The Ashwin
The Ashwin is a regular webzine for ΑΩ Labs' customers -- August, 2009 Edition
Formatted to 800 pixel width in this issue.
Related Links: Ashwin Archives Letters to the Editor - (Submissions)

August 31, 2009 -- This month we introduce one very important herb from the Amazon, discuss a new program to Private Label for resellers, and cover up-and-coming products for this fall, including the re-introduction of historicals not available since the destruction of our U.S. lab in 2003.

" I have a saying, the shorter the name, the more important the plant. Some once believed to be the greatest medicine of all."
James A. Duke [ 7 ]
Anywhere in the Latin world, "ajo" means "garlic." But in the Ecuadorean orienté, it can also mean "garlic-vine" (Mansoa alliacea L.).
I first became fascinated with this stringing vine because its leaves and stems are used by curadors on a wide variety of seemingly unrelated conditions.
I've personally witnessed local shamans use tea from the leaves of the vine to successfully treat everything from high blood pressure and cholesterol, to diabetes, to breast cancer. For one prominent shaman I know in the Amazon, it is his single most prescribed herbal . . . and in one village in Pastaza, the leaf from this vine is consumed more than any other beverage, besides, water, chicha (an alcoholic beverage prepared from yucca . . . which I found to be an acquired taste), and guayusa (Ilex guayusa Loes.).

This month, after a number of false starts, we formally introduce Ajo Té, obtainable in an easy-to-use dried tea leaf format. In extensive experiments of our own, comparing our own in-house protocol to the way that the product is successfully made in the wild, we've determined that each 85 g. bag will make approximately 4 gallons of product. Even if one consumes one quart per day, this is a 16 day supply.
When used therapeutically in the Amazon, the leaf is consumed at this higher dosage level for about three months. So . . . even at this high level of consumption, one would need no more than six $9.95 bags to complete one therapeutic cycle.
We advise customers to read the product page carefully, and if you have any questions, please email us.

Our New
Private Label
Over the years we have frequently obtained inquiries from practitioners, resellers, health product distributors . . . even church pastors, to obtain one or more of our products under private label arrangements.
Cathryn and I have a long history of working under private label arrangements -- something I began doing shortly after I founded Lumen Foods ( Moreover, many of you know that we have worked the other way. (Of the 350+ products we carried at the time of the FDA pre-planned destruction of our U.S. lab, only 50% were manufactured in one of our own facilities. The rest were purchased in bulk and we re-packaged, or we simply had our own labels attached.)
Nonetheless, often the first steps by a querant are awkward. Many don't know what questions to ask or how to go about it.
To make the first step as smooth as possible, we have created a Private Label Request Form, to take the guess work and awkwardness out of the process.
As always, if you still have questions, you can always use the regular email form.

Up And Coming
New Products
We are frequently asked what new products we are introducing, especially since many of our best products have not been available since the raid.
Below we provide an update:

Cansema® Dentifrice -- Our toothpaste was very popular before the raid, and became even more popular after Colgate Palmolive purchased Vipont Pharmaceutical and fiddled with the original formula to the point where it no longer possessed its superior properties -- (discussed in Chapter 1 of Meditopia).

Cansema® With Nuwais -- Both our original Cansema® and our Deep Tissue version are used to treat cancers inside the mouth. (Many remember the classic case of Kent Estes, one of our earliest pictorially documented cases. This version is designed to soothe soft epithelial tissue inside the mouth while Cansema® is working. The Nuwais portion of the formula is the same as has been used in the Amazon for many generations.

HRx -- See original product page. We hope to have this product back online within the next 60 days.

Mashwa for Prostate Health -- This formula contains an extract from the flower of Mashwa (Tropaeolum tuberosum L.) which is used to successfully treat prostate cancer by alternative practitioners, both in the Ecuadorean orienté and in the Andes mountains.

