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?

health · herbs · medical formulas · religion · self-reliance

The Origin of Disease and Medicine

I just had to share this wonderful story passed on to the author while interviewing several Native American Shaman in the late 1800’s. His goal was to preserve, as much as possible, a written record of the original Indian way of life; their culture, religion and Shamanic practices. Here is an Indian account of how disease and medicine first came to the human people, in their own words.

Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee
by James Mooney
1891

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/cher/sfoc/index.htm

As the medical formulas are first in number and importance it may be well, for the better understanding of the theory involved, to give the Cherokee account of

THE ORIGIN OF DISEASE AND MEDICINE.

In the old days quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and insects could all talk, and they and the human race lived together in peace and friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settlements spread over the whole earth and the poor animals found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This was bad enough, but to add to their misfortunes man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds and fishes for the sake of their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures, such as the frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without mercy, out of pure carelessness or contempt. In. this state of affairs the animals resolved to consult upon measures for their common safety.

The bears were the first to meet in council in their townhouse in Kuwa’hï, the “Mulberry Place,”[1] and the old White Bear chief presided.

[1. One of the high peaks of the Smoky Mountains, on the Tennessee line, near Clingman’s Dome.]

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After each in turn had made complaint against the way in which man killed their friends, devoured their flesh and used their skins for his own adornment, it was unanimously decided to begin war at once against the human race. Some one asked what weapons man used to accomplish their destruction. “Bows and arrows, of course,” cried all the bears in chorus. “And what are they made of?” was the next question. “The bow of wood and the string of our own entrails,” replied one of the bears. It was then proposed that they make a bow and some arrows and see if they could not turn man’s weapons against himself. So one bear got a nice piece of locust wood and another sacrificed himself for the good of the rest in order to furnish a piece of his entrails for the string. But when everything was ready and the first bear stepped up to make the trial it was found that in letting the arrow fly after drawing back the bow, his long claws caught the string and spoiled the shot. This was annoying, but another suggested that he could overcome the difficulty by cutting his claws, which was accordingly done, and on a second trial it was found that the arrow went straight to the mark. But here the chief, the old White Bear, interposed and said that it was necessary that they should have long claws in order to be able to climb trees. “One of us has already died to furnish the bowstring, and if we now cut off our claws we shall all have to starve together. It is better to trust to the teeth and claws which nature has given us, for it is evident that man’s weapons were not intended for us.”

No one could suggest any better plan, so the old chief dismissed the council and the bears dispersed to their forest haunts without having concerted any means for preventing the increase of the human race. Had the result of the council been otherwise, we should now be at war with the bears, but as it is the hunter does not even ask the bear’s pardon when he kills one.

The deer next held a council under their chief, the Little Deer, and after some deliberation resolved to inflict rheumatism upon every hunter who should kill one of their number, unless he took care to ask their pardon for the offense. They sent notice of their decision to the nearest settlement of Indians and told them at the same time how to make propitiation when necessity forced them to kill one of the deer tribe. Now, whenever the hunter brings down a deer, the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and can not be wounded, runs quickly up to the spot and bending over the blood stains asks the spirit of the deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter for pardon. If the reply be “Yes” all is well and the Little Deer goes on his way, but if the reply be in the negative he follows on the trail of the hunter, guided by the drops of blood on the ground, until he arrives at the cabin in the settlement, when the Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the neglectful hunter with rheumatism, so that

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he, is rendered on the instant a helpless cripple. No hunter who has regard for his health ever fails to ask pardon of the deer for killing it, although some who have not learned the proper formula may attempt to turn aside the Little Deer from his pursuit by building a fire behind them in the trail.

Next came the fishes and reptiles, who had their own grievances against humanity. They held a joint council and determined to make their victims dream of snakes twining about them in slimy folds and blowing their fetid breath in their faces, or to make them dream of eating raw or decaying fish, so that they would lose appetite, sicken, and die. Thus it is that snake and fish dreams are accounted for.

Finally the birds, insects, and smaller animals came together for a like purpose, and the Grubworm presided over the deliberations. It was decided that each in turn should express an opinion and then vote on the question as to whether or not man should be deemed guilty. Seven votes were to be sufficient to condemn him. One after another denounced man’s cruelty and injustice toward the other animals and voted in favor of his death. The Frog (walâ’sï) spoke first and said: “We must do something to check the increase of the race or people will become so numerous that we shall be crowded from off the earth. See how man has kicked me about because I’m ugly, as he says, until my back is covered with sores;” and here he showed the spots on his skin. Next came the Bird (tsi’skwa; no particular species is indicated), who condemned man because “he burns my feet off,” alluding to the way in which the hunter barbecues birds by impaling them on a stick set over the fire, so that their feathers and tender feet are singed and burned. Others followed in the same strain. The Ground Squirrel alone ventured to say a word in behalf of man, who seldom hurt him because he was so small; but this so enraged the others that they fell upon the Ground Squirrel and tore him with their teeth and claws, and the stripes remain on his back to this day.

The assembly then began to devise and name various diseases, one after another, and had not their invention finally failed them not one of the human race would have been able to survive. The Grubworm in his place of honor hailed each new malady with delight, until at last they had reached the end of the list, when some one suggested that it be arranged so that menstruation should sometimes prove fatal to woman. On this he rose up in his place and cried: “Wata’n! Thanks! I’m glad some of them will die, for they are getting so thick that they tread on me.” He fairly shook with joy at the thought, so that he fell over backward and could not get on his feet again, but had to wriggle off on his back, as the Grubworm has done ever since.

When the plants, who were friendly to man, heard what had been

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done by the animals, they determined to defeat their evil designs. Each tree, shrub, and herb, down even to the grasses and mosses, agreed to furnish a remedy for some one of the diseases named, and each said: “I shall appear to help man when he calls upon me in his need.” Thus did medicine originate, and the plants, every one of which has its use if we only knew it, furnish the antidote to counteract the evil wrought by the revengeful animals. When the doctor is in doubt what treatment to apply for the relief of a patient, the spirit of the plant suggests to him the proper remedy.

Next: Theory of Disease–Animals, Ghosts, Witches