Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Irish Jimmy" Duhig and his Uisce Beatha : Penicillin as Orange Juice

I woke up the middle of last night to find I had a bad cold and so naturally got to thinking about its prevention and cure.

Its natural and unnatural cure and what all this had to do with the unknown history of wartime's crude penicillin.

Naturally, one avoids respiratory colds and worse by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables , drinking lots of liquids, getting plenty of rest, and living a secure existence in a well ventilated sizeable home.

One gets more and deadlier respiratory diseases living stressed lives in cramped, il-ventilated homes without adequate fresh fruit and vegetables.

The other way to avoid colds and such is to daily pop a lot of synthetic vitamin pills for your entire life.

You will then have become that most sought after client of Big Pharma : someone from (A) a sizeable group of people who have a (B) 'chronic' 'disease' and (C)  who can afford to buy the moderately expensive solution to the disease, daily, from a drug company for the rest of their lives.

Insulin for middle class diabetics was a big money spinner for Big Pharma , starting in the 1920s, for just those reasons ---- just as the mania for vitamin pills for the middle class was in the 1930s.

No mind that the middle class were hardly needing any vitamins, based on their adequate and varied diets based on the more expensive fresh products of Nature.

They may not have needed any tiny white synthetic vitamin pills .

But they did have enough money to buy them and they did have the necessary ingrained faith in "Science" that helped them swallow Big Pharma's claims regarding the need for daily synthetic vitamin supplements to succeed in this "busy, complex, Modern Age."

Now adequate Vitamin C is regarded as vital to prevent and limit colds.

We can get enough simply eating enough fresh vegetables but most  of us like to supplement this with a tasty morning glass of golden orange juice rather than dash down a tasteless dry little white pill of 100% pure synthetic Vitamin C.

Horrors ! said 1930s Big Pharma and its tame pill-pushing scientific "consultants".

That glass of orange juice or the even more basic orange or lime itself is so impure - containing merely a tiny fraction of one percent pure Vitamin C.

Who knows what bad toxins lurk within it ?

Well we now agree that the orange or lime holds only other goodnesses - like soluble and insoluble fibre.

Scientists knew this even back in the 1930s, but the majority had tagged along on a culture-wide Modernist mania for purity - racial and chemical - and couldn't see the fibre benefits for all their dark fears of possible unknown impurities in the innocent orange.

Nasty Reds lurking under "only innocent-looking" orange beds or groves.

Jimmy Duhig, along with Henry Dawson, Robert Pulvertaft and a very few others didn't buy all this : they thought that the golden solution of crude penicillin was the literal Water of Life, Aqua Vitae or Uisce Beatha , for their dying patients.

Even after 100% pure natural penicillin was available after the war, Dawson's co-worker Gladys Hobby, now a key employee of Big Pharma, was allowed to publish a scientific article seeking to demonstrate that crude penicillin was ,in some way, more effective than the pure stuff !

But back to our trios of modern-day James Linds.

Instead of waiting - perhaps centuries - for a patently-profitable synthetic penicillin pill , they did a James Lind and starting saving lives - right now ! - with the penicillium equivalent of Lind's natural lime juice for scurvied sailors : natural crude penicillium juice.

The fact that these still-unknowns saved many lives while the now-famous Howard Florey merely fiddled about trying fruitlessly to make synthetic penicillin merely reminds of the power of Big Pharma and their many scientific sycophants on Nobel Prize committees.....

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