Doctor Worm Killer -- The common name for the plant from which this formula is derived is called "Doctor Oje" -- no kidding [ 8 ] . . . Among my friends in the Shuar shaman community, it is known as "Leche de Oje" (Ficus insipida Willd.) It is so effective at killing parasites, that it has this same usage among indigenous peoples from Bolivia to Central America. [ 9 ]
"The people who run these corporations know exactly what they're doing.
They know they're killing people . . .
They know they're lying.
And they know they're making a lot of money in the process." . . .
Derrick Jensen [ 1 ]
American Murder Association
Courtesy of Dees Illustration
" . . . when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."
Ayn Rand [ 2 ]

Understanding Just Why It Was
Never Possible For Orthodox
Medicine to Heal More People
Than It Maimed, Poisoned & Killed
To Grasp Modern History is to Realize That
Ours in the 'Great Age of Iatrogenesis'

In every modern country I have visited the simple "light bulb" is alternatively a metaphor for "new idea," or inventive thought or that next great discovery. The very axiom --- "light going off" -- incorporates this concept. Therefore, I can't help but find it ironic that this same archetype of modern technology should have served as the basis for my own illumination about what modern medicine was and is really about.
To wit . . .
Some time in the mid-80's, I happened to read an article in the Reader's Digest about a fire hall in Livermore, California where a light bulb had been in continuous use since 1901 -- for practically the entire existence of the fire station itself. That hand-blown carbon-filament light bulb, made by Shelby Electric Company, still illuminates that Northern California fire station to this day. [ 3 ]

Made to Break Apparently, the ability to manufacture a very cheap light bulb that will last for more than a century isn't much of a technical challenge. They mastered that back in the 1800's -- well before Thorstein Veblen coined the term "obsolescence" in 1899 [ 4 ] and the Great Seers of Modern Business Practice determined that it was insane to manufacture products that lasted. Any fool could see that it was far more profitable to make things that broke down, or otherwise needed to be replaced with something "newer," "better," "more fashionable," etc. on a very regular basis. By turning modern society onto the concept of "disposability" and making words like "thift" and "economy" pejoratives, everyone benefited --- supply lines were evened out, economies of scale were improved, the illusion of unending technological advance as a substitute for the virtue of permanence could more readily be embedded, consumers could rest comfortably -- knowing that this constant supply of replacement goods was benevolently preventing them from "falling behind the times" -- turning consumerism into a brilliant form of financial servitude . . . but most importantly, manufacturers would move more goods and make more money. Not to mention the fact that a new industry could be created that would, in time, become one of the largest and most profitable industries of all time : waste disposal -- the landfilling of planet Earth, mostly with toxic garbage.

This ubiquitous new component of modernity did not leave health care untransformed. New diseases came into play that either had never existed before, or were transformed into epidemiological giants, compared to their former selves. The greatest of these was "cancer" -- a collective term for approximately 200 different cellular neoplastic developments. And consistent with our civilization's new business model, the term "treatment" was strongly encouraged over the more objectionable, less profitable term "cure." Those forms of treatment that weren't good for business -- the medical equivalents of Shelby's 100+ year light bulb -- would have to be done away with.
And what could be done with pesky individuals who stumbled upon effective "cures" and didn't play along with the new business model? Well . . . that's easy. There would always be prisons, penitentiaries, torture centers, the convenient practice of "suiciding," kidnapping from far off places like . . . (thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking . . . ) Guayaquil, Ecuador! . . . or just outright elimination . . . (After all, the economy must come first! The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many . . . or the wildlife . . . or the life-support mechanisms of Earth herself! )
None of these thoughts is original. Few people are not aware that "obsolescence" is a major hard-wired component of daily life -- though most people may not know that it is so ingrained in the business community that it is virtually a separate discipline within Marketing . . . with separate divisions carefully categorized: "technological, psychological, progressive, dynamic" . . . all subsets of "'planned' obsolescence," [ 5 ] which is itself a subset of the most enduring principle of our age, that acquiring money and power is the ultimate end to all means and the most worthy of all pursuits.
How this "prime directive" of modern life translates into modern health care, the dominant species of the ecosystem being allopathic (orthodox), conventional medicine, can be seen everywhere. And yet . . . average people are oblivious to it -- like the hordes of professional wrestling fans who just can't get their celebral matter around the fact that the matches are rigged and none of the wrestlers are really competing athletes . . . They're ACTORS.
Likewise, you have to PRETEND that modern health care is about 'helping' the patient to not be bowled over by the obvious. And it isn't as if there aren't enough breakaway doctors -- who have, somehow, regained their conscience and moral footing -- to help lead the way. (I bring several prominent figures to the forefront in Chapters 1, 2 and 4 of Meditopia®.)
Modern medicine is about Empire. And the business of modern medicine is all about "medical obsolescence" -- except that what's designed to wear out and break down prematurely isn't the product itself.
It's you.
What's good for business is to create more problems that need to be fixed . . . We see this everywhere . . . in politics (problem / reaction / solution); in the military; and in every facet of product consumerism. Show me someone who will argue that the field of medicine is immune to this horrific cancer that has already infected every other aspect of our culture, and I'll show you a full-fledged medical propagandist. (These "vomit brokers" of the orthodox medical community have a tough sell for those who have their eyes open -- namely, that the medical community is an oasis immune to a scourge that infests every other aspect of our culture, contrary not just to common sense, but to all available evidence indicting orthodox medicine for what can readily be called "The Great Medical Holocaust" -- in play since the mid-1800's right up to the present day -- as I make clear in Meditopia®.)

