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Herbal medicine as poison to the body


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#1 Smile

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 09:20 AM

Here is a part of an article "What’s Wrong with HERBAL MEDICINES?" from 'Just Eat an Apple' magazine....


This article focuses on medicinal herbs and their potential harm. Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in herbal products, herbal capsules, lotions, teas, cigarettes, and other products available in health food stores, supermarkets, via mail order, and from a variety of sources. Many consumers seek out medicinal plants in the quest for remedies that are “natural, holistic, and organic.” Over the past few years, annual sales of herbs in the U.S. has grown to $1.5 billion increasing 15%-20% a year. Is there any advantage to replacing drugs with herbal remedies? Why do people take herbs? For their fuel value? For
their protein content? For their vitamins? For their mineral salts? For their fatty acids? Herbs aren’t eaten
for nutriment. Yet nutriment is ALL that physiology requires from the outside
Since early history, people have used leaves, bark, roots, and seeds as medicine. Egyptian writings from
about 1500 B.C. describe some 700 plant drugs. Chinese texts on herbs date back to 2800 B.C. Until
just about a century at ago, plant medicine administered with prayer and sympathy was the only medicine
the world over.

As modern pharmaceuticals became available, drugs largely supplanted, throughout the Western world, the
herbal teas, tinctures, and poultices of yesteryear. This was not because herbs lacked medicinal properties.
On the contrary, many of today’s drugs originate from plants. Aspirin, for example is a synthetic variation
of salicin, an ingredient found in the bark of the white willow tree. A recently developed anti-cancer drug, paclitaxel (Taxol), comes from the bark of the Pacific yew tree. About 25% of all medicine can be traced to plants. If you count fungi and other microscopic plants, that proportion is nearly 50%. Most other pharmaceuticals originate from minerals, animal, or human body parts.

Scientists are hopeful that future wonder drugs existin other plants yet to be explored. In January, Pfizer Inc. announced a three-year agreement with Chinese officials to collect, identify, and study disease-fighting agents in plants used in traditional Chinese medicine. Pharmaceutical companies go to great lengths to make more potent drugs more predictable than the original plant source. For example, digitalis (the forerunner of digoxin) commonly prescribed for abnormal heart rhythms, was originally derived from the foxglove plant. But no cardiologist would suggest that patients chew on foxglove leaves: the dosage and effects would be far too unpredictable. Similarly, although you could brew the bark of the white willow (sold in many health food
stores) to treat a headache or reduce inflammation, you wouldn’t know how much bark to use, since the quantity and quality of the “active ingredient” varies. You’d have to drink several cups of willow tea to get any therapeutic effect. Aspirin however, is predictable and cheap.

Don’t Herbs Contain Nutrients? Herbs are Drugs in a “Natural” Context. The “active” ingredients within herbal remedies are chemical compounds that are non-nutritive. The body cannot utilize them in the creation of functional cells, organelles and tissues. Any drug or herbal product that has a true pharmacological effect also has a toxic effect, resulting in compromised health. Physiology must work to expel toxins, as it does other noxious material. Many drugs utilized by doctors are purifications and refinements of medicinal herbs. Medical doctors are taught that drugs are toxic. During the first pharmacology lecture in medical school, it is emphasized that all medicinals, drugs or otherwise, are poisonous to varying degrees.

Active chemicals in drugs are the same as those in herbs: both “work” pharmacologically, by blocking or
interfering with cellular metabolism through blind random chemical interaction at the molecular level.
With drugs, the exact dose and its toxicologic properties are more accurately predicted, compared to medicinal herbs. A substance is pharmacologically active when it has the power to stimulate or interfere with natural body functions. The faster the body responds, the more poisonous the substance is, and the stronger its toxic properties. (Its “effect” is erroneously attributed to the inert lifeless herb or drug). Herbs are not valued as nutrients, but for their pharmacologic (poison) content. Is tobacco valued for its nutrients? Its leaves contain plenty. The nutrients we need (sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, auxones, etc.) are amply contained in fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. What is valued in medicinal herbs is their “therapeutic or curing” effect. Actually, these are drug or poison effects and are harmful rather than helpful.
Medicinal herbs are drugs. The dictionary says a drug is, “Any substance, whether vegetable or mineral,
used for medicinal purposes.” Herbs add toxins that the body must compensated for in maintaining internal
cleanliness and homeostasis. The body is harmed from the use of medicinal substances, whether “natural” or
synthetic. As the search for a quick cure continues without resorting to living healthfully, optimal health
is further jeopardized. Just because something grows in nature, does not mean it is good for you. Poison ivy,
poison oak, belladonna, foxglove, tobacco, and marijuana are all “natural”.

