“When you take care of the land, the land will also take care of you.” — Melinda Laboucan
Melinda Laboucan is the community cancer co-ordinator for Goba in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. Goba is a a group of volunteers for those who aim to raise awareness about cancer and traditional treatment methods.
“I lost my mom back in 2011 … and seeing how other people had stepped out to come support us, I’ve always wanted to return that favour back,” Melinda says.
She now spends her time out on the land with the elders collecting spruce gum, buds and chaga mushrooms to assist those suffering with cancer in her community and utilize traditional remedies that have tremendous healing capacity.
The elders of this community teach about more than just remedies. Laboucan explains, “Before we pick it, the elders mentioned to us that we have to make an offering to the land.”
She said they would offer tobacco, food, tea, coffee or anything they had really to the land to show respect and to honour it.
“When you take care of the land it will also take care of you.”
The elders showed the group how to prepare the medicine. They make salves and teas and the main ingredients that the elders use to treat cancer patients are chaga mushrooms and spruce.
Spruce gum can be turned into a cream and be used to treat cuts, burns and many other skin irritations and can be especially helpful after radiation treatment.
“It’s very good for keeping the burns from getting any more worse, and to soothe the pain,” said Roger Plouffe, a member of Goba who has a background in science.
Spruce buds can be boiled down into a liquid that can treat coughs, sore throats and colds.
Chaga mushrooms, which are typically found on birch trees are of much better quality when grown in more Northern climates than the ones that are found in warmer temperatures, according to Plouffe.
Chaga mushrooms can be used on cancer patients to reduce swelling and also to build up the immune system. The elders make tea from the hard, woody mushrooms, but are careful not to boil the water because it can kill some of the benefits. Plouffe says that the mushrooms can also help increase the appetite of the patients.
Plouffe argues that because the remedies are all natural, they don’t have any side effects at all, unless you take too much, then you could get diarrhea.
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“I’ve seen what the medicine can do. It is absolutely amazing,” said Plouffe, who recalled helping an individual with an infection on their hands. It was healed the next day, after applying spruce gum salve on them.
“The doctors were amazed,” said Plouffe. “It’s very, very powerful. And science is now starting to figure out why.”
This study shows how a continuous intake of chaga mushroom was able to completely suppress cancer progression.
This Is So Important
We are lucky to still have some of this knowledge that has been passed down from one generation to the next. These traditional methods of treatment are often gravely underestimated, but as we can see they are proven to be quite beneficial. We don’t want to lose this knowledge forever, as we likely have already lost a lot of it. There are so many medicinal plants in nature that the elders who have maintained their connection to the land are aware of, but if we don’t continue to learn about these treatments and rely solely on Big Pharma for treatment methods, I truly believe we are in trouble.
Scientists should be working directly with these elders that have extensive knowledge of the plants and herbal medicines that they have been using for centuries, otherwise there is tremendous healing potential that is wasted.
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I’ll leave you with this little clip of Kimberly Carter Gamble, CEO of clear compass media points out, from the Thrive documentary.
Just some food for thought…
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