“There ain’t nothing new under the Sun, it’s just “new” people doing it, that’s all!” – My Mother
In the book titled “Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rainforest” by Mark J. Plotkin Ph.D, first published in 1993, Dr. Plotkin, who is an ethnobotanist, recounts his travels, studies, and experiences with some of the most powerful Amazonian shamans, who told him of plant lore (lore meaning Knowledge). The tribes of the Amazons have spent thousands of years gleaning knowledge from the rain forest. But before we examine the evidence presented in Plotkin’s book, let’s make certain that we understand the terminology. Ethnobotanist – Ethno (as in ‘ethnic’) refers to people, culture, a culture’s collective body of beliefs, aesthetic, language, knowledge, and practice. Botany is the study of plants—from the tiniest fern or blade of grass to the tallest or oldest tree. Botany includes both wild plants and domesticated species. Domesticates are species that we humans have selected over time from the wild plant species, then tamed and trained to optimally produce for us: food, fibers, medicine, materials (such as dyes), and more. The domesticated species are both the subject and object of agriculture.
Ethnobotany is a multi-disciplinary field of learning. So the tools of ethnobotanical investigations are many: botany, mycology (the study of fungi), taxonomy (ways of categorizing), anthropology, ethnography, archaeology comparative folklore, religious studies, medicine, chemistry, pharmacology (uses and effects of chemicals in plants), and more. Some of the psychoactive plant species and their lore carry us deep into realms of ritual, mythology, and cosmology. Sometimes, in ethnobotanical inquiry, we call upon ancient history, or colonial socio-economic histories, or even examine the roots of our modern social movements. This is an extremely important branch of science and knowledge. It allows us to connect multiple branches of thought and knowledge together, like Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Astrology, Anthropology, Photochemistry, and Photobiology, just to name a few. In fact, much as in the study of linguistics, the study of agriculture and the study of the domestication of seeds will lead you once again to Southern Africa. In the book “The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality” by Cheikh Anta Diop (written in 1955, but first published in Paris in 1967), Diop demonstrates the importance of agriculture and the domestication of seeds. It is well known amongst those who study Egyptology (the study of the Egyptian culture and epistemology) that many Temples and Libraries possess a garden, either at their base or very close in proximity to the institution. Why? Because of their intimate understanding of herbalism and naturopathic medicine. We know that Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. The natural form of aspirin, salicylic acid, was formulated by the Khemites (Egyptians) some 3,000 to 3,500 years ago, using Willow Bark and Myrtle (both are natural plants)
Getting back to Dr. Plotkin’s work, in his book, he begins to the define some of the history of botany and how plants are used to cure illnesses. For thousands of years, healers have use plants to cure illnesses. Just as we have mentioned before, Aspirin, the world’s most widely used drug, is based on compounds originally extracted from the bark of the willow tree; more than a quarter of medicines found on pharmacy shelves contain plant compounds. This is extremely important for the work that we do here at ‘Connecting the Dots’: connecting past, present, future.
The Amazon, the world’s largest tropical forest, is home to a quarter of all botanical species on this planet. It is also home to hundreds of Indian tribes whose medicinal plants and the understanding of those “botanical gold mines” lead to cures and true health practices. These people have never even known the concept of Western medicine, let alone who Hippocrates (the so-called “father of medicine”) was. Again, you have to connect the information that we offer together. Are these facts nuance? Absolutely. However, just as the expression “God is in the details” goes, these nuances are extremely important in reconstructing information of our ancestors and re-presenting an old paradigm. Just as Dr. Jerome Fox, in his soon to be published book “Addicted to White: The Oppressed in League with the Oppressor”, stated, we have to begin the healing process; recover from this orchestrated, designed, and structured morass of lies, deceit and hidden truths. All of which have been institutionalized.
Dr. Plotkin, in his book, recounts his travels and studies with some of the most powerful Amazonian shamans, who taught him the plant lore their tribes have spent thousands of years gleaning from the rainforest. Dr. Plotkin recorded harvest times, recorded plant species, and recorded the shamans’ practices. Some of you may recall the 1992 film titled “Medicine Man” with Sean Connery. We do not provide this reference in the romantic sense; it is far from that. Again, quoting Doctor Fox, we must cease “being children” and analyze and examine things in their proper context. If you watch this film, it is almost as if you are reading excerpts of Dr. Plotkin’s book. A “do good” scientist, appearing both benign and beneficent, is shown extracting- no, call it what it is- stealing critically important historical information from an indigenous people. We have succumbed to and witnessed this story repeatedly, (anywhere you find us), and yet today, despite all of our so-called learned, academic and achievements of higher education, this remains unchallenged and unchecked!
Dr. Plotkin reveals that he lived amongst the shamans; he takes us on an odyssey as he participates in healing rituals (this is very important), discovered “secret” curare- the lethal owl poison that kills in minutes, tried the hallucinogenic snuff known as “epena” that enables the Indians to speak to the spirit world, and of course, he earns the respect and fellowship of the mysterious shamans as he proves that he shares both their endurance and their reverence for the rain forest.
