A Friend in Deed

>    The cholla cactus, indigenous to Southern Arizona, has a bud that when ingested slows the absorption rate of glucose into the bloodstream. One
tablespoon of buds from the cholla cactus has as much calcium as eight ounces of
milk. The buds are rich in soluble fiber that help regulate blood sugar. >The Native American Pima and
Tohono O’odham tribes, also indigenous to the region, suffer from disproportionately high rates of obesity and diabetes due to externally imposed lifestyle changes that occurred around 1940. Now, members of the two tribes are returning to their roots, so to speak, and beginning to use the cactus, Mother Earth’s gift, to treat their health challenges.
    The Native tribes of Southern Arizona are not alone, although they may be an extreme example of what we do to our bodies and our health when we stray too far from Nature. Obesity, for example, is not confined to the Native tribes of Southern Arizona. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has found that between 16-33% of adolescents are obese and, all told, there are an estimated 40 million obese Americans.
    The causes of diabetes and obesity in the general population are not much different than those experienced by the Pima and O’odham. A diet of rich, refined foods high in fat and low in fiber plus a sedentary lifestyle brought on by technological advances are, literally, a deadly combination. To date, our response to this has been to medicate the symptoms with even sometimes deadlier prescription drugs rather than address the “root causes.”
    One could hypothesize, with a little humor, that the best treatment for root causes is roots! That is, after all, the wisdom that the Native Americans of Southern Arizona are about to access. It’s a wise approach that should be acknowledged worldwide.
    Nature, in the form of Earth and all Her bounty, likely provides us gratuitously with cures for what ails us. The only condition seems to be that we live in harmony with Earth…recognizing our interdependence with all things Natural. Given our abysmal record in this regard, it’s no wonder we have strayed so far, become so stressed, and, oh yes, gotten obese, diabetic and cancer riddled along the way.
    The Earth’s rain forest, with only 250,000 of it’s plant life cataloged and an estimated 1,000,000 yet to be completed, has provided us with 1 in 4 of the medicines used worldwide. Tropical forest regions alone have provided over 2000 plants with anti-cancer properties.
    What I find so amazing, and compassionate, is that Earth continues to hold and relinquish to us the cure for what ails us, despite the fact that we have created the dis-eases…and continue, daily, to heap pollutants upon Her surface and contaminate Her air and water with abandon.
    The Native Americans of Southern Arizona are now embarking upon remembering what was once common knowledge and common practice to their culture. Earth is our ally and benefactor. If we treat her with the respect She deserves, She will in turn sustain us in a healthy and life-supporting manner.
    I’d say a good step in that direction might be to forgo the Big Mac and episode of “24” and instead…fry up a little cholla, olive oil and garlic then go outside for a walk…and if you see someone desecrating the Earth, offer to share your cholla.

Did you like this? Share it:

Comments are closed.