domestic duties · health · herbs · preparedness · religion · self-reliance

Doctoring During the Depression Era

Plants are people too!

 

One of my favorite jobs over the years has been that of an in-home-care-giver. In-home-care-givers are trained and certified, then sent to homes of people who need help but are not ready, for whatever reason to move to a nursing home. Some folks would be described as having different degrees of mental and physical handicaps, some were just old or infirm. Most often I was sent to the home of an extremely old person who was able to be at home but who couldn’t do all the daily living tasks without help. That’s where I came in.  Most ya’all know what it takes to care for others. Lots of dishes, laundry, helping with personal hygiene, you know. My favorite part was when the oldster cracked open the stories of their youth. Damn! What a worlds worth of information!

I loved my clients, but of course, you can end up with your favorites. One of my favorites was a 98 year old lady who loved to look over her high school year book. 1920’s year book! Even back then the football jock got the girl. Sometimes the girl had to leave high school or there was what she described as a “shotgun” wedding. In this area, she whispered that there are lot of Italian folks and German folks they hate each other. I remember a girl who was Italian and a boy who was German, she told me one day. They were in love and wanted to marry, but their fathers forbade it.

I took care of 90 year old Jewish dear. OMG, I loved Louie. He lived in a senior apartment complex, he was on the 3rd floor. Dear Louie would sometimes wait until I was busy making the bed or doing dishes. He would silently put on his hat and coat and sneak out the apartment door. I would find him shuffling for the elevator at a top speed of escargot.

“Where ya going, Louie?”

“I’m am going to take my Cadillac for a drive.”

“No, not today, sweetheart.” I said as I turned him around and headed him back to the apartment.

Louie owned a Newspaper in a fairly large city during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He and I talked for hours about the history as he saw it through his paper. Also, he talked a lot about his Jewish faith. Fascinating! If people would only listen to each other, we would discover that we are all really quite alike. I learned so much from Louie.

Most recently, there was Mr. D who is a 90 year old senior with a really cool sense of humor and an excellent story telling skills. One day he wanted to make some cookies, so while we were busy making cookies for his freezer, Mr. D and I were discussing what life was like when he was a kid. As old people love to talk about “life in the old days,” he told me a story of an incident that could have turned out very tragically if not for an observant old time country Doctor.

As a youngster of the 1930s Mr. D was left pretty much on his own after his assigned daily chores had been completed. At 12 years of age his mother had no worries about Mr. D and his buddies playing down by the pond several blocks past the old feed mill most every day. She knew basically where they were and when they became hungry, she was sure the boys would miraculously appear at the kitchen table.
Today Mr. D and several neighborhood boys had been fishing down at the pond when Mr. D suddenly found a fish hook lodged in his wrist. One of the boys whipped his pole to send his line with wormed hook out to the center of the pond. The flying hook didn’t make it far before piercing the skin of Mr. Ds wrist, the barb of the fish hook securely embedded into the muscle.
He worked for quite some time to dislodge the fish hook, using his jack knife to help with the task. The boys all gathered around to watch with fascination as blood dripped from his wrist. Finally, he got the nasty fish hook out of his wrist and cleaned up the blood with a little pond water and the boys resumed fishing until almost dark.

A few days later, Mr. D had walked several blocks to the towns only mercantile/ general store to purchase some things for his mother. With his arms loaded he was waiting at the corner to allow a car to pass before he could cross the street when it stopped directly in front of him. The driver was the village Doctor on his way to check on a patient. (In those days the Doctor drove to his patients homes for their care. I still remember as a child of the 1950’s a Doctor visiting our house to check on my sister who had recently had her tonsils removed.) The good doctor rolled down his window and asked Mr. D if he and his load would like a lift home since the doctor was headed in his direction and would drive right by his house.
Mr. D climbed into the front seat next to the doctor and set his packages on the floor in front of him. It was about then the good doctor noticed the green line running up the inside of Mr. Ds arm. He asked what had happened to create such a nasty infection?
Mr. D had the doctors undivided attention so he spilled his story on him. After which, the good doctor told Mr. D to have his mother make a poultice of ground flax seed and warm water and wrap it around his wrist until the infection and gangrene was gone. The Doctor pulled up to the curb, stopped the car and dropped the boy off in front of his house. Waving good bye, he drove off to his next appointment.

Mr. D showed his arm to his mother and told her what the doctor had said. She immediately went to work. She made a paste from the ground flax seed using a little warm water as instructed. Next she placed it directly on Mr. Ds infected arm, then wrapped it securely with a clean linen cloth. It was changed again before bed and the again the next day. Within three days the infection and the green line running up Mr. Ds arm had been healed by the flax seed meal. And so, Mr. D is still with us today.

Why whole plant Material heals?horehound

Plants are chemically complex. The chemical elements of which plants are constructed—principally carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, etc.—are the same as for all other life forms animals, fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Only the details of the molecules into which they are assembled differs. This underlying similarity, plants produce a vast array of chemical compounds with unique properties which they use to cope with their environment. Pigments are used by plants to absorb or detect light. Perhaps the most celebrated compounds from plants are those with pharmacological activity, such as salicylic acid from which aspirin is made, morphine, and digoxin. Drug companies spend billions of dollars each year researching plant compounds for potential medicinal benefits.
When pharmaceutical drug makers isolate and concentrated an element from a plant they strip away all the complimenting molecules. All the plants chemicals work in synergy. When you take away one element and concentrate it, it is now possible to become a dangerous drug, poisonous. It is why pharmaceutical drugs are monitored and controlled.

So. . . .

Active compounds found in the plant such as chlorophyll are close to human blood. (Chlorophyll~~Chlorophyll is a chlorin pigment, which is structurally similar to and produced through the same metabolic pathway as other porphyrin pigments such as heme. At the center of the chlorin ring is a magnesium ion. This was discovered in 1906, and was the first time that magnesium had been detected in living tissue.)
The correct structure of hemin (heme) is part of the hemoglobin. ( hemoglobin is the red coloring of blood, the pigment, when combined with protein forms hemoglobin) Chlorophyll molecules closely resemble hemin. One of the major differences between chlorophyll and hemin is that chlorophyll contains magnesium while hemin molecule contains iron for the central atom. Owing to the close molecule resemblance between chlorophyll and hemoglobin is that chlorophyll and its derivatives is nature’s blood-building element for all plant eaters and humans.
Magnesium in plant chlorophyll picks up the blue light from the sun, add in plant carbs and proteins, which all contribute to turn the plant blood green. Iron plus proteins makes human and animal blood red. That’s why I say;

Plants are people too!!

At the ripe old age of 84, my own Dad lived in one of those secured senior complexes too. But one day he took a swan dive out of the tub while taking a shower and laid on the cold tile floor for a 4 hours because he couldn’t get himself up alone. Someone finally came along to check on him and called an ambulance, then called me. During my 3 week stay with Dad while he recovered, I got to know some of the other seniors on his floor.

One 90+ year old lady had a number tattooed on her forearm. She had been in a Nazi camp as a child. Some of the stories she told me would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Some of her stories she actually lived, some stories she heard from other survivors. old women playing cards 1(Her story and that of others who lived before or without electricity can be found in my book, How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out.) 

Plants and plant medicine would have been pivotal in their survival, as it was during the last great economic depression. You know? Plants and old people, uh. Who would have ever thought?

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