The Amazon Rain Forest is known as the most bio-diverse place in the world, and it’s also home to perhaps the most nourishing, healing, life-giving foods and herbs in the world as well.
‘International Micronutritionist’ Dan Sienkiewicz knows that as well as anyone, but on a recent trip to visit native tribes of the area, he discovered that the Rain Forest’s healing secrets had been all but lost on the natives, who now prefer starchy cereals, Coca Cola, and yes, Kraft Mac and Cheese, to their traditional diets, as well as government-provided “modern medicine” to their traditional herbs.
Sienkiewicz joined AltHealthWORKS.com to discuss his own personal quest to re-empower the natives to take control of their health, his work in creating a balanced all-in-one natural supplement, the potency of the Amazon’s natural medicine, and much more:
AHW: Tell me about your profession and how you get involved with helping the Amazon’s tribes.
DS: I’m officially a certified nutritional consultant but I’ve also done missionary work for 25 years, been all over the world, I’ve lived in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Brazil previously for about eight years; Puerto Rico, Peru, been all over the world, and I’ve always been a nutritional consultant, it’s been an integral part of my work. About two years ago I went to the Amazon Rain Forest, it’s been one of my dreams to visit there and when I did I immediately got involved in helping the Indians with their health, in fact I got involved with the government and a government council there, a special department, Funasa, that oversees the quote-unquote health of the Indians, the Indian health department. So I became an unofficial part of their team and I started visiting tribes to help them with their health issues.
AHW: What country was that organization with?
DS: That was Brazil, and that’s an arm of the Brazilian government so I worked closely with the Indian Council, there it’s set up so that they have an Indian Council and then they have a government council. I worked closely with the Indian Council on trying to establish an indigenous health program for them.
AHW: So what types of challenges did these people have and what were the solutions from the organizations that they told you to implement?
DS: Well, The challenges that they have and you hit it in one of your preliminary questions, is how much they have been influenced by Western Civilization. The West and specifically the Brazilian government has virtually destroyed the Indian culture, both their medicinal culture and frankly their health, by introducing Western medicine and Western food. The overall problem, one of the overall problems in the region is that the Indians feel that everything they do is inferior to what’s in the West; everything Western is considered better. That would include packaged food, that would include Coca Cola, that would include antibiotics, vaccinations, all of those things.
One of my goals was to teach the Indians what they have. They are surrounded by nutritional gold. In the old days, you know, they were surrounded by literal gold and when the Spanish conquistadors came and the Portuguese as well, they took advantage of the Indians not really knowing what gold was.
That’s exactly what’s happening today in the Amazon Rain Forest, these Indians have no clue, my generation of Indian who are the chiefs, my generation of Indians are clueless about the wealth that they have surrounding them. They eat some things from the jungle of course, they have to, (but) they have no idea of the nutritional value of what they have. So part of my job was to teach them what they have.
I’ll give you an example, acai, it’s a berry. Well, they have it growing on trees, you know, all over, they used to climb trees for me and I used to get it fresh, they used to grind it up for me. It’s quite an interesting process, I have it on YouTube. Some of it is not that sanitary, but you know it comes out like pulp, it’s not like that Mona Vie fruit juice. They sell it in the streets or in the villages for about a dollar a liter…of pulp.
When I told them that it was being sold in the United States for as much as 40 dollars a bottle specifically referring to Mona Vie, and it’s watered down with 19 other juices, so it’s not even real acai, they were shocked. And furthermore they did not have any idea of how good it was for them, they had no idea.
So one of the chiefs had me come in and analyze what he had in his village. He was a very industrious chief and he and his wife had planted everything that they gained for the last 25 years.
He’s got 123 different fruit trees growing, different types, not just 123 trees, thousands of trees growing in his part of the jungle. He has 123 different types of fruit trees.
AHW: What part of Brazil is this?
DS: This is the southern Amazon region, this would be close to the village of Labrea. So it’s 123 and what he asked me to do was to come in and tell him what he had and explain to him the nutritional value of everything that he had on his property. And I did. This particular chief, he could read and write, he was actually the head of the Indian Council, an unusual life because he lives in the jungle then flies to the capital for meetings. So I was able to tell him what he had, he was very pleased but very surprised at the nutritional value of what he had around him.