Big Difference Between Medicinal and Culinary Herbs: Herbal Pharmacologic Hazards Culinary herbs and medicinal herbs are two entirely different cases. In the case of culinary herbs, an extremely small amount is used for the purpose of flavor enhancement, usually of cooked food. This is far different than the potent, concentrated megadose used medicinally, for an entire different purpose: to suppress symptoms, which is anti-vital in nature. Those who believe in the efficacy of herbal poisons are making a fortune for herbal distributors. Those who don’t know the difference between drug effects and health effects swear by herbs. We applaud the desire to improve quality of life, but not everything “natural” is beneficial. Self-medication can lead to further sickness.

Medicinal herbs are classified by their pharmacological properties and identical to the classifications in
drug pharmacology. There are herbal cathartics, laxatives, and emetics (that induce vomiting), stimulants
and diuretics. As mentioned, willow bark is the source of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. Willow bark is classified as an antipyretic (anti-infammatory) by the herbalist, just as aspirin is by the pharmacist. Both contain the same active substance and have the same pharmacological properties.

Herbal products and drugs, each known for their pharmacological effects, all cause toxic side effects
when taken in large enough doses. In smaller doses, their harmful effects are less noticeable, but they
accumulate over time.

Herbal Mirage of Health

To the uninformed, medicinal herbs seem to work magic, just as slight of hand by the magician. People
“get better” (unpleasant symptoms diminish) as medicinal herbs appear to bestow health benefits. But,
again, herbs are naturally occurring poisons that interfere with natural body processes. Self-healing bodily processes felt as joint pain, headache, abdominal pain, or inflammation indicates that the body is responding to irritation, by actively purging accumulated waste material or metabolic debris that has clogged the system, past a point of toleration. Inflammation signals an effort of the body to rid itself of offending substances and is an early sign of self-initiated repair.

Uncomfortable symptoms disappear when herbs (or drugs) are taken, since the body in self defense is
forced to abort its self healing, self initiated acute eliminative crisis (the mass ejection of internal pollution)
to deal with the more immediate emergency at hand: the toxic herb or drug just ingested.
Using herbs or drugs to short circuit this uncomfortable self healing process is a mistake. Heed the message
of inflammation by removing the cause(s) of the irritation. Gain profound rest, and remove all antagonists
to elimination.

The natural tendency of the body at all times is toward health, for this is built into the very genetic blueprint of each cell. Herbs (like all drugs) also benefit from the placebo effect. Improvement occurs in response to sugar pills or colored water, but wellness can never be attributed to ingesting poisons. Cause of Health
Health is the inevitable result of a biologically appropriate lifestyle, in harmony with mental,
emotional and spiritual needs. If we eat, sleep, exercise, socialize and commune with our essential nature, we develop health. If we persistently don’t, we develop disease. Persistence in lifestyle habits contrary to systemic needs leads to chronic degeneration. The conventional concept of disease as something to be combated leads people to search for pills to “cure” their ills. Rather than shedding sickening habits and
adopting salubrious ones, most seek to feel better while continuing the diet and lifestyle that initially
caused their health problem. This is no solution. Ultimately, consequences will be reaped. Laws of
cause and effect cannot be suspended by medicinal or herbal substances. Suppressing illness by devitalizing the body with herbs has no virtue over the same with pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs are toxic because they have poisonous compounds. As America’s foremost herbologist, Michael Moore of Santa Fe, New Mexico frankly states: “Herbs have cumulative toxic effects.” Most medicinal herbs have little or no nutrient value and instead are purposely ingested, mild toxins.

