How to grow your own pharmaceuticals
Monday, July 11, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
It’s very easy to grow powerful medicines that can lower your cholesterol, protect your heart, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, enhance nervous system function, and protect you from diabetes and many other chronic diseases. Every plant is a pharmaceutical factory provided by nature. It’s like a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical laboratory that takes raw materials and converts them into healing medicines. It does this free of charge, without asking anything back from you other than a little bit of care, some water, and some sunlight.
If you think about how plants operate, they’re quite remarkable manufacturing engines. They take nutrients out of the soil, carbon dioxide out of the air, water, and photons from sunlight. Then, through a complex system of metabolism and photosynthesis, plants manage to convert those elements into healing phytonutrients, including vitamins, enzymes, heart-healthy oils, fiber, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Plus they produce all of these fantastic phytochemicals which we’re now learning more about in terms of preventing, and even reversing, chronic diseases such as cancer.
Plants give you one more thing, too: the energy of life. This is another form of nutrition, which I call “vibrational nutrition.” It’s something that you can’t get from synthesized pills or manufactured foods. You can only get it from plants, because it has to do with the energy of living, breathing organisms.
For nearly every chronic disease, there is a plant that can treat it. Are you battling cancer? Grow yourself some garlic, onions, and broccoli. Are you battling high cholesterol? Grow and eat some blueberries. Are you suffering from macular degeneration? You can grow a wide variety of berries. If you’re in the right climate, you can grow nut trees that provide heart-healthy oils right off the tree. In fact, regardless of what type of climate you’re in, there are plants as healing medicine that can be grown in your region, whether you’re in the great white north, or the jungles of Central America. Whether you’re in a dry desert climate, the plains, forest, rainforest, swampland, the icy north, the Rocky Mountains, or the Smoky Mountains, there are plants you can grow that will help heal you.
This is one of the main areas of research on which I’m focusing right now. I’m working on finding new ways for people to more easily grow plants that have a healing potential. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned so far, and then invite you to stay in touch, because there’s a lot more good information coming on this subject. One goal I have is to create or promote some sort of device that can function as a home pharmaceutical factory, with which people can plant seeds and basically enjoy a hands-off operation that grows these plants without requiring much effort on their part.
It’s quite silly to pay $100 per pill to a pharmaceutical company when you can grow more effective and safer pharmaceuticals right in your own home, balcony, or backyard. In fact, the word “pharmaceutical” means “plant medicine.” The word “pharma” has the same root used in the word “farming,” of course. So medicines really do have their origins in plants. It’s only through the atrocious politics of pharmaceutical companies today that people have forgotten the plant origins of medicine. What I’m hoping to do is help you get back to the plants, because the plants have the healing characteristics that we need.
For widespread adoption, we need something that works without soil. Soil works great for the outdoors, but if you really want a system that works for people who don’t have yards, soil is obviously not the way to go. There are now plant growing technologies available that grow plants far more efficiently with far better yields than with soil. They aren’t necessarily new, although there are some new technologies emerging in these fields. I’m talking about hydroponics and aeroponics. Hydroponics has been around for quite a while. It is the growing of plants in nutrient solutions that have no soil. Basically, you’re exposing the plant roots to liquids containing the nutrients needed to grow. This is achieved through an ebb-and-flow hydroponic system, or some other hydroponic configuration.
You may be surprised to learn that you can grow plants without soil. The reality is that the soil is just a medium that holds nutrients for the plants. So if you get rid of the soil, but still provide the nutrients to the plant roots, they’re going to be just fine. In fact, you can increase yields through this technique versus growing them in soil. I’ve done this myself in many experiments, in which I’ve planted the same plants in soil vs. a hydroponic system. I have found much faster growth and greater yields in a hydroponic system. Hydroponic systems do require electricity, and they take some effort to learn how to operate correctly. But they can be very rewarding. They’re also far more portable than growing plants in soil, because it’s easier to move a tray, a timer, and a pump than it is to move 400 lbs of soil.
If you want to boost yields beyond those achieved by hydroponic systems, a better system to use is an aeroponic system. This is what you see at the Epcot Center in Florida, where hydroponic scientists are using this technology to grow vertical stands of plants. They essentially spray the roots with a nutrient solution on timed intervals.
Spraying the roots of a plant every 15 minutes with this nutrient solution has advantages over the hydroponic approach, because you’re able to create even more surface area between the nutrients in your liquids and the roots of the plant. In my experience, an aeroponic system produces substantially greater yields than the hydroponic system. If you think about what’s responsible for that increase, you realize that it’s the greater surface area of the smaller droplets of water being sprayed on the roots.
You can purchase home-built aeroponic systems on the internet. None of them are really elegant, but they work, and they do produce outstanding plant yields. Right now, I’m growing tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, herbs, strawberries and even watermelons on aeroponic systems. Plant growth is very aggressive, although I am having some challenges getting the tomato plants to fruit (it’s probably just a nutrient oversight on my part, due to my relative inexperience in plant chemistry).
When I’m ready to retire these plants for the season, I’ll snap some photos of the root mass to show you just how effectively aeroponic growth systems can be. You’ll be absolutely amazed at how quickly and aggressively these plant root networks can grow.
The bottom line here is that I believe home-grown plants are going to make a big comeback in the years ahead, and we’re going to see nutrient-rich varieties of plants (like red carrots with lycopene) that treat and prevent chronic disease, coupled with new technologies that allow hands-free cultivation of healing plants. After all, who needs to build a $100 million drug factory when nature can manufacture all the medicine you need for the price of a handful of seeds? I say, let nature build the medicines.