In college, studying post-structuralism, and the literature of unknown women writers of the Caribbean, and the concept of "birthing trees," I used herbal tinctures, roots and tubers; I fancied myself an Appalachian curandera, thinking maybe I could cut the cord with Big Pharma. I made tea bags from muslin.
When I got the flu, I made myself an elixer of garlic and cayenne, and put on a hat to "sweat it out," and maybe have a fever-dream in which Odun would appear and conjure the career path I might take after graduation. Dazed and febrile a few days later, I ended up on antibiotics. Curandera fail.
My life is increasingly brought to you by Big Pharma. It always was. Asthma as a child. (Oh, the inhalers I have had!) Arthritis and TMJ in midlife. Let me show you my pills, you show me yours. We are all here, enjoying what they call "a certain quality of life." Better living through chemistry.
If I could chew on a root and feel better you better bet I would. Except chewing hurts. There's a pill for that. Or if there isn't yet, I hope to the Caribbean, there will be. They are right now isolating compounds from the venom of the cone snail. Holy the cone snail, if it can erase suffering from the face of the earth.