“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” — E. B. White  

Our home computer dictionary explains “Auyurveda” to be “the ancient Hindu art of medicine and of prolonging life.” Wikipedia has no page for this subject but explains it to be “an exchange of ideas occurred and much of Eastern Indian philosophy and Auyvedic medicine was taught in return to visiting Chinese emissaries.”

Sounds like Greek to a lot of people but the ancients did not have giant laboratories studying toxic medicine. All the “medicine” they had at hand came from what they had been taught by elders. Case in point: maybe 70 years ago I burned my hand loading cobs into Grandma Viola Donovan’s stove. She dragged me kicking and screaming into the living room where she cut off the tip of a plant growing in a west window and rubbed the gooey mess on my finger and it quit hurting.

That spiky-leafed plant was an aloe vera. Alexander the Great did not conquer Carthegenia just because he could but because an abundance of aloe plants grew there. Should one be planning to march an army hundreds of miles in sandals and in bare feet, you may want to find a healing product to care for blisters, hence the aloe plants.

When the Bayer company announced their new aspirin product in 1898, they explained the product was a derivative of the bark of a certain willow tree. Another example of what we refer to as plant-based healing.

Percy Lavon Julian (1899-1975) was a chemist who specialized in deriving medicines from plants. He extracted phytostigmine from the calabar bean which became a crucial medicine for glaucoma. He pioneered isolating steroids and hormones, such as progesterone, from soybeans. Utilizing inexpensive plants for pharmaceuticals made the medicines much more affordable. A postage stamp in his honor was printed in 1993.

A headline on the front page of a supplement magazine in a recent Press and Dakotan issue read, “Foods that Heal.” One cannot find a story with that headline inside the supplement but there are several ads and small stories about products one can use, apparently, to improve life. In a one-column story, one can read of “foods best for my vision.” It mentions “good foods for eye health are high in antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals (the destructive compounds that damage cells).”

The author of that story recommends vitamins A, C and E as “antioxidants.” For the last nine years, I have taken a single product that research indicates boosts my levels of vitamins A, C and E and also boosts my glutathione by 300%. Maybe that is why my optometrist looks at my eye health screening chart on the computer and says to himself, “phenomenal eye health,” At almost 81, I have 20/20 vision.

But back to the “antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals, (the destructive compounds that damage cells).” Readers may go online to www.pubmed.gov which is a repository of peer-reviewed medical studies catalogued by the National Institutes of Health. At this writing, there are 226,595 peer-reviewed medical studies of oxidative stress catalogued with PubMed. Most of this research confirms oxidative stress is a major contributor to aging and disease.

The plant-based, non-toxic product I have taken for nine years, composed of auyurvedics such as ashwaghanda, bocopa monieri, milk thistle, green tea and tumeric, has also been proven to reduce the level of antioxidants in the body by 40 percent in 30 days. It has also earned eight U.S. patents for relieving inflammation. Inflammation is another story all by itself.

Or I could eat 365 oranges every day.

(1) comment

Jolly Roger

If only “writer’s block ” would spare us the wordy Mr. Van Osdel’s self-focused ramblings. We’re in the midst of the most deadly health crisis of modern times, and all he can think of (“for the health of it”) is his personal nutrition tips. Really? I only wish his great eyesight could see his embarrassing solipsism.

When is his contract up, Press & Dakotan editorial staff? Mark it on your calendars.

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