First, A Short Summary:
Researchers are “just discovering” that Cannabis can control Epileptic seizures (Most recent New England Journal of Medicine)
Researchers have not yet looked at Cannabis for use in Dementia/Alzheimer’s, even though seizures are common and are a leading cause of death in Dementia/Alzheimer’s. (Update 6/19/17) – this has just changed – see this on a new German-Israeli study)
Maybe that’s because while Congress has committed some $5.4 billion this fiscal year to cancer research, about $1.2 billion to heart disease and $3 billion to research on HIV/AIDS, research funding for Alzheimer’s is “only” $566 million. Clearly that’s just not enough for researchers (mostly Big Pharma employees) to look into Cannabis as a treatment.
On a related note, California researchers have just shown that a sleeping sickness drug developed in 1916 can reverse Autism in children; unfortunately, the test group was only 10 kids, and 5 of them were given placebos, and the researchers had to go $500,000 into debt to run the study. Evidently kids with Autism aren’t a big enough deal for Congress. Thoughtful of those researchers to care enough to go ahead though.
And to wrap all this up in a neat little package, I figure it would cost well under $100,000 to show that Coca Leaf can not only control Epileptic seizures (as already well-known and demonstrated in 1881), but probably also Dementia/Alzheimer’s seizures – not even a diagnosed disease in 1881.
So, a drug from 1916 is now “discovered” to cure Autism, after decades of high-dollar research into “new” cures. And Cannabis is discovered to cure Epilepsy, after more decades of research into “new” cures. And an 1881 proven cure for both epilepsy and likely for Dementia/Alzheimers, among many other killer diseases, is illegal. Go figure.
The Full Story
For several years researchers have been zeroing in on Cannabis as a source for potent medicines in treating & preventing epileptic and other kinds of seizures. The latest findings, published May 25, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that @ 40% of those treated with a CBD-based medicine experienced dramatic improvement in seizure intensity and frequency.
So, let’s put this together with an interesting association between seizures and Dementia/Alzheimer’s. There is plenty of research on this association. Here’s just one example.
“Of the degenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s dementia and amyloid angiopathy are known major causes of seizures. Advanced Alzheimer’s disease has been identified as a risk factor for new-onset generalized tonic-clonic seizures in older adults. It is associated with a 10 percent prevalence of seizures, particularly late in the illness. An increased prevalence of seizures also has been documented with other types of dementia.
So I suppose that it would make sense to investigate whether Cannabis-derived medicines, or perhaps the right strain of Cannabis itself, could be useful in controlling or preventing seizures in Dementia/Alzheimer’s, especially in late-stages of the disease when seizures are a known killer.
I’m sure that researchers are already drafting multi-million dollar grants to study exactly that.
So far, so good. In spite of decades of “Killer Weed” propaganda it looks like scientific minds are finally rising above the lies and finding that, consistent with centuries of well-established knowledge, the natural medicine Cannabis can be helpful in dealing with killer seizures better and with less risk of harm than pharmaceuticals.
But wait! If centuries of medical knowledge regarding the efficacy and safety of Cannabis are now appearing as “new findings” in prestigious medical journals, why not take a look at centuries of medical knowledge regarding the safety and efficacy of Coca Leaf in the same area?
Hmmmm. Could it be that a cup or two of Coca Leaf tea a day might be helpful to people with Dementia/Alzheimer’s – at least in preventing seizures, if not in other ways too. Let’s see. Who would know?
Well, there is a little book entitled “Erythroxylon Coca”, written by By W.S. Searle, MD and published in New York in 1881. (Dr. Searles book is included in its entirety in my ebook “Coca Leaf Papers” available on the sidebar of this post.)
Dr. Searles book is only one of many in which the use of Coca to treat and cure epileptic seizures is covered, but here is what Dr. Searles had to say:
“Coca Leaf & Acute Disease”
“The relations of Coca to acute disease are extremely important. As a physician, I would not be without it under any consideration. How thoroughly will every physician, understand me when I say that we are not seldom compelled to stand by and witness the death of patients who are really better of the disease which destroys them than perhaps at any previous time during their sickness. We are unable to support them, and they die from exhaustion of the vital forces.”
“But in Coca we have a powerful agent, whose disturbing influence over physiological processes is so little felt that it neither interferes with recovery from disease by natural course, nor with the action of remedies. And its sustaining power is so marvelous, that I prophesy that by its help we shall hereafter be able to cure many cases of disease which were otherwise hopeless.”