I’ll give you another example of what he had no idea of what he had…this was the first time he came to me, he goes, the village had broken out with the flu; this is a Indian tribe that lives closer to the village of Labrea, there are some Indians that live deep into the forest and there’s others that kind of surround what you would call the municipal areas of the Amazon and those are the ones that really are the worst off, the ones that are close to the cities. The ones that are further and further in deep, they’re the ones that are better off, because it’s just a question of not being able to get to Coca Cola, they love it but it’s not that easy to get to.
So, the flu broke out in the village and he asked me if there was anything he had on his property as the Indian chief to combat the flu. And I said, well, you have Pau D’Arco, are you familiar with the herb?
AHW: Yep, they sell it in the Amazon Herb Company, they put it in some of their blends.
DS: I said you have Pau D’Arco trees and he looked at me like a deer in headlights.
AHW: They don’t have a shaman or anyone like that who would know about this?
DS: Shamans are gone….They’re gone…I’m talking about my generation of Indians, 60 years old…the shamans, you might find one here or there, I’m not saying they’re completely gone, but I was there six months and I didn’t see any shamans. In fact, I am the shaman.
I spent time with four tribes, and really I had the most knowledge, which is kind of scary, about the healing properties of these plants of anyone that I encountered there.
So I told the chief about the trees, and he said, is that good for the flu? I said I’ve been using Pau D’Arco for years in the United States to help people, it’s one of the greatest anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasite herbs that exist, I said, cut the trees, get to some of the inner bark and just make tea and drink as much of it as you can.
Well he came to me two weeks later and he said, Daniel, he goes, he and his wife both drank the tea, he said, Daniel, we didn’t get the flu! He said the whole rest of the village got it and me and my wife didn’t. Anyway, true story.
AHW: So that organization you were with are they non-government?
No I was there independently, Funasa is government.
AHW: So Funasa, they’re pro-Amazon medicine or pro-Western medicine?
AHW: So were you working with Funasa too or no?
DS: Yes, this is kind of interesting, I was working with Funasa but I was working with the Indian council within Funasa. I was working with the government too, but not (closely)…I was there with the government officially, they knew me, but really the ones that loved me were the Indians.
AHW: So you went there through Funasa but kind of pursued a different path of healing the natives than they would recommend?
DS: No, Funasa didn’t invite me there, in fact, I started visiting tribes on my own. And then my reputation, I got a reputation okay, a good one amongst the Indians.
AHW: Were there language barriers?
DS: Well, they speak Portuguese.
AHW: But you had a translator?
DS: No, I’m fluent in Portuguese. So I had no communication problems except with a couple of the very interior tribes, the very, very interior tribes they don’t speak Portuguese generally speaking, just their own dialogue.
One of the tribes was the Suruwaha, and on my website it’s actually a National Geographic documentary on them, that was my goal to reach that tribe, now those were very primitive Indians in the sense that they ran around with no clothes and hunted with poison darts and all that.
AHW: So you were down there doing missionary work, ended up talking to Funasa and you ended up talking with the Indian council?
DS: Here’s how it went…to understand the whole process of how I got involved….I had a pastor in the village of Labrea and I spent a long time, many hours teaching him about health and nutrition. Well he called up the head of Funasa, he sat on the government council and he said I’ve got this American here that just, he just raved about me, he goes, you need this guy and there was a vacancy for a nutritional consultant, they had a nutritionist on staff two years ago and she quit. He knew it was a vacancy, so he called the government head of Funasa, who was not an Indian, and he said I want to introduce you to him, etc. because this is the man that you need to put on the team. So we had an interview and he absolutely said yes, you can start working with us. There’s a whole bureaucratic process you have to go through though, credential wise and everything. It used to take someone from outside the country seven years to be a doctor in Brazil, a very complicated process if you had outside education. But at the time I was visiting the tribes and being used as a consultant. I came as a certified nutritional consultant.
AHW: I see, and how did you originally learn about the Amazon ‘s medicinals in particular?
DS: Well I’ve been in this business for 30 years so that’s one good thing about getting old. When you hit 60, at least you’ll know something.
