Like many today's world, I grew up in the
city and was exposed to the same indoctrination as others whose
conventional educations touted the miracles of modern medicine
and the benefits of the measures employed to destroy germs. I was
given no reason to question the superiority of man over Nature
nor perhaps mind over emotion, this despite a formative incident
at age three when I tried valiantly to dissuade my parents from
forcing a smallpox vaccine on an unwilling and struggling child.
Much of the first half of my life was dominated by health complications
stemming from excessive vaccinations and inoculations; and the
second half of my life has been characterized by a different struggle,
one for fresh understanding of the world in which we live and the
mechanisms of adaptation and acculturation that actually determine "survival
of the fittest."
When I left my job with the U.S. Department
of State in 1970, I began an entirely new quest, first for consciousness
and the integration of the new understandings and later for practical
ways to express the balance that was contributing to the reconstruction
of my life, this after seeing the flaws of capitalism, democracy,
conventional medicine, and, sorry to say, what I came to see as
fossilized and no longer adequate religious leadership.
My quest began with resignation from my
work as an economist, partly because of inability to believe in
the "mission" of the U.S. Government and partly to claim
control over my "self" through being able to choose my
own treatment for the fevers that had plagued me since joining
the State Department. There is nothing unusual about my conversion
to Buddhism, about spending more time in meditation and contemplation
than in libraries, about becoming a vegetarian, or about my career
change. Many others were going through similar metamorphoses and
reinventions of the self. I became a medical astrologer, transforming
a hobby into a profession.
Astrology is, of course, a complex discipline
in its own right, but medical astrology requires a knowledge of
healing. It became important to understand the nature of health
and disease and to forge the skills necessary to heal. My entry
into this vast new world was mystical, incredible, blessed, and
totally awesome. I found myself enjoying remarkable clairvoyance,
listening to discourses by teachers no else could see, and pouring
over hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books on medicine and metaphysics,
always searching for an interface.
In the beginning, I felt that all healing
could be achieved by shifts in consciousness; but as time progressed,
I began to look for physical catalysts that would support changes
on the emotional and integration at the spiritual level. Inch by
inch, I approached the world of Natureand, I am embarrassed
to say, often fell into the error of seeing Nature as providing
the means for physical healing and the soul as having the keys
to deeper levels of healing involving our relationship to the Creator
and our own spirits.
I have to say that fast as I was awakening,
I remained quite retarded for a very long time. This web site is
my penance for many years, probably lifetimes, of seriously faulty
relationships to Nature. I hope I live long enough to repair the
damage caused by my own ignorance.
I saw my first cancer patient
in 1972. From her, I learned much. She had both breasts amputated
on the same day. Two teams of surgeons operated simultaneously
and, as an astrologer, I had cautioned her against working with
one of the doctors. Months after the operation, one side of her
body had healed and the other had not. I developed concepts of
relationships based on astrochemistries that twist and turn between
individuals. Her situation urged me against viewing diet or drugs
as solutions for cancer because, had any of them worked, they should
have worked on both sides of her body.
The second patient was arrested
for laetrile possession and incarcerated in a federal prison for
possession of a vitamin found in bitter almonds, this while a cancer
death sentence loomed over him. I am extremely happy to say that
he is very much alive and well today. He has a prominent presence
in the world as an environmentalist, and his cancer was cured entirely
by "magic and mysticism" since he was deprived of treatment
while in federal custody. More importantly, he has been entirely
cancer-free for three decades.
Perhaps these experiences contributed
to my own slowness in discovering Nature's medicine chest. In any
event, by 1980, I realized that most people did not share my view
of cancer. They believed their conditions to be physical, and they
tended to seek physical solutions for what they considered to be
physical problems. I had begun studying Ayurveda, under a yogi,
and was interfacing the system of the elements in food and herbs
with astrology and psychology. I started to develop an intense
interest in spices as metabolic regulators.
As noted, I was not a brilliant
student when it came to Nature. Another decade passed, and a particularly
potent experience was ushered into my life by yet another patient.
As we were driving one day, Susan asked,
"Who did that?" I knew she had seen something through
the car window, but I had no idea what. She was shaken. She said, "Who
hurt him?" I didn't have a clue what she was seeing because
we were on a dirt road in the country with no one else in sight.
