$14.00/pound [$7.00/ounce]. How much is 1 ounce of turmeric? $5.00/pound [$1.50/ounce]. How much is a pound of black pepper $3.50/pound [$1.25/ounce]. How much is 1 ounce of dried chilies (peppers): $3.00/pound [$0.83/ounce]
The fact remains that people pay much more for the above quantities of saffron than they do for spices and condiments. What the people in India know about the spice blends known as khichdi and chilies is exactly how the Americans know them. It goes without saying that the use of such drugs has a negative connotation – that people are not to be trusted in the use of such substances, because of the danger of overdose. The truth is that these drugs have been used therapeutically for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health conditions and illnesses. The Indians use and have used these drugs for millennia, especially in the treatment of diseases like epilepsy, schizophrenia, tuberculosis, asthma and the like.
We should not forget that these drugs were used with the hope that they would actually work or have some effect or that the diseases themselves would resolve through the use of these drugs and the various cures and other health benefits associated with them. As a society, we have developed a set of beliefs and practices that are believed to be very useful in treating and alleviation of the various diseases that we deal with. Those practices and beliefs have become deeply embedded in our culture and have been passed down through generations of people. If some people do not believe or do not understand, then that is the fault of us as a society. The use of these drugs should also be discussed in terms of what drugs we do use, what sort of medications we do not use, and what is really a cure, what sort of symptoms and medical conditions may be treated with them. Why does India not have a system of testing of these drugs, even as we Americans do, to prove if they actually work or the efficacy of what they say they do work?
The issue of the drugs may well be related to how the Indian people have come to distrust the pharmaceutical industry, to mistrust all manufacturers, and to distrust the scientific community, although some of these problems may not be directly related to pharmaceutical companies, but related to the way that they have come to view the pharmaceutical industry itself as a sinister cartel and a system that has an
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