People these days look at you like a weirdo if you talk about the healing properties of plants or any other holistic practices. Much like anything else, there is a lot of politics and money behind our modern medical system.
It all starts with John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937) who was an oil magnate, a robber baron, America’s first billionaire, and a natural-born monopolist.
By the turn of the 20th century, he controlled 90% of all oil refineries in the U.S. through his oil company, Standard Oil, which was later on broken up to become Chevron, Exxon, Mobil etc.
At the same time, around 1900, scientists discovered “petrochemicals” and the ability to create all kinds of chemicals from oil. For example, the first plastic — called Bakelite — was made from oil in 1907. Scientists were also discovering various vitamins and guessed that many pharmaceutical drugs could be made from oil.
This was a wonderful opportunity for Rockefeller who saw the ability to monopolize the oil, chemical and the medical industries at the same time!
The best thing about petrochemicals was that everything could be patented and sold for high profits.
But there was one problem with Rockefeller’s plan for the medical industry: natural/herbal medicines were very popular in America at that time. Almost half the doctors and medical colleges in the U.S. were practicing holistic medicine, using knowledge from Europe and Native Americans.
Rockefeller, the monopolist, had to figure out a way to get rid of his biggest competition. So he used the classic strategy of “problem-reaction-solution.” That is, create a problem and scare people, and then offer a (pre-planned) solution. (Similar to terrorism scare, followed by the “Patriot Act”).
He went to his buddy Andrew Carnegie – another plutocrat who made his money from monopolizing the steel industry – who devised a scheme. From the prestigious Carnegie Foundation, they sent a man named Abraham Flexner to travel around the country and report on the status of medical colleges and hospitals around the country.