AHW: That’s right.
DS: Thirty years of experience, research, living all over the world, you end up picking up a lot of things.
AHW: So a lot of these tribes were eating mac and cheese, drinking Coke and things like that?
DS: I’ve got another story to tell you. We were having a jungle meal, someone had killed something that day in the jungle, anything that came out of the jungle, generally speaking, well they eat monkey, thank God I was never offered monkey, that was going to be my worst nightmare. But everything else they sent before me, I ate because I was pretty confident that all the meat that came from the jungle ate well, naturally, a lot healthier than our cows here, our meat supply here. I was pretty confident of that.
So somebody killed something and boy there’s names for animals that I haven’t even seen before, Portuguese names that wouldn’t even be relevant now. So this mom in this jungle shack is cooking up this jungle meal, moms are matriarchs there, there’s like 40 people in the tribe and they’re all related. So she’s putting up dinner and putting stuff in there right from the jungle, and so she’s cooking up dinner and putting some other stuff in there right from the jungle, and they have almost no vegetables by the way. Vegetables almost don’t exist among the Indians because they have to plant them, they don’t grow wild and frankly a lot of Indians are not that industrious. They like the low hanging fruit so to speak.
AHW: So they eat mostly fruit and meat?
DS: Yes, fruit and meat and corn meal. Some of them plant corn but that’s about the extent of it, and some of them plant manioc root, like the yuca root, so very starchy. They’re starch people.
So she’s cooking up this meal and all of a sudden I hear the kids (yelling), these kids were yelling, I can’t believe it, for mac and cheese. So I’m looking around wondering what’s going to happen here, I can’t believe my ears. So mom had a box of Kraft mac and cheese, so what do they eat, the mac and cheese while they ate the jungle food. That is a perfect example of what’s happening there.My generation may be eating healthier but it looks like with the next generation, it’s over with.
So the jungle chief also asked me to analyze the diet of the tribe. I observed very quickly the mothers were serving their children this cereal, from form of tapioca, so there’s not much nutrition in it, it’s just starch. It would be like a mother here just feeding the kids Cream of Wheat. And it was all they were feeding their kids. So I said why are the mothers not eating the stuff from the jungle? Why aren’t they eating the fruits? Why not?
He said that would be very hard for us to do that because they believe everything that comes from a package is better for their children. It’s all about progress and it’s all about the West.
And so they had a horrible diet for children, in fact the Indian children’s diet is so bad that they even have the Kwashiorkor Syndrome. That’s the big belly syndrome that you see in Africa.
A big belly and skinny all the way around, the kids all shriveling up. Kwashiorkor, it was unknown in the Amazon until recently…simplified, it is a high starch diet and this cereal they all love, and very little protein and…well…as much sugar as thy can get which that varies because sometimes they have sugar, sometimes they don’t….What Kwashiorkor is, it’s a mold growing in the stomach eating from eating too much starch.
AHW: Kind of like candida?
DS: Kind of the same thing, but it actually blows up the stomach…it’s a special mold in these tropical areas, also in Africa, it really comes from a high starch low protein diet. It doesn’t really come from malnutrition because if you look at the Nazi concentration camps, they didn’t have it, they were all skin and bones. It’s not a condition of malnutrition it’s a condition of the tropics and molds along with high starch. So yeah that’s kind of an overall view of what’s happened there.
You’ve got medical boats that going from traveling the rivers of the Amazon and visiting these tribes constantly, you’ve got city boats, medical boats, state medical boats and then you have non-profit medical boats. And what they do, they’re traveling pharmacies. A friend ran one….with a traveling team of doctors, nurses, social workers, they go into these villages and they vaccinate everybody they give them antibiotics. One tribe, this is a true story, I was told by one of the members of the tribe that the last time this nutritionist that was part of the govt. team came that through to his tribe two years ago, she warned one of the members of the tribe not to eat tomatoes because they cause cancer.
AHW: Tomatoes? Wow…
DS: That’s a true story. I took him on the Internet…The village had stopped completely eating tomatoes because this nutritionist said they cause cancer. He says you’re telling us tomatoes are good, he says wait a minute, why did this nutritionist tell us not to eat them?
