There are a lot of compounds in nature which exert effects we hope to get from our own modern laboratories. From anti-malarials, to antibiotics, to pain medication/anxiolytics/antihypertensives, to nasal decongestants, and everything in between, many substrates already existed before modern science. In this case, broccoli contained chemotherapy:
The implications are interesting. Are malignant cells controlling your brain when you refuse to eat broccoli and thus protect the malignant cells? There are other instances wherein this type of activity occurs. Bacteria, for example, influence the brain: https://www.elev8wellness.com/…/no-seriously-you-are-not-in…
It’s sad to see beliefs diverge on this. A good percent of the population believes that food and supplements can have no medicinal properties, despite the fact that we derive medicines and even ideas of how to make medicine from already-existing foods, plants, symbiotic relationships, and extracts. Another portion of the populace believes that lab-created drugs are all a scheme, despite the fact that they are borne out of attempts to make natural compounds more targeted and therefore hopefully more effective.
People always feel they have to pick a team, pick a side, dig heels in, pit tactics against one another. But that thinking leaves people without half of the available opportunities, ignoring numerous problem-solving strategies simply because “they don’t fit my label”. Economic system debates are a good example. Why is it so challenging to accept benefits from “both sides”? Why did we even invent that there are two sides?
So it is with “approved drugs” versus “not approved compounds.”
There can be beneficial drugs, in spite of the fact that pharmaceutical lobbies work against our access to free compounds which are effective. Insulin is a good example where there isn’t a known “natural” alternative. Unlike the consumption of other organs, eating pancreases won’t get a significant amount of insulin into a type I diabetic’s system (none, as far as we can tell). So there's no good natural alternative to insulin injections. But I’d add to that, we didn’t just come up with this idea in a lab of pure elements. People studied the cells of a pancreas, already existing within nature, to arrive at this therapy. We studied the natural workings of insulin in nature to uncover how to make synthetic insulin.
On the other end of the spectrum, FDA approval is not God's thumbs up. There can be medicinal teas in spite of no FDA approval. Aspirin is a perfect example of this, whose known benefit has been around for at least 4,000 years, and prescribed by pre-modern doctors as far back as 2,400 years ago. Aspirin was a "quack tea" before it became an everyday approved medicine. Can you imagine skeptically awaiting many series of drug trials and FDA approvals for aspirin, because “supplements are quackery”? Now take that sentiment, and apply it toward any herbal remedy, any naturopathic recommendation, any supplement claim. Some are effective, long before the hallowed halls of authority approve.
Listen. I’m as appalled at overblown claims and pseudoscientific profiteering as anyone. I’m as frustrated at monopolies that legislate their own industry’s unrivaled success. Letting that anger deny a whole category of inquiry isn’t the answer. Because sometimes the answer is only sitting firmly in the place you refuse to look.