Herbal Tinctures: now with more "?/4 ??? ?"

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I spotted this yesterday, from the February-March 2009 issue of the Organic Lifestyle Magazine. Perhaps it didn't render correctly, or maybe my browser has a wry sense of humour.

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Bryan Shillington (Journeyman Herbalist) says:

All of our formulas are available to the public. If we lose business and gain competitors, so be it. We need more herbalists and natural healers in this horrid world of huge pharmaceutical companies and pill pushers in white coats. Be the family herbalist. Be your own doctor. maybe if enough of you make your own herbal preparations, we'll drive them out of business.

Yeah, or die trying. Ho. Ho. Ho. Personally I think 'pill pushers' is a bit of a reductionist view on the myriad practices of evidence-based medicine. Off the top of my head I can think of heart surgery, transplant, dialysis, physiotherapy, midwifery, counselling, immunisation, nutrition, bone setting, none of which directly involves pills.

Bryan also says:

Make on the new moon; strain on the full moon. Shake tincture at least once a week.

Wait, what? Why not just say "strain after two weeks"? Don't herbalists have calendars? I'm kinda glad my oppressive evil big pharma medicine doesn't come with storage instructions like that though. Could you imagine having to violently agitate the contents of your bathroom cabinet once a week, like some kind of angry chimp loose in a drugstore?

It's interesting to note that also in this issue, the great unwashed hemp sandalled wheatgrass and guava juicing patchouli-daubing dreadlocked eco hippies are forced to confront the reality that their beloved Whole Foods (yay!) is the subject of an FTC lawsuit because it has become a monopoly, just like Wal*Mart (boo!). How do they resolve this cognitive dissonance? Easy - it's Wal*Mart's fault! If they offered organic free range biodynamic herbal enemas, Whole Foods wouldn't be a monopoly.
No seriously, that's their argument.

Tell me this: why does living a low environmental impact lifestyle have to mean taking leave of your cognitive faculties?

More like this

I've been having this argument a lot lately. I'm an aspiring biologist and my little sister is finishing up a degree in sustainable agriculture from a little hippie liberal arts school. She introduced me to the term "biodynamic farming" and after looking it up, I wasted the better part of a week trying to explain to her why it was bullshit.

not that Walmart is a monopoly. A very successful retailer but hardly a monopoly.

That's an image in the original webpage: everyone sees "?/4 ? ??? ?". Also, he calls himself Ãryan when he clearly wanted βryan, so it's safe to assume he's just massively ignorant of how Unicode works.

Wow, I'd never heard of biodynamic agriculture. "Bury manure or crushed quartz in a cow horn and bury over the winter. Dilute 1 tablespoon into 40-60 liters of water..." Homeopathic farming?

@Iron - more like witchcraft. It's totally barmy. A classic example of how environmentalism can (and often does) become mired in mysticism.