The G Tales. Echinacea & the Swine Flu
Note: This is a fictional dialog and its contents do not constitute any kind of advice. Each person is different and responses to remedies vary accordingly.
The G Tales Tale # 4: Echinacea & the Swine Flu (Part 2 of 2)
By Serena Anderlini
“when we see things in [a Gaian] perspective, it becomes very easy to understand the basic principle of holistic health. If an individual is a cell in a superorganism, his or her disease cannot be a foreign agent, for all agents are part of the larger entity of which that individual is an element”
from Gaia and the New Politics of Love
“And witch’s brew it is,” I continue, “when you think about it, the only evidence being experience, tradition, indigenous knowledge, historical evidence--opposite of what modern science understands.”
“And who’s short of understanding? Indigenous knowledge works. Just because something is modern doesn’t mean it’s good.”
“Take it easy, G. You tend to get carried away. Allopathic medicine is not worth bumping heads against. You never know.”
“Of course my dear. You know my weakness. An accident, a trauma, a birth defect, a sudden outbreak: allopathic medicine is much faster, has an immediate effect. Take my cousin’s club foot that she was born with,” G said. “They open up, they switch the tendon to the right position, and the baby’s gonna grow with a regular foot, like everybody else. Can you imagine not having access to that? Having to watch your baby grow up with a twisted, upside-down foot just because you cannot get surgery?”
“Oh my gosh, that would be horrible, G. Good to hear that surgery went well. Doesn’t matter how many massages, manipulations . . . ”
“Yeah, and doesn’t mean that applies to all situations. Sometimes the effects of that kind of aggressive interventions are more than secondary. Sometimes they override the benefit. Remedies are much more gradual and benign, with more positive and durable effects.”
“And how about those images in the office. Were you telling me how you they made you feel?”
“They made me feel terrible. Here in the Caribbean people touch when they shake hands and kiss each other on the cheek, once. It’s a bonding ritual that is good for one’s sense of connectedness, immunity and health. Now, with the excuse of the swine flu, public health officers are trying to take that away. Those posters made me feel depressed. And that’s bad for one’s immune system. I’m sure I’m not alone. Others probably feel their social manners are being criminalized in some ways.”
“Oh, one kiss you said? It’s three in France and two in Italy, correct?”
“Yes,” said G.
“I wonder what’s being posted there?” I asked.
“I bet not much” she replied. “I’m just speculating, yet I can’t imagine the French or Italian government criminalizing affectionate behavior--what has been considered good social manners for centuries. But you never know. Have no direct reports at this point.”
“Have you heard any comments? From colleagues at the university, I mean, people you know?”
“Not really, I’ve seen people pull out these little bottles of hand disinfectant and rubbing their hands with it. They pour it on mine as well, and I comply. It feels clean, has a strange smell. I abstain from getting my own. And you know, as I watch all this, as I hear that people are dying from the swine flu, that it is very serious, that it was almost fatal to somebody as close as my pretend granddaughter, I get really upset. First of all, the flu could not be so serious if the world was in better heath, I mean if the biota was stronger and more whole, if the web of life where we are embedded was more wholesome and healthier. And then, for %^&**’s sakes, at this time when the threat is really serious, what would public health authorities lose from making some surprising declarations.”
“Declarations like what?” I ask.
“You know, like, that they really don’t know why, but they hear reports that Echinacea is very effective, that people in the holistic health collective have something to offer, and that they, the authorities--those in charge of public health--are willing to break a lance. That they are willing to make fools of themselves and endorse a witch’s brew, put their weight behind it, so the public at large--I mean those who commonly believe in authority--can finally benefit.”
“Arrgh, what a scene you’re making, G. Now suppose the surgeon general recommended Echinacea on CNN tomorrow, what do you think would happen? Wouldn’t everybody think she’s gone crazy? Would your average Joe who watches TV all day go and get the remedy? Or would this rather end up causing a big ruckus in the high spheres--with her being fired, and some pharmaceutical company declaring her insane and locking her up?”
“Well, I guess you have a point. And yet, they talk about health care reform. What kind of reform? Nothing is going to change if people don’t start to think differently about health. Look at this example. Many people have died of the swine flu. Something as cheap and accessible as Echinacea could have saved some of them. And yet, of those in authority, nobody said a word. I did buy Echinacea for my pretend granddaughter. It’s here on my table. I invited her to come and get it. Hopefully she will, when she’s better and before she gets sick again. But you know, had she heard it in the media, she’d be here already. I mean, isn’t it unconscionable that they haven’t told her?”
“I can see your point. The stakes were high this time. And it’s always on us--we who practice holistic health--to spread the word. And we have no authority. As good old Lillian Hellman would have said, ‘I’d rather make the attempt and fail than fail to make the attempt’.”
“Thank you dear. It’s good to talk to you. Hopefully, it will happen. And meanwhile we have SexGenderBody blog where our voice can be heard.”