Transcript (click to expand)
We have merely nominated this thing ‘History of Herbs’. Now there are certain documents which I have collected during my life which were here, which are gone, owing to the endless moves, and the dissipation of the library and other things. Therefore you must understand some of this comes out of memory. I am not prepared to endorse certain things, since they go back for a few thousand years. But I just explain that now. It’s a surveying of plants and man, and his treatment of the matter from the time that any historical fact is recognized.
History of herbs: let us begin with the Druidae very briefly. We know almost nothing, truthfully, of them, so let us not muddle around, and get on with it. They were undoubtedly priests of a religious order of that period before Christianity who were so predominant in their idealisms. One of their great tenets was: no writing of words. They would not permit it. The avoidance of verbosity was part of the whole doctrine. Ritual, festivalia, observation, and reflection of the soul, were very certainly the essence of their procedure.
That in saying they were religious priests of those orders—you must understand what that covers—but they were based upon Nature. They entertained magic, but it was all connected with Nature. And enormously placed all reverence into herbs, and plants, and trees, and stones. Principally, as there was a period that followed, all of those priests were most emphatically doctors. It was their duty to keep the people healthy in body, mind, and spirit. That was their participation and that’s why their idealism was a classic. Since no writing took place you can understand that we have no writings to refer to, and what a good thing.
We now enter a period known as the Anglo-Saxon1, Later we will come over to this side. The Anglo-Saxon was a period that you could say of the result and the influence of the Druidae throughout living. And that in every little area a Druidae was in charge—like a chief—and that connected with them were those who were rather more physical, such as were later called ‘the pharmacists’, the herbalists. An enormous amount of their procedure was in no sense what we look at as medicine today. In fact, almost none of it. In every case of allocation of what we would call medicine was enchantment, chanting, and an observation by the patient, which brought about a reciprocation to what they were receiving. And quite frequently, as you know, they had no knowledge of what they were receiving. Neither did anybody fully understand the leadership which they were obeying. Almost everybody of that period had an enormous comprehension of Nature, the elements, and of all of the herbs.
In many instances, the use of medicines—which of course were all connected with plants, trees, stones—were not actually touched to the patient at all. They were often operated in numerous ways. Well, just to give a brief instance, you must have unfortunately read too many books now, which are very dangerous, and that, if you would like to take it as one very clear example, that when people began to lose clarity, of clear eyesight, they were made to look into clear, ice cold water. It sounds extremely silly. You would find on the whole of this subject we are going to try to look at today, that if you will look deeply into it, you will find the subtlest and deepest meanings. If you take it for verbosity, you will find nothing.
Out that Anglo-Saxon period there are just a few books, and in case you want to know what they are: the Leechbook of Bauld; the Lacnunga; the herbarium of Apuleius—influence from the continent, which the other two were not—and the one very largely an influence from the continent, from Italy, the Practica Petrocelli Salernitane, which came from the great school at Salerno, which had existed out of time ad infinitum. Salerno was the original university of Europe, and the original university of medicine.
The names of Widseth and Beowulf6 all connect with what you would call a people of utter humility. They bowed down in every respect to the law, the eloquence, the admonition, the beating, the terrifying, the joyful of Nature.
Now an interesting matter takes place. I just refer to why I say this, that the oceans principally, and the sense of the oceans, was the dominating factor of all. That is not observed today. It is not known that this was so. One thinks of them on the land as vague farmers with some strange animals wandering about the moors and mountains. One never thinks that they’ve had this absolute, dominant knowledge that the ocean was between them.
You probably know that in Tristan and Isolde7 Wagner picked up the very ancient mythology of this Irish princess, to marry the Duke of Cornwall. And that the whole of the music of Tristan, which is, as you know, rising and falling, are the great rollers of the Atlantic Ocean. That is the whole form of the music throughout the opera. You will find such meter in the poetry. It is oceanic, and not of land.