Susan had seen a broken branch on a tree and concluded that the
bulldozer driver who bladed the road had hurt the tree. To be absolutely
honest, I had no interest in the tree at all, but I was deeply
moved by Susan's evident traumatization by what she obviously perceived
as reckless brutality.
Being a fair psychologist,
I knew that the key to her own illness had to share some common
denominator with the wounded tree. The trick would be to find the
parallel and bring it forth for healing. I regret to say I utterly
failed to contribute to her healing, and this plummeted me into
one of the darkest nights of my soul, years of self-recrimination
and feelings of adequacy.
When I tried to piece myself together again,
I was bitten by a black widow spider and spent a year listening
to voices no one else could hear and finally, finally understanding
began to seep into some of the denser parts of my psyche. . .
I have written several books on cancer,
one that is astrological (and not even slightly related to the
sign of the same name) and one that is botanical as well as some
smaller works. I also have three other web sites dealing with cancer,
a very large one called Cancer
Salves and a self-help one called Cancer
Checklist plus one for practitioners.
In addition, there are three astrological web
sites and a very popular site called Kitchen
Doctor as well as a personal site called Soaring
Spirit with Tears. You might say that I have a web presence,
but this site, as I said, is my penance, not for failing to prevent
death, but for something for which I am more directly responsible.
Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatmentwas first published in 1990 as set of instructions for people using bloodroot escharotic
pastes in the treatment of their cancer. Thanks to a Andrew Weil,
I was deluged by e-mail from people seeking more information on
this herb. I responded by starting my first web site and then by
publishing the book.
In the course of my research on this fascinating
treatment, I became interested in the nuances of the methodology
and pharmacology of the formulas, and, here's the rub, I become
partial to an even more endangered species of herb: goldenseal.
Unlike 30+ years ago, I am no longer naive. I know that cancer
is disease affecting at least one-third of the world's population,
that modern treatments are failing to extend life appreciably,
and that any alternative treatment with the slightest credibility
will be sought by desperate patients and those who love the patients.
I know that the more my book is read, the more the demand for these
precious Native American plants will increase. I therefore want
to do my part to encourage conservation and cultivation, not only
of bloodroot and goldenseal but of all plants with known medicinal
benefits, whether as humble as the dandelion or as prized as ginseng.
Because my interest is no longer strictly
with people, but with all life on this Planetincluding animals
and plantsI want to do my part to protect plants while at
the same time providing plant medicine to suffering creatures:
human, feathered, furry, and even abject like the spider who taught
me how the anger we disavow materializes in venom and how like
all others of God's Creatures, she desires to be loved and appreciated
for her work in maintaining the matrices upon which light travels.
My own path has been one journey of countless
journeys on a Planet I sometimes refer to as "the drama Planet." Tragedy
occurs because we have failed to harmonize the wills we have been
allowed to flex at the expense of Divine Intent. Even for those
who are completely devoted to attaining higher consciousness and
living as spiritual beings, there is often a rejection of the material
realm because it is seen as inferior to Spirit or as an object
of attachment. I propose another view. The Plant Kingdom, as I
have come to know it, is a place where Divine Light is intensely
concentrated. Just as the leaves perform the remarkable task of
photosynthesis, enabling us to experience life through respiration,
the piety of flowers concentrates inspiration in a form that can
elevate awareness of the Love that sustains the Universe.
The Plant Kingdom suffers from many of the
same diseases as the animal and human kingdoms. It is having to
mutate to adapt to burning acids in the air and water, in pesticides
and herbicides. It has to accommodate itself to the reckless destruction
of habitat by predatory "civilization." Just as we struggle
for sensible solutions to challenges we face in our personal lives
and in our global relations,
so plants are struggling against all sorts of savagery: GMO encroachment
and planned obsolescence of indigenous species, regulations on
seed transport, homicide of pollinatorsthe list goes on and
on. It is my hope that this site will shift this picture. For those
who have not already fallen in love with Nature, I hope the material
on this site will instill a reverence for plants and plant medicine.
For those who are already far beyond me in their conservation efforts,
I commend you for your efforts and invite you to share your interests
and information on this site. For those who, like me, are involved
with plant remedies, I pray that we take our responsibility to
the Plant Kingdom as seriously as we take our obligations to our
31 January 2003
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2003, 2006, 2014