Initially, what Dr. Plotkin learned, he sold to pharmaceutical companies, and later his “expedition” was funded by a pharmaceutical company. He learned the importance of Herbalism (“herbology” or “herbal medicine”) which is the use of plants for medicinal purposes. As we compose this matrix, this truly corrupt and contentional morass of a paradigm in which we live under or in, how ever you choose to examine it, it has to be exposed for what it is. Painful, disturbing, upsetting as it is, it affects and effects us too; we have to be mature enough to inspect, analyze, and define what it is. This is the only road to true and authentic healing.
Dr. Plotkin learned of the powers of Berries, Roots, Leaves, Stalks, Spices, etc. When you take the time to understand what this information offers, the entire industry of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) takes on a totally different perspective. The question begs to be asked: What is the purpose of first genetically altering and then genetically designing seeds? (And what is up with that massive seed vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen known as ‘Svalbard Global Seed Vault‘, that contains over a million tons of natural seeds?). This campaign of duping us, of fooling us,and of mis-education has been highly effective. Small example: Quinine, is a white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic (fever-reducing), antimalarial, analgesic (painkilling), and anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. Quinine occurs naturally in the bark of the cinchona tree. The cinchona – a large shrub or small tree – is indigenous to South America. It is found along the west coast from Venezuela in the north (and has been found as far north as Jamaica) to Bolivia in the south. Its bark, also known as Peruvian Bark or Jesuit’s Bark, is renowned for its medicinal properties. The Cinchona tree grows in abundance in Peru in South America. Grapefruit contains natural ‘quinine’ which is used to treat malaria. This ‘quinine’ can be extracted by boiling a quarter of a grapefruit and straining the pulp. This “natural medicine” is in abundance and readily available, but Malaria, according to the Centers for Disease Control, remains a medical issue. The CDC says, in 2013, an estimated 198 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 500,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region. This “Medicine Man”, Dr. Plotkin, “sells” his findings to pharmaceutical companies; he returns to the Amazon region years later to find a significant reduction in the shamans and a significant reduction in their practices. In fact, only 4 years later, in the huts where their herbal medicines are housed, jars and flasks have now been replaced by pharmaceutical containers. And the shamans have revealed to him that they were strongly discouraged and dissuaded from their traditional practices by what they, indigenous Indians of the Amazonian rainforest, called the “mercenaries”. Gone were their traditional garments; now they were wearing sneakers, cut off Levi jeans and label laden T-shirts. They were told that to use their traditional medicines was the “work of the Devil”. Only four years later.
If you recall, these same techniques were exercised in South Africa during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s. At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, there was a major article written in several major newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal. This article focused on pharmaceutical companies sending scientists in to the indigenous areas of South Africa, seeking to find out what these traditional healers or traditional practitioners of herbal medicines where using to cure AIDS. And yes, we used to word “cure” intentionally. When studying this phenomenon, you will quickly arrive at an assemblage of pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bayer, and agencies such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and various outside governments (just to name a few), along with the South African government, in the region of South Africa, all working in concert to eliminate the practices of the traditional healers of the indigenous population. You will find a very convoluted bog of lawsuits alleging “intellectual proprietary infringements”, questionable relationships, all types of unethical behavior, and some very serious questions about AIDS, it’s development, and it’s treatment. Those waters are murky and beyond treacherous. We will address that and it’s highly relevant history in later shows that are planned for CTD. Dr. Plotkin states in his book “that each time a shaman dies, it is as if a library has burned down”. Put that statement in context with the burning down of the Library of Alexandria. It had many names because of its greatness and the number and variety of books it contained. It was named “The Royal Library of Alexandria, the Grand Library, or the Great Library of Alexandria. The library served as a major center for science and culture for many centuries. The ancient library was built due to the orders of Ptolemy the Second in the third century BC and it was said that it contained 700,000 books and it was the greatest library in the world at that time. This is beside the fact that many great scientists studied in the library, like Archimedes. This temple was burned down in 548 B.C. by the Greeks who were always hostile towards the Egyptian Mysteries. We stop to provide these facts to assist you in connecting information. We tell this story of Dr. Plotkin’s adventures to 1) demonstrate the historical importance of the science of herbal medicine. 2) to expose some of the manipulation that is conducted by major pharmaceutical companies. 3) and to demonstrate how indigenous and historical epistemology gets marginalized, pushed to the edges on the page, if not directly off the page. Earlier this week, we produced a newsletter titled “Ain’t Nothing New Under the Sun”; we included the recently reported news that scientist “discovered a 1,000 year old recipe for antibiotic.” A recipe that contained garlic, amongst other ingredients. This natural antibiotic possessed a scientifically documented kill percentage rate of 90% or higher, exceeding antibiotics that are produced by pharmaceutical companies today. If you take time to connect the dots that we offer, a different world emerges of antiquity. Our entire matrix, our entire paradigm of today is being dismantled, deconstructed, literally destroyed, bit by bit, by each scientific fact that we, and that is the “we” that is outside of the mainstream (and some in it), reveal, expose and/or explain. If you are here at Harambee Radio, at “Connecting the Dots’, each Friday, this is what you are experiencing. But let’s connect what happened in the Amazonian rainforest, with its shamans and the traditional healers and herbal medicine practitioners of South Africa or Southern Africa to this.
