Endangered Edibles: Dental-health (Pt. 1)

One day, I was enjoying chewing a large chunk of natural bubblegum when suddenly I heard a crack! Spitting out a pointy piece of debris, I found that half of my tooth was now resting in the palm of my hand! As I pondered over the new predicament, I thought erupted from within me. What do I do now? What would my ancestors have done? How can I keep my teeth healthy? These three questions have since led me down a deep rabbit hole, and what you have before you are the results.

Humans have tended to the plant world for tens of thousands of years. In exchange, plants have offered medicines, foods, fibers, tools, etcetera. It’s’ my opinion that there was a global lifestyle in common among all indigenous peoples. For example, little has been written about the commonalities in Europe or the Paleo-Indian Period of the Americas. What can be said was written by J. Lawrence Angel.

He writes, “In Upper Paleolithic times, nutritional health was excellent. The evidence consists of extremely tall stature from plentiful calories and protein (and some microevolutionary selection?); maximum skull base height from abundant protein, vitamin D, and sunlight in early childhood; and perfect teeth and large pelvic depth from adequate protein and vitamins in later childhood and adolescence.”


In Northern China, around the Middle River, ca. 23,000-19,500 B.P., there is evidence of snake gourd roots being used for medicinal purposes. Neanderthal dental calculus in northern Spain, going back nearly 50,000 years, contained yarrow and chamomile. Near the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel, a 20,000-year-old site name Ohalo, there is evidence of milk thistle presence in high quantities. In the Furna do Estrago site in Pernambuco State of Brazil, there are later dates (ca. 1700 B.P.) of medicinal plant usage, which include Fevillea cordifolia.


I believe we’ve’ gravely misunderstood and forgotten our connections to the plant world and labeled those people in history who live closely with plants close to plants as brutal and stupid. We’ve been stupid all along, forgetting one crucial thing about learning. That is giving recognition and gratitude to those who have gone before us, and for that sake, amongst us. When Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New World in the 15th Century, he forgot that his ancestry is traced to plant-loving people, just like the ones who began to rape and pillage the “New” World. This mentality of the “other,” and especially of simply forgetting, is something I’ve’ dedicated my life to tackling. This article is my attempt to bring myself and, hopefully, others back home to Mother Earth.

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