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Herbs vs Drugs In Treating Addiction

OK let’s narrow it down a bit: we are not glorifying all herbs or demonising all drugs,

and some herbs are drugs, and some drugs are herbs.


When we talk of drugs, we mean the type people use and then end up wanting not to use. The ones that cause serious consequences to mental and physical health. The ones that make us steal, lie, and cheat to obtain. The ones we can’t seem to stop using; our minds and bodies scream for them and we give in to that ravenous demand, time after time. These drugs include alcohol and those prescribed by our trusted physicians. The type of drugs that people use that cause them to seek a psychiatrist, rehab, or treatment centre in an often desperate attempt to help them to stop. Them drugs…


When we talk of herbs, we mean the type that alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. The ones that are growing naturally in our environment and are available for very little cost. The ones we choose to take because of the beneficial qualities we experience in our mental and physical health. The ones that have no built-in addictive qualities. Them herbs…

The ‘sad but true’ fact is that in the West, with regard to drug detoxification, we have become well-adjusted to the authority of our doctors and pharmaceutical companies. We have become used to being prescribed addictive medicine to help reduce symptoms of coming off other addictive substances. This leaves the addiction issue unchallenged: it is merely pushed along the line.

To take a simple aspirin, we have to be told the exact details of everything; the average mean temperature of the laboratory, the source of the binders and active ingredients, the eating habits of the security guards’ niece etc. We end up trusting this kind of authority. We end up with an overload of information.

Worse still, especially with the types of medication issued for common ailments like depression, anxiety, and sleep dis-orders, we are warned of possible side-effect like:

“May cause dependence”

“Overdose can be fatal”

and possibly my favourite:

“May cause suicide ideation” Really?

We can be caught in an endless loop of prescription hide and seek. This is not uncommon at all

Compare this to what is likely to happen after a consultation with a Thai herbalist.

“I have trouble sleeping”

“Take two handfuls of passion flower leaves, boil in water for half an hour, allow to cool then drink”

Two days later:

“It’s not working”

“Three handfuls”

Next day:

“I slept but I pooped the bed”


So, a lingering dependence and suicide, or mucky bedsheets? I know what consequences I prefer, although my maid disagrees.

All it takes to make the switch is to question the ‘authority’ of the information. We can stay with the white-coat, information rich, peer-reviewed and tested style of the West, or simply consider, and then try the experience based authority that has been practiced for generations in the East. In fact, herbal medicine has been going on all over the planet for a very long time. It’s just that it has been almost buried under a heavy white lab coat. But it’s still there.

The herbal remedy traditions have probably not been helped by companies such as HorribleLife and JuiceBus who have often exploited the efficiency by creating a high mark-up MLM and pyramid scheme model of these products. We would be wise to leave aside these judgements however, and just get on with the business of participation, and then judge the results.

At banyantree21, as well as giving a personal herbal prescription, everyone is given these three daily drinks.

  1. Morning fresh ginger reviver tea
  2. Afternoon chlorophyll chilled refresher
  3. Night time passion flower calming brew

All these fresh infusions will benefit your mental and physical well-being. Sometimes the benefits are quite surprising. You can take our word for it or check out what others have to say.

  1. BBC on ginger
  1. OrganicFacts on chlorophyll
  1. WebMD on passion flower

Finally, we avoid getting polarised by judging Big Pharma as all-bad (because they’re not) or the herbalists as all quacks and charlatans (because they’re not).

If we’ve had enough of something, we can try something else and observe the experience.

Try it, you might like it!



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