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Natural Cures And The Environment

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Erick Reyes-Villa

Professor Stanley

English 102

May 3, 2005

Natural Cures And The Environment

"Plants have supplied humans with cures for their ailments, from relieving headaches to treating heart disease, since the time of earliest human evolution" (Sumner 15). If natural cures are the means of relieving many diseases, why do we as Americans rely on costly medicines? Not only are Natural Cures beneficial to a persons health, but they also provide a more cost efficient and environment friendly way to fixing virtually any illness.

In curing a headache a physician might suggest a painkiller such as Aspirin. According to Dr. Judith Sumner, a professor of botany at Harvard, "Americans consume about 80 million Aspirin tablets a year, but few realize that this is a medicine originally derived from willow trees" (Sumner 133). From the tree, root infusions can be made to help minimize pain, especially pain in the head. In 1736 feverish illnesses were common in the English countryside. People began to believe the tree grew there to provide cures to all those suffering from headaches or fevers. Although the willow can be used to fix head pains, it can also be used to treat blood clots thus preventing strokes and heart attacks.

The Flu is another minor ailment that can be cured by an herbal supplement. Yarrow otherwise known Achillea millefolium was mixed with warm milk to ease the symptoms of the common cold. During World War II, pharmaceutical drugs were not distributed due to curtailment of shipments. Therefore, yarrow was distributed instead. It worked just as efficiently, if not better than the prescription drugs.

Not only is there a natural cure for colds and minor diseases, but also a breakthrough in Cancer treatment has been developed. "A top European cancer research scientist, Dr. Johanna Budwig, has discovered a totally natural formula that not only protects against the development of cancer, but people all over the world who have been diagnosed with incurable cancer and sent home to die have actually been cured" (Frederic 1). Camptothecin is an herb that fights against lung, ovarian, and breast cancers. Acids in various tree barks also serve as fighters in the fight against cancer.

Besides herbs even vegetables and fruits can help prevent cancers. Apricots and grapes produce a cyanogenic glycoside that helps aid in cancer therapy. A compound sulforaphane found in broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts, "remove carcinogenic compounds from a cell's interior, before cancerous growth can begin" (Sumner 166). Lastly, soybeans help stop the progress of cancerous tumors by taking away their blood supply.

It seems as though the environment has all the answers, why then is the general population relying on costly over the counter medications and prescription drugs? "More people get colds and flus than ever before, more people get cancer than ever before, more people have heart diseases than ever before, and more people have asthma, headaches, and back pain than ever before" (Trudeau 11). However, people are receiving more surgeries, and medical treatment than ever before, and people are getting sicker than ever before in history.

The FDA and pharmaceutical companies control the medicine approved and distributed in the United States. It is up to them whether a drug is approved or not. If the FDA isn't going to benefit from the sales of a product, they will refuse to invest in it. Medical science should be getting better, but "the percentage of Americans dying of cancer today is the same as it was in 1970 and even 1950" (Trudeau 12). Over 200 billion dollars have been spent in a desperate attempt to fight cancer, but there have been little to no improvements.

Money is the driving force in the fight against cancer and other illnesses. "There can no longer be any doubt whatsoever about the FDA's true purpose. Regardless of what the agency publicly states, when it comes time to make key decisions about the safety of U.S. consumers, the FDA will side with the drug companies every time" (Adams 1). Americans spend approximately two trillion dollars per year on medicines and healthcare. However, we have more deaths than ever before. In thirty other countries people are living longer than Americans, yet Americans consume over half the amount of drugs distributed all over the world.

The money made by pharmaceutical companies and the FDA is unreal. As their wealth and power grow they are overlooking drugs that can be deadly to the general public. "Pharmaceutical companies have little interest in manufacturing and selling products which directly compete with their chemical medicines and have been suppressing those kinds of alternatives to their often toxic remedies for years" (Hasslberger 1). The FDA is used to filter out harmful drugs and keep Americans healthy and safe. However, according to The Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, there are over two million serious adverse drug reactions each year resulting in approximately 100,000 deaths. "The bottom line: The only winners in the cure and prevention of disease are the drug companies and the healthcare companies themselves" (Trudeau 13).

It is proven that other countries such as Europe have lower disease rates. These places seem to support natural medicines within their daily lives. "Natural Cures liberate people from the dependency of modern medicine, the taking of medicines, drugs, and remedies and the costs thereof" (Karlsson 1). There is little money for the FDA in Natural Cures. This is the reason they do not want to support them.

The FDA attacks Natural Cures by saying there is not sufficient evidence to prove the safety of them. However, they can protect prescription drugs by saying there is not substantial evidence to prove they are dangerous. "All drugs are approved by the FDA, it seems, are deemed safe until proven deadly. And even when proven deadly, they apparently aren't deadly enough to warrant banning them" (Karlsson 1). By using these arguments the FDA is able to keep Natural Cures out of the market and prescription drugs in the stores. This enables them a large financial gain.

Not only are Natural Cures better for medical development and cost effectiveness, these herbal remedies facilitate a positive influence on the environment. The environment consists of living organisms such as humans, animals, and plants, as well as the nonliving-air and water. "The producers of chemical products are responsible for appalling pollution of land,



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