from an herb.
In the past almost all
our ancestors and inhabitants of earth were dependant on
herbs or plants. Today's medicines are synthetic forms
of herbs. Aspirin is a derivative of the bark of the
willow tree. One fourth of all medicines contain active
ingredients that are prescribed by pharmacists came from
Our ancestors or
primitive people who roamed the earth discovered that
plants were beneficial to them medicinally. They
watched animals to see what they did when they were sick
and they then ate the same plants. When they ate plants
that made them sick then they refrained from using that
plant. Most of their experiences were based on trial
and error. When someone felt better after eating a
certain herb or plants others would try them.
Eventually primitive people found plants that helped
them sleep, plants that helped them stay awake, plants
that cured stomach aches and plants that soothed
This tradition of ancient
remedies continued for centuries until the beginning of
modern medicine and its knowledge of chemistry. When
synthetic pharmaceuticals began to surface in the late
nineteenth century doctors began to view herbal remedies
as old-fashioned. Some practitioners, homeopaths,
osteopaths, chiropractors and hydrotherapists as well as
eclectics, a group of Americans who combined European
herbal traditions with the plant lore borrowed from
Native American traditions.
More problems would arise
from the man made drugs. The drug industry by 1945 had
become a multinational, mega-billion-dollar enterprise.
The more powerful drugs had many problems that came with
them, we call them side effects. One of the worst was a
sleeping pill that was given to pregnant women in the
l960's. It caused many birth defects created by the
synthetic pill. After that many practitioners, doctors
and patients began to see a reason to seek our the
gentler or more natural medicines that are herbs.
People are searching for
self-care and disease prevention in this time of health
soaring care costs.
Herbal remedies for a great first line of defense for
colds, flu, and other diseases. When it comes to heart
problems many physicians are treating them with herbal
remedies. Such herbs or plants are ginger, peppermint,
papaya and fennel can help reduce the nausea caused by
chemotherapy, for instance. Irish moss can thin the
blood, and hawthorn berries, rosemary and motherwort,
improves circulation in people with heart disease.
Whether using them for prevention, or as a home remedy
for drugs, people are using a lot more herbs because
they do not have the side effects that pharmaceutical
One must remember that
there are herbs that are hazardous. Some people believe
that all herbs or herbal products are safe. This is not
a completes list of the herbs that are hazardous but
these are some that should not be used without proper
supervision from a health care provider:
Harmful in large doses; may cause liver
damage and cancer.
May cause illness; Prolonged use can cause
May cause cancer.
May cause liver damage and cancer (Can use
Potent heart toxin
The essential oil may cause convulsions in
large doses, possibly harmful to pregnant
May cause respiratory paralysis and
convulsions if used in excessive amounts.
May make skin more susceptible to damage
Excessive use may cause cancer in some
people if use in large amounts.
The following herbs are potentially dangerous and should
be used with caution:
Should not be used by heart patients, high
blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid disease.
Should not be used by women who are pregnant
or people with kidney disease.
Excessive amounts may cause fluid retention
and high blood pressure.
Side effects include nausea, vomiting, high
blood pressure, palpitations, insomnia and
weed is an unusual name for an ornamental
plant that does not have "weed-like"
tendencies. Legend tells us that it was
named after an American Indian named Joe Pye,
who was said to have cured typhus with it.
Joe Pye weed has also been called "purple
boneset" because the stems are purple at the
joints. The leaves and roots of Joe Pye weed
have been used throughout the years as an
alternative medicine. It has been said to
help with from everything rheumatism and
urinary problems to fluid retention.
Although Eupatorium purpureum is the
native species, many Joe Pye weed plants
sold by the nursery industry are probably
E. maculatum. It has more attractive
foliage and the flower heads contain nearly
twice as many flowers. 'Gateway' is popular
cultivar for home gardens because it is
somewhat shorter and produces large
mauve-pink flowers at the top of
Everyone should be careful
when taking herbs. Most herbal remedies are safe, but a
few could be quite dangerous, especially when used in
combinations with prescription drugs or over the counter
drugs or when used by people with pre-existing health
problems. Goldenseal and Echinacea are both a powerful
antibiotic and may help you fight colds, flu and other
types of infection. When used for long periods of time
or for chronic infections, it should be taken in cycles,
such as two to three weeks on and two weeks off. Taken
without a break in the cycle may cause you to get sicker
Herbs don't necessarily work quickly for chronic
health problems. You might take herbal remedies or
herbal tea three months before you will see results.
One must remember that you are getting a mild dose of
photochemical or nutrients each day and it takes longer
to fight off the disease or sickness, but there is
usually no side effects like modern day medicines. Most
people who take herbs or drink herbal tea give up too
fast, they dont wait long enough, they dont take the
herb long enough for it to be effective.
We have a widespread use of antibiotics, which has
given rise to strains of bacteria that have become
highly resistant to most drugs in the conventional
pharmaceutical arena. A lot of man made antibiotics have
healed many but as time rolls on each disease is
challenging each antibiotic that we are taking. This a
war between bacteria and viruses and our immune systems.
Tuberculosis keeps turning up in new forms that do not
respond to antibiotics. Natural or Alternative
medicines use herbs, juices, supplements, and dietary
changes to boost the immune system and therefore the
greatest medicine toward a foreign bacteria or virus is
our own immune system. If you have a positive
attitude, a healthy immune system, proper diet,
exercise daily then you will be able to heal yourself.
The best care for a healthy life is to utilize all
avenues of the medical system. When one fails then try
another one. I personally use Herbal Teas. I go to the
physician usually 1 every six months and he tells me
that I am in excellent health and I just keep on
drinking my pint of herbal tea each day.
Wa Do. Harvey