The good, the bad and … the media


A friend sent me the link to this article published in my neck of the woods.

A natural high, or a dangerous trend?  reports on the recreational use of herbs such as damiana, catnip, mugwort and others.
(Nicholas Bolton,

It was not as judgemental as I first expected giving reasonably balanced views on the topic.

Herbs, including the ones mentioned, have been used recreationally for a very long time. Just because they can now be bought at a shop specifically for this purpose does not mean it is new.  Perhaps it has not made it into the news before because their effects are short lived and not as harmful as many other substances available today.

I am rather surprised though to read Drug Arm Queensland education and training co-ordinator Michael Watts put his trust in commercial pharmaceuticals when prescription drugs are the number one drug addiction problem of the western world.

There is much good to be done by including herbs into a healthy lifestyle. Much of the old traditional herb lore has been lost over time but there is somewhat of a revival now that people are more interested in natural health care.  

Products will always be abused for one reason or another, that unfortunately is human nature, but I am not entirely sure that the herbs mentioned in this article are a particular problem.

Damiana for example is a well known mild anti depressant which relaxes the central nervous system. In Germany, where herbal medicine is accepted as a norm even by the medical community, the leaves are used to relieve excess mental activity and nervous debility, and as a tonic for the hormonal and central nervous systems.

So yes, I can see why people are using it to relax.  That doesnt mean they “get stoned” and contribute to the drug culture.

It’s a shame that herbs make it into the news in this light.   What about preventing or treating swine flu with herbs?  Keeping our children safe now that they can no longer have early childhood vaccinations after recent flu shot disasters?

I wish people would focus on the positive contribution natural health can make in making health care more affordable, freeing up Doctors for serious health issues, freeing up hospital beds, reducing health issues due to side effects of pharmaceuticals, increasing effectiveness of modern medicines, enabling patients to recover faster from surgery thus reducing absences from work ….and so much more.

Herbs can do so much good.

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