People take herbs for some supposed medicinal benefit. Anything called “medicine” is toxic. We can’t
be poisoned into health via drugs called medicines whether herbal or pharmaceutical. The first rule of
eating is: “Thou shalt not poison thyself.” Herbs violate the first commandment of eating. The Greek word
pharmakon means: magic weeds, and pharmacy has the same root. A pharmacy is a magic weed store, a
poison store. Unlike medicinal drugs, herbs may contain some nutritive substance. But this is not the reason they are used. Edible vegetables also contain nutrients, but they do not contain significant amounts of volatile oils and toxins that provide medicinal herbs with their toxic pharmacological properties. Herbs furnish little for human nutritional needs, but their toxic content suppresses vital body action. When vitality is depressed because of drugging (either recreational, over-the-counter, prescribed, or herbal), the body can no longer conduct internal cleansing with vigor: the detoxification process called acute disease.

Problems with Common Herbal Remedies

Growing disenchantment with “traditional” healthcare and conventional nutrition is driving many people to consider alternatives. This trend is not without risks. Many are dissatisfied with traditional medicine and are persuaded to think they can “treat” their illnesses. Many are misled by false security in the word “natural,”
and are encouraged by those who profit from selling unregulated “natural” remedies, in the form of medicinal
herbs. But not everything advertised as “natural” is safe.

Dangerous side effects and long term damage from herbal products is not generally recognized by the unsuspecting consumer. Results range from subtle immune suppression to death. Real dangers are associated with medicinal herbs. As with drugs, the side effects of medicinal herbs are directly related to the amount ingested or absorbed. For example, deadly nightshade atropa belladonna is the plant from which atropine extract is derived, which is used in minute amounts in the treatment of cardiac and gastrointestinal disease. By comparison, a single berry from this deadly nightshade plant contains a lethal amount of atropine....
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#2 SheepishLord

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 09:32 AM

What, have you taken up reading as a new hobby? :P
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#3 Lozen

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:17 PM

Fascinating. I always saw herbs as strengthening and nourishing... never heard this version of it before.
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.” -Mother Teresa

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#4 thaddeus

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:55 PM

This article makes way too many sweeping generalizations about herbal remedies. At some point it talks about general herbal remedies, then talks about extracts of the remedies that are taken as drugs, then throws in some generalized nonsense about how they work in body as 'poisons'. What's the point to this? If I make a tea out of He Shou Wu with Goji berry why am i poisoning my body? It's just food. The article makes a valid point about extracting the active constituent and making a drug out of it, but isn't that obvious already? One can argue that *any* pill is a poison...
but now that I think about it, anything you ingest in your body is a 'poison' in the sense it generates free radicals. Even the air we breathe and the emotions we feel generate free radicals.
T

#5 Cameron

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:56 PM

If Max thinks so must be true.

*Prepares for 2012 dimensional shift*

#6 affenbrot

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 01:53 PM

there has been a similiar (shorter) article in a german newspaper lately.
To me it is very obvious which interest groups are responsible for spreading this kind of news!

:angry:
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#7 Smile

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:23 PM

Me likes reading. Me reading long time.

By the time i finished reading that article, you probably finished 2 books already. So who is the dumb ass now? ohhh, wait a minute...

This article makes way too many sweeping generalizations about herbal remedies. At some point it talks about general herbal remedies, then talks about extracts of the remedies that are taken as drugs, then throws in some generalized nonsense about how they work in body as 'poisons'. What's the point to this? If I make a tea out of He Shou Wu with Goji berry why am i poisoning my body? It's just food. The article makes a valid point about extracting the active constituent and making a drug out of it, but isn't that obvious already? One can argue that *any* pill is a poison...

I would say that people focus on herbs instead of focusing on the right diet. If your diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc., you don't need herbal suplements, because your body gets all the nutrients in the most optimal way.

If Max thinks so must be true.

You know it.


there has been a similiar (shorter) article in a german newspaper lately.
To me it is very obvious which interest groups are responsible for spreading this kind of news!

Sounds like a lot of peole misunderstood what that article was about.

Edited by Smile, 03 April 2006 - 02:20 PM.

Jerry: "Oh you're crazy"
Kramer: "Am I? Or am I so sane that you just blew your mind?"
Jerry: "It's impossible"
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Kramer: "Can't it? Or is your entire world just crashing down all around you?"
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#8 Lozen

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 04:13 PM

I went to an ethnobotany conference that was specifically about herbs as food. In fact, many people I know only use herbs in food form (tea, vinegars, and herbs you can cook with.) I do think some people need more than just a good diet--some people have deficiencies where specific plants are indicated. But every herb book I've ever read and class I've ever been to emphasizes food first--good quality (organic if possible) fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (in limited amounts), nuts and seeds, and good quality fat and protein.

