So why this great change and disconnect? After the post-war era, economies began to boom and an ever more sophisticated technology was spreading through every sector, leading societies to change drastically. Our populations boomed and money and profit became the driving factors. Experimenting with plant medicines was pretty much looked upon as primitive and unscientific. It is from these roots that the Western pharmaceutical industry grew to be how and what it is today. Of course in order for something to be profitable today it needs a patent, and nature in its unmodified form cannot be patented. So they extracted what they wanted out of plants, synthesized it, and patented the final products as pharmaceuticals and various formulas were born. They even modified entire plants and their species, both physically and genetically, in order to make them more profitable.
What did all this innovation and separation from nature lead to? Within half of a century we have caused some of the most destructive damage upon this planet, its people, living beings, and ecosystems. What this all has also led to, is that we have decreased the quality of our environments and food supply and increased our rates of sickness and disease. This is why, today, a quiet, yet significant revolution is under way.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently uses herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. These days, many people are resorting to the use of traditional methods to treat ailments. This has further given a boost to the commercial production of these plants, and the rate of consumption has considerably increased.
So what makes plants so special? With onset of scientific research in herbals, it is becoming clearer that the medicinal herbs have a potential in today’s synthetic era, as numbers of medicines are becoming resistant. According to one estimate only 20% of the plant flora has been studied and 60%of synthetic medicines owe their origin to plants. Ancient knowledge coupled with scientific principles can come to the forefront and provide us with powerful remedies to eradicate the diseases.
A section of scientists ha focused on deciphering their role in nutrition, which led us to learn in the past few decades about a group of compounds called phytonutrients, beneficial compounds found only in plants that can help prevent and even heal many diseases. The cruciferous family of plants, for example, is quickly gaining status by helping ward off cancer since it has phytonutrients. Plants also contain outstanding vitamin and mineral profiles, and are the only sources of fiber. Finally, plants harness their energy directly from the sun and aside from the chlorophyll content in the green parts of plants, there is also living energy called Chi, which we obtain when we consume or use plants in their freshest, most unadulterated forms. All of these factors blossom the human organism, as intended.
Every compound and every plant has a role to play. Our job is not to fear them or dismiss them, but to learn about them and how they work, in order to route ourselves to their greatest potential. There is no doubt that plants can be dangerous, when used incorrectly, but it only takes a little bit of interest and effort to learn some basics about those plants that would be of specific medical benefit to you. When people don’t have a connection to or reverence for nature or when they lack basic knowledge, it is then that they often make very poor judgments and choices related to nature’s potential. This is a good place to remind us that just because it is natural does not mean that it is safe, and just because it is chemical does not mean it is unsafe.