Tuesday, 3 April 2018


We enjoyed learning of the provenance and prompting of this detailed 1932 medicinal plant map of the United States—bordered by pharmacologically significant plants from around the world—and the ensuing discussion of the evolution and repackaging of the apothecary’s skill and experience as Big Pharma.
As appears in the map’s call-out box, the public lose sight of the contributions of a trained corps of professional to supplement medical science, whose advances cannot be discounted to be sure, at their peril and it was unwise to place too much faith in synthetic chemistry whose mechanisms can sometimes elicit more guesswork and side-effects than we bargain for.  What do you think?  Moreover, and perhaps the graver concern, we do ourselves and the profession by conflating traditional wisdom and folk-remedies with snake-oil and superstition—which stakes a claim to legitimacy because of the challenge in knowing where to draw the line.