While allopathic medicine is the dominant protocol practiced today, its historical roots span only a few hundred years, compared to thousands of years for ancient healing modalities like Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
The emergence of Big Pharma as the dominant player in mainstream medicine shares its historical roots with the rise of Big Oil in the mid-to-late 19th century. The lure of selling patented medicines derived from petrochemicals and synthesized in labs proved to be irresistible to the rich industrialists who used their enormous wealth and connections to wrest control of the medical curriculum and influence lawmakers to pass rules that benefited them financially.
For the sake of discussion, let’s compare the historical origins of alternative healing modalities with allopathic medicine.
c. 3000 BCE Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda is a holistic system of medical science and is the oldest science of healing that is almost more than 5000 years old.What Is Ayurveda? The History Of Ayurveda, https://www.ayurvedicindia.info/history-of-ayurveda/
c. 1000 BCE Chinese Herbal Medicine
In the Western Zhou Dynasty (1066 BC–771 BC), there were already professional Chinese medicine doctors. At that time, people gathered known Chinese herbal medicines for use by Chinese medicine doctors.History of Chinese Herbal Medicine, https://www.chineseherbsinfo.com/history-chinese-herbal-medicine/
c. 500 BCE: Hippocratic Oath – “First, Do No Harm”
The Hippocratic oath, written in the 5th century BCE, does contain language suggesting that the physician and his assistants should not cause physical or moral harm to a patient. The first known published version of “do no harm” dates to medical texts from the mid-19th century, and is attributed to the 17th century English physician Thomas Sydenham.N.S. Gill, Is ‘First Do No Harm’ Part of the Hippocratic Oath?, October 20, 2019, https://www.thoughtco.com/first-do-no-harm-hippocratic-oath-118780
late 18th century: Classical Homeopathy
The probable origins of homeopathy are fascinating and almost certainly stretch back into prehistory. Many indigenous, shamanic peoples say that medicines must be shaken or struck in order to waken them up. The other cornerstone of homeopathy – that of treating like with like – also has its origins in the distant past, at least as far back as Ancient Greece. However, it was not until the late 18th century that this method of treating illness was turned into a rational system of medicine by Samuel Hahnemann, who is seen as the founder of homeopathy.Oxford Homeopathy, Origins and History of Homeopathy, https://www.oxford-homeopathy.org.uk/homeopathy-origins-history.htm
1947: The Nuremberg Code
The Nuremberg Code was codified but not adopted globally after World War II to advise the nations of the world to not engage in or condone human experimentation without first obtaining voluntary informed consent.Evelyne Shuster, Ph.D., Fifty Years Later: The Significance of the Nuremberg Code, The New England Journal of Medicine, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199711133372006
1798: Dr. Edward Jenner publicizes initial results of his smallpox vaccine experiments
It was common knowledge that survivors of smallpox became immune to the disease. As early as 430 bc, survivors of smallpox were called upon to nurse the afflicted.Stefan Riedel MD, PhD, Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination, doi: 10.1080/08998280.2005.11928028, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/
1847: The American Medical Association
An 1845 resolution to the New York Medical Association by Dr. Nathan S. Davis, calling for a national medical convention, led to the establishment of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1847. Scientific advancement, standards for medical education, launching a program of medical ethics, improved public health — these were the goals of the AMA.Founding of the AMA, American Medical Association, https://www.ama-assn.org/about/ama-history/ama-history
1859: Edwin Drake drills the first oil well
In Tarentum, a town 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, Samuel Kier and his father owned salt wells that produced an annoying quantity of oil along with the desired salt brine—a problem that plagued salt-well operators in the 19th century. To get rid of the oil, in 1852 Kier started marketing it as a medicinal product under the name “Kier’s Petroleum, or Rock Oil.” Kier claimed his “medicine”—sold in 8-ounce jars for 50 cents—cured burns, ulcers, cholera, asthma, indigestion, rheumatism, and blindness. (However) the difficulty of getting it out of the ground limited its utility… One hundred miles north in Titusville, Pennsylvania, for reasons not entirely clear, Colonel Edwin Drake decided to solve this problem. In 1859 he succeeded in drilling the first oil well.Judah Ginsberg, Pennsylvania’s Black Gold, October 8, 2009, https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/pennsylvanias-black-gold
1899: Bayer patents aspirin
During the 1800s, various scientists extracted salicylic acid from willow bark and produced the compound synthetically. Then, in 1853, French chemist Charles F. Gerhardt synthesized a primitive form of aspirin, a derivative of salicylic acid. In 1897 Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist working at the Bayer division of I.G. Farber, discovered a better method for synthesizing the drug. Though sometimes Hoffmann is improperly given credit for the discovery of aspirin, he did understand that aspirin was an effective pain reliever that did not have the side effects of salicylic acid (it burned throats and upset stomachs). Bayer marketed aspirin beginning in 1899 and dominated the production of pain relievers until after World War I, when Sterling Drug bought German-owned Bayer’s New York operations.Aspirin, How Products Are Made, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Aspirin.html
1906: Passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act which led to creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
1910: Publication of the Flexner Report (aka Medical Education in the United States and Canada) that Rockefeller, Carnegie, and others used as a springboard to peddle pharmaceutical medical treatments that were by-products of the oil refineries and severely cripple the teaching of homeopathy and natural medicine
1986: That year, pharmaceutical companies extorted the US Congress into giving it the best business model in the world by lobbying for passage of the The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Signed into law by President Reagan, this act shielded Big Pharma companies and doctors from civil product liability and malpractice lawsuits for harm caused by federally recommended and state mandated vaccines – products that have never been properly tested for safety. Vaccines that are currently being rushed-to-market for COVID-19 require even less rigorous testing of their capacity to cause harm. What happens when ancient wisdom – a mother’s intuition – is pitted against powerful interests in a race against time?