Petri dishes. Many of you read the pdf on Potent Protection with the images showing the diameter of the "kill" or zone of inhibition with the different essential oils. This is a testing method used by many investigators of various substances to assess the probability that a particular essential oil, drug, chemical, or concoction will be effective in restraining the growth of microorganisms or even malignancies. It is a purely allopathic concept in that the underlying assumption is that the microorganism is the cause of a disease and that the medicine has to interact directly with the causal agent. The approach probably has merit when developing agents to use for sterilizing equipment or counters but it is not really predictive of what will happen inside the body.
What on earth did I just say? In vitro, studies done in glass, are "interesting" but they do not really simulate the conditions inside the body and the way the body addresses pathogenic organisms is actually totally different. So, let's say someone has a sore throat and gargles with a dilute solution of wild oregano oil . . . this will work more or less as suggested by the petri dish studies because in this instance, the oil will make one on one contact with the bacteria and it will, in fact, do exactly what was suggested by the studies: inhibit the proliferation of the bacteria and probably kill on contact.
Basically, this is how antibiotics were accidentally discovered and for decades subsequent research has been based on variations of the original work by Alexander Fleming. Here's the hitch: inside the body, the chemical agents or medicines or oils are incredibly diluted so even if they travel in the blood stream or throughout the lymphatic system, the odds of making one on one contact with the source of the disease are not all that high. Due to the mindset behind these approaches, the temptation is to use stronger and stronger medicines because of the "resistance" of the organisms to the treatments offered. At a certain point, the treatment becomes riskier than the disease and this is a problem being fretted over by countless researchers today, this whether in bacteriology, virology, or oncology. The medicines are so strong that even the patients cannot tolerate them.
It's more difficult to do an in vivo study. It costs more and has to involve real patients, not a few pieces of glass with mediums for growing bizarre organisms. The best simulation we have of such studies is live blood microscopy, the use of which is so restricted in this country that we have to ask whether the authorities are on the side of truth or commerce? Everyone who has seriously studied live blood has concluded that the terrain is the problem, not the microorganisms. This is an enormous statement because it means everyone could potentially manage most of the risks of illness simply by observing the rules of health. Obviously, this would be devastating to the pharmaceutical industry, but there is another possible conclusion from such studies that is not generally reported but it is actually understood in both allopathic and holistic circles. This is that health depends on immunity.
This simple, simple statement should actually produce an "ah ha" experience. You should feel what it is like to have a satori experience, but I suspect most people will not attain enlightenment even if they reread these words. The words are bandied around so recklessly that most people are clueless about immunity so no "ah ha" happens and no synapses fire that give you glimpses into your inherent invincibility and immortality. Ho hum? Maybe but I won't give up easily.
What makes an herb different from a drug is very important. It is not that the herb is natural and the drug is not just synthetic, intentionally so because patents are valuable, but it is full of binders, preservatives, stabilizers, and heaven (or hell) knows what. Drugs are weapons against disease and this gives rise to wars on disease and collateral damage such as traces of Prozac and whatever in our rivers and drinking water. Ho hum?
Some herbs can be potentized to work like drugs. You isolate the "active ingredient" and standardize it or synthesize it and make Vinblastine or Vincristine from Madagascar periwinkle. Bio pirates are combing the rain forests of South America and the deserts of Africa looking for plants to use as medicines, but besides the issues of infringing the rights of indigenous medicine makers, there is still the issue of the concept of health and healing vs. the mind structures supporting definitions of disease.
"Natural" medicines or remedies support the immune system, meaning they enhance the capacity of the body to confront the pathogens and, in my experience, this always involves two key factors:
Increasing the activity of white blood cells, and
Improving the tolerance of white blood cells to the toxins they ingest.
Now, you have every right to ask if all the "stuff" you are taking does this. In 99% of cases, I suspect this does not happen. I have no "data" to back up my contention that the figure is as high as 99% but the number has to be close to this because so much of what we do destroys white blood cells. Most of the chemicals in tap water impair the ability of white blood cells to function. Toxic metals turn white blood cells to fuzz. Irradiation breaks them in pieces. Fungi wipe them out like they had just been through a torrent of chemical assault. Lots of strategies are designed to work more or less in the same manner as drugs so they damage the immune system instead of supporting it.
This is all justified so long as one is more afraid of epidemics than chronic blahs. The moment one decides to experience what it is like to function optimally, one has to reinvent strategies so that this becomes a reality. It can never be a reality unless one is in harmony with the natural and divine worlds.