You must survey at this period, that the whole of life, of human beings, was totally dominated by the unrecognizable in Nature. They were absolutely aware—every single person that lived—was absolutely aware of the invisible. If they went out after dark, they went with both terror and excitement—and probably joy—but undoubtedly it was there.
The whole of Nature had not been chopped up, disseminated, interfered with, interrogated into, by artifice. It was total in its reality, in its dominant effect. Try to absorb that, because it’s important to understand these people. Therefore, man’s happiness and well-being was instantly gotten by the whole matters of Nature, at all times, whether he was ill or well.
The result was that when Christianity came, none of that administration actually changed, not its basic performance. In other words, Christianity rode right in, like a huge wave of conception, but that the whole of the previous, of what is called the magic of Nature, the mystery of Nature, of how to deal with ill and health, were all predominantly administered in the same way. True, the Christian doctrine now claimed its reflection. But that the same principles of Nature were inadvertably predominant throughout. In this way, as I have mentioned before in this history, that the great belief of Mother-Sun, Father-Earth—which is rather reversed to our modern thinking—and that a huge predominant, to the people, was Ēostre, dawn. That was a festival that happened daily, that happened daily through the Druidae’s indoctrination. And that that daily, became through the calendar also, into the solstices.
Therefore, when Christianity came, that remained. The priests of the church of Christianity could not change the structure, nor was there any reason to change it, as we will see at the very end of this. And therefore Ēostre remained, and became Easter: dawn, resurrection.
Therefore the ritual of the herbs, after the Christian era, remained, with a new reflection, but in its same natural ordination. So interesting is this matter, that a very important and total lecture of the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1903 stated this: The Anglo-Saxon period had a much wider, greater knowledge of the performance and the use of herbs and plants beyond the whole great school of Salerno (which was the medical college and university of Europe), and even stated beyond the comprehension of the whole of Europe, both for its plants, themselves, and its knowledges8.
Now this is a statement that is right every time and obviously can’t be denied, that the whole plant and herb proposition of the Anglo-Saxon era was out of all relationship to the plants of Europe. The fruits, and the knowledges of the trees, of both themselves, and their knowledges. An enormous amount centers around the great period known as alchemy. A most mysterious and mystic period. When the Norman conquest took place, the Anglo-Saxon vernacular literature and medicine was obliterated, as with that monster of Italy, who was considered a great religionist, on his appearance, and who was eventually burned at the stake as a heretic, Savonarola. Well, he was a small Viking in comparison to this.
The Norman conquest then, came carrying the School of Salerno, with its great knowledge. And it came carrying the knowledge of Europe, and its contents of plants and fruit. But it came to wipe out the enormity of the effect of the Druidae and the Anglo-Saxon heritage. So vehement was it in its conquest and its hate—as one might say, “Would not Hitler have done?”—it obliterated, burned, all the manuscripts of the world, which were very few, and obliterated the whole language, and most of its plant and herbal lore, and peoples who held them. It was replaced by a most gigantic war-like violence, an entirely new continental issue on a small island of inhabitants.
Let’s go quickly into the Ancient Greek, which came as a support into this matter. You understand that the Roman conquest of Britain had very little effect at all, except to bring a certain civilization of how to make roads, of how to behave occasionally, to wash once a week, and certain other matters, but not great introduction—nor interference—in the Anglo-Saxon vision. It
did not interfere with it, especially in the north, where, of course, they couldn’t penetrate, because the nettle juice which they put upon them, to keep the cold out, didn’t work any more up there. It was too much. However, of course, it was not the climate that it is now; it was a very different climate. Two thousand years ago, it is said that there was no ice in Iceland.
The Ancient Greek, leading up to Christianity was a whole perception, extremely similar to what we’ve just been talking about. That they believed in the gods, but that they were ruled by God, and that God was yet not known, from Christian attitude, or the likes, shall we say, in whatever religion that you trace that’s there. That therefore they held the same sensitive reflection to the whole perceptive laws of Nature, that were both perceptive and invisible.
