What happens to a good-intentioned company that sells herbal supplements & natural tisanes…and makes the grave mistake of claiming these products are healthy? The FDA sends US Marshals to raid the warehouse and seize thousands of dollars worth of company property and products, of course.

PrescriptionsI recently read about the FDA’s seizure of $71,000 worth of herbal supplements from Florida-based company FullLife Natural. Invasive situations like this are not rare, and whether or not the Charantea brand products are actually effective is beside the point. The crime resides in the company’s marketing, which stated their Bitter Melon Ampalaya Tea assisted with reducing blood pressure, an illegal statement in the United States.

According to the FDA, absolutely no substances except for pharmaceutical drugs can make claims regarding treatment or cure of a disease. How exactly did a government entity get the power to make such an outrageous law regarding medical matters?

What’s most outlandish is that pharmaceutical drugs only came into existence about 80 years ago…does the FDA really have the audacity to claim that absolutely no cure for disease existed for thousands of years prior? That if it weren’t for chemical drugs, humanity would continue to suffer for all of eternity? What’s even more baffling is that many of these drugs contain herbal products or synthetic versions of similar compounds…so then how can these companies possibly claim that the original, natural source is ineffective?

And isn’t it conveniently ironic that former pharmaceutical executives have a tendency to leave their corporate jobs for a position at the FDA…and vice versa? Is this really consumer protection, or monumental greed at its worst?

Mortar and pestleFor the sake of profit, disease is not meant to be cured…only maintained. Curing a person using natural products would deprive drug companies of thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on a lifetime of pharmaceutical treatment. The worst part is there will continue to be a tremendous lack of funding for natural and herbal remedies as long as any such products will still be banned from making treatment claims.

So what hope is there for those of us seeking natural methods for healing? In a society where profit is valued over the genuine pursuit of truth, we still have a wonderful resource that allows free speech and the spread of alternative solutions: the internet. With news sources and blogs like T Ching, we can still share, educate, and learn about holistic lifestyles, alternative health methods, and the healing powers of tea. In the words of Confucius, “Education breeds confidence, confidence breeds hope, and hope breeds peace.” I’ll drink to that.