So I go on the Internet and I say Google tomatoes. Of course, it’s one of the best foods in the world, with the vitamin C, antioxidants and this and that, and he was shocked.
Now, this Indian can read and write but maybe out of a tribe of 40 maybe five can read and write. There’s another area where the govt. has completely failed besides destroying their culture, they have not set up any type of successful education program. In fact one of my goals when I was there, I started talking to the Indians about setting up satellites in the village where kids could learn by computers. Because the government went through there and built schoolhouses throughout the Amazon jungle. But there’s the problem, who’s going to want to live in the Amazon jungle to teach Indian kids to learn how to read and write?
I’ve got a couple people on my YouTube channel who are very dedicated, a couple, this man and his wife, they’re in a river village so it’s a bit different. There are two different lifestyles, one is a river lifestyle which is more simple and then a jungle lifestyle which is different. I have a video of this dedicated couple, but in the jungle there are no teachers. But I believe we need to have a satellite education program to get the kids to learn.
So I had to leave the jungle because of personal tragedy about my daughter committing suicide, so that’s why I left. But otherwise I’d probably still be there. But when I got back here, my book got published, and then I met (former pharmacist turned natural health advocate and business partner Hussein Smidi), and that whole thing just took off and hundreds of people were helped up here (Michigan). So I’m still riding that wave and so my all-in-one formula is being produced, it is produced and I’m just waiting for it to be shipped.
AHW: That’s going to be a one-shot deal for a supplement?
DS: One shot for all your vitamins, all your minerals all your trace minerals all your fatty acids, all your amino acids, fruits vegetables, adaptogen herbs, maca, and a powder will contain very advanced protein as well from pea and brown rice sources, and the vitamins are organic vitamins. Whole organic vitamins extracted fruits and herbs, they told me it couldn’t be done and I’m a professional in the industry, they’re not whole foods, they’re extractions of vitamins from real food and that’s the part they told me couldn’t be done.
I found an Indian doctor at a trade show in Las Vegas who just patented the process. So it’s going to be the most natural, powerful, comprehensive formula in the world, I say that with confidence not just my opinion, like I said I’ve dealt with all kinds of people on a personal level. They say there’s nothing like that.
It will be called Nutribalance 200 and it will be sold on my website http://www.health101consultations.info/ for right now. The tab for the all-in-one formula is coming soon…but I will update that through my blog also….and I’ll blog about it and post it of course on my website as well.
AHW: So can you talk about…I had a stat here about the Amazon …it says over 3,000 plants have been documented by the National Cancer Institute and out of 215,000 plant species in the Amazon , that’s less than three percent. Also, 40 percent of all drugs on the market and 25 percent of all cancer drugs have actually had some sort of origin in the Amazon, have you heard these statistics?
DS: The one that I always quote is that at any given time in the Amazon there’s at least 100 pharmaceutical companies researching for cures for diseases…but they can’t patent the herb or what they find there. Then they have to come back and synthesize it in the laboratory but it’s found in the Amazon…absolutely.
Like I told the Indians, you’re surrounded by gold and you don’t know it and frankly they’re being exploited, I don’t know what they’re selling their acai to the West for…but they’re selling it on the streets with pulp for a buck a liter…the profit margin on that when it comes back to the U.S. after it’s watered down, I can’t imagine. The Indians don’t profit, that’s for sure, so gold is being extracted, nutritional gold is being extracted out of the Amazon jungle and making people very, very wealthy.
AHW: Does that mean we really have to keep an eye on which companies go down there and start mining resources? We want to make sure a Coca Cola-type company doesn’t come down there and start exploiting people and the land, right?
DS: Yeah, unfortunately the pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar industry now, and I don’t think you can fight that money.
AHW: Yeah but what I’m wondering is do you think it’ll be a good thing if people start harvesting herbs and selling them more or will it eventually become too corporatized and end up hurting the rain forest?
DS: Well it’s a good question, I mean, the rain forest is pretty vast and I didn’t see any deforestation when I traveled there and I traveled for days along the Amazon …I mean it’s vast…(But we still need to protect it).