That these teachings and the world of plants and medicines—which is what we’re now going to focus on more and more largely, in fact, totally—were based upon Galen10, Pliny, Dioscorides. Oh they, of course, took it out of others, which we’ll briefly touch on. One huge change was brought about in their, what you might call, classic domination, by Constantine11. Now Constantine is actually of Africa, the great creator of Alexandria, and he did a translation of the medicals from the Arabic, from Arabia, introducing Orientals. And those became predominant in the universities. None of these names matter very much, except that they are historical facts and links that you can find out.
Now the teachings of them were of Arabic, what was known then as Materia Medica. Europe relied upon the Levant for their spices, their herbs, their drugs—which means herbs—extracts, for four hundred years, from about 900. They didn’t produce very much. They used the local, but the actual performances of extracts came from Arabia and the Orient.
During during the fourteenth century, two hundred and eighty herbs and drugs—as we would use the word, but please accept it as we call it, they are, medicinal material—two hundred and eighty came from the Orient to the West during that century.
During the Renaissance, which now follows, there was a revival, a complete revival of the Ancient Greek classical attitude of medicine. In other words, they began to find that this import from the Orient and Arabia was not justified. That import was the first infiltration of an attitude of commercialism: it was a business. That’s why it was operating. So that this return to the pure Greek tradition, those were the therapeutics of Hippocrates again, and Galen, and the herbals of Dioscorides. And you could say later, Pliny.
Thus many new forms and translations were made, particular to identification of plants of low power, to correct the many errors which had crept in by the imports, and the relationship of the imports to the local area plants which were not true. And to correct these many errors already entered by the pharmacists. Indeed the confusion of plants had already truly begun by this import. And all of that led up to the huge period, when Monardes12 later, made a publication at Seville of his very, very famous Pharmacodilosis.
The major mistake, however, still now remained, of mistaking the Mediterranean herbs of the Hellenic peninsulas, of Greece, of Asia Minor, and of North Africa, for those, again, similar of Northern Europe’s, where infiltrations had taken place by emancipation of war. They were confused between the Mediterranean coast and the Northern Hemisphere. In other words they were likened because they had similar names. The medicinal results did not respond.
At this period, the Renaissance botanists were still physicians, and in this way they were still aware of the mistake, and conscious of it, and attempting to right it. Now during the Arabian herb reign, as we would call it, Venice had grown into the center of salesmanship. Business. They were smart, huge, mercenaries. And they had a stranglehold, a complete hold, on the trade of the whole of Europe for those imports of drugs, until a certain period when the Portuguese discovered a sailing trade route to the East Indies. That interrupted the Venetian stranglehold. Thus it was that the expedition of Columbus across the Atlantic was a formed as a direct attempt to circumvent the Venetian monopoly.
However, we must just look at this Columbus procedure. Who and what were they? Although they were hired by Spain and Portugal to break up a commercial monopoly, they were really of nothing but monstrous adventurers. They were not botanical scientists at all, knew nothing of botanical science. What they collected on this travel was riches, and those riches were principally, as you know, gold, precious stones, etc. That’s what they brought back. That’s what paid the people who sent them out, and themselves. They made vast fortunes, but that was not out of anything else except loot.
They did, however, on coming back, describe all the trees, the gums—some, not all—trees, gums, plants, roots, oils, which were suspected of vast pharmacological importance. However they could, of course, only refer to any of those in terms of what could be found in Europe, for they had no word-knowledge to talk about them. If you dream of a color that you haven’t seen you can’t tell anybody about it except gasp. Therefore they could only refer to them under European names, terminologies. So they were immediately begun to be connected, and this was the beginning of vast misleadings.
