Dr. Chimp Prescribes…Plants
December 13, 2011
Well well well, look who else knows how to use plants as medicine. Chimps!
An extensive look at what chimpanzees consume each day reveals that many of the plants they consume aren’t for nutrition but are likely ingested for medicinal purpose.
The findings, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, indicate that the origins of medicine go way back, beyond the human species.
I first read this article, and was rather irritated by the closing lines: “That’s one reason medical research is so important. Scientists can isolate the effective medicinal compounds of such plants while removing their more dangerous agents.”
Pure hubris. Isolating compounds destroys or greatly diminishes their effects. Just say no to Reductionism! Nature is not a machine that can be disassembled!
And what’s this claim about ‘removing dangerous agents’ when every single drug produced by man has negative side effects? But of course, pharmaceutical companies don’t want you eating plants – they’re free (or very cheap)! Do you realize that the pharmaceutical industry is the MOST PROFITABLE INDUSTRY in the United States? More than Wall Street… Check out this infograph on how doctors get paid off to push pills (I don’t even want to know how much money they give to politicians).
And did you know that Americans spend more than $200 Billion every year on prescription drugs – BILLION, that’s $200,000,000,000.00 (I think?!) – when the vast majority of what’s being medicated could be treated with diet and exercise? The top-selling (and heavily advertised) prescription medications treat with heart disease, depression, and diabetes, all treatable with diet and exercise. Which, again, are free, or very cheap.
But I digress.
Chimps know what plants to eat in order to medicate themselves. That’s pretty cool.
If Chimps are eating anti-tumor plants…why aren’t we?!
As Bill Mahr said: “Someone has to stand up and say that the answer isn’t another pill. The answer is spinach.”
P.S. Chimps have much, much lower rates of cancer than humans do.