AHW: So what are maybe five of your top herbs or supplements from the Amazon, and talk about what they’re good for…what are your go-to ones?
DS: Well, I have a more comprehensive approach to health, as I mention in my seminar which you attended, I talk about pH balance and hormone balance, which in the Amazon they’re finding there is a lot of natural hormone supplementation, herbs and things, and of course nutritional balance. That’s why I’m making my all in one formula because I’m not this magic bullet guy, saying take this herb take that.
I believe if you treat the body comprehensively with all the nutrition it needs, the body will use that to take care of you and heal you. Because we have within our DNA the inherent intelligence to keep us alive for 100-plus years and frankly that DNA or computer chip whatever we want to call it created us from scratch, I believe God created us but we know from looking in the womb he doesn’t plant whole babies in there, they grow from sperm and an egg. You know with that kind of intelligence inside all the body needs is raw materials.
With that being said, I’ll say Camu Camu, in fact the Indians have no idea about Camu Camu.
AHW: Do they like the taste of it? I like the taste, but…
DS: Well, There’s another great comment, because here’s the other problem, their palettes have been polluted by sugar so even if they’re surrounded with good fruit…but not all fruit is sweet. For example, acai is not sweet in its natural form, it’s one of the blandest foods I’ve ever eaten. They will not eat it without sugar…they used to watch me eat it without sugar, I liked it with salt…and they would go, “Ooh, how can you do that,” now they know if they don’t have sugar, which they get from time to time, good old fashioned refined bleached sugar, they won’t eat it and the kids won’t eat it, that’s another problem.
So you’ve got Camu Camu which the fish eat in the Amazon jungle, the trees grow over the rivers and it drops so they’ve got the healthiest fish in the world in the Amazon , they’re eating Camu Camu, the Indians aren’t but the fish are.
The other Herb of the Amazon is Pau D’Arco, I highly recommend Pau D’Arco for being anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, strengthens the immune system, it’s just great. I’ve used Pau D’Arco on babies for thrush, for example, very successfully.
Well, then the next thing which is abundant is coconut, coconut oil, coconut water, coconut water is classified as the most nutritious liquid in the world…as a water, a form of water.
In the Amazon they’ll just break them open and I’ll drink it all day.
AHW: So did you feel healthier down there, more mentally clear?
DS: Well I went down there pretty healthy because I have my formula but I was able to maintain my health, because I didn’t have the supplements down there.
I remember my first trip to the jungle I had the beginning of a sore throat, now you have to understand I haven’t been sick in six, seven years…
AHW: I’m right there with you…
DS: And a sore throat for me is like a big deal…so I was on my first trip and you’ll see me in the jungle on my website slamming a fresh coconut they broke open for me…and I almost felt instant healing, just drinking that coconut water, whatever was beginning in my throat, disappeared. I’ll never forget that.
Coconut oil is the best oil in the world, before soy…before the Western world introduced soy oil to the whole world, and every Amazon hut has soy oil in it now, refined, by the way, that’s what they cook with because you know (sarcasm) it comes from the West, it’s better. Prior to that they used to make coconut oil and that’s just an excellent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, great for your skin, great for your thyroid, great to cook with because it maintains its stability in heat. It’s just an excellent product. So those are my top three that I recommend all the time.
There’s many more, let me think of some more…
AHW: Did you have the Soursop fruit from the Graviola tree…It’s kind of a spiky looking, big green thing and a powerful cancer fighter…
DS: I don’t remember that specifically…I’d have to look at my list there, my list from the chief.
AHW: So you have a list from the chief of all the fruits he had there…?
Well at least the ones I analyzed from him…My report on what he had…
AHW: Anything else to share about your trip…So were you successful in getting these trips to consume more indigenous foods?
DS: Frankly, I had good effect on certain individuals but not on whole populations. My belief is, changing individual habits within populations, yes I’ve been very successful and (that’s) the primary thing everyone needs whether it’s here or there.
Because frankly people here are just as ignorant as the people are there, ignorance as far as health and nutrition is worldwide. I titled my book ‘Health 101 for Doctors and Dummies’….because doctors have no clue on nutrition.