Conversely, what is NOT good for business is your continued health and well-being. Who in the hell can make any money if you aren't getting sick? What kind of business plan is that!
People who think this is just the mental musings of a cynic or a conspiracy theorist haven't seen what I've seen. They haven't witnessed one effective therapy after another become the target of the FDA and the other enforcers of modern medicine -- not because they weren't safe and effective, but because they threatened pharmaceutical industry profits. If you want more proof, just read Chapter 4 of Meditopia® . . . or my earlier essay, Impossible Dream (2002). (Now that I think of it, why else would the FDA support counterfeiters of our products, some of whom we have confirmed are producers of adulterated / mislabelled versions?)
Yes -- at its core, Modern Medicine is imperial. It's about taking what isn't yours -- be it the livelihood of an indigenous people . . . or the life of a patient whose misplaced trust in a corrupt health care system will cost him or her their life. [ 6 ] Were Will and Ariel Durant alive today, they might well choose to name the twelfth volume to their ambitious Story of Civilization (also, see Wiki article), "The Great Age of Iatrogenesis." (Though I doubt they'd earn another Pulitzer for the effort).
Until people can connect the dots . . . and realize that the long fingers of "planned obsolescence" are reaching further and further into the sacred spaces of their personal lives . . . until people begin to understand that a culture that holds so little regard for the planet -- which supports us all -- will have even less regard for THEM, there can be no reform.

Greg Caton --- Founder
Alpha Omega Labs
Guayaquil, Ecuador


  1. The 'Centennial' Bulb Taken from Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance, Derrick Jensen, p. 561. In actuality, the quote is taken from an interview Derrick had with a "former corporate lawyer who recovered her conscience, quit, and began working against the corporations."

  2. Taken from Ayn Rand's, Atlas Shrugged (Francisco's 'Money Speech'). Emphasis added. See also Liberty-Tree quote page.

  3. I could not find the original article I read back in the 1980's . . . but the specifics are repeated in a recently published work from Harvard University Press, Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America, Giles Slade, 2006; p. 31. In addition, a special web page has been set up commemorating the light bulb, called Livermore's Centennial Light, where it is billed as "the longest burning light bulb in history." Five similar long-burning bulbs are mentioned in this website's facts page.
    From my vantage point, this all misses the point entirely -- including any cynicism from naysayers who would suggest that because it's just a 4 watt bulb it WOULD last longer . . . Yeah -- right -- low wattage bulbs these days are just as crappy as their 60, 80 and 100 watt brothers. Read Slade's book -- and then write me back and tell if you were able to finish this remarkable piece of non-fiction without having your stomach turn into knots. Who knows? Maybe it'll piss you off enough to start connecting the dots as it relates to health care.

