Here’s your choice. Get treated by U.S. doctors, or by a shaman deep in the Amazon rain forest. Seems like an easy decision, right? In his TED Talk, which you can watch above, ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin tells this story that might change the way you think:
Four years ago I injured my foot in a climbing accident and I went to the doctor. She gave me heat. She gave me cold. She gave me aspirin, narcotic pain killers, anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots. Didn’t work. Several months later I was in the Northeast Amazon. Walked into a village and the shaman said “You’re limping.” And I’ll never forget this as long as I live. He looked me in the face and he said “Take off your shoe and give me your machete.” He walked over to a palm tree and carved off a fern, threw it in the fire, applied it to my foot. Threw it in a pot of water and had me drink the tea. The pain disappeared for seven months. When it came back I went to see the shaman again. He gave me the same treatment and I’ve been cured for three years now. Who would you rather be treated by?