I don’t know what doctors think we live on, I really don’t (laughing) I’ve had so many interactions with them, they’re so anti-nutrition and anti-supplements…I don’t have any idea what they think we live on, is it white sugar, is it Coca Cola? What do they think we’re living on live on if it’s not nutrition, what do they think keeps us healthy if it’s not nutrition, but of course that’s not their approach, but that’s a worldwide thing, so the education levels, educating people, that’s my mission part of my mission is to educate people on the individual level or in groups.
I probably have 500 people on my overall health program balancing pH and taking nutritional supplements. The reason I advocate supplements, it’d be nice if we could get it from food but where are we going to find this food, that we get all this nutrition from?
We have to do it we have to have some concentration so we know and quantify the amount of things…because even if we eat organic that doesn’t guarantee that the soil it was grown in is rich…so we don’t even know the kind of nutrition we’re getting from food even if we’re quote-unquote eating healthy.
That’s why I advocate supplements because, at least I know, “Oh, I’m getting 1500 mg of vitamin C, D, B-complex, 2,000 mg of calcium, MSM, sulphur, iodine etc. and I know so that’s why I really stress micronutrients here in this country. When I go to other countries I stress, stay out of supermarket and eat from the jungle or farmer’s market…supermarkets all over the world, even in Jamaica, I spent a couple months there too.
AHW: You talk about people of Peru and Pakistan people live to be 130 or 140 years old, did you see or talk to them and what do they have that enables them to have this kind of longevity?
DS: No, I have not visited those people but I have friends with the Titicaca tribe in Peru, that’s where maca (root) comes from as well. They’re the Titicaca tribe, that’s just one of them…There’s a good half dozen tribes that live 100 to 150 years, an average of 120 years let’s say, disease-free, and that’s been documented by National Geographic and other reputable sources. The Titicacas are one of those tribes, both of these places that have these long-living peoples. One of factors is they still have trace minerals in their soil. The common factor high mountainous regions, whether it’s the Hunzas in Pakistan, Russians in the Caucasus Mountains or Tibetan tribes in the Himalayas.
When they study the soil of these people they still have all 72 trace minerals in the soil and the water as well so that seems to be the common factor of longevity in these people.
I’m a big fan of trace minerals, that’s why I have them in my formula, these trace minerals are mined from the shale of fossilized plant life, these are pre-flood minerals and the reason I recommend shale is because it has already been digested by plant life.
AHW: Kind of like fermented foods then?
DS: Yes exactly….there are some trace mineral supplements, they get them from the city actually, or the Great Salt Lake. Well, that’s a problem because those minerals have not been pre-digested from plant life so you’re taking in the rocks so to speak, the raw material. That’s what the plants are designed to do is break down that raw material for us. It goes further, it’s the microbes in the soil that break down the minerals, for the plants then plants break them down for us. That’s why I always recommend minerals as much as possible from plant sources.
AHW: I’ve got Himalayan salt…that’s a good choice, right?
DS: I’m not as familiar with that, but it probably does have trace minerals so yeah I think its probably a good product. The problem is, people have stopped using iodized salt especially in Michigan (Sienkiewwicz’s home state) and the Great Lakes area, they’re probably getting no iodine in their diets. Refined salt is not good, there’s no iodine in sea salt unless iodized sea salt. So it’s a big problem because we’re going back to 1920s, 30s and 40s levels, it’s a thyroid problem epidemic.
There’s almost no iodine in our soil, we’re called the goiter belt and that’s why. iodine supplementation is absolutely essential unless you eat a lot of seaweed like the Japanese.
We’re only getting it if we’re eating iodized salt, and kelp, even the supplements have 100 times less what Japanese consume. Iodized salt is just a side issue but it’s a very serious one and that’s why I used iodine in my formula as you’ll see on my website soon.
AHW: What do you see as the future of these tribes you visited, will the knowledge spread and will they turn things around? Do you plan to be back?
DS: Well here’s the problem, they’re leaving the jungle in droves and coming to the cities and the villages, going on welfare. The typical destruction of culture that happens all over the world. They think they’re backward and don’t want to live in the jungle, so they move to cities in droves, causing huge social problems in the Amazon.