Later, on journeys when specimens were brought back, references, explanations, were that the Indians employed these for various remedials, for wounds, for diseases and for illnesses. Again, those illnesses and the plants, and what was used for them out of those plants was unrecognizable because they were not growing it. But the relations were made nevertheless with the European likelihood, shall we say, possible looking-like. Then, on later journeys, others brought varieties of different names of similar plants. In other words, when they went to the south of America, to the middle of South America, to the north of South America, to Mexico, to the Panama area, and then eventually up to Virginia, and then eventually right the way up to Newfoundland, they met these tribes of Indians, who all used what the Anglo-Saxons used to do: the plants of the area. They all had languages of their own, and they had names of their own.
So they would collect ten or twenty plants, all with different names, and that even looked slightly different, and indeed were variations. And eventually on bringing them back, they were grown in the gardens that were allocated, and they were classified as belonging to the European reference origins. As a matter of fact, the same occurred in the geography itself, for naturally, these areas had not been charted. And in many cases, just as an inference, one of the cases was that one of the travelers went to a place called…you must forgive my language here, because I don’t know how to do it…Chip-wee-ah-go. Well, later they came back and said they had also been to Pueblo Neuvo, and then they came back and said they had been to Narcades. Well these became Spanish terms, do you see, and other terms. They were mixed up with the idiom, but apparently, they were all the same place. And they were dotted on the chart as being totally in different places. And people couldn’t figure out what they were doing, running on rocks, and going into different harbors and finding it’s something totally different. Well that’s exactly what happened with the plants. Now the confusion set in. For all these different names for different uses that the Indians had, and that were predominant, and had cured them for decades of centuries; they had not been false; they were not false. But they were translated as such plants along with Greek plants of Dioscorides school, calling them the same plant.
At the same time Columbus returned from the West Indies with that terrible disease, syphilis. Now the axiom of the time was, as you know, that wherever in the world that a disease existed, and this is Dioscoridean, there God created a remedy; and so there, seek the cure. And this they did, because they were still following, in Europe, the Greek tradition, but they were now mixed up with a lot of imported things that didn’t refer to that tradition. And it was now that they found that the wood of the Guaiacum tree. The Guaiacum tree was the one that the natives used and cured this disease, which they gave to all of the sailors, and cured them. Now it must also be noticed, an interesting matter, that the result of that disease being prevalent, it had very little effect upon the natives.
I remember when I first went to Alexandria and Cairo, I was invited by one of those enormous potentates to go on the great dhow on the Nile, and I was told—and not permitted to go—I was told that if one drop of the Nile water entered me, I would be in the hospital. Well, on the dhow they drank it, boiled it, made tea, washed in it—it’s the only water that they had. It didn’t affect them at all. If any European touched it—and when I say European, I mean, you know, ‘civilized person’—more or less—they literally perished on the spot.
It is true to say that the natives who had this disease, it was so ordinary, the very like effect of measles. This wood was the one that they used and probably had always used, and it may have been this effect which made it unprevalent, or uncapricious amongst them.
However, on bringing this back, the Guaiacum, from the island of Hispaniola, as it was called, was undoubtedly a cure. It cured completely this terrible disease, which had now, from the merchants and the marine people, had now spread violently all over Europe.
Therefore in 1508 the Spaniards were using the Guaiac wood, and by 1517 it was a universal remedy for this terrible disease, which as you must probably know, had swept the whole of Europe. And Ulrich von Hütten13 said, and published in the Medica, it was a certain remedy, complete remedy.
Now, there was a group of business people, merchants known as the ‘Ughers’. They were all connected with economic commerce. Business. Commerce. And they contracted with the King of Spain, where this disease was violently prevalent, a monopoly on that wood, its import. They bought the monopoly of its import by giving a huge loan of money to the court of Spain. The court of Spain was in great difficulties at these times, because of the enormous expenses it had gone to on these journeys. It was granted to them. Therefore, nobody except these people had the handling of that wood.
