For many thousands of years, medicine men and women, shamans, and healers of all varieties—including regular people like us—have applied substances onto the skin to achieve therapeutic effects. Those beneficial effects range from being calmed, soothed, and relaxed, to be fully cured of an ailment.
In today’s world, transdermal drug delivery is now an accepted alternative to oral delivery of drugs and to hypodermic injections. But, it wasn’t always that way. The FDA first accepted this approach in 1979, less than 50 years ago. For the first two years, the only approved transdermal drug was scopolamine, used to combat nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.
Those of you who suffer from motion sickness are probably very familiar with the patches you can affix to your body a half an hour or so before flying or going deep-sea fishing. They’ve saved many wretched moments for people over the years.
Interestingly, scopolamine—also known as Devil’s Breath—is a poisonous organic compound, obtained mainly from plants of the genus Scopolia. Like many drugs, scopolamine began its existence as a plant.
Dr. Cole first began learning about these very old healing herbs when she found herself having to deal with very sick people who could not take in oral medications of any kind because of their delicate digestive systems. She soon discovered after much experience that the use of transdermal applications of these powerful herbs could be just as effective, if not more so, than oral medications because they by-pass the digestive system getting right into the muscles, lymph and then quickly into the circulatory system.