One example of the huge social problems, all of the Indians they get money from the government for fuel…whatever it is, a couple hundred bucks to power generators or motors.
Well 70 percent of the vehicles now run on alcohol…alcohol pumps are more common than gasoline pumps. Here’s the issue, the Indians are getting an allotment for fuel, so they go to the alcohol station fill up five gallons, ten gallons and they drink it. They drink it. It’s free booze. They might pour it in a glass, huge problem. Free alcohol.
You go into a supermarket in the Amazon villages, and they’re scattered all over up and down the rivers, and you’ll see a typical liquor alignment of whiskey, vodka, tequila, and rubbing alcohol because that’s what the Indians can afford. So if they’re not drinking in the pump they’re getting it as rubbing alcohol in the pharmacy. The government posed that problem to me and asked if I could help, I said I’ll certainly try…they are severely addicted to gas station alcohol.
There are huge social problems, it’s a welfare state being created by Brazil and now the Indians are complaining about the government won’t do, they’re welfare people now, that’s what they done to them besides completely destroying their culture of course.
AHW: Will that open things up for more industry to go into rain forest and perhaps exploit it? I know the genetically modified soy industry is starting to become big in Brazil.
DS: I mean, Brazilian agriculture is huge and it’s been industrialized just like America’s…How much has spilled over? I don’t know, but their agriculture is just absolutely huge. But Western society has pretty much enveloped the world, it’s a world culture really. The Brazilian government is a Western government with Western ideals and it’s one of the richest countries in the world now.
They’ve put the (Amazon) Indians on a reservation system which started in the 1980s. Before that, the Indians were on their own, but they adopted an American-style reservation system toward Indians giving them large chunks of rain forest. One tribe got this piece, another got another piece but they don’t know what they’re doing, they can’t read or write, they don’t have generators, maybe one here or there, they built solar-powered wells for water but (it takes the government months to fix them and sometimes workers pay for repairs out of their own pocket because they aren’t supported by the government).
The big problem I see in the region is the dehumanization of a people. It’s this cultural rape of the people, they have no control over their own lives; the government comes in on dental ships and ships them to the village, they say, “Oh, you need vaccinations and everyone needs to get vaccinated.” It’s like a mini-dictatorship.
AHW: And someone’s making money off of these vaccinations?
DS: There’s so many boats! You’ve got medical boats, that’s in one of my YouTube videos, I filmed inside of one…Take a look if you want to see a people completely dependent on government. The whole town is in the boat, it’s just amazing, they get treated by Western medicine for everything..these boats are so equipped, it’s incredible.
So anyway, when I came in there, I did so with an indigenous approach (to healing and prevention) that really got the Indians excited. You asked me if there are any shamans left, I said to them when I got there, “Look, there have to be people left that know what they’re doing as far as the traditional medical culture…What we have to do is form Indian health councils, screw the government,” and they loved the way I talked to them, I said, “You have the knowledge (and resources) the rest of the world wants. We’ve got to find those within the culture, the shamans and the other wise people.”
The wise people that have knowledge are in their 80s and 90s now but some are still around. What I want to do is go in and form these councils within the tribes, nutritional councils to help them, to start being indigenous and to get rid of the imperialism that is taking place.
AHW: Is there anything that people can do to help continue that mission now?
DS: Well, I’m not sure at this point, I won’t say I was the only one down there but I’m the only one I found down there.
But they sure appreciated being told that they weren’t stupid, and seeing somebody that truly appreciated their culture and what they had; they also had the most well behaved children I’ve ever met, even with the sugar and the mac and cheese they ate. But here’s the thing, they didn’t always have those foods on hand.
Really, it was a great experience…They could be compared so much to the pre-casino Indian situation we had here, it’s very kind of similar, the same social problems and even attitudes generally. They think everything they do is inferior but I tried to reestablish that pride in their culture, especially from the aspect of medicine and nutrition so they can take things into their own hands. Maybe I’ll be back there soon, but I’m waiting to see what God reveals to me next.
This article first appeared on www.AltHealthWorks.com. The full article can be seen here: http://althealthworks.com/238/interview-amazon-indian-tribes-must-re-discover-native-food-medicine-to-avert-cultural-disaster/