“I am informed by my colleague, Dr. John L. Moffat, of Brooklyn, that he has had very encouraging results from the use of Coca in hay fever in four instances. Of course, its action here is antipathic, or rather, it probably acts simply by its sustaining power, and by its antipathic relations to asthma. But even an efficient palliative, which can do no harm, will be welcomed by those who are annually visited by this plague.”
“It has been affirmed by some English authorities that Coca is valueless in epilepsy. For myself I can report that, in one instance of the fully-fledged disease, occurring in a middle-aged lady, but in whom the paroxysms did not recur oftener than once in six months, an apparent cure has been effected by means of Coca alone. She has now passed eighteen months without a seizure. I have also more striking reports from some of the members of this society, who report very marked results in several severe cases which would yield to no other remedy.”
“It is too early yet, however, to claim for Coca really curative powers in this terrible disease, which has so long been an “opprobrium medicorum”. Still, it is highly probable that the forms of it used by the English physicians in their trials were inert. This is rendered more than likely by the fact that one of the most expert chemists of New York City carefully searched both France and England during the summer of 1880 for good Coca, and was unable to obtain a single valuable specimen.”
“In view of the fact that all the drugs now ranked as anti-epileptic by the allopathic school of medicine are so injurious to the general health, and in view of the results attained by myself and my colleagues, imperfect as yet though they are, I earnestly urge the faithful trial of Coca in epilepsy.”
Well, about 140 years have passed and where are those “faithful trials” of Coca Leaf for Epilepsy – and incidentally for Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Obesity, and a couple of dozen other killer diseases? Nowhere in sight.
Researchers with Ph.D’s and major institutions behind them are getting tens of millions of dollars to “study” Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but not a peep out of the research establishment about Coca Leaf Tea. And, of course, since I’m not in the club I can’t get a grant, even though I could pretty much prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of Coca leaf for Dementia/Alzheimer’s with a few thousand bucks. But as noted, I don’t have a Ph.D. and I’m not a member of the club, so no institution gives a shit what I say.
Hell, maybe I’ll just do a GoFundMe request for a couple of tickets to Bolivia, grab a hundred kilos or so of fresh Coca Leaf, and come home and start handing out Coca Leaf Tea at a church social or two, and maybe a local nursing home. Think I would get past US Customs/DEA? Might actually be a great idea – let them bust me for trying to bring Coca Leaf in for Dementia/Alzheimer’s patients.
I wonder how many members of the US Congress, who make the laws forbidding Coca Leaf coming into the US, have someone in their family with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. (I’m resisting the obvious snide remark here because while it might be accurate it would also be cruel.)
Anyone have any suggestions?
The range of diseases and conditions that were successfully treated and cured by European and US physicians using Coca Leaf over the course of hundreds of years should be truly amazing to us in the 21st Century, even those of us who have been propagandized into believing that allopathic medicine and modern science have “made great strides”, “revolutionized the treatment of disease”, yada yada.
As you look over the table below you might reflect on how little actual progress has been made in the treatment and cure of so many diseases, although we have certainly developed a lot of impressive technology and there have been some dramatic, if somewhat mixed-blessing advances such as antibiotics.
However, let me point to just one example; with all of our vaunted antibiotic technology huge numbers of people still die of Pneumonia – a deadly condition that doctors of the 18th and 19th centuries who were familiar with Coca leaf (and who didn’t resort to poisonous ‘remedies’ like Mercury, Arsenic and Bleeding) were quite often able to treat and reverse successfully with a few cups a day of Coca Leaf tea.
Also, since many of today’s most destructive diseases did not exist, or didn’t have a name during those earlier centuries, this post is intended to point to the historical record that strongly suggests that if pure, natural Coca Leaf were freely available today as a natural medicine it could lift the immense burden of these modern conditions and diseases from tens of millions of people virtually overnight, with no “side effects”, no risk, and for literally pennies a day.
Freely available Coca Leaf would literally destroy the market for useless, often even dangerous pharmaceuticals as well as the incredibly lucrative market for America’s beloved over-the-counter “remedies” – which, of course, would guarantee strident howls of objection and opposition. Americans spend $625 Billion a year on the over 300,000 “Over The Counter” medicines that promise relief from pain and suffering of all kinds.
