I visited a hospital in China, and I was in the pharmacy there with a very famous Chinese physician. They were compounding the herbs, and they have all these little drawers and cabinets. They're pulling out different herbs and making packages for people to go home and boil and drink these foul-tasting Chinese remedies, which are very effective. But the Chinese doctor said to me, "You know, this won't work." And I said, "Huh? What do you mean this won't work?" And he said, "We can't do this for large numbers of people. There aren't enough plants. We can't get enough herbal substance to treat the vast numbers of people." I mean, they're talking about over a billion people to treat in China. Where will all that come from? Of course they can't. And that's why I've made repeated efforts to introduce people in China to homeopathy. Because that's the only answer. You can take one leaf of a plant, and prepare enough remedy to treat 100,000 people.
DR: I had a conversation recently with my old friend Dr. Wu, who is a gifted and highly respected acupuncturist and herbalist in Washington, DC. He is working now with homeopathic preparations of Chinese herbs.
RB: Oh, excellent!
DR: This apparently has not been done before.
RB: You must tell me how to get in touch with him.
DR: Certainly. I have felt for quite a while that in planning for the medicine of the future, perhaps the central quality we need to look for is that it be sustainable.
DR: When we talk about sustainability, usually we're thinking about ecological systems, how much pollution they can stand before they start to break down. But with medicine, too, sustainability is the key. We need to look at what can last for the next 500 or 1000 years. In terms of maintaining the biodiversity of plant species, and not using up all the therapeutic plants. It's crucial.
RB: And the balance. We don't want to reach the point where these powerfully medicinal plants (even though most plants are medicinal), are limited to two or three specimens in a botanic garden somewhere, with a sign that says "Don't touch it!"
DR: So homeopathy has the great long-term advantage of only requiring small amounts.
RB: Almost infinitesimal. And that's revolutionary. Another thing about homeopathy that makes it so incredibly valuable in the healing process is that the homeopathic work has generated this whole understanding of the miasms, which helps us see the spiritual roots of illness.
DR: Can you describe the miasms, so that people who are unfamiliar with homeopathy can understand?
RB: Probably I can't, but I'll try. Actually, I went round and round with one of my editors, who said, "Don't put that stuff in the book, it's too complicated a theory and nobody will understand it."
DR: The May 1999 issue of the magazine Natural Health has an article by you on this subject.
RB: People actually do find it fascinating. To make it simple, underneath the level of disorder that we can easily see, there are more profound and less visible states of disorder that underlie illness. These have to do with the unconscious mind, with our unspoken and largely unconscious values and beliefs and ways of being in the world, that are sometimes quite disturbed. This is the level of illness that we generally don't get to in our psychotherapy. We don't often get to it even in our holistic treatment, because it's so much a part of the background that we don't have a way of seeing it or conceptualizing it.