Unlocking The Nature Secrets Code

"Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. I give every green plant for food. And so it was." - Genesis 1:29-31

Could this quote be the earliest evidance of the use of herbs for health, life, nutrition, and medicine? We don't know for sure, but we do know that before the development of technology, our ancestors figure out many ways to use the plants as medicines.

Take a moment to look around your yard and outdoor surroundings. If you live ini a rural, mountain, or agricultural environtment, taku a little walk around and see what plants you can identify. The herbs that grow will be herbs that are ideal for your particular area, climate, and soil type.

This can teach you something about what you might need since you also live in the same environtment. For instance, how many or you have dandelions growing in your pretty green lawn? Plenty I'am sure! But did you know that the dandelion can be used to cleanse the liver, support the urinary system, and work as a mild laxative?

Your liver is a major filter of the body. On a daily basis the liver has the job of filtering environtmental toxins, pesticides in your food, chemicals in the waterm, air pollutants saturated fats in the diet, and excess hormones in the blood.

Do you think Mother Nature could be trying to tell you something when she offers dandelions at every turn? Is this her way of subtly offering her help for your liver? Could be, after all, Mother knows what's best for us. Or course, before we had advance technology synthetics and a greater understanding of the body we had nature to look for answers.

Today we have research and science to back up and validate that herbs do in fact work through chemistry. In early days, we relied more on our observations, trial, and error. Technology is finally catching up to what many herbalists have believed and practiced for years. Let's take a look back and see how they came up with some of these uses.

The Doctrine of Signatures philosophy dates back as early as the 1600s and was popularized in the medical field by paracelcus. This philosphy, now considered nonsense by the medical community, put forth the theory that an herb or plant had a certain characteristic or set of characteristics that would reveal its value to the thoughtful observer.

The signature was recognized as several different characteristics of the plant, including its color, texture, shape, and/or the environtment where the plant grew. It would be nice if this theory was completely valid, it would make learning herbology much simpler to the thoughtful observer.

However, don't throw the entire theory away just yet. Coincidences or not, some things can validate this thinking and also help you remember the medical value of herb or plant. For instance, hawthorn berries are bright red berries that are shaped like a heart, and hawthorn berries have been used by many to strengthen and build the heart and circulatory system.

We can take many factors into consideration when contemplating and herb and how we might find its value by looking at nature. Some native tribes believe that plants that are poisonous to man will crop up in areas where the soil needs to be replenished.

These plants serve to protect the earth by repelling man. These herbs keep both man and woman away! On the other hand, herb that are extremely resistant to poisons and toxins–including the herb milk thistle, a tall, very pricky plant–grow plentifully in heavyly polluted areas, such as near nuclear sites. Ironically, milk thistle is used medicinally to help rebuild the liver, which has the job of filetering our poisons and toxins from our body.

Some herbal teachers are very philosophical in nature, and others tend to make herbology more clinical. You can choose to see herbs in whatever way suits you. The important thing to remember is that foods can be your medicine, and herb are foods.

Herbs are used as medicines and nutrition all around the globe. Each culture seems to have its own philosophy and approach to herbal medicine, based on individual cultures and belief systems. And, of course, in different parts of the country, different plant species thrive, so each culture has its own selection of herbs considered sacred or common.

We are lucky to now have the use of transportation channels that provide us unique herbs from all parts of the globe, and we can study or utilize herbs from around the world when we visit our local health food store or herbalist.

Some people seem to respond better to traditional Chinese herbs, whereas others do best on Ayurvedic remedies from India; still others respond most to traditional Western herbs. Let's take a look at a little history from a few places around the globe.

Ancient Egyptioans' favorite laxatives were figs, dates, and castor oil. More than 500 drug remedies were used in Mesopotamia, some of mineral origin. Herbrew medicine include dressing wounds with oil, wine, and balsam. Ancient Hindus discovered the calming effects of an Indian plant that was later made into one of the first tranquilizers in modern medicine.

Indeed, many modern medicines of today were originally made from herbs. Here are few:

  • Quinine, derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, was used primaryly to cure malaria before the production of synthetic drugs for this use. In 1944, the American chemists Robert Woodward and William Doering managed to synthesize quinine from coal tar.
  • Digitalis is a heart-stimulating drug made from the foxglove plant.
  • The bark of the white willow tree contains a compound known as salicin, from which a synthesized version has been made called acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin.
  • Local anesthetics, such as the numbing shot given to you by your dentist, originally was derived from the leaves of the cocoa plant.

Maybe it was because of China's ancient religious beliefs againts cutting open the human body that propelled them so far into healing with natural medicines. They excelled in acupuncture, herbs, and the understanding of "chi"−life force energy.

Today the Chinese still take natural healing very seriously. Chinese herbal medicine schools are equivalent to the West's medical schools, requiring years of intense study. Natural methods and more conventional methods of healing are utilized side by side.

So why didn't everyone's natural health philosophy evolve together and happily integrate with our medical procedures just like the Chinese? Well, the answer is too long to be contained in a fortune cookie, but let's take a look at how medicine and health care evolved over time.

In the eighteenth century, there began a shift dividing the use of nature as a cure and the use of complicated medical procedures as two philosophies that arose from differing German physicians. One approach believed that the soul is the vital principle and that it controls organic development; the other considered the body a machine and life as mechanical process.

The mechanistic beliefs eventually overpowered German universities and put to rest the philosophy of the four elements and eliminated this idea from medical schools. Let's take a look at some of the influential people who popularized herbal remedies in the West.

Everyone has a father, and to many Western herbalists, Samuel Thomson is known as the father of herbology. His gift was a deep understanding of nature and Indian folk medicine. Thomson, born in the 1700s in New Hampshire, was intrumental in leading the public (at least two million followers have been accounted for) in the successful home use of remedies.

However, as no good deed goes unpunished, this had its consequences from physicians of the day. Those physicians who were using mercury, arsenic, and other known deadly poisons in their practice−and who were sometimes bleeding people to death−accused Thomson of poisoning people with herbs, many of which are still used safely today. Thomson served at least one jail sentece during his lifetime of helping others.

Thomson believed in nature and people's capacity to take responsibility for their own health. He had faith that people were intelegent enough to judge for themselves whether a remedy was helpful or hurtful to them−and the people (at least back then) agreed.

Thomson cured many with his herbal formulas and methods and sold family rights to millions to teach them to use herbs correctly. Thomson's influence is the basis of much of today's Western use of herbology. Another well-known herbalists who was certainly influenced by Thomsonian methods is Dr. John Raymond Christopher (1909-1983).

As a baby, John Raymond Christopher had his work cut out for him. He was born with advanced rheumatoid arthritis and walked with a cane and was often confined to a wheelchair. He became interested in natural healing while witnessing his mother's suffering with dropsy and diabetes. He once told his mother that he would find a way to heal people without the use of surgery.

With his life filled with unfortunate accidents and ailments, Christopher had plenty of opportunity to experiment with natural herbs and remedies. His faith in the power of herbs was certainly strengthened with natural herbs and remedies. His faith in the power of herbs was certainly when he used only natural methods to cure himself of cancer.

After years of study obtaining a Master Herbalist designation, naturopathic doctor degree, and an herbal pharmacist degree, he founded the School of Natural Healing in 1953. This school is currently directed by his son, David Christopher, and is responsible for making Master Herbalists our of thousands of motivated pupils.

John Christopher's herbal formulas are sold by at least five of the largest herb manufactures in the United States, and his life still serves as an inspiration to many.