Here is a table taken largely from the work of Dr. Golden, whose “History of Coca” (1901) outlines the conditions and diseases that were known in the 1800’s to be treatable and curable by Coca Leaf, along with number of diseases and conditions that have been largely ‘discovered’ in the century since Dr. Golden wrote. I believe that the evidence that he and other physicians and scientists recorded in their times shows that simple natural Coca Leaf infusions and extracts could prevent, treat and perhaps cure these modern diseases and conditions where the products of “Pig Pharma” so often fail.
Please consider the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial impact on the lives of millions of individuals and their families if even one or two of the conditions/diseases in the following table were proven beyond all doubt, using all of our contemporary research powers, to be either effectively treated or actually cured by drinking Coca Leaf Tea alone – no other treatments or medications needed.
And once you have reflected on this, if you are a strong advocate of legal Cannabis perhaps you’ll consider adding Coca Leaf to your demands that the US government and Pig Pharma back off and go away.
If you would like to read Dr. Golden’s extraordinary “History of Coca” I have digitized his book and it is available here. ($1.99 for the full 251 page book plus bibliography).
I have kept all of the original illustrations intact and – most importantly – I have hyperlinked as many of Dr. Golden’s bibliographic references to the original source materials as I could track down, almost all of them freely available in internet historical book archives.
Have fun – I certainly did while tracking down and studying these obscure but critically important resources for treating and healing disease using one of the most amazing natural medicines ever.
I thought that you might find it interesting how contemporary these comments are on the differences between Coca Leaf and Cocaine, considering that they are from the introduction to Dr. W. Golden Mortimer’s 1901 book “History of Coca”. You can read “History of Coca”in its entirety in my eBook “The Coca Leaf Papers”, which also contains complete text, bibliographic links, and illustrations from several other early books on the remarkable medical uses of Coca Leaf, all written well before the deviously-named “War On Drugs”.
(Please note – when Dr. Mortimer says “Coca” he is referring to “Coca Leaf”.)
“As to the value of Coca, there cannot be the slightest doubt; as to its utter harmlessness there can be no question. Even cocaine, against which there has been a cry of perniciousness, is an ally to the physician of inestimable worth, greatly superior – to compare it to a drug of recognized potency, not because of any allied qualities – to morphine.”
“The evils from cocaine have arisen from its pernicious use, in unguarded doses, where used hypodermatically or locally for anaesthesia, when an excessive dose has often been administered, without estimating the amount of the alkaloid that would be absorbed, and which might result in systemic symptoms. Medicinally employed, cocaine in appropriate dosage is a stimulant that is not only harmless, but usually phenomenally beneficial when indicated.”
“There has been a looseness of interpretation regarding the term stimulant, which has engendered a dread unfounded in fact. There is a vague belief that any substance capable of producing stimulation, first elevates the system and then depresses it by a corresponding fall. The physiological law that stimulants excite to action, and that all functional activity is due to stimulation is forgotten or not generally appreciated. The name stimulant has commonly suggested alcoholics, while alcoholics suggest intoxication and a possible degradation.”
“It recalls a thought of De Quincey when told that an individual was drunk with opium, that certain terms are given too great latitude – just as intoxication has been extended to all forms of nervous excitement, instead of restricted to a specific sort of excitement. As expressed by him: “Some people have maintained, in my hearing, that they have been drunk upon green tea; and a medical student in London, for whose knowledge in his profession I have reason to feel great respect, assured me, the other day, that a patient in recovering from an illness, had got drunk on beefsteak.”
“It will be shown by ample testimony that Coca is not only a substance innocent as is tea or coffee – which are commonly accepted popular necessities – but that Coca is vastly superior to these substances, and more worthy of general use because of its depurative action on the blood, as well as through its property of provoking a chemico-physiological change in the tissues whereby the nerves and muscles are rendered more capable for their work.”
“Strong as may appear this assertion, I believe that the facts here presented will amply indicate that sufficient has not been said upon the benefits to accrue from the liberal use of Coca, Indeed, our knowledge of it is yet in its infancy, and if this present writing will but excite others to continue these investigations and experiments. Coca will achieve the position it should maintain as an aid and support to humanity worthy the greatest popularity and the highest possible respect.”
Readers of this blog know that I have been writing about the potential of pure, natural Coca leaf for the treatment of Alzheimers/Dementia for some time. (See here and here.) Some of you are also probably familiar with my efforts to initiate a program of “Centros de Coca Curación” in Bolivia and Peru where patients from the North could stay for extended periods of Coca leaf and indigenous medicine treatments.
