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.
Saw an article this morning stating that “a new study suggests oxytocin can help mildly autistic children and adults socialize more easily.” Oxytocin is produced naturally in the bodies of mothers and children from things like affectionate touch and breastfeeding.
So…could this be interpreted to mean that autistic children didn’t get enough love/attention/bonding immediately after birth? Not enough attachment time, skin-to-skin contact, breast feeding, mirroring, all of which produce oxytocin? Maybe the rise in autism is linked to working moms/lack of proper family support? In addition to other factors – chemicals & lack of vitamin D? It’s worth being discussed, anyways.
It’s difficult with science to know what is causal and what is simply correlational. In Sweden, scientists found a link between vinyl flooring and autism. Do the chemicals – phthalates, which I believe are dangerous and will be the topic of a whole ‘nother blog – released by vinyl flooring CAUSE autism, or is it that typically, people in lower socioeconomic statuses tend to have vinyl flooring, and those mothers need to go back to work soon after birth, so the mother and child don’t have enough time to bond, resulting in a lack of oxytocin production that is required for the child’s brain to develop properly?
Another link found by the Swedes is between Vitamin D and autism. With the increased emphasis on sunscreen over the past 20 years, Vitamin D deficiencies have risen, especially in the US. And actually, according to some, Vitamin D deficiency is more dangerous than skin cancer, since skin cancer actually isn’t usually fatal. Over 20 studies on animals and humans showed that Vitamin D is essential for brain development in children; it’s also important for immune system functioning in adults. People only need 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day to produce all the Vitamin D their body needs – FOR FREE. But I digress.
I don’t personally know any children with autism, and I’m not implying that mothers with autistic children are bad mothers. But obviously something that we’re doing – or not doing – is causing rising rates of autism. Perhaps a combination of all three forms a perfect situation for autism to arise.
Boost Your Love Hormone Levels … Naturally – http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100257129>1=31036′
Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=link-between-autism-and-vinyl
What If Vitamin D Deficiency Is a Cause of Autism? – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=vitamin-d-and-autism