Many years ago, I was relaxing in a chair under a shade tree in the yard of a small, very plain but pleasant eight-room boarding hotel in Asunción. I was sipping my favorite Paraguayan tea, Yerba Maté and stevia, through a bombilla and observing the numerous, brightly colored birds flitting from tree to tree and chatting with one another. I was also examining several fascinating leaves that I had learned about from the Guarani natives and brought back from the rainforest.

A man, who had been observing me, approached and asked what I was doing. I answered that these were extraordinary healing leaves that I had brought out of the rainforest, and that I planned to produce several herbal teas with them and market the teas in the United States. In answer to his next question, I explained the healing and restorative benefits of several of them and the energizing benefits of others. He then asked, as he tipped his hat and departed, “How will people know which tea is right for them?"

That was a perplexing question. Here in Paraguay, herbs were the preferred medicines for numerous illnesses and medical conditions. Yet in the United States, consumers are not even permitted to be informed as to the health benefits of herbs and foods. The pharmaceutical industry and the FDA have made it a crime for a person who sells herbs or foods to inform consumers of their healing benefits. The health and wellbeing of Americans would be so much better if they knew which herbs and foods to eat for specific conditions and when to eat them. How to correctly educate consumers is a difficult problem to solve.

I finally realized that consumers can be informed if a tea has energizing or calming properties. They can be educated as to the general, but not specific, beneficial qualities. It is a sad situation because there is such a wide variety of herbs and foods that God has created that provide energy and mental alertness and that ensure health and wellbeing.

It behooves every individual who searches for health and wellbeing to study and learn about foods and herbs that improve health and vitality. It is well worth the effort. There are many books and articles available to inform us of the healing qualities of various foods and herbs. Natural foods, not man-made drugs, can be man's primary source of health, energy, vitality and longevity.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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