Monday, July 4, 2011

All Things Herbal

So I finally decided to start my own weblog, or blog as most would put it. I was initially wondering on what to put in it but I eventually came to the conclusion that if whatever I wrote was interesting, others would give it their time and attention. In short, whatever came to my mind: my beliefs, opinions, and interpretations of events, whether actual or theoretical.

In this day and age, my biggest concern would be the preponderance of health supplements. Now most people would debate that this depends mainly on one's healing paradigm. True, of course. So, before I continue, here is my disclaimer: everything that follows pertains only with regards to Western medicine.

Most supplements are connected with Western medicine mainly because this is the one most intimately connected with financial gain. It's also the one with the largest market. So basically, if you wanted to sell something related to health, the most rewarding paradigm would be this one.

The primary tagline of supplements is “natural, not artificial.” This might seem common sense to you but this is nothing but wordplay. As defined by the Merriam-Webster, “natural” in this sense means either “growing without human care” or “existing in or produced by nature” whereas, “artificial” is defined as “humanly contrived often on a natural model.”

Yes, my dear readers, for some reason, the human animal has considered its work of lesser quality than that of other animals. For that reason, I often jest with the more fanatical of my students. I often ask them that, if they believe natural things to be superior, why wear clothes or ride mechanical means of transportation? It seems quite self-defeating to me and that is the main reason why I do not ascribe to this school of thought. I have realized that the natural-artificial dichotomy is, likewise, artificial.

Is there any evidence that imperfection resides in both the natural and the artificial? Sadly, the answer is yes. There is nothing perfect in this imperfect world. For every substance that has an effect, there is a side effect. If there are no side effects, logic dictates that there is most likely no effect at all.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue this where I left off next time.

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