Immediately they entered into a commercial procedure of importing that wood by sending out voyages to bring it. They made those voyages as inexpensive as possible to get the biggest profits possible. In a short time, because of this monopoly, loads and loads and wagonloads all over Europe were traveling the dusty roads, with this wood on carts, to deliver it to the hospitals, to the villages, to the towns, to the cities, to bring this ineffable cure to the people who were suffering from some terrible disease, which is not understood, and not fully comprehended, but of which this was the one and only total cure.
Well, you’ve already guessed in your mind now what happened. They brought in all sort of bogus woods, in a great hurry, that looked like it—and indeed they discovered later that there were very many variations of this tree, of which none of them had the virtuosity that the one that the Indians introduced to them. Therefore the whole of Europe was now inundated with stacks of wood, with all sorts of interminable, stupid woods that looked exactly like, but were not in any form whatever, held no virtue whatever. People died left, right and center. Hospitals were absolutely piled over with people who were dying and seriously ill, and no cures taking place, and nobody positive of any of the wood, as to whether it was true or not true.
Paracelsus14, realizing what was taking place, looked into this wood and found almost all of the import of it was absolutely false. He realized that the epidemic had seized the whole of the western civilization, and he brought about a cure, out of mercury. At first, this looked as though it had saved the situation. But it was not so. The situation was worsened, for this mercury did indeed cure the external effect, and drove the disease inward, to internal structure, where it hid. Therefore the applications of such became destructive. They had broken away from the Greek classical, were no longer observing what was the predominant aspect in Nature, and were using drugs by experiment.
Therefore, because death now was so prevalent, and it was indeed a total epidemic, and brought fever with it, that there was a return to the hope in the Guaiac wood. But, although it operated when they got it again, when they found the true one, there was now so much business connected, that no one knew anymore what was genuine. Confusion, disease, was rampant; business was brisk; substitutions and cheating were predominant, and deceit, and death. And it was not until much later when Monardes published his book of medicals upon the new world, that they then planted, grew and observed the tree, and the trees and the plants in their own garden. And it was at this period that cocoa became predominant amongst so many others. And John Frampton then translated that writing for all of Europe. And thus it was that the attitude to new drugs for all incurable diseases, became more and more and more and more predominant and focused. Origin attitude was obliterated.
The physicians, which includes Monardes, still clung however, to the classic school of the four humors. This matter of classicality, still, was like a vein, a strata, becoming dim and distant, but unable to obliterated—like Ēostre.
That school of the four humors, as you know, was connected with hot, dry, cold, and moist, and cured by contrary. This they now still used as the basic treatment behind these drugs, behind these new imports, that were not known, and not understood in their origin at all. Thus, they still used these same basic treatments with the Indian medicines, which were not true to name and species at all. Therefore they misapplied the hot, and the cold, and the moist, and the dry, because they even made absolute opposing mistakes in the use of them. So that all now fell between two schools: the classic was muddled up, and nobody fulfilled it; and the new drugs were unrecognized, mixed up by merchants, and commerce, and not identifiable. And disease rode the high wave.
Galen, in the origin, had relied upon the symbol, color, shape, touch, taste, smell—the identifiable of locale. Now at this time, as you know, experiments on patients was not permitted still. Even Leonardo DaVinci, as you know, had to disobey the law in order to dissect horses. Therefore, it was impossible in any of the hospitals to experiment with these importations, to find out if they were correct or incorrect. All they did was to administer them when they came, and wait for death. Or for recovery, which was rare.
1600 to 1700: In London, Salzburg, Rome, Bergano, Naples, Cologne, Amsterdam—Guaiac wood, Sassafras, Nicotiana—were all universally accepted from the New World, coming under the heading of herbal drugs. Frequently, none of these produced any results whatever. They were written as authentic, and guaranteed as medical curative. They were applied privately in homes by pharmacists, by doctors, by hospitals, and there was no authenticity of result, but major failure.
What belief could be left in the construction of herbology?