I primarily use herbs as foods (dandelion greens, burdock root soup, nettle tea, verbena tea, etc.) but have found that using tinctures when I'm sick is a lot easier and has positive affects.

I agree that extracting certain plant elements is dangerous. But sometimes even Western medicine is necessary. I guess I like the old Tracker School adage, "What's gonna kill you first?" Would have a hard time telling a cancer patient (for example) to just eat more apples.
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#9 Cameron

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 04:48 PM

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#10 thaddeus

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 06:32 PM

I would say that people focus on herbs instead of focusing on the right diet. If your diet consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc., you don't need herbal suplements, because your body gets all the nutrients in the most optimal way.

I think the herbs exist for a reason, and we discovered their healing effects over time. Apples will not relieve pain or kill bacteria. Everything has a place..
T

#11 Smile

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 08:18 PM

I think the herbs exist for a reason, and we discovered their healing effects over time. Apples will not relieve pain or kill bacteria. Everything has a place..
T

You are right- apples don't kill bacteria. Your immune system is designed to do that. But if your immune system is exosted by unhealthy lifestyle and food so it can't fight off the disease, don't you think you have to correct the way you live first instead of taking herbs? But that of course takes times and effort. And will.
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#12 Ian

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:40 AM

The natural tendency of the body at all times is toward health, for this is built into the very genetic blueprint of each cell. . ...
....Health is the inevitable result of a biologically appropriate lifestyle, in harmony with mental,
emotional and spiritual needs. If we eat, sleep, exercise, socialize and commune with our essential nature, we develop health. If we persistently don’t, we develop disease. Persistence in lifestyle habits contrary to systemic needs leads to chronic degeneration. The conventional concept of disease as something to be combated leads people to search for pills to “cure” their ills. Rather than shedding sickening habits and
adopting salubrious ones, most seek to feel better while continuing the diet and lifestyle that initially
caused their health problem. This is no solution. Ultimately, consequences will be reaped. Laws of
cause and effect cannot be suspended by medicinal or herbal substances.


This is true, but many people need bridges to get to the place where they can recognise this and begin to act upon it, if indeed they can at all. And herbs can often be a not-too-harmful such bridge.

I've been amazed by some teachers who have the patience and maturity to help people organise temporary, worldy, maybe even ultimately counter-productive solutions, just to give respite or comfort, because they know the person isn't ready for the truth they'd like to unleash.

And it's a bit like that. Most people are simply not going to go for it in this life. Period. Let em have herbs.
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#13 neimad

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:08 AM

i agree in part.... herbs as medicine should be unnecessary if the diet is adequate.

however i would consider that an adequate diet would consist of herbs as a part of it.

herbs are like superfoods, with higher concentrations of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytochemicals.... they are just plants, same as the vegetables we eat.

sweet potato is a root, so is ginseng. whats the diff?

spinach is leaves, so is damiana.

almonds are seeds, and so are feonugreek.

and on and on......

not much is needed, but some is. otherwise why would have all cultures all round the world used herbs as a part of a normal diet???
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#14 thaddeus

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:51 AM

You are right- apples don't kill bacteria. Your immune system is designed to do that. But if your immune system is exosted by unhealthy lifestyle and food so it can't fight off the disease, don't you think you have to correct the way you live first instead of taking herbs? But that of course takes times and effort. And will.

Good point. I'll think of something... :P
But as someone pointed out in a later post, herbs are food for the most part. If I don't eat enough vitamin c, i'll get scurvy (and as linus pauling pointed out probably heart disease too). So if I eat a lemon, is that taking an herbal remedy? If I've been running from a predator and my adrenals are tired and I eat a ginseng root, is that a poison? There's just something wrong with the idea of saying ALL herbs are poisons and we don't need them because we have food plus whatever our current philosophy says is a healthy life style.
Perhaps an 'herb' is something more powerful than a 'food'. Since it's impossible to live without any stress, we may need these powerful food sometimes to bring us back to balance. I don't see that as a bad thing.
Anyway, interesting ideas nonetheless..
T

#15 affenbrot

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:02 AM

Sounds like a lot of peole misunderstood what that article was about.

arrgh, I missed the mark. :ph34r: . Again!




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