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.

From an article in Discovery News

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.


5 Responses to “Dr. Chimp Prescribes…Plants”

  1. Carolyn Thomas said

    Thanks for including a link to my article “Top 10 Biggest-Selling Prescription Drugs” on The Ethical Nag: Marketing Ethics for the Easily Swayed – http://ethicalnag.org/2011/05/15/drug-costs-consumer-reports/ This list is like a tribute to what’s been called “marketing-based medicine” – a truly frightening concept, particularly for us who have been prescribed a fistful of cardiac meds.

    Love the Bill Mahar quote here…. 🙂

    Carolyn Thomas

  2. I saw a documentary a long time ago about natural cures in the jungle. There is a fruit that causes sterility and a plant that causes natural miscarriage.
    Aren’t we also able to eat common weeds and plants? I heard they have intense nutritional value. But we can’t eat them here because of the pollution.
    I’m right here with you though. I just found out LA City College is turning their entire campus green. They have classes in sustainability. I’m going to find out more. I have a handful of corporate places I still shop. Two being the water/power and gas company. I’m SO ready to get off the grid.

  3. lunasealife said

    That’s awesome about LA City College! Love it.

    Looked up gorillas:

    “As an animal dream symbol, the gorilla represents the need to take action. When we dream of the gorilla it is a signal that we’ve been resting on our laurels, and it’s time to start earning that which we want instead of waiting for rewards to fall into our laps.”

    Hmm I dunno if that’s right for you… sounds more like me… LOL

  4. Rae D. Reed said

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already Cheers!

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