“Natural”. The word has a good feel to it. Safe. Peaceful. Healthy. However, I had a rude awakening recently in learning that “natural” has no legal meaning. Try determining what’s natural about “natural” flavoring and “natural” colorings. Recently, the FDA insisted that a natural product have only 20 % natural material in order to be labeled “natural”. Today even that standard has been relaxed. Like the regulation that says honey can be heated to 160 degrees and still be called “raw”. Hmmm.
What is more natural than vitamin C? Rose hips, bioflavanoids and other additives are important, but buyers should know that 90% of all vitamin C today is supplied by one drug company: Hoffman Laroche. They make it from a chemical industrial reaction with glucose. No matter how you slice it…
Raw versus pasteurized. Whole versus purified. Patent versus non-patented. These are more meaningful definitions than natural. I suggest you buy accordingly.
According to the FDA and a recent study from
How does a natural remedy make it to market? Let’s review the case of William Withering, M.D. who plucked a folk remedy out of the meadow and transplanted it onto the druggist’s shelf where it remains today some two hundred years later. The drug is digitalis extracted from digoxin, a toxin from the foxglove plant. This plant-based cardiac medicine is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) as well as other cardiac problems.
Prior to Dr. Withering “discovering” it, digitalis, universally considered “without question the most valuable cardiac drug ever discovered and one of the most valuable drugs in the entire pharmacopoeia” had been used in its herbal form for years by an “old wicca” or witch in the south of
“In the year 1775, my opinion was asked concerning a family receipt [think: “old wives’ tale”] for the cure of the dropsy. I was told that it had long been kept a secret by an old woman in
Dr. Withering goes on do clinical trials with extract of foxglove and become the “midwife” who is credited with “discovering” this supremely important medicine. Not surprisingly, in the process he incurred the scorn and professional jealousy of one Dr. John Coakley Lettsom “who enjoyed the largest and most renumerative cardiac practice in
So here’s to Dr. Withering who beat the bushes for anything that might prove to be useful. He was curious and made perhaps the most important “house call” in the history of modern medicine when he went to visit the “witch” to see if she could teach him anything.
Other countries have a much greater respect and curiosity regarding natural products and their populace thereby benefits from less toxic medicines. We lost most of our natural medicinal heritage when we destroyed our indigenous Native American Indian cultures.
The grey”‘eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels,
From forth the day’s path and Titan’s firey wheels.
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,
I must up”‘fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious juiced flowers.
The earth that’s Nature’s mother is her tomb,
What is her burying grave, that is her womb.
And from her womb, children of diverse kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find.
Many for many virtues excellent;
None but for some, and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones and their true qualities;
For nought so vile that on the earth does live
But to the earth some special good doth give.
For nought so good but strained from that fair use,
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.
Virtue, itself, turns to vice being misapplied
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power.
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part.
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still.
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will
And where the worse is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
With spring in the air, why not take a stroll during lunch hour and see for yourself what “children of diverse kind” you find suckling on Mother Earth?