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Natural Cure for Asthma Found in Fiji
According to World Health Organization estimates, nearly 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with nearly 10% of the global population diagnosed with this lifelong respiratory disease. In the United States, approximately 70% of asthmatics also have allergies to pollen and certain foods, especially dairy products, with the annual economic cost of asthma reaching US$20 billion in medical and indirect costs, with prescription drugs representing the largest single direct medical expense at 6 billion US dollars. Every year, nearly 250,000 people die from asthma-related complications.
There is currently no known medical cure for asthma, with asthmatics enduring a continuous administration regime of steroids, inhalers and nebulizers to help reduce its symptoms. But an 11-year-old Australian boy begs to differ with medical science, and claims a traditional Fijian asthma remedy has cured him, without a relapse in the past 12 months since he underwent an incredibly moving and traditional Fijian ritual. At the age of five, Tanner Blessington from Sydney’s north shore in Australia contracted the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at the start of winter and ended up being hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids and ventolin immediately. RSV is a major cause of respiratory illness across all ages in almost all countries, but school children are particularly susceptible during colder months as colds and flu spread and put their immune systems under tremendous pressure. RSV was first discovered in 1956 and was later recognized by the medical profession as one of the most common causes of childhood illnesses.
The Blessington family visit Fiji every year for vacation but during one visit they learned from a Fijian working at one of the resorts that his mother claimed to have the gift to cure asthma. Tanner’s mother, Leanne, just dismissed the comment as a Fijian myth but remained curious for another two years when, through a second chance meeting, she met the same man. Still curious but acutely aware that it could just be a scam for money, she decided to take the next step and meet this mysterious mother. In heavy rain, the Blessingtons took a taxi to the local village to meet the man’s wife and three children. His old mother came straight to Tanner and said she had a dream that he was coming to see her. After a few hours of pleasures, Leanne and husband Adrian were asked to leave the room so the elderly women could concentrate on helping young Tanner. With night approaching and rain falling, the men of the family went to climb a nuidamu coconut tree to get an orange-red coconut, and to get a medicinal tree root. Without any safety equipment, one of the men climbed a tall palm tree, carefully removed a few coconuts, tied a rope around each bundle and gently lowered them to the ground. Nuidamu coconuts are highly respected in traditional medicine and the greatest care was taken not to let them hit the ground.
Returning to the house, the older woman began to shave the skin off the root over a newspaper, like peeling cassava. The shavings were then bundled inside the stringy, wavy bark of the coconut tree to form a bundle, and immersed in the coconut water to let it infuse and absorb. Meanwhile, as the family continued to pray and chant, she ran her finger across Tanner’s hand and up the underside of his arm and told him, “this isn’t going to work if you don’t have love inside of you.” All the negativity and stress had to leave his mind, as well as his parents who were sitting nearby. This was particularly difficult for his parents as they had just heard that their Sydney home had been ransacked and most of their jewelery and belongings had been stolen while they were in Fiji. Leanne talks about the hardship of de-stressing herself but she was determined to do everything right to make this work for her son.
After the bark and shaved roots absorbed most of the coconut water, they were hand-squeezed to extract the essential oils and sap back into a bowl, leaving only the dry bark and root in a bundle, which she set aside. A tanner had his first drink of the herbal water and said it didn’t taste as bad as western medicine. After more ceremony and prayer, Tanner had one final ritual to perform. He had to swim out to the deepest point in the sea and throw the dry shell bundle as far as possible and say “goodbye to my asthma”. He was told that he had to drink the rest of the mixture, with more nuidamu coconut water, for the next seven days. He could not drink any other liquids including water, juice or the sauce of his favorite curries – only the coconut medicine that was made. This was probably because it may have diluted the potency of the herbal drink, ensuring that the traditional medicine could do its job. Leanne was still skeptical, but no money was exchanged and the old woman simply asked that they have faith and put their hearts and minds into believing that the treatment would work. On day eight, Tanner gathered the courage to put the treatment to the ultimate test. With his inhaler at the ready, he ordered the biggest ice cream sundae. To everyone’s surprise, there was no reaction. No wheezing, no constricted airway, his asthma miraculously disappeared. For the next 12 months, Leanne held her breath, constantly monitoring her son’s condition back home in Australia, unsure if and when his asthma might return. It didn’t. On their return to Fiji just recently, Tanner fulfilled one of his biggest dreams that his previous condition prevented him from doing. He learned to dive. “On the diving application, it asked if I had any medical conditions. I checked no. I used to have asthma but now it’s out there in the sea” said young Tanner.
In the book, “Secrets of Fijian Medicine”, Dr. Michael Weiner, a professor at the University of California in the United States, spent several years in Fiji during the 1980s working with the government and the United Nations Development Program to document the ancient herbs of Fiji. remedies In it, Tanner’s treatment is documented and known to many Fijian elders. Tree roots used to treat asthma include vesi (intsia bijuga) and vadra aerial roots (pandanus) and both are commonly found throughout parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The sacred orange-red coconuts are also listed in his book. Native to Asia and Polynesia, the niudamu tall palm tree grows to a height of 100 feet and bears mainly yellow and orange-red coconuts. Belonging to the family of cocos nucifera L., this unique tree is known in Fijian medicine to also cure a number of diseases such as fish poisoning, infected ulcers, scabies and is used as a general antibacterial agent.
Studies on coconut oil around the world reveal that pure virgin coconut oil, cold-pressed and not heat-treated like that processed in the copra mills of Fiji, is very high in antioxidants, which are beginning to be recognized around the world to help stop brain degeneration and life-threatening bacterial and viral diseases. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are in high concentration in virgin coconut oils containing 60% of the good antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of any known oil. Lauric acid is also naturally occurring in coconut, and like breast milk, acts as an antibacterial and antiviral to both kill germs and nourish the cells. Our modern diet, especially in Western cultures, lacks MCT, which has always been mostly found in coconut oil and now you will find it lacking or non-existent in most cooking oils you use today. One of today’s characteristic health problems is high cholesterol mostly in the form of LDLs (low density lipoproteins), with low HDLs (high density lipoproteins), and high triglycerides. What is interesting about coconut oil is that it increases HDL, reduces LDL and reduces the triglycerides at the same time. MCT oil is also used in a number of applications in the United States for the treatment of a range of viral diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, asthma, eczema and HIV, as this ancient medicine in coconut is believed to be one of nature’s gifts. a very effective, non-toxic means of killing viruses and bacteria in the body.
So does Fijian traditional medicine hold the clues and secrets to curing asthma and other modern ailments? Medical science says no, but for one young Australian boy, the “Tree of Life” takes on a whole new meaning.
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