Ancient History of Natural Products

To some it would seem that natural products and supplements are a modern discovery, bottled by companies that we purchase in health-food and drug stores. This of course is untrue.

By definition, the Earth and its animal inhabitants have used natural elements (products) since the beginning of time. Animals eat a variety of plants and other animals to gain the required nutrition necessary for a healthy life, and in times of illness seek out (through their instincts) cures for those illnesses.

Whether or not one believes in a Creator or an intricately balanced Ecosystem on Earth, it only makes sense that over millions of years — that the System would develop its own “fixes” to illnesses encountered by animal and human life.

Ancient and modern “medicine men” (and women) sampled a variety of plants to see their effects on themselves and their tribe and community members. These medicine men were revered, and even thought to possess magical powers. Later-day apothecaries (pharmacists) had at their disposal hundreds of elements that they would compound to alleviate a broad variety of illnesses.

A good simple example of a natural source are Aspen trees — of which the bark and buds contain Salicin (an aspirin-like substance) — which many survivalists are well aware of. I use this example specifically because most people are not aware of the Aspen’s properties. Indeed, I was introduced to this while cross-country skiing in Colorado by my ski Guide, and witnessed the effects first hand feeling relief from a headache.

Of course, there are thousands of examples of herbs and elements that are widely accepted as having medicinal properties that we take for granted such as menthol, Omegas (fish oils), salt (for wounds), vegetables containing numerous vitamins, cinnamon (digestion), Echinacea, peppermint, ginger and so on.

Modern researchers have indeed added science and testing to the trial-and-error of medicine-men to determine more precisely the effects (and dosages) of a plethora of natural elements. Most of today’s vitamins and supplements are indeed derived from plants, minerals, fish and other of Earth’s sources.

So the next time a friend recommends a natural cure, remember that it’s not magic — it’s natures way of healing its own creatures.

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One Response to Ancient History of Natural Products

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