(Note: the pharmaceutical industry is about 150 years old. Botany and herbal medicine have existed for millenniums- thousands of years.) Let us remind you at this point to connect this to our previous show, on Genetically Modified Organisms, of May 2, 2014.
Remember during that show, we made reference to the book “Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by F. William Engdahl (2007). Engdahl constructed a skillfully designed treatise about the history of Genetically Modified Organisms, the companies that fund, research, and provide GMO’s, but more importantly, just as what is revealed in the history of pharmaceutical companies as related to the Amazon forest and the diaspora of Southern and Central Africa, Engdahl exposes GMO’s relationship to governments, businesses, and the United Nations. Engdahl’s book details “how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.” This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms. The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue and government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. This is about the “New World Order”. Many are familiar with the book, and we often mention it here at Connecting The Dots; that is the book “1984” written by George Orwell. In 1938, George Orwell was a member of the Fabian Society (see our post titled “A Shot in the Dark“); the society used as a basis for the development of the theme of “Gradualism”. “New World Order” written by fellow Fabian Society member H.G.Wells. Both books contain themes of this very phenomenon, controlling food and medicine. Both were, and remains, extremely pronounced and consequential books. And remember, again, as we have stated previously on CTD, that Hilter’s primary financial backers were the pharmaceutical companies of I.G.Farben, a conglomeration of major chemical/ pharmaceutical companies including Bayer, BASF, and Hoechst (if you trace the lineage of Hoechst you will end at Sanofi, the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world, with $36.1 billion in sales in 2013). Recall the line in the 1993 movie “The Fugitive”, were the character played by Tommy Lee Jones (US Marshall Samuel Gerard) says, “That company is a monster”. In our up coming shows, you will grow to understand that movies, books, literature, music, etc. (main-stream) are designed to indoctrinate. An indoctrination so effective that most of us can only image this world, as distorted and perverted as it is. We experience extreme difficulty even conceiving of an epistemology that lives in harmony with nature.
“Codex” or Codex Alimentarius? Or the silent stalker of your freedom of health? The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC),based in Rome, Italy, is an international organization jointly created by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use (CCNFSDU) is responsible for Dietary Supplements and Medical Foods and is one of some 27 separate Codex committees. The CCNFSDU meets once yearly in Berlin, Germany (its host country). Codex Alimentarius was started in 1962 by, The United Nations (UN), imposed by World Trade Organization (WTO) sanctions. The purpose of Codex is to provide a forum to facilitate global trade in foods and promote consumer food safety by developing science based standards and guidelines for use by member countries. Codex guidelines and standards are automatically implemented by the General Agreement on Trade & Tariffs (GATT) of the WHO and become binding for all international trade among GATT signatory countries. The CAC process calls for proposed committee standards and guidelines to be forwarded and approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s Executive Committee. When the proposals reach final approval (after an eight-step process), they then become binding on all GATT signatories, including the United States. Thereafter, no GATT-signatory country may use as a trade barrier any standard or guideline that disagrees with a Codex guideline or standard. According to some, it does not mean that all GATT countries must adopt Codex standards for their own domestic use. According to the NHF, we think that Codex guidelines and standards will inevitably supersede domestic laws, including the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Codex policy (1) denying that dietary supplements can benefit normal, healthy people; (2) incorrectly defining dietary supplements as only those vitamins and minerals that the body cannot manufacture itself; (3) restricting the upper-limit amounts of vitamins and minerals, particularly by referring to currently-crude and archaic medical beliefs about nutrients; (4) restricting any physiological benefit; (5) restricting the lower-limit amounts of vitamins and minerals that may be consumed by individuals; and (6) creating “positive” and “negative” lists of dietary supplements. Why do we take time to mention the significances of these trade agreements, their criteria, the governing bodies and associating countries; this is connecting the dots.
Codex Alimentarius reveals that most foods will be grown from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). These will do nothing for your health. Supplements will be made unavailable or will be sold by prescription only. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 is commonly referred to as “DSHEA”, which has effectively limited the oversight ability of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), not that there were doing a lot before this act. But here is what Codex is really about: making sure only low- potency supplements and vitamins will be made available to you. Supplements and vitamins that will do little for your health. This is an organized phenomena. If you trace supplement and vitamin companies, take a guess at where you will wind up; Big Pharm. Very shortly after we produced and presented this topic on our radio program on April 3, 2015, “Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane” of National Public Radio (NPR) presented “Vitamania” on April 20, 2015, listen closely.
Food for thought: every year, over 100,000 people die from improperly prescribed medications.
Every year, over 150,000 people die of other medical blunders. One can say that doctors are the leading cause of death in this society. You can play with those numbers anyway you choose. From 1999 to 2000, 7.8 million people suffered death from improperly prescribed and implemented medications. By law, the pharmaceutical companies are only required to have a success or positive trial rate of the medications that they test at 5%. That is a threshold of 5%! That is a far cry from the effectiveness of traditional healers, the Amazonian shaman or the author’s of that 1,000 year old recipe.