Friday, September 25, 2015

Pills are Rooted in Plants by Amanda D. Strong

           It was only our second day at the OTS La Selva Research Station when we were afforded the awesome opportunity of participating in an ethnobotany tour in Chilamate, Sarapiqui with Jaime Alvarado. This was our first introduction into the exciting vastness of the local ethnobotanic culture and history. After seeing pictures of previous students participating in this activity, I was super excited for the experience to come!
            One of the first sayings that Jaime told us as we began our learning was, “ if you grow marijuana in a garden, all people are believers that it has an effect- if you grow medicine in a garden, people want a prescription.” This is a very simple, yet powerful quote for me. For the last several years of my life my mother has steadfastly attempted to cure all things using only organic sources. Due to this experience, I am completely aware of the power that plants have to offer though I realize much of my fellow man is not.
            In Westernized societies people want the most convenient type of “cure all” - a pill. What we have neglected to remember is that all of the organic chemistry that goes into concentrating and pumping up these pills is derived from plant sources with international origins. Being that nothing is able to create itself and the source is always the most powerful, would it not make sense for these plants of origin to be everything we need to remedy illness?
            Personally, the experience at Chilamate was refreshing, encouraging and enlightening. It was amazing to see many of the same ingredients I use at home for remedies also used by peoples who differ from my location and cultural background. Learning about new sources was really cool and I definitely plan on implementing some of them in my household. Overall, it was nice to experience some new things and have fun while doing it!  

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