  4. Ibid., p. 34. Slade is making mention of Veblen's, Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), which helped popularize the term well over a century ago.
    Incidentally, there are too many incidents where I have been exposed to the harrowing consequences of our culture's "planned obsolescence" to even note them all. But two very recent examples come to mind and are worth recounting. Neither of them have anything to do with medicine.
    First, I had not even completed half of this essay when I was sitting down with a friend, telling her about what I was writing about, when she interjected: "That's so interesting . . . you know . . . my mother purchased nylon stockings right after The War (1945) that lasted the rest of her life. And when I was in London many years ago I met a man who worked at a plant that produced stockings. He told me that an 'acid wash' was created to weaken the threads so that the stockings would wear out quicker. It wasn't profitable to produce stockings if they lasted the lifetime of the woman who purchased them."
    Second -- on a more personal note, I have a close friend who invented a solution for acid lead batteries. He went to a manufacturer of car batteries with his invention, confident that they would be interested in a product that would allow their batteries to last longer than the cars into which they were installed.
    Dead wrong.
    They sent a messenger to see my friend not long after his presentation, telling him that if he persisted in spreading the word of his discovery, that he and his wife and his children would be "disposed of."
    Fortunately, my friend did persist -- after finding a most receptive ear to his technological innovations at a ministry of the Chinese government.
    He is protected now . . . and as you may well imagine, he -- like myself -- has no intention of ever returning to the U.S.

  5. Ibid., p. 4.

  6. The essence of Empire -- and what's wrong about it, in a nutshell -- is summed up by some closing words by William Appleman Williams:
    " I was born in 1921, in the midst of a postwar depression. I came to adolescence during the Great Depression. We were not dirt poor. We were not starving, and we were not lacking the rudiments of food or clothing. But we did miss much of the rest of the so-called American Way of Life. Even so, we all believed in that American Way of Life.
    " That Truth was somewhere out on the back forty, or down the line. But the imperial ethos does not teach one to wait. It informs one with the assumption that the goodies should be here and now -- and forever. And so I stole a very fine and expensive knife from the best hardware store in town.
    " My maternal grandmother . . . discovered what I had done. She confronted me with the question: Did you steal the knife? Yes, I stole the knife. Why? Because I wanted it, because I liked it, because I can use it.
    " She said : the knife is not yours. You have not earned it. You will take it back.
    " I said : I can't do that.
    " She said : You will do that. Now.
    " Oh, my : the moral force of the declarative sentence.
    " And so I walked back along those long and lonely blocks to the store. And in through the door. And up, face to face, with the member of that small community who owned the store. And I said : I stole this knife and I am sorry and I am bringing it back.
    " And he said : Thank you. The knife is not very important, but you coming down here and saying that to me is very important.
    " Remembering all that, I know why I do not want the Empire. There are better ways to live and there are better ways to die. "

    William Appleman Williams (1921-1990)
    Empire As a Way of Life (1980)

    The last lines of the last chapter of the last book of one of the last and greatest spokesmen on the dangers of Empire to the ultimate life and prosperity of the U.S. Republic since U.S. Senator John Taylor of Caroline (1753-1824) and the release of his last book, Tyranny Unmasked (1821 -- see text).

  7. James A. Duke, et al.; Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America, p. 482. The quote is taken from Duke's commentary on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), not Garlic-Vine . . . but I felt that the quote would be even more applicable here. Tobacco is used heavily in the Amazon -- recreationally, ceremonially, therapeutically . . . and is found frequently at Ayahuasca ceremonies because the Tobacco Spirit is felt to be friendly to the Ayahuasca plant spirit. Nevertheless, for those tribal groups that are aware of Ajo, there is no comparison in either volume or frequency of use, making Duke's quote apropos.
  8. Ibid., p. 321.
  9. Ibid.; "Madre de Dios Peruvians, like most ethnic groups from Bolivia to Central America, use the latex as a vermifuge (MD2)."

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