Of course, Mary Baker Eddy dissed materia medica, and the pharmacopeia back then had few useful items for self-limiting diseases. Most herbs were used as foods and were long term supports, not fast acting antidotes, like antibiotics. The Science of poisoning was far more advanced than the science of healing back then. A lot of poisons were used for healing. They had really dumb theories of illness back then, so their remedies were geared to their beliefs. Few things worked quickly except for cannabis morphine, and cocaine. Thank nature or god’s creation for morphine, huh? At least they had that. But they did no good in fevers or infected body parts or for diabetes.
Shortly after Mary Baker Eddy died, all that changed. Science based medicine came into being and it flourished. No cure for diabetes but insulin and a controlled diet will help one live a long life. Insulin came into use barely ten years after she died and deaths from diabetes dropped drastically. Penicillin was discovered in 1928. Penicillin was a derivative from a natural mold, part of creation, but it drastically cut back on meningitis infections, so swift and deadly, and other diseases ending in -itis.
More children raised by Christian Science parents have died of -itis dis-eases and diabetes than most other causes. And that is a huge pity, because mortal mind won that round! Mortal Mind won on those two types of meds. They work better than Christian Science does in those cases, without exception. There are many drugs that are frivolous, just made for the money, but that is not the problem. The problem is discrimination between frivolous drugs and honest drugs that have met the test of time.
Why pray away a condition for which there is a good remedy?
I say pick your battles when it comes to mortal mind.
There is a lot wrong with the drug industry- they spend too much time making feel good pills because they make more money, They have the lobbies, they have the minds of the doctors and the establishment, but just as Mary picked her way through the Bible to highlight the God is Love threads, we now have to pick our way through medicine land and not buy procedures nor drugs that we don’t need. Doctors soft sell them both.
The one good thing I have to say about the drug industry is they are expected to be based in science. They are expected to do double blind studies and test against the Placebo effect and then test enough people to discover the side effects of the drug. By the time the drug gets to the generic stage, they have been tested and tried on millions and they know the side effects very well. If it is still on the market as a generic, it is better than placebo for its particular use.
I figure that the Macho Christian Science position: never touch a medicine, ego, gets through life without materia medica, is great. But let each seek their own level of medical aid that will help overcome fear. Sometimes taking the path that spirals around the mountain on its upward climb is better than charging straight up the mountain.
The Mother Church is already on this path of accepting limited and excellent materia medica formulas and could better follow their fearless leader’s footprints if they accept pain meds, antibiotics and insulin and suchlike. if one can wear glasses, why not get a simple cataract operation to put a clear lens between one and the world? That procedure has been perfected. Well, you can see where I am taking this.
Also, I am having trouble deciding where food that includes herbs for the dinner table like basil oregano or mint or chamomile which all have actions on the body. They provide odd nutrients in new compounds, like garlic, ginger, chili peppers, which add variety to the diet. There are a whole lot of herbal teas that tend to provide odd nutrients for various parts of the body when used over time, like mints, hibiscus flowers, lemon grass. Why should a very gentle stimulant like green tea be beyond use? Or be criticized? Yeah, it is mortal mind, but it is mortal mind partaking in things that grew in the creation. (Oh, do I detect a conflicted version of what Creation, Nature and natural foods are?) Why is cannabis demonized and users are immoral? It was in every materia medica from 5,000 years ago in China, up to 1939, in the USA. It has never killed anyone. Its seeds are a complete protein and don’t get one high. The oil is richer in omega’s than any other plant. The leaves can be eaten like salad and the compounds that get one high are not activated until it is cooked/heated. I have loved to earn about herbs since I was in my 20’s, Dandelion is so good for you it could be called a miracle food. Where does food stop and materia medica begin? But what is wrong with getting high? The same thing that is wrong with enjoying eating in the Puritan view. Pleasure itself, is wrong.
Every practitioner I have met up to now got all antsy when I started talking like this and started denying the reality of Creation. Whoops? Pardon me, but we eat, drink, eliminate, procreate. If you want to live on planet earth, you must eat. Mortal Mind has already won that round. Is it that one can eat, but one shouldn’t enjoy it? What Calvinism rains through an attitude like that! Not OK to like eating? OK so it maybe is alright to like eating, but not too much liking! How about the same thing with meats, fish, eggs dairy, bread? Is it OK to care where the food grew and what was done to it before you got it? I think it is, because there is no other way to tame the human consensus, but to drag it kicking and screaming up to a higher lever of awareness.
We are stuck with mortal mind. We can’t just wish it out of existence. So how can it be engaged? Well we have established that in mortal mind we are bound by the lowest common denominator, but eating is a system that works well. If one eats well, mortal mind is not likely to go beserk on one via the digestive system and far more. Dyspepsia, heartburn, indigestion, is the body saying one is over or under-indulging in something, because perfect health is the natural state of the well fed body, no metaphysics needed there.
Mortal mind insists that we eliminate and produces many different kinds of bodily fluids that need to be dealt with, so we must also maintain healthy hygiene. There is no battle with mortal mind there either, unless we don’t get clean on a regular basis.
Where one usually begins to battle mortal mind is over sexuality. “Mortal Mind”(??!) demands that we are sexual from birth and makes it pleasurable, until it is strongly discouraged by Puritans and Victorians. Many women shut down their sexuality and deny it for the rest of their lives. It was the cultural standard. Procreating was still pleasurable to men, or there wouldn’t be babies, but it could not be admitted to oneself, let alone the spouse that it was fun and they looked forward to their husbandly duties. Mortal mind was so uptight back then, I am not surprised there has been a backlash that goes almost to the other extreme. My understanding is that where ever the body’s natural sexual release needs were not met, or were shut down, it drove women crazy with hysteria.
Our mortal bodies can be treated properly, in balance, and will have health. Sometimes we need to redefine what that is. Victorian sexuality is not it. Neither is unbridled lust so it is a matter of finding the healthy balance. Health is our natural state and it doesn’t take much to meet the body’s basic needs. If these are in balance, health is the inevitable result. And it has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible is for people who can’t take their healing without biblical support. This was Mary’s Christian Ministry, with Biblical references, to deliver healing to the churches. She did it the best she knew how, but mortal mind has evolved from her day to this.