Pharmaceuticals Harm the Environment
We came across a very interesting article on the National Toxics Network not long ago about the impact that pharmaceutical drugs are having on the environment. The new report and fact sheet "warn that pharmaceutical pollution has reached alarming levels globally, with over 200 different pharmaceuticals detected in aquatic and terrestrial environments, including areas as remote as the Antarctic."
But what does this actually mean?
Well, when we (or animals) consume pharmaceuticals, either the original compounds or a derivate are excreted into the environment. They travel from our home to the wastewater treatment facilities where unfortunately these facilities do not remove these pharmaceutical compounds as they were not designed to do so. Therefore our pharmaceuticals end up in our rivers, oceans or onto our land through bio-solid applications. With the plethora of pharmaceuticals now entering our environment you'll find increased concentrations and a very diverse set of chemicals that are not meant to be there. It is understood that long term exposures and bio-accumulation can have adverse impacts on the physiology and behaviour of a variety of organisms even at low concentrations and can negatively impact biodiversity in our environment.
So what do you do?
Our recommendation is to forget pharmaceuticals. Choose the methods of healing that our bodies have always used and that are inherent in our biological make-up. The plant based healing practise used currently in naturopathy have been around forever. Using food as your medicine to maintain health rather then reacting to dis-ease is a must. Or for the lesser understood but equally effective (with no side effects) modality use homeopathy. We'd like to highlight homeopathy in this article because it's a lesser understood modality of healing that is fast becoming a conscious consumers favourite. Textbooks from ancient China, India & Greece refer to homeopathic concepts but the 'science' as it is now practices originated approximately 200 years ago by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann was a physician and chemist who followed fiercely Hippocratic maxim of 'first, do no harm' which clearly the pharmaceutical industry has failed to achieve on a huge environmental scale. How Hahnemann came to his remedies was through the process of 'potentiation'. He took 1 part of a medicinal plant, and diluted it with 99 parts of distilled water or alcohol. They he took 1 part of that mixture and again diluted it with 99 parts of distilled water or alcohol. He repeated this process over and over, between delusions, adding kinetic energy to the solution by shaking it - a process he called 'succession.' What he found was that the remedies were not effective unless they were both diluted and successes, and infect the more diluted the medicine was the more therapeutic it became. Although this may be difficult to comprehend, it's equally different to comprehend that with out a single thought about it, your body will carry out thousands of different functions to regulate the plethora of organs communicating inside your internal systems to keep you alive on any given day. Although we are led to believe we know a lot about the body, the reductionists approach to science that colours our education system is constantly being tainted by it's lack of recognition of the interconnectedness of the human body and world. To date, there is still much objection to how this process of homeopathy actually works and the medical industry struggles to take it on board as acceptable medicine despite studies proving otherwise. For example a 1996 study originally published in Germany showed how parents of 131 children chose either homeopathic or conventional care for acute otitis media. One hundred & three children took homeopathic remedies and 28 took antibiotics. In the homeopathic group, the recurrence of ear infection was .41 patients, and of this group suffering repeat infections, 29.3 percent had a maximum of three recurrences. The children treated with antibiotics had an ear infection recurrence of .70 per patient and of those patients with more than one infection, 43.5 perfect has a maximum of six recurrences. (Homeopathy Trials: Reason for Good Ones but are they Warranted?" Lancet 350, no. 9081 The homeopathic remedy proved more successful. That study is just one example but if you look further you will find a host of studies proving success. What should further be noted is that homeopathic remedies do not impact the digestive system and do not have adverse repercussions on the body. On the opposing hand, antibiotics are detrimental to gut bacteria and do cause harm to the body, especially those of children. Still not convinced? What better way to experience the truth than try it for yourself. It really can't do you any harm and when it comes to its environmental impacts it is definitely a cleaner, safer and more environmentally friendly option. Growing plants to make medicine only adds to the biodiversity of our planet and anything supporting that is worth supporting.