The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
March 2, 2009

Year 2, Week 37 Results: .3 oz of plastic waste.

All new plastic this week:

  • Plastic baggie from Chinese herbs. At the recommendation of a friend, I visited a Chinese doctor last week (Dr. Ou on Grand Avenue) who performed acupuncture and massage and sent me home with a baggie of herb tea to drink twice a day. I guess I was so amped from the treatment that I didn’t even think to hand back the baggie (as I would have done.) I also didn’t think to ask him what was actually in the tea packets, and as there was a language barrier, I’m not sure he could have told me in English. Isn’t it odd how most of us are extremely careful about what we put in our bodies and yet some of us will take “natural” remedies on faith or the advice of our friends?

    Some Ayurvedic medicines have been found to contain lead. Other herbal remedies are toxic in and of themselves. Here’s a list of toxic Chinese herbs. But since I don’t know what was in my tea, I can’t know if it was completely safe or not.

    So what do you guys think? Would you take an herbal remedy without knowing what’s in it? I confess, I drank the tea all week, and I did start to feel better. Although, today the crappy cruddy feeling seems to be back. But that might just be lack of sleep. Oh, how I wish there were a miracle remedy for THAT problem!

  • 2 plastic envelope windows. Safeco Insurance and Financial West Group. Isn’t it sad enough that my tiny IRA is sinking lower and lower each month? Do I have to get the news mixed with plastic?
  • Plastic wrapper from around a box of new checks. Someday checks will be obsolete, right? This is the first new batch I’ve bought in over five years! And to tell you the truth, with the rain we’ve been having, I was grateful for the plastic wrap around the box.
  • Plastic blister pack of night light bulbs. Using up the last incandescent night light bulb. We’ll be switching to our new LED night light when this one burns out. Yes, the LED is made from plastic, but supposedly it will last way longer.


Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Year 2, Week 37 Results: .3 oz of plastic waste."

EcoLabel Fundraising
6 years 7 months ago

I go back and forth. I mean don’t we often blindly take what an MD gives us without knowing exactly what is in it? I have really avoided all medicines in the past 5 years. I think my parents (who still love the MD prescribed drugs to cure any little ache or pain. And I still love them dearly!) pumped me full of enough antibiotics as a child to last me a lifetime! I try to just go all-natural. I think massage, good nutrition, drinking water and hot baths do wonders!

Chiot's Run
6 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t take anything Chinese herbal or conventional medicine without fully understanding the side-effects and possible consequences of them. So many people trust their Dr’s in all regarts, even conventional medicine. I always go home and read up on drugs before filling my prescriptions and more often than not I never fill them. The same goes for herbal remedies, although I would tend to trust them more than conventional drugs (which are often herbal remedies stripped of their natural forms).

6 years 7 months ago

Frankly, I LOVE a good placebo effect.

6 years 7 months ago

I won't take anything if I don't know what it is, no matter where/who it comes from. My body seems to react so differently than "the norm" to most everything (whether from a pharmacy or an herbal store or even just healthy foods like goji berries, soy, kefir and coconut oil) that I really have to research *everything* before I try it (and that's not fail proof either, but at least I know what I'm getting myself into).

I think the key is to know your own body – and know how it tends to react to certain substances, so you can adjust dosages, etc accordingly (or ask the doctor to, in the case of synthetics). And there's the issue of interactions with other foods/drinks/supplements as well…

But you can't make intelligent decisions about those things unless you know exactly what it is you're taking, and what to look for as far as side effects & interactions go.

Fabulously Broke
6 years 7 months ago

The Chinese believe that you fight poison with poison.

Honestly, I don't take Chinese herbs unless I know what they are, but I have friends & family who are nuts for that stuff.

Green tea, and chicken broth essence is about as far as I'll go

Fabulously Broke in the City

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

6 years 7 months ago

I would have to know what I was taking- I am even that way with wedtern medicine- I remember when my Doctor prescribed me Furosemide- I spent the whole night looking it up- just to find out they give it to horses to make them pee- supposedly to hide the fact they are taking steroids.
Oh well- I expressed concern to my doctor- and she assured me that she is not given me horse pills- even if they make me piss like a race horse!

6 years 7 months ago

“Isn’t it sad enough that my tiny IRA is sinking lower and lower each month?”

Keep putting the same amount each month into your IRA to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging. The lower the market the more your dollars will buy. The current economic distress may last 5 years but you will not retire for perhaps another 20 years.

As to the undefined herbal tea, a shot now and then would not be harmful, but long-term use makes you a guinea pig in the determination as to whether any one tea has toxic side effects.

At least with regulated pharmaceuticals, guinea pigs who are harmed equals negative publicity, recall and law suits, a necessary sequence of punitive events to keep ’em honest. Try proving a Chinese tea is harmful without records of the purchasers to go after the bad guys! Think of trying to prove that a particular restaurant gave you tainted food after bout of the trots and hurling. It takes 10’s, if not 100’s, of poisoned folks and rigorous epidemiological testing to build a solid case.

Again, with TCM:
“It’s all about quantity, proper prescription and preparation. In one dose it’s a poison, in another it’s a medicine.”

The potency of the active ingredient(s) in any plant depends on a multitude of environmental factors. Do you trust your TCM herb grower to have engaged in rigorous quality control as the ‘multi billion dollar legal drug cartel’ must do?

There is always a placebo effect when taking anything you think may help you. That, coupled with the natural history of short illnesses (they go away by themselves after a week or two) deludes the multitudes into expending vast sums on ineffective OTC crap, which includes TCM.

Not that I am biased or anything!

Peace and Gobama!

Anarres Natural Health
6 years 7 months ago

Hi Beth,

I trust Traditional Chinese medicine doctors way more than Western conventional doctors.

How long is the list of toxic conventional medicines?

It's all about quantity, proper prescription and preparation. In one dose it's a poison, in another it's a medicine. Oranges and water are toxic in large quantities.

TCM doctors are not generally pawns of a multi billion dollar legal drug cartel and lobby. Yes, herbalism is a business, but it does not command the authority or political clout of Big Pharma.

That being said, I always look up what I am taking from a TCM doctor or pharmacy. The herbs are listed on the package generally, and you can look them up on Wikipedia. In cities with Chinatowns, you can buy your herbs in bulk and put them in your own or paper bags.

I agree with Kelsie about the wrongness of not listing ingredients. Proprietary medicine is wrong. I want to be honoured and paid for my expertise, not my secrets.

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

6 years 7 months ago

I would NEVER take an herbal remedy without knowing what was in it. Herbs are medicine, plain and simple. I think a lot of people think that since they’re “natural,” they’re also completely safe. I have medicinal plants growing right now whose SEEDS will make your hands go numb if you touch them while wet, nevermind what would happen if you munched on one!

I get so angry when I see herbal remedies on the Internet that list their ingredients as “an exclusive blend of herbs proven to ________.” If I don’t know what’s in that “exclusive blend,” I’m not buying! Not just because something might make me sick, but because some herbs can have profoundly bad effects on some people and heal the next person miraculously. If I don’t know what I’m taking, how am I supposed to know which plant(s) did the trick and which plants to avoid in the future?