Herbalist Stephen Buhner on Plant Medicine, Health Care, and the Microbiome

Invasive Japanese Honeysuckle bloom harvest for cold & flu season

Invasive Japanese Honeysuckle bloom harvest for cold & flu season

I had to share this great article by NM herbalist Stephen Buhner, who has written over 20 books on herbal medicine.  The article illuminates a more balanced understanding of bacteria and the microbiome as well as the role of plant medicine with drug-resistant bacteria.  A quote from the article (entire article linked to here):

“In 1942 the entire world’s supply of penicillin was 8.5 gallons — about seventy pounds. By 1999 the production of antibiotics in the U.S. alone reached 40 million pounds per year.

Unfortunately medical researchers’ beliefs about bacteria were very wrong. Researchers said it would take roughly a million years for bacteria to develop widespread resistance to antibiotics through spontaneous mutations. They assumed bacteria were stupid, when in reality bacteria are highly sentient. They communicate by means of a sophisticated language — as sophisticated as ours. They recognize their kin. They protect their offspring. They create chemicals designed to produce specific outcomes in living systems, which certainly fits any definition of toolmaking.

We’ve tended to view bacteria as a collection of single-celled entities, but when many of them join together, it’s more proper to look at them as a swarm intelligence. And complex organisms such as plants, animals, and insects are, in essence, communities of bacteria.”


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