So, what cult is this? Well, I'm not sure it has a name. I just discovered it, and there are various degrees of cult-dom and knowledge-dom to be explored.
It all started when a group of orchestra moms were sitting around hen clucking, when one mom pulls out a strange object from her bag. The sight of it made everyone twitter their feathers with delight. It was a book--no ordinary book-- a special book. It said, "Be your own Doctor" on the front with a grand picture on the back with a huge family on the back. Sure enough, a mother of a large family is unwrapping the secrets of using herbs to treat her family's ailments--one sinus infection at a time.
The herbalist lady is from Monroe, Wisconsin and gave a lecture and sold her book during the lecture. And, my skeptical cynicism (no doubt) started offending some when I started calling it a cult. My husband informed me that I should not have done that because people are sensitive, you know. But what can I say? When I'm new to an idea, I make fun of it for a while, looking at it from all extremes until I can no longer fight it, and then I jump in with both barrels blazing. That's how it was with knitting.
I used to sit back, making fun of knitting, hoping that it was just for little old people who had nothing better to do with their time. Until I tried it. And shortly thereafter became a fanatic.
So, that is why I'm holding out on this herbal remedy thing. It has nothing to do with whether or not this stuff works or not--everyone agrees that it works. What they disagree on is the degree to which it works, and the dosage, the regulatory nonsense, and the "when to go to the doctor" factor.
And "eewwwwwuuu" factor is very real. The idea of putting breast milk in someone's eyes to cure the pink eye. O.K. fine if it's your kid, but to hunt down someone else's milk for the purposes.....??? And the chewing up of common yard weeds ("plantain") to apply on a burn or a bug bite? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the last two.
No sooner had the hens gathered around the books, and my daughter, Joanna, got a horrific sting right on her lip. We had several unlicensed practioners ready to "practice". With a vial of lavender oil in hand, applying it directly to her lip, the sting was gone almost immediately. The swelling was still there. I was impressed. And even though she had a dose of benadryl afterward, we had a great opportunity to see this stuff working in action.
So, I apologize for calling it a cult. It could become a cult--let's say if it becomes a spiritual thing to treat with herbs instead of doctors. But now, I think it is a very nice resource to have and know about. What about you guys? What is your herbal knowledge and practice? Where do you guys fall on the herbal to traditional medicine ratio?
And if any of my friends who are herbal cult leaders can forgive me for calling them herbal cult leaders, I'd be so thankful...