Green Medicine in Cuba

Alfredo Fernandez Rodriguez

Herb seller in Havana

Cubans have no problems taking medically certified drugs, which we all know can be the bearers of physical and even mental well-being.

It’s not even necessary for us to go to a doctor for their prescription; all we need is a friend to suggest this or that medicine that got rid of his heart problem or her back pain for us to begin popping pills as if they’d been prescribed by the most eminent pharmaceutical specialist.

This national mania has reached the point that the State began broadcasting a weekly infomercial on national television with the suggestive title “The Exact Dose.”  Through this, people are taught to take medications only when prescribed by a trained physician.

Today Cubans are also discovering the benefits of “green medicine,” natural remedies that for a long time were associated with a low-level of cultural development and “obscurantism”; their use had been limited to people assumed to be “ignorant.”

Herb seller in Havana. Photo: Caridad

This health care practice is being gradually established on the island today since it’s not only useful for campesinos and the descendents of Haitian immigrants, but also for patients under the care of doctors.

It is often found that these sufferers experience suffer fewer side effects using such non-scientifically certified medications prescribed by health care professionals.

In Havana, the corner stands of “yerberos” (herb venders) are patronized not only by the practitioners of Afro-Cuban religions, but also by people such as myself who are increasingly discovering greater benefits of green medicine.

Last year I was cured of a bad case of giardiasis with a concoction recommended by an unorthodox faith healer.  After skeptically drinking his strange brew, it seemed like the parasite had never been in my body.

Given that I had previously taken massive quantities of chemical medications with no success —all under medical prescriptions— green medicine appears to be a legitimate health care alternative.  What’s more, it has wound up demonstrating the limitations of modern science.

5 thoughts on “Green Medicine in Cuba

  • Recently, I faced the choice of using either “green,” or Big Pharma’s medicine for an exotic–and alas– chronic, disease of the auto-imune system. Alas! I chose Big Pharma’s “cure,” which has ameliorated my symptoms somewhat; however, I am sure eventually will have to pay the Devil his due. My Cuban friend urges me to use green medicines, and I should, but still have a touching, almost naive, faith in “modern science” and its medicines. Still, I admire my friend, who has never used “industrial medicines” . With the exception of some digestive problems, which he treats with mint, he has excellent health. During our road trip through western and central Cuba last year, and as we walked the streets of La Lisa and Arroyo Arena, he pointed out many plants, the problems they treated and the methods of preparation. I urged him to share his knowledge. Now if only I have the faith to use his knowledge.

  • Of course marijuana!
    I’m using this now to nurse the loneliness as a result of my wife! being in Cuba without me.
    Alfredo, I’m glad you are still drinking the water without any ”sterilizing” to some extent…
    …that’ ll show ’em!
    6:05am Friday 26th Feb

  • there’s something to be said for trusting the earth, and the ancient wisdom.

    cancer, i believe, is connected to oil based pesticides and chemicals, the pollution of our collective earth air and water. the massive cancer fighting machine in north america will never solve its own problem – they’re looking at cures rather than causes, and they wouldn’t want to put themselves out of work.

  • As Ulster County, USA goes GREEN; the FAD will spread with the COMMON BOND of Huemanity as the RELIGIOUS flee from the Christian Reich of the Corporate Ghost “Person” and their corporatism of sickness and spiritual poverty of FEAR

  • It’s great until you find out that the stuff you have been taking have given you cancer in ten years or so. At least pharmaceutical companies can be sued. Off topic for personal curiosity, are rabies endemic in Cuba?

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