Again, it has to be looked at that in the conquest of the New World by discovery, the originals—even when sent later by knowledgeable people, scientific botanists, should we say, that they were still not aware of this enormous, catastrophic, climatic difference, which is one of the matters instilled in this period, which became a huge abortion to humanity. That the people traveling, particularly to America in the north, felt that having possibly survived, as a few of them did, the first winter, that they had met the most catastrophic happening of eternity of one winter. And of course such a thing couldn’t happen again. And of course they had to be re-informed.
You understand that there are moments, days, hours, seasons, in which these can and cannot be of any use. Therefore they were collected in the wrong seasons, the wrong parts, the wrong names, wrongly dried—and that heat and humidity of areas relieved them of their healing properties on their journeys. Seawater in particular, with mildew on those very long, stormy journeys they had to make back. Thus there was very little of value that arrived back at the ports, and sold—every bit of it—at the most monstrous prices, because of the huge demand by the incomparable death and disease. Every bit of it was sale-able by merchants. You wouldn’t question whether it was valuable or not valuable. And so it was only when used in the hospitals that it was discovered useless.
Regardless of all such matter—and you see how much we have dwelled upon this till you’re absolutely bored with it—think of the centuries that this existed in Europe, of life and death it proceeded upon, that even then the merchants continued. They continued to send those vessels, in the same way, under the cheapest conditions that they could manage. The druggists continued to make the profits, and the physicians bore the brunt.
Thus it was that in 1570 Philip the Second sent Francisco Hernández16 to Mexico, where Hernández spent seven years surveying, and produced a botanica medica. And brought back, and described and illustrated it. Twelve hundred irrefutable plants.
This was one of the final steps of recoveries. However, printing at that period was almost impossible, it was very limited indeed. It was not till one hundred years later than that, that this publication was brought out.
There were attempts at that period, to persuade every traveler to dis-concern themselves with commerce, with merchant-ship, with profit; to attempt to restore a concept of herbal lore and result, and propounded, that all such escapades of travel, for the collection of such, should include physicians, surgeons, botanical herbalists, and scientists. In other words that includes the whole
bunch of those who would bring about illustrative result, factual, both to the plant and to the cure.
And it was out of this that Francis Drake17, in 1571, brought back, with full illustration and reference, the Winteraceae, (Drimys winteri, or Winter’s bark) a huge, complete cure of scurvy,
which was so predominant. And Morgan18, who went and brought back to Queen Elizabeth—for he was her apothecary—Sassafras, and the whole entry of that became true and real. And then there was the introduction of Nicotiana, which was said to cure ulcers, which it did; it was said it cured gout, which it did; and it was said it cured asthma, which it did. And they made money instantly, again. They made money, and so much money, that immediately they said, “Well, it’s a panacea for all disease!” And so cigarette smoking came about.
Most predominant of all, to throw light on this matter, Cinchona, the story of it. The Spanish missionaries discovered its febrifuge qualities, as a total cure for the fevers. Fevers of that time were predominant, and killed people, as you know, in great ways. This attitude brought an utter end to the Galenic theory of medicine, and this very Cinchona was immediately confused with Peruvian bark, which is of the balsam tree. It was occupied instantly by the cheating of the merchants again. And you see it was added to by the concept of great truisms of people again. Such as Honoré Fabri, who in 1607, who lived until 1688, a Jesuit, stated that thousands of people in Rome alone were immediately cured of fever by this bark. And it was correct that that was true. Therefore the merchants were supported in their monstrosity of behavior by the hugeness of the results of the perfections of Nature, which did work when correct.
The results then were obvious: ignorance, commerce and prejudice played a thousand times more against humanity and truth. But that the Jesuit powder, that it was known as, in 1655, still true, complete truth, but now, the whole medical world refused to accept any truth in it at all.
