There are a couple of points I want to raise. The first is about the general emotional tone of these postings. Talking about "banging the gong", "joining the parade", and "fighting dragons" all makes me feel personally criticized. I hope the intention of the postings isn't to do that. As far as I am concerned, the purpose of starting this thread was to make people aware of what's happening. Then, like Sapphire Kate and Laily, if people do or don't want to do anything more, that's fine with me. I'm of the view that which causes we pursue is a personal decision, and it's not very respectful to tell me I'm wasting my time, just because you don't want to do the same thing. Like the comparison with the beer label. If that's a cause I don't choose to support, fine, I'm just gonna keep quiet and carry on doing my own thing. Are you actually opposed to writing to a politician to ask them what's really happening? And (as this effects European herbalists) if you aren't interested and aren't effected, why rain on my parade?
Then, on the topic of the law and the wise woman tradition. I understand using locally available herbs is important, but I wouldn't agree that
as far as tinctures and vinegars go, commercially prepared, they become too expensive to allow anyone to use them in a way so as to actually receive any benefit
Infact the quantities of echinacea tincture necessary to fight a major infection can make buying it the only real practical way (for some). I'll repeat,as before, my question: do you only use herbs that you have harvested and processed yourself?
Then there is also the deep philosophical debate on the purpose and function of law. I have listened to and understood the debate about herbal supplements. And I don't use them. As far as I am aware however this law doesn't only concern supplements. And even if it did, in my view the purpose of a just law is not to protect people from themselves, but to prevent people from doing harm to others, and to punish them when they do. A case in point is the marijuana laws. The consequences of smoking a joint may include
paranoia, hallucinations, lethargy and decreased blood sugar. But if you want to compare that to the consequences of a prison term, I would say that the cure is worse than the disease. If I want to take a tincture or a supplement, I think it is my human right to self-medicate. And this law is going to limit the tinctures etc that can be brought without a doctors prescription. Well bearing in mind that most doctors are sponsored by the various pharmacutical companies and have very limited knowledge of herbalism, that doesn't bode well. To compare again to the restrictive cannabis laws, with the current legislation, not only are people being protected from paranoia and reefer maddness, but MS sufferers are at a minimum being denied access to a vital medicine, at the most extreme being put into prison and placed under such a high level of stress that it can seriously exacberate their condition.
Equally, you are clearly of the view that herbs should used as simples, that herbal mixtures aren't beneficial. But if I want to buy a mix of malva, mullien and orange peel (for example) would you make me a criminal? Would it be better if I brought these substances in an unregulated illegal market, risking a criminal record or worse?
So to come back to the emotional tone that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don't have any desire to prove that one of us is right and one is wrong. I respect yours and Susuns views, obviously, or I wouldn't be using this forum. But do you seriously believe that all harmful activities should be legislated against? Shall we make laws against skiing and tobacco and alcohol and dragon baiting and paradiving and all potentially harmful activities? And are you really saying that you only
use herbs you pick yourself? And is that really a part of the wise woman tradition as you see it?
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