Thank Goodness for the age of information! An enormous percentage of all television commercials are about pharmaceutical drugs, most of which have a cheerful voice that lists the potential side effects they cause.

Despite the fact that about 2/3ths of the world's population (about 4 billion people) still use crude herbs, effectively to cure common ills,* the FDA and thepharmaceutical companies have little interest since common weeds cannot be patented. It is far more profitable to isolate the "active constituent" in a given plant and create a new pill for the market.

In my opinion, it is far safer, far less expensive, far more ecological and certainly empowering to fortify oneself with nourishing foods that nature created chock full of vitamins, minerals, starches and proteins than to use vitamin pills even. For the common ills, my first choice would be an informed use of common herbs, rather than running down to the drugstore for a quick symptom alleviator.

Preparing for September, back to school time, I have been taking 30 drops of Ginkgo tincture (alcohol extract) twice a day. Research shows that it helps increase circulation to the brain, increasing alertness, the capacity to retain more memory as well as the ability to concentrate. Studies on Alzheimer's disease patients have revealed positive results. Ginkgo has also been used for vertigo, tinnitis and macular degeneration. Surviving yet, as Ginkgo is the oldest tree species on earth, it makes sense how the elderly could value it so.
*World Health Organization Statistics

©Lata Chettri, August 4, 1998