In Charles II’s reign, Robert Talbor published a book Pyretologia19 in 1672. This was so concept of truth, so utterly true and irrefutable, that it was unacceptable. It did not endear him to the medical world—and to such an extent that they tried in every case, legally, to get rid of him, to denounce him. It was only because Charles II actually protected him that his life was even saved. And that, after he had cured Charles II of a tertian fever (an intense form of malaria) by the application of herbal. So he fled from the College of Physicians, to Paris. He went to France, purely to escape. That was a considerable journey then, and a very difficult one, especially when you’re running from a country.
On arrival in France, he immediately cured the Dauphin, who was an extremely weak, constipated, suffering creature, as you know, perpetually weak. He cured him of a most serious fever. And he cured thousands of people of the most serious fevers. So much so, that Louis XIV approached him, and induced him—and one can’t guess what the reason was—but he sold his treatment to Louis XIV. And Louis XIV gave him two thousand Louis d’or. At that time a salary was, a weighted salary, was fifteen Louis d’or an annum, for one of the court physicians.
Later, it was Ramazzini20 who admitted that Cinchona had brought as great a revolution in art of medicine as gunpowder had in the art of war. Yet, not one Cinchona, but many.
Sessé, appointed as botanical explorer-in-chief, proved that all of Hernández’ findings were correct, curing dysentery, liver disease, yellow fever, and all. And the corruption of the import made the whole thing not valued.
The result of all of this was the New World, the discovery of the New World, and all its magnificent and beautiful plants and herbs, and the Indian lore of its cures, to the contribution to the materia medica and practice of Europe was nil.
Do you perceive that in reading Gerard22, the cyclical aspect to every plant? That was this period. His knowledge of plants, his love of plants was utter. He would with one word have been chased out of the country, if he had upheld the classic principle.
Parkinson’s Theatrum Botanicum; John Jocelyn’s24 accounts, discoveries—they were all bypassed, in truth. John Talent, who introduced the Seneca, the snakewood25, which cured, unquestionably, pleurisy and pneumonia, and brought the writings of the hand of Linnaeus26. Thus all in all, the enormous discoveries of the New World, the influence on European medicine, was utterly negligible.
The greatest teacher of the whole of this matter—probably the only one who has ever exemplified by his own living what we’ve talked about today—was unquestionably St. Francis. It was said that he was indeed denounced by St. Bonaventure, who claimed him to be almost a heretic, when he upheld the total democracy of Nature that he found rather naked. It was said that when he lectured the people, and preached to people, that because they did not attend and follow, he preached to the birds. But this was not so. He preached to the birds because he comprehended the democracy of Nature. He wanted to talk to the birds about what he knew, that he felt that God was in everything and man. And it’s astonishing that he just related that they flapped their wings and sang, in the hymn.
And there has been relation that there was this wicked wolf of Gubbio, who was so destructive to the people. And when St. Francis was approached about it, he went and pet the wolf. And he preached to the wolf, and the wolf was overcome. When the wolf died it was buried in consecrated ground.
In the whole aspect, apparently, of St. Francis, was the matter that the Anglo-Saxon had, humility. And so it is recommended, the ancient saint of ecology should be St. Francis. This being a vast diatribe of historical bilkings, do you want to discuss it?
Q: Is the Guaiac bark still used today?
I can’t tell you because I don’t understand synthetics anymore. Some time ago I did. I know that it has been used up till recently, but whether it is still used now, I don’t; until recently. I do know that, of course, in South America it is. In all herbals you will find that they will state that it
But as to whether it is used in…you see where are you referring to? Are you referring to America? Are you referring to civilized Europe? Or are you referring to uncivilized?
You see, when I lived in Africa I found that they didn’t know anything about…in fact they never went to doctors. There weren’t any in most of the places where the natives are. And they all still used their origins. And their witch doctors. I imagine the answer to your question is, in some places certainly, and in other places, ‘no’.
Archive ID: CA1076
Title: History of Herb Use
Date: 28 Feb 1977
Location: Covelo Village Garden, Covelo, CA