May 20, 2017
Did you know that natural medicine was once, and still is, the default medical system on this planet?
In fact, the use of synthetically produced patent medicines (pharmaceuticals) is a relatively recent development (circa 1870), and should really be called the “alternative medicine” vis-a-vis time-tested, far safer approaches that rely on food, spices, and carefully prepared and administered plant extracts.
A powerful new report released by the Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom reveals that there are currently 28,187 plant species recorded as being of medicinal use throughout the world. In addition, the report revealed that fewer than 16% (4,478) of the species used in plant-based medicines are cited in a medicinal regulatory publication.
While the lesser developed countries are the primary users of plant medicines, they are used in great abundance throughout the world. Even in countries like Germany where conventional, drug-based medicine is the default approach, about 90% of their population also uses herbal medicines. Even the most pharmaceutically obsessed country in the world, the United States, spent 17 billion dollars on traditional herbal medicines in 2000 alone, and the number has grown steadily since then.
It should be noted that mixing plant-based medicines with pharmaceuticals can be dangerous, and as the report points out, many of these plants contain compounds that can cause harm if taken incorrectly. There is also a problem with misnaming or multiple names for the same plant-based medicines::
“143 DATABASES AND PUBLICATIONS CITE 415,180 UNIQUE NAMES FOR PLANT-BASED MEDICINES– AN AVERAGE OF 15 ALTERNATIVE NAMES FOR EACH SPECIES.”
The report also pointed out that…