Herbalism: (also herbal medicine or phytotherapy) is the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes or for supplementing a diet. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine makes use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-based pharmaceutical drugs. (Pharmaceuticals only use a small percentage of natural ingredients, nothing over 2% for it to be in light of herbalism) Although phytotherapy may apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines derived from natural sources, few high-quality clinical trials and standards for purity or dosage exist. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.
Top 10 Medicinal Plants of the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest is known for its rich biodiversity, but few realize that this natural wealth goes far deeper than just the animals and beautiful flora. The rare plants of the Amazon not only create a unique natural environment but have been used by ancient civilizations (and are still being used today) for their powerful medicinal properties. From anxiety to infertility, to cancer and AIDS, these medicinal plants have long been used to heal all of the humankind’s ailments- and we’ve likely only discovered a small percentage of them. Here are just 10 of the most useful medicinal plants of the Amazon rainforest (though there are thousands more!), and what they can be used for.
The United States only uses 2% of derivatives of plants from the Amazon, when there are over 2000 plants that can be used for medicinal cures.
Great for kidney health, the root of the wasabi tree is often ground up and prescribed as a diuretic.
Seventy percent of plants with anticancer properties exist only in the Amazon, and this is one of them! Currently, this incredible medicinal plant is used to treat cancer, alleviate pain from chemotherapy, and fight infections. (Why isn’t the U.S. using this?)
Long used by native cultures, this plant is used as an anesthetic for those who are ill or have suffered an injury. By simply chewing on the leaves, your mouth will go numb. Rub it on a wound for the same effect. (What? No addicting pain pharmaceuticals are given out?)
4. Tawari Tree Bark
The bark of this treatment has multiple anticancer properties and is useful in treating infection, cancerous cells, tumors, and inflammation. (What?)
5. Solanum douglasii Sodo Night Shade Plant
Forget nicotine patches, because the aromatic sodo plant can be used to cure addiction (including alcoholism). Well, the cigarette industry would be nill, lung cancer would be cured, emphysema, COPD….oh, and AAA and all it’s 12 steps, you just take one step, Plant Medicine and you are now, not addicted to alcoholism or any other addictive disease. The U.S. government will be losing so much money if plants like Sodo were legal or ‘even administered’ to patients. How many people go back to addiction, after the brainwashing of the “Program” It’s a band-aid effect. Sodo, you take once. Addiction is gone. Just like the plant Ayahuasca.
6. Pusangade Melo
This medicinal plant makes you happy! It’s used to relieve anxiety and has a calming effect on the consumer, a good alternative to clinically-produced psychotropic medications. (Happy? Naturally? Now wouldn’t Pfizer, Merk be out of their minds with the government, if this was introduced to everyone on anti-anxiety meds).
7. Cola de Raton (Rat’s Tail)
While the name hardly suggests it, cola de Raton is used to help with digestion.
Often used to treat women with ovarian cysts, Camellia is also believed to be one of the medicinal plants that could increase the likelihood of conception.
9. Brazilian Ginseng (Suma)
An aphrodisiac, healing tonic, energizer, and immune system enhancer, Suma does a lot of good. On top of all that, it also has anticancer properties.
Said to have coagulant properties, this medicinal plant is used to stop bleeding. Very convenient if you get any cuts while exploring the Amazon. (well there goes the coumadin manufacturers in pharmacies)
The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen, 20% of the world’s fresh water, and an innumerable collection of medicinal plants. The above are only 10 of 150,000 species of plants found in the rainforest, many of those uses have yet to be discovered. As we work to protect the Amazon Rainforest, it’s essential that we remember the potential cures that lie within in the form of medicinal plants. So far, this includes plants that can be used for AIDS, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s drugs and cures, and hopefully much more in the future! (Okay, so we ‘could’ have gotten rid of Government induced AIDs, Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, MS, and no one will lose their memory as we grow old….Alzheimers.
Plant Medicine, anyone?
Doing my research on Alternative Medicine, I also discovered on of the healing plants, that cures much of the above and more, and you have a Soulful Experience that benefits you in one dose. It is not legal in this country but is in several others where Ancient Medicine has been used for Centuries. No one has ever died, overdosed not had side effects. It is a plant. If it is done the correct way with a Shaman healer, who are Doctors of there own medicines. What doctor do you know, has taken the pharmaceutical, chemical, made from a lab, what he is prescribing to you, over a long period of time, as you will be? Plant medicine, cure with days and the Spiritual Shaman Healer, he and his ancestors have been doing it for centuries.