There is no question in my mind that if American seniors, and seniors in all other “Western” countries, had access to a few cups of Coca Leaf tea every day that many of those souls far gone into the depths of Alzheimers/Dementia could benefit and perhaps even recover, and those who have not yet begun their descent into that hellish place could go on to live out their lives free of this scourge.
I cannot begin to describe my feelings about the policies of the US government, and the other governments of the “West” that prevent people from having access to this harmless, non-addictive, natural remedy for what is surely as bad as any form of torture ever dreamed up by our own, or any other government in the world.
In my Alzheimers posts I have noted that the United States is far and away the world leader in the sheer numbers of people who die every year of Alzheimers/Dementia, as well as in the ranking of these diseases as a leading cause of death.
Alzheimers/ementia ranks second only to Coronary Heart Disease as a cause of death in the US, and ranks above Stroke (#4), Diabetes (#6), Breast Cancer (#11), Lung Cancer (#3), Stomach Cancer (#31), Colon-Rectum Cancer (#7), HIV/AIDS (#34), Prostate Cancer (#16) – in fact Alzheimers/Dementia is such a pervasive, and quite possibly preventable cause of death in the US that I found myself wondering where it ranks in other countries around the world.
You may be as surprised as I was. I went to a website that gives comprehensive WHO data on the leading (top 50) causes of death for each country, and here is a sample of what I found. I didn’t include data for every country in the world – you can go to the website if you’re curious about a country not listed here.
Before presenting the data I would like to point to a few things that stand out to me – you may very well see other interesting things in these numbers.
First, the hugely disproportionate numbers of people dying of Alzheimers/Dementia in the US don’t appear to be a function of life expectancy. Many of the countries in every part of the world have the same or longer life expectancy as the US, and nowhere near the numbers of people dying of A/D.
Second, although most of the countries listed have fewer people than the US, the “Rank In Country” number levels that playing field. The “Rank” indicates the number of Alzheimers/Dementia deaths per 100,000 population, which corrects for differences in the absolute numbers of people between countries. When we see that Alzheimers/Dementia ranks #2 in the US and #60 in Peru, for example, it is irrelevant that Peru has far fewer people than the US.
Another aspect of the data that smacks me in the face is that with the exception of Australia and Germany, almost all of the “Western” countries rank pretty high in deaths attributable to Alzheimers/Dementia – although only Switzerland also ranks A/D deaths as #2. But then when you look at Asian, Latin American and African rankings only Uruguay and Chile ( #5 and #4 respectively) come anywhere near the rankings of the industrialized countries of the Western Northern hemisphere. In fact in most of the rest of the world deaths from Alzheimers/Dementia rank WAY down the scale.
So what is going on? What is it that the countries of the “West”, primarily in the Northern hemisphere, have in common with each other but not with the rest of the world?
A highly industrialized food chain comes to mind. A medical industry dominated by corporate pharmaceutical companies is another distinguishing factor. Recently we have learned of the impact of RoundUp in the food chain – could this whole atrocity be something as simple as Monsanto being a mass murderer for profit?
It certainly can’t be environmental pollution – many of the countries with very low rankings for deaths from Alzheimers/Dementia have far more polluted air, water and soil than the “West”.
It also probably cannot be genetics, because many of the countries in the West now have highly diverse demographics, and unless data can be found that shows that people of Anglo-Saxon origin are the reason for the high rankings of the Western countries, we can probably dismiss race as a factor.
I don’t have any solutions to propose regarding the “Why”, but I am adamant that we should find out whether or not Coca leaf therapy could be effective in reversing and/or preventing Alzheimers/Dementia. If the US won’t do it, why not one of the more enlightened countries in the “West” bloc – say The Netherlands, or France? I know that this blog has readers from all of the countries in the “West”, so please take a look at the numbers for your country and try to break open the inexplicable resistance to Coca leaf therapy at the highest levels of your own governments.
It doesn’t matter, as far as Alzheimers/Dementia goes, that Coca Leaf is readily accessible in Peru and Bolivia – Alzheimers/Dementia is not a significant problem in those countries. But in every one of the countries in the “West” these diseases are the cause of the suffering and deaths of so many individuals and the horrible suffering of those who love and try to care for them – why must this continue?
And what is the cause – because there clearly is a cause, and it has to do with something that the countries of the “West” have in common with each other and not with the rest of the world.