As a growing herbalist mama, I’ve always been fascinated with the beautiful plants that God created to aid our body in healing. Herbal medicine has been an amazing help for me both during and after my toxic mold exposure.
My Italian and Latin American grandma was responsible alongside my dad for awakening my passion for healthy food and herbal medicine. I treasure each memory of us working together in her little adobe kitchen, creating beautiful dishes, and drinking herbal tea each night.
As I child while we lived overseas we grew several amazing foods. I remember picking up herbs and fruits while walking barefoot in the garden. At a young age, I created countless healthy dishes, made hundreds of herbal infusions, and learned about using plants as medicine. These lessons and life experiences pushed me as an adult to study more about plants and their healing properties.
After all, while growing up and living abroad, we used herbal medicine daily as it was recommended by some of the doctors and practitioners we saw. We never experienced any issues; if anything, herbal medicine helped clear up symptoms pretty quickly and seldom caused side effects when used properly.
As I got older, I began researching why herbal medicine and naturopathic medicine weren’t being used alongside allopathic medicine in the US. What I found out was shocking, to say the least. This history is not something you will learn about in school textbooks.
Its interesting to note that the first written record of plants being used as medicine was created on clay tablets over 5,000 years ago by the Sumerians, in ancient Mesopotamia, which described a dozen herbal recipes calling for the use of over 250 plants (Petrovska, 2012).
When you do some research, you’ll see that the sinister plot to discredit and destroy plant medicine dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
It was around that time that herbal medicine and naturopathy were eliminated and labeled as unscientific quackery. But it wasn’t because these healing modalities weren’t safe. There were more enormous interests at stake. I will add that as in all things, there were some people like William Avery Rockefeller (John D. Rockefeller’s father) who according to History.com “was a traveling snake-oil salesman who posed as a deaf-mute peddler and hawked miracle drugs and herbal remedies.” People like him used unsafe practices and placed patients lives at risk.
This is not something that only happened/happens in herbal medicine and naturopathy but it happened and still happens in allopathic medicine today. All throughout history, charlatans have existed who don’t truly care about the health and well being of others, their only incentive is financial gain.
If you’re interested in learning a little more about this subject; below are a few resources I’ve compiled over the years that will help you unravel a bit of the history of herbal and naturopathic medicine.
“In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or science.
We are not to raise up from among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.” John D Rockefeller
Below Is A Must Watch Video
Click here for a write up on the history of the oil industry and how they conquered the world and influenced every aspect of society including the medical sector.
“In the early 1900’s there were a variety of doctors and healing modalities in America. Some of the medical specialties included chiropractic, naturopathy, homeopathy, holistic medicine and herbal medicine. To eliminate the competition Rockefeller hired a contractor named Abraham Flexner to submit a report to Congress in 1910. This report “concluded” that there were too many doctors and medical schools in America, and that all the natural healing modalities which had existed for hundreds of years were unscientific quackery. The report called for the standardization of medical education, whereby only the AMA (another monopoly) would be allowed to grant medical school licensure in the U.S.
Certainly, Flexner’s report did have some valid points, but unfortunately the motives for the report were entirely driven my Rockefeller’s desire for complete control of the medical system. Based on the report, congress acted upon the Flexner’s recommendations and changed laws related to medical practice. Incredibly, allopathic medicine became the standard modality, even though at the time its main treatment methods where blood-letting, surgery (quite barbaric at the time) and the injection of toxic heavy metals (lead and mercury) to supposedly “displace disease”!
With these legal changes in place, Rockefeller teamed up with Andrew Carnegie and started funding medical schools all over America on the strict condition that they only taught allopathic medicine. Through the power of their huge “grants”, this powerful team systematically dismantled the previous curricula of these medical schools, removing any mention of the healing power of herbs or natural treatments. Teachings on diet and other natural (non-drug) treatments were also completely removed from medical programs.” Source
Click here to read some history about early American Herbalism.
Click here to read a Historical review of medicinal plants’ usage
Click here to read about Herbal medicine in ancient Egypt
Click here to read about Herbs and spices of the ancient Near East
Click Here to read about the first British female herbalist who has been long forgotten for her contribution to herbalism.
Although the next two links do not have to do with herbal medicine and naturopathy, they show the impact of the Flexner Report on minorities. All around, the creation of this report was very damaging, not only to practitioners using non traditional healing modalities but for many others. The report has been categorized as racist, sexist and discriminatory yet the AMA supported it.
Click here to read The 1910 Report That Disadvantaged Minority Doctors
Click here to read Progress for Whose Future? The Impact of the Flexner Report on Medical Education for Racial and Ethnic Minority Physicians in the United States
The Western Herbal Tradition: 2000 Years of Medicinal Plant Knowledge
“The Western Herbal Tradition provides a comprehensive and critical exploration of the use of plant medicines through 2000 years of history from Dioscorides to the present day. It follows each of the 27 herbs through a wide range of key sources from European, Arabic and American traditions including Greek, Roman and Renaissance texts. A rich discussion of the historical texts is balanced with current application and research.”
Click here to read about herbal remedies and how we’ve used them in our family.