Ayahuasca Medicine- by Ross Heaven
Plant Spirit Shamanism:
Shamanic healing often employs plants to good effect, though it is rarely about herbalism, per se. Indeed, most shamans are explicit that the pharmacological properties of the plants they employ are of far less importance than the spirit which is held by the plant. It is the spirit which heals, while the plant itself is secondary, acting only as the home of the plant-spirit.
Ayahuasca is a powerful plant mixture which is used by Shamans to commune with the spirits who heal those who drink the brew, while the shaman guides the healing session and appeals to the spirits for his client.
The mixture contains ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and leaves of the chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). The final mixture is also called ayahuasca, from the Quechua words, aya (‘spirit’) huasca (‘rope’ or ‘vine’). Hence, it is referred to as the ‘vine of souls’ or ‘rope of the dead’.
It is prepared by cutting the vines into short lengths which are then scraped, cleaned and pounded to a pulp. The vines, along with chacruna leaves, are then placed in a cauldron, water is added, and the mixture is boiled for 10-12 hours, overseen by the shaman who blows sacred smoke into and over the brew. When ready, the mix becomes a muddy, pungent liquid.
Once ingested it produces feelings of warmth which spread from the stomach, creating a sense of well-being and skin elasticity, as if the skin has become rubber-like and no longer separate from the air. After this, the visionary effects begin. Images of snakes and vines in bright colors are common but, to the shamanic eye, images of the diseases which inhabit his client are also seen. It is these which enable him, and the spirit of ayahuasca, to heal.
During the visionary phase, purging may also take place through vomiting. This can be emotionally uncomfortable for Westerners who are brought up to control their bodily functions and not ‘let go’, but is welcomed by the people of the Amazon since it is this which removes the ‘poison’ that can lead to illness, and clears the system physically and spiritually.
Javier is a Maestro (master) of ayahuasca (also known as an ayahuascero) and has spent years understanding the ways and the spirit of this and other plants, which he refers to as “the jungle doctors”. His training was arduous, involving abstention from certain foods, from alcohol, and from sex, since the spirit of ayahuasca, while angelic and protective, can also be jealous.
“Every plant has a spirit”, says Javier. “The shaman goes into the forest as part of his apprenticeship and spends years taking plants and roots. He takes ayahuasca too and the spirit tells him what it cures. Then the shaman tries another plant, each time remembering which ailment is cured by that. As the spirits who teach us are pure, they are made happy when we are pure too. So a shaman must diet in order to attract them. That means they should not eat salt, sugar or alcohol, and they should abstain from sex. You learn all this in the wilderness. The spirits there are the angels of each plant, to which you add your own will to heal the client”.
Ayahuasca is egalitarian, according to Javier; its healing spirit being available to anyone who partakes of the drink, though it is often the shaman who carries out the healing, per se, once the spirit of ayahuasca has revealed the nature of the illness to him.
Laboratory tests reveal no significant healing properties for ayahuasca, only hallucinogenic qualities, so it is surprising to Western scientists that such results are possible.
For Javier, the explanation is simple: the spirit of the plant is a remarkable healer.
“I had a patient who was HIV positive and had been in the hospital a fortnight”, said Javier. “That night we drank [ayahuasca, and] I saw in my vision that HIV was like the devil destroying him and that he was getting worse.
“He stuck to the [ayahuasca] diet for two months [and] he also took bitter tasting herbs which cure internal wounds. After three times [three ayahuasca sessions] he was better and, when tested, proved HIV negative”.
The author, John Perkins, has confirmed other ‘miraculous’ healings – among them, cures for deafness, depression, and endless accounts of life changes and new visions for a different personal future.
Against this backdrop of positive change, it is depressing for Javier that the rainforest, home to many healing plants still unknown to Western medicine is being destroyed so quickly by the ‘developed’ nations, with little consideration of the consequences. Every three seconds, one entire species is wiped out as a result of ‘progress’ so that Westerners might eat more burgers and drive more cars – the very things (pollution and fast food) which are, in many cases, causing illness in the first place.
People create such ‘madness’ as a result of confusion, says Javier. They are searching for love and belonging but, in the West, this comes through status, rather than loving intent.
Javier’s point was underlined a few years ago, when he worked with a group of Westerners and, prior to the ayahuasca ceremonies, asked the group what they wanted from their lives.
Most gave spiritual or ‘cosmic’ answers and spoke of world peace and saving the planet. Javier looked bemused. He asked again and this time, after a little more thought, people said what they really wanted was love. This Javier could understand because their requests were real – but it was as if people had not felt entitled to ask for them.
Yet, paradoxically, these honest desires are where true healing begins, since, if more people were able to experience love, there would be no need for the madness of developed society, and, consequently, no need to save the planet, which would never be in danger.