A Planet’s Struggle to Accept Ethnobotanicals
If it isn’t one green plant people are worried about, it’s another. It seems like every time you turn on the television, someone is talking about a plant-based chemical, drug, or treatment. But we can’t seem to agree on how and when these ethnobotanicals should be used, and if they should be used at all. Across the globe, countries are stepping in and having to pass laws and consider rescinding old laws, because of emerging evidence in health and science about the validity of ethnobotanicals. There are two sides to every argument surrounding ethnobotanicals, but the people who believe in and research the value of these plants, are working hard to convince the other side of the planet of such value. There’s no right or wrong answer here. It seems that each side believes they are right.
There seems to be an emerging research in the United States about the benefits of using Ergot Rye, or the synthetic version of it, LSD as it is more commonly known, to increase the communication centers of the brain. There are also studies being done in Canada using versions of Ergot Rye without the toxic side effects, where participants are undergoing neuro-imaging brain scans to determine just how effective the communication increases in the brain.
In Thailand, an ethnobotanical called Kratom, has been banned because of its illicit side effects. But the medicinal benefits, like cannabis, are making their way into the mainstream. Companies such as Kratomystic provide Kratom for research purposes, so that more information may be learned about the powerful uses of this illegal and misunderstood plant.
What’s interesting about ethnobotanicals is that despite their illegal status (in some countries), and despite the negative promotion they receive, many of these medicinal and neurological-improvement plants are actually being over harvested. In Thailand, for example, the Kratom trees are being cut down to prevent people for using the extracts.
In Cambodia, Sassafras, which is a factoring in ingredient in a drug used for making MDMA (a drug used to “treat” PTSD and Autism), is banned and cannot be purchased anywhere. It is been harvested to the point that all that remains of forests where it was once available, are scars deep into the land and the memories of what once grew naturally.
Finally, the most common ethnobotanical amongst the americas is cannabis. It needs no introduction and the debate is still wide open on this one. While there are many individuals getting on board of the cannabis wagon, there are equally many more people who are still against the use of, sale of, and distribution of this naturally occurring plant. As more and more people become open to the medicinal value of cannabis, there are as many more people standing in line to tell a tale of woe related to the use of it.
Ethnobotanicals are not drugs. And they shouldn’t be considered drugs. Sure, they can be used to make illicit drugs, but their natural forms are powerful healing agents that, when used properly, can bring a lot of relief to the people that need it most.