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Why Try Herbalism?

Medical science took a big leap forward in the United States and Europe after World War II with the introduction of a whole collection of drugs, including beta-blockers, anesthetics, antidepressants, steroids, and antibiotics, to name but a few. Some remain extremely useful, especially the anesthetics, some painkillers, and antibiotics, when used in highly selective situations. Medical technology also took a big leap and, although some discoveries are now readily accepted as being useful and noninvasive, much new technology seems to have been designed simply to make lots of money for the manufacturers, while some is positively destructive, invasive, and life-threatening. Robert Mendelsohn, MD, says in his book Confessions of a Medical Heretic,
I believe that modern medicine treatments for disease are seldom effective and that they are often more dangerous than the diseases they are designed to treat. I believe the dangers are compounded by the widespread use of dangerous procedures for non-diseases. I believe that more than 90 percent of modern medicine could disappear from the face of the earth — doctors, hospitals, drugs, equipment — and the effect on our health would be immediate and benefi cial. I believe that modern medicine has gone too far, by using, in everyday situations, extreme treatments designed for critical conditions! We need to become more discerning about medical treatment and to ask for what we want instead of simply accepting whatever current medical development is thrust upon us. Most of all, we need to avoid becoming one of 100,000 yearly U.S. citizens killed by the orthodox medical profession itself.
Some natural healing methods may initially appear to be drastic, timeconsuming, old-fashioned, and crude. You may not have met anyone who has used them and be asking yourself whether they really work. A few of us, the recipients and facilitators of these methods, know that they do work and have kept the knowledge alive. Now more than ever, people need to be enlightened with the knowledge and ability to heal themselves. According to the World Health Organization, the number of cancers is expected to double in most countries over the next twenty-fi ve years. The reason is that we have an ever-increasing population that is living longer — but in a sicklier state. With this in mind, it is important for every household to have a clearer understanding of healthy daily living and selfhelp methods, and to be aware that little problems need not become large ones if they are dealt with early enough. Because of the overuse of antibiotics, vaccinations, poor nutrition, and pollution, our children are becoming sicker and weaker with more persistent allergies than ever. We need to redress this widespread problem.
All too often we are scared away from herbs, regarding them as being the exclusive province of the professionals, but herbs furnish us with our own natural healing laboratories in our own kitchens. Herbs are potent, and their benefi ts are usually felt quite quickly. In previous times, herbalists used only the plants in their own terrain, but personal territory has dwindled everywhere. As a means of sharing these resources and enriching our knowledge, plants from luxuriant rain forests, spacious mountains, and spartan deserts are now as easily available as those obtainable from the local garden center. Yet though we now have access to an incredible repertoire of healing plants, we actually have all we need on our doorstep, with everyday weeds capable of taking care of a host of viruses, bacteria, parasites, and much more.